How To Turn Your Good Idea Into a Great Article
Blank pages are the deepest fear of everyone who is involved in the process of writing. Every day you’re looking for the topics that you believe your audience will love. Once your post is ready, you face another problem: what heading to choose so that your great article might shine? Well, in short, there are a number of problems, as with everything in life.
To save you from the depression you can fall into thinking about all this stuff, I’ll describe my own way to find topics that are interesting to my audience. You’ll need to adapt the patterns to your own niche, and come up with proper headings for your pieces.
Is My Idea Interesting To My Audience?
Let’s imagine that we’re running an SEO blog. All these topics on how to collect keywords, conduct competitive analysis or write perfect headings (yes, I know) has been covered to death. Our aim now is to find something special within these topics, analyze existing content, and write something that stands out.
First and foremost, the topic should be relevant to your audience, which means that it should answer readers’ questions. From this perspective, I suggest writing content based on the questions people ask Google. There are few ways to do this:
There are SEO tools like Serpstat that offer a feature called “search question”. It comes in handy if you don’t want to spend too much time gathering all these data manually. Of course, you don’t.
In addition to the regular keyword research, it finds a lot of Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords along with long tail ones. It gathers users’ questions from Google, Amazon, and YouTube.
All these questions were asked by real people eager to find these answers. It means that there are a lot of people who’d like to read a useful article about it.
Another way is to glance through platforms where people ask and answer questions, such as Quora and Reddit. These sites are kind of forums with lots of discussions on every topic. Of course, there is such thing as promotion on Quora, but mostly these people are real users trying to find desirable answers.
Just type your topic into the search box and learn what people would like to know:
Choose interesting questions, paying attention to the ones that haven’t been answered properly yet. Then write about it and be a hero that saves everyone from the ignorance.
Also, you can sort the results by date so your article will be written just in time.
The last way I know is to find topical forums using Google operators (yourtopic inurl:forum) and explore some threads here.
What Has Already Been Written On My Topic?
Now, when you’ve chosen the topic, you should check the existing content. No need to read all articles on your topic, read only the successful ones.
I usually run my idea through BuzzSumo to find most shareable content on the topic. I check most shareable articles of the year first, and then I explore posts that were written within few last months.
What can I get fro
- First of all, analyzing existing content is a must if you want your article to stand out. If you miss this step, you risk writing a similar article, or even worse than the existing ones.
- You should have some background for your articles to prove your point. Your own opinion is great, but you should show that you’re good with this topic.
- The last thing you can do is to mention articles by influencers in your post and then send it to them to ask the opinion. If your post is good, there is a chance they will share it.
Also, with this tool, you can analyze top pages of your favorite blogs and find out what headings work better. It will help you with the next step I’m going to describe.
How To Come Up With The Heading?
Since there is no magic way to create perfect headings, I’ll try to describe ways to learn how to do it better.
First and foremost, you should know some basic rules that have been tested through the years. They are quite simple:
- The heading shouldn’t be longer than 16 words. The perfect number of words is 8. It’s difficult to create a good heading using only 8 words, though. The shortest newspaper heading I’ve ever seen: “Man kills 6, self”.
- Emotional words like “amazing”, “best” “extremely” and so on work well. (e.g., 5 amazing SEO tool you must try in 2018)
- People love numbers in the headings. (5 tools, 10 tips, 20% of readers, $99)
- People like specifics (journalists’ 6 questions — who, what, when, where, why, and how)
- Addressing your heading to the reader (using YOU) can make wonders (How to analyze competitors’ PPC ads and why would you want to)
- Let understand what the article is about but keep the intrigue (How competitor analysis helps me do keyword research)
Here is a conductor’s study that shows the importance of these aspects:
Speaking of investigations and studies, there are a lot of guys trying to find the perfect formula for headings. For instance, BuzzSumo has a few large-scale studies that show patterns in the types of headings people like. They analyzed 100 million articles across the web to find out why content goes viral. As a result, they found a bunch of interesting things, such as Tuesday is the most shareable day or 10 is a magic number for listings.
Also, they’ve created the perfect structure for the viral heading:
This year they’ve made another one, here is the list of their findings:
This data shows us that even such a small elements like number in the heading and what synonym to choose (“great” or “cool”) can make or break your success. That’s the case when every single word is important! This means that you should spend 40% of the content creation process on working on the heading.
The last study I want to mention is also about creating viral content. It was made by Noah Kagan this year:
He found out what type of content is the most shareable now. It’s also quite useful information as to choosing article format and heading for your post.
So my point is: all work has been done for you! There are a lot of studies, investigations, and experiments and if I’m not mistaken, BuzzSumo does this work every year. By exploring their results, you can find patterns, follow the trends and know for sure what strategy will do.
Read all the existing results and always keep track of new ones. Thus it will be much easier to find right format and words for your heading.
This was surprising to me, but there are also some tools designed to help you with headings. I found this one that analyses your heading to determine emotional marketing value score!
Another tool I found even offers you a list of possible headings for your post:
Of course, some of them don’t make sense and it’s obvious that you can’t create an outstanding heading using such tools. At the same time, it can give you a few interesting ideas on heading structure. Some say that you should come up with 25 variants of heading before choosing the final one. This tool definitely would be of great assistance if you want to use this approach.
It happens that you’ve found the perfect idea and you’re trying your best to implement it so that your great idea turns into wonderful content. Reality often falls short, though. You need to make sure your idea is worthy. So check that your idea is new and then make great content from it. I suggest the following steps when preparing for your post:
- Check questions people ask Google to make sure your topic is interesting to the audience. (Serpstat search questions, question-and-answer sites)
- Find the most successful articles on the similar topic to create an outstanding post. (BuzzSumo)
- Always keep track of new investigations and studies on what content type and headings are popular right now. A catchy heading is a must if you want more people to notice your post among all others.
Now it’s time to write!
Do You Have Any Other Methods Or Tools You’d Like To Share?
We hope this article has been helpful to you. If there’s anything you feel can help people even more, please let us know in the comments, below.
Additional reading: How To Find Your Unique Blogging Style
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