Ask any blogger and they’ll tell you what the hardest blogging challenge is. It’s figuring out what people like to read. We’re not talking average content here – we’re talking about the kind of content that people would love, that they would bookmark and read again later. The kind of content that get shared, linked and brings in organic traffic.
Which of your posts went viral, or at least became very popular? What are the topics? Make a list of your previous posts based on the visitors, views, comments and social sharing that took place. Evaluate the content of those popular posts. Take the time to read the comments. When you read the content and the comments with a fresh eye, you’ll realize exactly what worked and why those posts were well received.
2. Use Facebook Insights To Determine What People Like
This works best if you have a good fan following on Facebook. Get hold of engagement metrics and evaluate the patterns in your audience’s responses. See which posts were shared or forwarded to other networks. Evaluate those posts for the reason of their success. Were the topics more popular or is the success due to your writing style and unique voice?
3. Evaluate Your Competition’s Successful Posts
Make a list of the top blogs in your niche and evaluate their archives for popular posts. Use the same method that you applied to study the popular posts of your own blog. Compare their writing styles to yours. Find out which style of writing and voice seems to be more popular. Evaluate your own posts based on the success factors you noticed in the other bloggers’ posts.
4. Evaluate Your Competition’s Failed Posts
While you’re studying successful posts, take a look at some of the failed posts of other blogs as well. You’ll get an understanding of why they failed – maybe the topics weren’t current enough, or maybe too many bloggers had written on the same topic. Maybe the content wasn’t researched well enough – there can be many reasons for failure. Evaluate your own posts based on what you learned from others’ failures.
5. Emulate The Best Examples Of Writing
Famous authors are known to engage in this activity, time and again. They study the books of Pulitzer award winning authors and copy their writing styles, word for word. They try to pick up the author’s voice and style and incorporate those into their own style. You can do the same with the work of the blogger you admire the most.
6. Experiment Emulating A Successful Writing Style
Evaluate popular posts word by word and try to rewrite them in your own voice. Compare your rewritten version with the original and see if your version appeals to you just as much. Then minutely evaluate the difference to know where your style differs and what you need to do to change it for the better. Once you’re done with this experiment, write a new post using the tone and style that you just learnt. Over time, you will internalize these lessons and the improvement in your writing will be no less than dramatic.
7. Get Your Posts Evaluated By Social Voting Sites
If you want to know how well people are going to receive your new writing style and topics, submit your post to voting sites. You will obtain a great deal of unique insight from sites such as BizSugar, Digg, Hacker News, and Inbound.org and so on. On these sites, people vote on the good posts, and ignore bad ones, making your path clear for you.
8. Write Articles On Topics That Are Shared The Most
Some topics are shared a lot on social media and through other networks. These are the topics that people find useful and informative. For example, How-to articles and articles that offer instant strategies for achieving something are really popular. Make your How-to articles clear, in-depth, full of facts, clear cut steps and images to support your steps, wherever possible. As for the strategic articles, people want to know an easier, smoother and more beneficial way to achieve something and you’re a winner.
9. Perform Keyword Research To Source Popular Topics
Search for topics based on the popular keywords that people in your niche use. Input the topics and keyphrases you want into Google Keyword Tool’s inbox. Filter the match types on Exact, thus narrowing down your keyphrases to their closest matches. Click on Local Monthly Searches for the keyphrases you’ve used and you’ll know how many people have searched for the same phrases locally within the month.
10. Ask Your Audience
A simple, but relatively overlooked method to source popular topics is to ask your audience what they want. You should be able to get an idea of what kind of content they like, what kind of tone and voice is easy to read and digest and what they’d like from your blog.
This post is contributed by Invesp – a complete website optimization company that helps businesses in improving the overall experience of their visitors.