Blogs can be powerful marketing tools. Blogging can also be a highly demanding endeavor.
Even the most prolific writers can find themselves with a serious case of “blogger’s block.”
When blogger’s block strikes, some basic keyword research can provide a fresh batch of blog post ideas.
A series of posts written around related keywords can also look good in the eyes of the search engines or prospects.
Using Keyword Tools to Brainstorm Blog Post Topics
#1: Google Related Searches
There are a number of tools that can uncover related keywords and ideas for possible blog topics.
One of the first and easiest places to start is on the Google home page. Start by searching for a phrase that you’d like your blog to rank in on search engines.
After conducting the search, click on “More search tools” in the left column and then “Related searches.” Google will return a list of related searches for the keyword or phrase for which you just searched.
For example, let’s say I wanted to write about blogging and needed blog post ideas. I would start by searching Google for “blog” and looking at the related searches. As you can see in the image above, related searches for the term “blog” include terms and phrases such as “free blog,” “create blog,” “blog software,” “WordPress,” and “Technorati.”
Each one of these terms could be turned into blog posts with titles such as:
- Five of the Best Places to Start a Free Blog
- Three Things You Must Do to Create a Successful Blog Post
- Why I Like WordPress
- How to Get Your Blog Post Listed in Technorati
#2: Google AdWords Keyword Tool
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is another place to brainstorm topics for your next blog post. A search on Google AdWords will bring up a much bigger list of search terms and will also provide insight into how often the term is searched and the competition for the keyword or phrase.
For example, a search for the phrase “how to blog” brings up phrases such as “YouTube blog,” “funny blog” and “blog calendar.” All three have a high monthly search volume yet low competition for the keyword. Blog post titles using these keywords might include:
- How to Create a YouTube Blog Post
- Five Things to Consider When Writing a Funny Blog Post
- Schedule Your Posts With a Blog Calendar
#3: Wordtracker’s Keyword Questions
Wordtracker’s Keyword Questions is a powerful tool designed to help with content brainstorming. Enter a keyword and Wordtracker returns a list of 100 questions asked by search engine users that include the keyword.
For this example, let’s say that a realtor is trying to come up with a list of possible blog post ideas. Entering the term “Home” into Wordtracker’s Keyword Questions brings up a list of possible blog topics including:
- “How leasing a car affects qualifying for a home mortgage”
- “Home security systems and which one is the best one”
- “How do I calculate the value of my home”
- “Do it yourself home remodeling”
The search above also provides a number of topics not related to real estate to sort through such as “Can I make holy water at home or do I have to go to a church,” but who knows, there might be an interesting blog post in there somewhere. When it comes to writing blog posts, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Along with questions, Wordtracker Keyword also offers search results based on keyword connections, random trigger words and the top searched keywords. Each of these options pairs your keyword with various other search terms and provides results based on actual searches conducted through Wordtracker’s partner search engines. The results can provide a wide range of blog post ideas and topics you may not have considered.
#4: Google Analytics (or Other Traffic Analytics Program)
Analyzing the incoming traffic to a blog can provide a number of ideas for blog posts and highlight the opportunity to build upon popular posts and search terms that are bringing traffic to a site.
If our realtor notices that searches for a particular neighborhood are driving traffic to her site, she can capitalize on the opportunity by writing a series of posts about community resources and the real estate market in the neighborhood.
If you discover that an unusual or unexpected keyword is driving traffic, the brainstorming methods above can help unlock potential blog posts related to the keyword.
Google Wonder Wheels
Although Google has taken down their Wonder Wheels tool, I have to mention it because it was such a great brainstorming tool and comments in the Google help forum have left the door open (if ever so slightly) for its return.
Wonder Wheels provided a graphic display of related terms that could be clicked and searched in an ever-growing web of related keywords. As I wrote in an earlier post on Social Media Examiner, it not only provided a great brainstorming tool for writing blog posts, it also gave insight into the way Google connects keywords.
Hopefully Google will find it in their wisdom to bring it back in the near future because I personally feel that it blew the above tools out of the water.
Create a Resource
When done well, a series of posts written around keywords can give your blog a nice jump in the search engines. Always remember, though, focus on content first and let the keywords follow.
By providing a resource of topically related articles, you create a reason for others to link to your site and quality incoming links are key to top search engine rankings.
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