We’re live blogging this week from the Blog World & New Media Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City! The Blog World & New Media Expo is the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for bloggers, podcasters, web TV content creators and social media innovators. You can follow all of the action on Twitter, @Century21, or on the event’s hashtag, #BWENY.
This afternoon we attended a session lead by one of our favorite social media experts, Rich Brooks (follow him on Twitter, @therichbrooks). The title of Rich’s presentation was, “50 Content Creation Ideas: You Will Never Suffer From Bloggers Block Again!” Rather than list all 50 for you, we’ve selected the best of the best to help get your creative juices flowing. So, what should you blog about?
Commonly Searched For Terms
Rich suggested starting your idea generation with doing a little research. Using Google, find out what the suggested search topics are. When you start to type, “Best real estate agents in . . . ,” what are the words that follow that phrase? Blog using those key words and phrases.
You can also use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to see what people are searching for in relation to a certain topic. For example, if you type in “Chicago real estate,” this tool will show you what other terms consumers are also searching for along with that topic. Start blogging on those topics that are of interest to you, as people are already searching for them.
To find out what search terms are rising in popularity and to identify emerging trends, search Google Insights. Being the first person to blog about an emerging trend or a hot topic positions that post as “expert” in the Google rankings.
Poke around in Google Analytics for your blog to see what key words are driving traffic to your site. If you are based in Atlanta and people are searching, “School districts in Atlanta,” and are then being lead to your blog, be sure to continue to cover that topic.
Lastly, set up Google Alerts and Social Mention alerts for the key words most relevant to your blog and its readers. Each time you get an alert, you have the opportunity to discover a new blog post topic or idea.
Do you find yourself needing to write a blog post, but feeling uninspired? Write your own commentary about breaking or recent real estate news. Have you read a book relevant to succeeding in real estate? Write a review of the book on your blog. Was it helpful? What chapters were most interesting?
Another tip Rich offered as I way to find blog post topic inspiration was to visit Amazon.com and search for books relevant to your business, in our case, real estate. Take a look at the best selling titles and then click on the “see inside” option to view the table of contents of these books. Is there a topic being covered you feel you’re an expert on? Write a blog post about it.
If you’re having a tough time coming up with a blog post idea, why not share a review of a product you love that makes your day-to-day life easier and more efficient? For example, if you have a mobile app you rely on, a camera tripod you trust or a scanner that has saved you, share that! Tell your readers why you adore it, where they can find and how they can use it.
Do you get emails from clients, family members and friends asking the same questions about real estate? How much do I really need to put down? How do I get qualified for a mortgage? What is a home inspection? Pick a question every week and answer it on your blog.
Did you work your way through all your questions? Check out Yahoo! Answers, Quora and LinkedIn to see what questions peers and consumers are asking about real estate. Devote posts to answering those too.
Be sure to also examine the comments on industry articles and blog posts. Are the readers asking questions you know the answers to? Link to the original piece, share the question people were asking and provide the answer on your blog.
What’s Being Tweeted
If you are a Twitter user, type in key words into the Twitter search box like “real estate agent” or “best Los Angeles neighborhoods” and see what people are tweeting about in relation to those terms. You may see an opportunity to offer more information around a commonly asked question.
Also use Twitter to see what content you have shared is the most re-tweeted. Clearly people like that information and find it helpful. Share more on those popular topics.
What’s In Season
It may sound fluffy, but blog about what’s in season. Real estate professionals are local experts. Leverage that! Blog about the best spots to go swimming in the summer, the best ski resorts within a one hour drive or the most fun state fairs. Make your blog posts relevant to the day, weekend, month or season.
Rich also recommended using the website StumbleUpon to find seasonal, timely content around your key words.
Advice From Experts
After you’ve exhausted all of these avenues for blog post topic inspiration, if you still want something new and different, consider inviting a guest blogger to contribute to your site. Perhaps you invite the local coffee shop owner to talk about why he loves serving this community. Maybe you invite another agent in your office to talk about the trends they are seeing in real estate prices in your community. If you have a preferred vendor for home inspections ask them to write a short post. Bring your personal, local network to life on your blog.
In addition to guest bloggers, you can also interview an industry expert. You can easily conduct the interview over email (no transcribing!) or you can record a Skype interview and share that video on the blog. As you are asking the interview questions, you can keep the conversation on topic and relevant to your readers.
A big thank you to Rich for these excellent, actionable tips!
What is your best tip for curing blogger’s block?