Clock what’s popular online so you can write like a GOD!
When you need to research the web, what do you do?
Bung a few words into Google and hope for the best? Organically navigate from there, to see what you turf up?
That’s actually not a bad approach IF…
You’re really clear about what you’re looking for, or you’re happy to let creativity flow and see what sparks in your head as you surf.
But what if you’re pushed for time, need to focus or want to be sure you’re getting the very best information for your needs?
It was only after getting stuck into content writing in a big way that I learnt how vital quality research is for writing articles my audience loves to read. And I’m not just talking about finding legitimate facts and figures.
I use research for:
- Audience mapping
- Determining psychographics
- Content idea generation
I call it content hacking
It’s based on Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique which is about “publishing content based on a proven framework. In other words: find old content that did well…and crush it with something even better.”
Brian’s full technique is far more in depth and if you’re really into this stuff go read it and prepare to have your mind blown!
Why You Need To Do This
The ideas below help you clock what’s popular online. They tell us:
- What people like to read in your industry
- What form of title and content does well (top tips, best of, lists, case studies, infographics and so on)
- That tells us what drives (motivates) people to take action (read, click, like)
- And we can use that information to figure out how we should be talking to them, too
Follow these techniques and you’ll soon be churning out content your audience will LOVE!
Preparation: use a spreadsheet to capture this research as you go. Create columns for title, URL and notes.
Top Tip 1:
BuzzSumo.com – helps you to analyse what content performs best for any content or competitor.
Recommended approach: sign up for a 14 day trial, specify your location and search for keywords in your field.
What you’ll get: dozens of relevant ideas for your content – take note of titles, content, topic and format (e.g. top ten list, real life story etc.)
Top Tip 2:
Wikipedia – reams of free information; great for checking facts and finding out more.
Recommended approach: look up relevant topics for your business or brand and head straight to the reference section at the end of each article. Any articles listed are there because they’re legitimate, well researched and popular.
What you’ll get: more ideas around what works in your industry and what your target audience loves.
Top Tip 3:
Pinterest – a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas.
Recommended approach: type in keywords relevant to your industry. Look for pins with lots of hearts (likes) and re-pins.
What you’ll get: knowledge around what style of graphic, headline and positioning works well for popular content in your field.
Top Tip 4:
Spot connections and themes in your research.
Recommended approach: run through your spreadsheet and look for similar themes around stories, focus, topic and style.
What you’ll get: a clear, distilled indication of what really works for your audience and a list of content styles and ideas to run through over the coming days, weeks and months.
Hazah! You’ve nailed it!
You’ve created a feast of rich information that will tell you SO MUCH about your audience and the content they are desperate to consume. Go forth and write like a god!
Interested to learn more? I run a workshop on this very topic!
It’s a facilitated half day (4 hour) workshop that empowers your team to harness internal skills and market place opportunities, so they can generate brilliant new ideas on a regular basis.
Utilising techniques in innovation, creativity and story-telling, your team will benefit from a new perspective and an alternative approach to content idea generation – an injection of support to bring out different ideas and impart content creation advice.
Keen as mustard? Curious as a cucumber? Get in touch to discuss your needs and find the best solution for you.