Every so often, I like to explore different writing exercises and strategies that mix up the content creation process. Online topic saturation can make knowing what to say on your own blog challenging, especially when your competitors are trying to do the same thing.
Something I’ve found really helpful is dedicating one day out of every month to explore new blogs and assess my own, because it refreshes my perspective and re-engages me with the topics I write about. Here’s the three step process I use to do it.
- Find 10 new blogs relevant to your industry.
A little exploration goes a long way when it comes to content. By only focusing at your blog and/or the same rotation of news sources, you could be missing out on inspiration, ideas, and most importantly: guest posting opportunities.
Spend some time trying to find new blogs and connections within your industry. Do some searching on reddit, see what sites your competitors are linking to, and browse from link to link freely. In doing so, you’ll find new resources to consider when working on your own blog.
- Compile a list of 20 different articles/blog posts that were done well or taught you something new.
Once you find your new resources, read through their blog posts and articles to see what they’ve covered. What kind of titles stuck out to you the most? What’s their writing style? Which articles did you gain the most from and why?
By assembling a list of the articles that stuck out to you the most from an assortment of sources, you can see what you’re drawn to the most as a user. Then, you can use that insight to craft appealing content for your users.
- Do a blog audit.
By looking at your blog with a critical eye, you can find and eventually strengthen the weak spots in your content strategy. Start by doing a topical assessment of the subjects you write about, and figure out what you haven’t been covering. Is it the latest industry news? Maybe you’re falling short on providing utility-driven content to users?
Then, take a look at the analytics behind your existing content to determine what your users are responding to. Identify which articles are getting the most traffic, and try and draw out a common theme.