But just because we like our own post, doesn't mean our audience wants to read it. 6 Data-driven Tactics for Choosing Blog Topics 1) Find Out What Already Works for You The most accessible data source that can inform your blog strategy are your own metrics. This means publishing 30 display advertising posts produces the same total traffic that 10 video marketing posts produce. In other words, video marketing posts are three times more effective than display advertising posts. By cutting display advertising out of our content mix and writing more video marketing posts, we'd serve our audience's interests better and generate more traffic with less content. Once you discover their top performing content, ask yourself how you can improve upon their work. 3) Read Your Audience's Conversations Online As a writer who blogs about inbound marketing, I constantly comb through Inbound.org and the Content Marketing Institute LinkedIn group because they're full of fodder for my best blog ideas. Marketers post questions to these sites every day. If you don't blog about marketing, then you can search for your audience's questions on Quora. If an overwhelming pile of questions presents itself, then just check out your topic's top followers and read the questions they've answered about your topic.
Have you ever written a blog post you were sure was destined to go viral? You spent hours crafting each sentence — positive that your audience would devour each word, shared it on every possible social platform, and knew it would propel to internet fame in a matter of mere hours.
You even thought about changing your LinkedIn headline to “Marketing Guru” — because why not? You were about to become one.
Sadly, your digital utopia was just a fantasy. The post — as some inexplicably tend to do — tanked. But while you wrote it, you would’ve bet your life it would break the internet. So what the heck happened?
As marketers, we often succumb to a cognitive bias called the overconfidence effect. Since we’re technically experts, we tend to overestimate our industry knowledge and our ability to predict content performance.
This can lead us to rely on our intuition more than data when we brainstorm new blog ideas. Since we like our own ideas, we think our audience will too.
But just because we like our own post, doesn’t mean our audience wants to read it.
Instead of relying on our own personal taste, we need to let our audience’s behaviors and preferences drive our new blog ideas — or else we risk publishing irrelevant content.
Analyzing audience data before ideation is crucial for crafting desirable content. Let’s read on to learn six data-driven tactics for choosing the topics your audience actually desires.
6 Data-driven Tactics for Choosing Blog Topics
1) Find Out What Already Works for You
The most accessible data source that can inform your blog strategy are your own metrics. You just need to tag each of your blog posts with their respective topic first. By categorizing your blog posts, you can measure each topic’s performance with data analysis tools like excel or HubSpot’s Content Strategy tool.
The performance metrics you decide to track depend on your marketing goals. At HubSpot, page views largely determine a topic’s success, but other metrics like time on page, subscribers gained, or leads generated can also indicate whether a topic resonates with your audience or not. It’s crucial to select a key business objective you want your blog to serve and monitor the metrics that represent its success.
It’s also valuable to take into account how many posts you publish on each topic. You want to make sure you serve your audience’s true interests and don’t overlook potentialy fruitful topics.
For instance, let’s say HubSpot’s blog posts about display advertising and video marketing generate the same amount of total traffic. On the surface, it seems like our audience enjoys these topics equally, right?
But a particular topic’s total traffic might not tell the full story. What if we publish display advertising posts three times more often than video marketing posts?
This means publishing 30 display advertising posts…