As digital marketers or content writers, we are expected to create and post fabulous content every single day. Creating interesting and quirky content for a personal blog or an in-house blog is not too difficult: after all, you are going to upload it yourself and don’t have to worry about whether it will be approved or not.
But, when it comes to getting a guest blog published on a quality website, you need to get a topic that matches with the tone of that blog, and you need something fresh. For digital marketers or writers who are under pressure to create and post dozens of guest posts for the same niche or on the same subject every week, finding unique and interesting topics is close to impossible.
In this post, we will focus on actionable ways to find unique and interesting topics for niche topics. As I have been using this technique to find ideas for mobile application development, I will use examples from that niche to elaborate some of my points.
1. Get it straight from the Horse’s Mouth
Over the years, I have found that talking to the clients or to people who are intimately involved in working with the products, services or ideas that you are promoting is the best method of finding unique topics.
For instance, if you have written dozens of articles on mobile development and can’t think of anything that is even remotely fresh, it would be best to talk to the developers or clients. There are too many articles on the Internet about broad topics like ‘Top Ten Apps,’ or ‘How to Make Money with Apps,’ but not enough on technical topics.
A five-minute talk with a developer made me aware of a different topic that is vitally important to most apps that involve monetary transactions: PCI-DSS Compliance. Researching this topic and a little bit of brainstorming yielded a number unique topics:
- How to Implement PCI-DSS Compliance for Mobile Apps
- Does your App Need PCI-DSS Compliance?
- Finding the Right Company for Highly Secure Financial Apps
A single idea from some client or employee who is involved in the actual process can help you come up with a number of unique topics. However, not all digital marketers have the luxury to spend time talking with the experts. In that case, we need to rely on our own wits and ingenuity to discover unique topics.
2. Play with different Article Types to Generate Fresh Ideas
When you are writing high-quality content, the writing and the subject matter dictate the structure. But, at other times, you can leverage the peculiarities of a structure to spark new ideas.
Let’s suppose that you are working on the topic ‘mobile application development’. You can use the following content types as a foundation for generating new ideas.
- Listicles: List-based articles are the easiest to create, and this article structure is the most common. Popular websites like Listverse and Cracked thrive on this format. Creating a general list, such as “Top Ten Mobile Apps” won’t be of any use – there are too many such articles online. Instead, think of your central topics and connect it with a niche. That way, you can find a unique idea.
For instance, mobile app development + movies = Top Ten Apps for Movie Buffs or Best Apps for RomCom Fans. Once you specify a niche, you just need to use your ingenuity to make the article work.
- How To: Articles that provide a solution to problems faced by your target audience serve a dual purpose: they are naturally interesting to the readers, and they help you position yourself as an authority in the field.
- News & Analysis: Blog posts based on recent industry news can be quite popular. For example, an article on the release of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C has a good chance of appearing on search results for the few days that people are actively seeking information about it.
Unique articles that analyze the news and talk of how the release of the new devices will impact developers and businesses can also be useful and interesting to readers. This method works for most subjects.
- Techniques and Resources: You may not have the wherewithal or information to create researched and in-depth guest posts on a topic. In that case, using your general research skills, you can gather information about useful resources and present it in a list form. For example, an article on UI designs ideas for iPhone or one on best mobile app development tools can be created even by people who do not possess technical knowledge.
- Comparison Articles: One of the best way of attracting audience is writing well-researched and detailed articles comparing two or more different ideas or things. If you are marketing mobile apps or selling mobile devices, you can write an article comparing Android vs. iOS or Samsung Galaxy Note vs. iPhone 5.
By comparing two rival devices or technologies that people are passionate about, you can spark a debate, create a controversy, and design the right conditions for your article to go viral.
- FAQs & Checklists: Most digital marketers understand the importance of placing an FAQ page on the website, but not many explore the possibility of using FAQ-based articles for guest posting. Using the existing resources in your organization, you can create FAQs or checklist type of articles that directly address your target audience.
- Quiz Posts: There are too many digital marketers out there planning and creating high-quality content for guest blogging. This has created a guest post glut. By offering other kinds of content – something that is not just a bunch of words – you can capture the interest of guest bloggers. There aren’t many quizzes out there. By creating funny and interesting quizzes once in a while, you can get a great link from top guest blogs with minimum effort.
- Reviews: Whenever a new movie, a new product or a new technology is launched, people want to read about from a third party. If you can provide balanced and useful reviews within a few hours or days of the launch, you can easily get a guest blogger interested.
3. Research User’s Needs, Use Imagination
If you don’t have an idea, you can try and find out about information about what people are actually looking for. Find out or imagine questions that a mobile user, a mobile developer, or a person who want to create mobile app will want to know.
By entering the search terms in Yahoo! Answers, Quora, or WikiAnswers, or any websites that fields questions, you can find interesting questions that real people potentially interested in your product or services are asking.
If you want really unique topics, this is the best method of finding it without taking any help from others. You can also use imagination and think of what questions users may have in their mind, or what questions may capture their interest.
For example, in a brainstorming session for finding unique guest blogging topics related to mobile, we thought of these ideas: Which mobile company will dominate 2014? Will the Growing number of Android users Affect Apple’s Bottom Line? Do Stats and Market Share Really Matter in the Mobile World (Interesting fact: Apple Mac has about 5% of PC market share and 45% of market profits)?
Listening to users’ needs, Thinking and Asking Questions is the simplest way to come up with completely unique content.
4. Use Keyword Tools to Spark New Ideas
Entering random term like “Android Mobile” in a keyword tool gave us some exciting keywords that people are searching for: Android mobile security, Android mobile TV, unlocked Android phones.
Entering the term “Android and iPhone” gave me: Difference between Android and iPhone, Switching from Android to iPhone, Android iPhone emulator, Run Android on iPhone, etc.
Each of the keywords here can be used to create interesting titles and articles. For example, using the ideas from the keywords, we can write an article on Android security from an angle that not many have covered, or create a detailed, step-wise guide on how to run Android OS on an iPhone.
5. Search for the Topic on Twitter
Entering the key term will give hundreds of tweets on the topic. At least some of them will be unique and could help you get a better idea for a new topic. You can also follow the blogs, news outlets or magazines that publish content related to your subject, and follow them. The tweets from these sources can be a great source of new ideas. Similarly, you can follow industry leaders or other popular users that tweet on topics that relate to your main subject.
6. Create News Alerts or Subscribe for Newsletters
Creating alerts for specific terms or topics will continuously keep you updated with the news and updates related to that topic. You can receive as many alerts as you want with pre-defined frequency via email. And, if there are certain blogs that publish articles related to your topic, subscribing to their feed may be useful.
Also, there are several e-magazines and news- & industry-related websites which contain tons of information and updates related to specific topics. Signing up for the newsletters of these websites can help in getting daily updates and trends related to that topic.
7. Scour the Comments Section of Popular Blog Posts
This is another smart way of finding topics. Whenever you are reading a popular or controversial blog on your topic, go through its comments section and check what people are talking about, or what problems they are facing. Sometimes, people are so passionate about the topic that they write two hundred word-long comments to make a point. You can use those ideas to create an article on an absolutely unique topic!
Sounds unlikely? Take a look at the comments section of this blog. There are half a dozen stimulating ideas in the comments sections that can help you find a unique topic to write on.
8. Invite Topics
You can also ask your readers to suggest topics for future guest blogs. At the end of your blog post, you can ask them to comment the topic on which they would like to hear from you. This technique works best for blogs that are published on a website that has a substantial and active community of users.
9. Use your Knowledge & Experience
For digital marketers or content writers who have worked on the same subject for a long time, it gets increasingly difficult to find new topics. But, the repetition also makes them subject-matter experts. You can use your own insights in the subject to come up with interesting topics.
As someone who has written too much about mobile development, I know that many individuals and small business think of creating mobile apps and want to know exactly how much it will cost. I know that there are very few articles online that clearly break down the prices of app development and gives precise figures. An article on such a topic will be unique and it will specifically target visitors most valuable to me.
Talking to business analysts and marketing experts in your or your client’s organization can help you find impactful topics and create effective articles.
10. Keep an Eye on the Competitors’ Blogs
Another good way to find topic for writing is following what our competitors are writing and publishing. Many people do this, but simply to borrow ideas. Keep the famous quote, “Good artists borrow, great artist steal,” in your mind. Don’t just pick a lousy idea to spin a copy– research the content of your competitor’s blog posts to analyze and decipher what method they are using to come up with new techniques for generating new ideas.
Yes. It will take effort. But it’s worth it.
Using these techniques will help you cook up and find numerous unique topics for guest blogging. But, it won’t happen automatically: you will need to invest time and effort to make things work. But, by the end the process, you will have several topics that won’t just impress guest bloggers, but also capture the attention and interest of your target audience.