This is the time of the year where you need to have an editorial calendar. I'm not talking about a fixed, unchangeable plan for 2018 (I don't believe in that). Rather some definite ideas about what is trending and how to use that to vamp up qualified web traffic to grow your blog.
That is not complicated, and all you have to do is to turn your attention in the coming weeks at Google trends. In fact, Google Trends is a powerful tool to understand what people are most interested in. Therefore, if you want to produce content that converts you have to look at what is attractive to your potential audience first. I will save you some time by selecting a set of trending topics in 2017, which might also be quite popular for 2018, according to several areas. Therefore, whether you have a lifestyle blog or a car dealership, you'll find here what trended for 2017 and what you should invest in, for your editorial strategy in 2018.
The information provided in this article is true for even for 2020. Those are tactics based on a principle: look at data first before you write even a line of content!
How to turn a "how-to" search into a tutorial for your blog
Tutorials have been quite popular on Google, and they still are. Most users turn to Google to solve a practical problem they have. That is why also for 2017 "how-to" searches are among the most asked questions on Google.
Although some of them are too practical (like "how to make a slime") for you to cover into an in-depth tutorial. Others (like "how to buy Bitcoin") give you a great insight into what to write next.
Once you know where to start, you need to uncover all the potential questions users might have about that topic. How do you do that?
Use a free simple tool called Answer the Public to uncover the questions you might want to take into account for your tutorial.
For instance, I inserted into Answer the Public "bitcoin," and that is what I got:
You can also download the Bitcoin Questions spreadsheet here.
From the spreadsheet, you can find several kinds of questions that start with several modifiers. A modifier is an element of the phrase that if you take off, the sentence makes still sense, grammatically. However, it changes the meaning of the phrase itself. That is why using modifiers can be useful to you also to structure content.
What kind of modifiers do people type into Google search box?
The most typical modifiers are:
Some of the most frequent questions US users aked in 2017 related to Bitcoin are:
- are bitcoin gains taxable?
- are bitcoin transactions anonymous?
- how bitcoin works?
- how bitcoin mining works?
You can also use some of those questions to write an entire essay on the topic. For this sake "why" issues are perfect:
- why bitcoin is not a bubble
- why bitcoin will crash
- why bitcoin is the future
That will be more of an opinion piece. Yet if well written and researched it will work wonders.
Therefore, use Google trends to see what topics are trending now and Answer the Public to uncover the most popular questions users might have. That is all you need to write a piece that will rank well and will be attractive to an audience that can bring qualified web traffic to your site.
Ideas for some recipes if you're a food blogger
Ideas for some tech products review if you are a tech blogger
Do you sell cars? Make sure you have these brands and models!
A car dealership is a traditional business. However, it can also be quite risky if you don't invest in the right brands and models that people will turn out to buy in your area. I looked at some popular brands and car models. Of course, if you're located in the US you might want to go more local with the search and have an idea about the brands and cars most requested in your neighborhood. In that case, the best big data you can get is to go around and take as many pictures of cars in the neighborhood. Then analyze those pictures to see what models are the most popular.
If you want to save time Google trends will help you out.
Once again, in the moment you found out the trending and most popular car models and brands you can consult Answer the Public to see what questions are frequently asked. You can use those questions to create a targeted content marketing strategy. Or you can actually use them to get ready to the objection potential customers might have
You might be surprised to find out how many questions people ask about a car, like say "Toyota Camry."
Some recurring questions are:
are toyota camry good on gas?
are toyota camry seats comfortable?
why toyota camry is the best?
why buy toyota camry?
You can also use some curiosity people's have about cars to get them to your website or why not to use them in your sales pitch. One example? One frequent asked question is:
can a toyota camry tow a camper?
can a toyota camry tow a caravan?
Therefore you could put together a specific content about Toyota Camry like this "Tow-free hybrids a ‘lifestyle’ issue: Toyota."
This kind of content bring qualified web traffic to your site while also addressing specific questions potential customers have. Therefore, this is the content you might want to produce. A content that can be used for the whole funnel.
Don't you have a clue about your content strategy? Start from the "what" and expand on the Five Ws
To write great content you should use the journalist mindset. Therefore, it might be a good idea to start from the "what" when you do your analysis. In fact, "what is" is one of the questions that pops to mind when approaching a topic. After that, others questions such as "why, where, who, when" might also pop to mind.
Therefore, once you have discovered the "what" use the other four Ws to cover a topic more in-depth.
Here some questions that you might want to ask when writing about a topic:
Who was involved?
Where did it take place?
When did it take place?
Why did that happen?
Some authors add a sixth question, “how”, to the list:
How did it happen?
Popular fashion brands for 2017 for fashion bloggers
Tech info products for your tech blog academy
If you're a techy person, passionate about programming now it's a good time to start blogging about it. Even though competition is high on those topics so is demand. Below some interesting Google trends for Software Technologies in 2017, which can be a good starting point for your editorial strategy for 2018, or to start creating a course.
Having an editorial strategy doesn't mean to have a fixed calendar. In fact, as the technological landscape evolves faster and faster it's hard to predict what is going to trend tomorrow. That doesn't mean you have to write a news article. In fact, I believe that is the worst kind of content you can produce. If you ever have to produce a valuable piece of content starts with something you know in five, ten years will still quite valuable. With that in mind though, you might want to take advantage of what is trending today to give a buzz to your content through SEO and social media. In this way, you make sure to produce content that has an interested audience.
That is of course if you write for business porpuses. If you're just an essayist or writer for passion then don't follow this advice, just write what you love! However, if you write for business purposes you must be able to combine your passion with analytical data that can prove your passion is also valuable for others. You don't need to look far. You just need to use tools like Google Trends and Answer the Public. The first, to find what is trending, therefore finding a topic that has an audience. The second, to uncover the most relevant questions people have. In this way, you can produce an in-depth, evergreen piece of content that in a few years will still be relevant. That kind of content ranks well and converts even better. That is how you build a business through content!
By keeping one principle in mind:
Look at data first before you write even a line of content!