Topic generation is the lifeblood of any content marketing campaign. Without great topics that make people want to read/interact with your content, it ends up getting lost among the other two million blog posts that get published every day.
Things are even more challenging when you want to use that blog post as a part of a link-building campaign. Not only does having an article with a number of links improve your site’s ability to rank in organic search, but it gives more potential leads an entry point to your website. A study from Moz and Buzzsumo details a lack of correlation between how many shares an article gets and how many people link to it. If social research is not going to benefit us substantially, how do we come up with ideas that have a shot of gathering links? Today, I will go over a technique we use to generate link-worthy ideas.
My favorite technique is playing off someone else’s success. In almost every vertical there are authority sites (.govs, associations, magazines, etc.) that are producing content to which people are linking. We can use any backlink profile tool to compile a list of a site’s most linked-to pages, and then look for the pages that are educational in nature — and use those as inspiration:
- Did someone write a guide that is outdated? Let’s update it.
- Is a resource broken now? Let’s recreate it and place it on our site.
- Is the content thin and low quality? Let’s create something similar, except make it much more detailed and thorough.
Even if we can’t beat what someone else produced, we can use it as inspiration. If a post is just a blog, why don’t we turn it into a checklist or a slide presentation? This enables us to create embedded codes and let other publishers show off our piece of content (something that really can’t be done with just a blog post).
The second reason I like playing off success is because I can get an idea of the linkers in the given space. A number of sites have already shown interest in this topic, so if I can show them something 10 times better, why wouldn’t they be interested in mine? I also can get an idea of how people are linking to this type of content. Are they linking to it on resource lists or is it being cited more in blog posts? Are most people linking to it in forums? Having this type of information eliminates a lot of guesswork from the outreach campaign.
Although we should never solely rely on the success of others to help us build a content schedule, it is a powerful option.
What techniques have you used to help brainstorm ideas? Let us know in the comments.