Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just think of amazing content ideas all the time, without any effort? In the beginning, it feels as though this is the case. The concepts are flowing, the topics are varied, and you can’t believe how creative you feel. But everyone starts to flounder eventually, and coming up with things to say gets harder. That is just the nature of burn out.
Once you start reaching this point – and even before – it is a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve. A personal favorite of mine is looking to analytics to jump start the content brainstorming process. Monitoring how your past work has gone over it probably the easiest way of dictating what you will write about in the future.
Finding Traffic Data
No matter what platform you are using, you should have a traffic source option in your analytics program. This feature tells you exactly where your traffic is being directed from. That means knowing what keywords brought up the most engaging search results, which led to them clicking on your site in the first place.
Having a solid list of keywords people are searching for starts to narrow down what topics are best received and most wanted by your target audience. Giving you a blueprint for posts you will write in the future.
This data will regularly change, so I would suggest checking out your traffic sources at least a few times a week. With trends changing over time, your demographic is going to evolve in their interests. Keeping up gives you a boost to your relevance, which has an impact on your engagement.
Just knowing who is reading your content is another good way of finding out what to write. For example, a political post aimed at an audience of middle aged readers is going to look very different from a post that is aimed at sparking up interest in the political process in teenagers.
Analytics platforms will track the demographic data of your largest readership. That data includes age, gender, location, and sometimes other target interests. Not only can you customize content for your largest audience, you can choose to target a different audience.
If you want to start appealing to a different group, knowing who is currently reading is a fast track to doing it.
Useful reading: Research demographics of your Twitter followers
Keep Track Of Guest Posts
Anyone not writing regular guest posts are missing out on a huge opportunity. Guest blogging gives you access to a new readership, establishes you as an authority, and spreads links to your own site around the web.
But it is also a good way of seeing who likes what outside of your immediate network or users. Monitoring the results of your guest posts is important. Social networks offer a simple way of doing this, such as searching for your posts on Twitter, or monitoring how many shares it has on different sites.
Some platforms actually have a monitoring tool that are customized for guest posting. My Blog Guest is one of them, with a section of the dashboard that shows your shares, traffic, optimization, ect. Other platforms, like social media dashboards, will let you save links for monitoring.
Finding Influential Sharers
We all know that not all shares are created equal. Yes, it is wonderful to have individuals sharing your post with their friends and family. But such interaction only goes so far. Much better are shares by social influencers who have a large number of followers that regularly check out or reshare their content.
When you are searching through your shares, both on your site’s content and guest content, start making a list of anyone who is an influencer and has shared it. Then begin interacting with them, building a relationship.
Useful reading: 6 Steps to Turn Guest Posting on its Head
Content analytics are a great way to monitor your progress, and brainstorm for future work. It gives you all the data you need to make informed decisions, and so will impact both the content itself and the way you promote it. Just imagine being able to provide directly targeted posts that are sure to boost your readership, while making the already avid readers happy.
Do you have any tips for using content analytics for brainstorming? How have you used the method yourself? Let us know in the comments.
By Jessy Troy
Jessy Troy is the experienced writer, blogger and active Twitter user. You can see her Tweet as @JessyTroy