In blogging, content is the lifeline of blogs. It is what makes each blog ticks, come alive or stand out from the rest.
So here is currently what I do to find new blog content or ideas for a blog post:
- Read other blogs in your niche – First of all, find out what kind of competition exists in your niche. Since I write about technology, I’ve searched through blog directories like BlogCatalog or Blogarama, blog communities like MyBlogLog or Technorati, etc to find other blogs that relate to my topic. Once I’ve found a couple I like, I have looked over their posts and browsed through their list of sources (most bloggers will site sources at the bottom of a post). Now you can create a good list of “source” sites, blogs, forums (Yahoo Answers), etc whereby you can search through and find content. If you can add value to a post someone else has written, post it on your blog and make sure to link back to the original source. There’s no way any blogger can write about everything, so pick and choose topics that specifically relate to your blog. Also, browse through comments on popular blogs as readers will usually post alternatives to the item or solution provided in the main post. For example, a tech blogger writing about a program to help recover data from your hard drive will usually get a bunch of comments on other programs or solutions to recovering data. You could use those ideas as a topic for one of your posts.
- Social Bookmarking sites – Sites like Del.icio.us, Digg, Yahoo MyWeb, StumbleUpon and many others are great ways to find new blog ideas, especially for tech bloggers. You’ll always find links to startup web sites or cool web apps, etc, etc. However, there are many different topics other than technology, so it’s definitely worth checking these sites out! You can also follow along news sites like Newsvine and Tailrank, which are community-based, but more focused on current events.
- Audio and Video Podcasts - This is probably one of the best ways to find fresh relevant content for your blog. Audio and video podcasts have the advantage that you can get a lot more information across in a shorter period of time. There are literally thousands of podcasts that you can watch daily ranging from the latest tech news to animal life in the Amazon! One cool piece of software that you can use to find and watch podcasts is Miro. It’s completely free and has over 2000 channels with videos that you can download to your PC, iPod or media player. You can check out other podcast sites like Twit, TeXtra, DL.TV, Blip.tv, etc.
- Google Alerts – This one might sound a little strange, but it really does work! Google Alerts is a great tool to use to find content on the web specifically related to the keywords you choose. You can easily find any mention of your keywords in the news or in blogs. So if you want to know the day a new product is being released, simply create an alert with those words and you can get the information as it happens. This reduces the time it takes to read through lots of news or blog sites trying to find the information you need.
- Keyword Tools – Every serious blogger should be using keyword tools to uncover the searching habits of readers. That importance of the data that you can get from these tools is simply too great to overlook. There are several free keyword tools out there, including Google Adwords, Overture, and Keyword Discovery. The numbers may not be exactly accurate, but it’s definitely insightful and good to know when writing titles for your post, etc.
To write good posts, good content is a must. This can be generated if your content follows certain guidelines:
(1) Be attention-seeking
A piece of good content is attention seeking. It contains information that is helpful and valuable to visitors who will return to source for others. Your blog will be bookmarked in the process. It will become a popular resource blog.
(2) Inducing subscription
With the content that is updated on a regular basis, it is good to provide visitors with a subscription feature. They will be able to subscribe through the feed system on your blog.
(3) Always aiming for more links
None is further from the truth that if your blog has more incoming links, your rankings on search engines will vastly improve. This is a result that will happen only after your blog has gained a favorable impression with other bloggers in terms of good blog content. In their eyes, your blog is their valuable resource center.
(4) Welcoming comments
To encourage openness and friendly interaction, always encourage visitors to post their comments on your blog. It is good for self-development. Comments should be taken with a positive mindset.
(5) Encourage action-taking
In your content, it is always possible to arouse the interest and urgency of the visitors to engage them in your call-to-action undertaking. It has to be one call that is strong and emphatic.