In Chris’ “Learn, Blog, Earn” post, his first subheading is “Lots of people want to learn new things”. Truer words were never said, especially in regards to the Internet. So how do you figure out what people want to learn? The answer is actually a lot simpler than you might think.
If you already have a blog and are using any web analytics package, such as the free Google Analytics, there’s a goldmine of information available. What you need to do is find your referring source report. Google Analytics (henceforth GA) also provides breakdowns of each report. Start by picking the search engine or blog directory site that has given your site/ blog the most traffic. Then generate the keyword breakdown for that source. For now, focus on the top ten search terms from the selected engine.
People who used these search terms either did or did not find what they were looking for. If their search terms did not have double quotes, they may not have found what they wanted, since they didn’t use an exact search term. You have to ask yourself, have you written any post which might have any of the search phrases from the top ten? If you haven’t then you SHOULD! If you have, consider if there’s anything new that you can say about the topic. Maybe you have nothing new to say right now, but what about next week, a few weeks later, or even a few months later?
Do this for each search phrase in at least your top ten referring terms. Don’t forget that you’ll probably have a lot of similar referring terms, and over several engines and directories. Group the similar terms together, focus on the top ten, then try to figure out what visitors were really searching for.
While you do want to check your all-time referring terms, more important are your weeky top ten referring terms. This gives you a perspective of recent topics of interest. And to quote some rock’n’roll group whose name I’ve forgotten, give the people what they want.
It may take some discipline to get into a regular cycle of checking your web metrics, but doing so will give you a wonderful source of ideas for future posts. If you can get into the swing of doing this, there’s little reason you should ever have to go through writer’s block.
For those of you interested, I have a freshly-posted Google Analytics-specific version of this post on my blog about blogging.
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