I told you I was training a totally blog newbie the other day: WordPress Blog Training For Newbies.
I remember that she asked a question about “What do you write on your blog“? She was curious about how I figured out what topics I “needed” to be writing about – not just what I felt like writing. And sometimes we can’t “think” of what to write.
First – I MADE her understand that we all can’t just write about what we “think” someone should or want’s to read. Sometimes that works if you are in your Creative Type mode. But… you need to know that sometimes you will need to write about what others need to know. (don’t worry – I’m getting to the explanation part)
It comes down to this:
Figure out what it is you “should” be writing about and then write it.
How do you know what to write about when you are staring at a blank screen?
We all have to Free options to get this info:
- Look at our own blog statistics
- Look for the keywords people are using to search for “what they want to read”.
Well.. I also have a third. Look at your own email reply’s – comments on your blog – or use forums and other blog comments as fodder for your own blog. That takes a bit more work than the first two.
When you have Google Analytics code on your blog – you get all sorts of information.. including what keywords someone typed in that led them to your blog.
If you don’t know how to set up Google Analytics – I’ve got a free report: Analyze Website Traffic
Inside Google Analytics (one of my niche blogs) I can see that the number one keyword used to find the site for the last 30 days:
Easy.. I need to write an article about “Paint Colors For Craft Rooms” because I know I don’t have an article on my site with that “long tail keyword string” as a title.
Of course this blog is about “Choosing Paint Colors” so it’s a perfect fit. I know I will be writing an article my readers (or soon to be readers) want to read.
Let’s Look At This Another Way That Will Help With SEO
The keyword “paint colors for craft rooms” is not a highly searched long tail keyword string. What if I wanted to write articles (if my blog was new) that had more chance of getting found by the search engines? (and ultimately real people)
I’d head over to http://adwords.google.com and find the keywords “lots of people” are using:
This search took less than 2 minutes and pulled in about 140 great ideas to write about – and these are topics people want to read!
Use Those Keywords In Your Blog Posts
Now you have a “topic” to write about… but don’t stray from the keyword. Stop trying to get so creative in your blog titles – search engines won’t find your blog and people don’t use “creative” keywords to find what they want to know.
Use the keywords exactly how they are presented to you!
I used this analogy to explain the concept to my friend:
We used to use the Yellow Pages (phone book advertising) all the time. Right? We didn’t know the name of the business – just what type of business we were looking for.
We might be looking for a plumber or an Italian restaurant. We then would turn to the pages with plumbers or restaurants listed.
Now days – we use the internet. So I might type in “name of city” and “plumber”. That’s a keyword (long tail).
How does that relate to a blog?
Think about how YOU use the search engines? Do you type in “going to the doctor today”? I don’t think so…
When you are searching online for something specific… what do you type in? Did you find the information you were looking for?
Back to one of my favorite quotes: “Stop trying to sell (or write) what you think others want to buy (or read) – Start writing about what you know they already are looking for”. Debra Conrad
You can still be creative in your writing – but “ya still gotta be found” online. Otherwise – you are wasting your efforts.