Creative Ways to Come Up with
Topics for Guest Blogging
High quality, relevant content improves a website’s reputation. Low quality content has the opposite effect.
Content can be high quality, but completely irrelevant, which can ruin a company’s reputation far beyond their website. For example, a horror movie website will not want mum and baby blogs as, although these will generate traffic, it will not be the right sort of traffic.
A mother may read the blog and then click around the website but as soon as she clicks on ‘Top Extreme Movies of All Time’ she will click away in disgust, even if extreme horror is her thing. Likewise, mother and baby sites will not want horror movies on their blogs.
So, how can you come up with high quality, relevant and creative topics to suit a particular website or blog?
Research the Website
The first place to go for a blog is the company’s website. Have a good look around. See what the focus of their blog is but don’t simply rewrite what previous bloggers have written before. No matter how well written and relevant, this will only generate traffic from previous visitors and the purpose of a blog is to generate new, relevant traffic. This research also allows you to familiarise yourself with the tone and style of the website.
Some words sound and look similar. A science-based astronomy website does not want blog posts about astrology. An astrology website will care about where Jupiter is in the sky, but will be much more concerned with the spiritual impact than a storm on the gas giant. It is your job as a blogger to have sufficient knowledge of each topic to know if you can confidently write about it.
Expand on Content
If the website has a lot of vague articles covering multiple topics, one way to generate new blog posts is to list each topic and write a separate in-depth blog on each one. This gives the blog additional authority on the topics covered and helps people expand their own knowledge from the simple starting point of vague blog posts. Expanding content also helps people not to waste their time reading in-depth posts on topics they’re already an expert and skip right to the topics they know little about. One post can grow into ten in a matter of hours.
Without clicking away from the website, come up with a fresh topic that hasn’t already been covered. Blog ideas will flow while visiting a relevant website. There may be blogs that could be expanded, or you could take a different slant on a topic, or there may be something they should have covered but haven’t. If an anchor text and link have been provided, build the new topic around this. A website needs blogs for search engine optimisation (SEO) and, the higher it ranks, the more traffic it receives. The more traffic it receives, the more sales it can generate.
The backlinks are like a gold star from the teacher, but instead of stickers they’re approval and creditability for a website. This approval results in a higher search engine ranking and therefore, more organic traffic.
Solve A Problem
After researching a website and knowing what topics they cover, and which they don’t, find a problematic area. It could be anything, for example, a particular blog post may attract all the traffic, but people aren’t staying on the website. Identify what is special about that particular blog post and expand the topic. If none of the blogs on a website are specialised and only provide a general approach, give them the specialised treatment. This is similar to rewording, so be careful to only add information, not mix around something already said.
If a blog contains highly complex information, simplify it to make it more accessible to people wishing to learn about the topic. Newcomers to a particular area aren’t going to know the lingo, even if it is already listed in a separate blog post (and if it isn’t, it should be). Dial down the specialised language and make it easy to understand. This is where rewording is actually pretty useful because it brings the topic and same information to a much wider audience. This is one of the few occasions when a blogger can get away with presenting the same information as a previous post without adding anything new to it.
With a new and relevant topic chosen, go to a search engine to narrow it down and learn everything you can about the topic. The topic could be anything, even How to Enjoy Extreme Horror Movies While You Have Young Children! Become an expert on that particular topic. The blog may ask you back, so keep all your notes, including rejected ideas. Most importantly, a blog needs to have authority, so the blogger needs to know what they’re talking about. If the information is wrong or out of date, readers will know and won’t trust the website. If the website can’t be trusted, traffic will fall.
With a topic that needs to be simplified for a wider audience, you still need to undertake research. It is all too easy to throw in the complex words and examples given in previous posts but these won’t connect with a wider audience who will only become frustrated and click away. You need to know the topic well enough to make it easy to understand for everyone. You won’t be able to do that if you don’t do your own research.
The writing itself will generate ideas that won’t fit into the original post. List these and keep them handy as they are new topics for future blog posts. Every blog post will generate at least two new ideas. Keep blogging for long enough and there will be a notebook filled with ideas that can rival the research notebook.
Coming up with blog topics can seem daunting at first, but once your toe is in the water, it is hard to stop. Some blogs are highly specialised, whereas others are a lot more general.
Even while away from the computer, the ideas will flow so keep a notebook handy or have a special app to record blogging ideas on your mobile phone.
About the Author
Alex Kalos is a blogger and writes on various topics such as SEO and content creation. He also runs an agency that focusses on improving business visibility on the web.