Keeping up a regular blogging habit can feel overwhelming at times.
While a content strategy and calendar will help and is a good way to ensure your marketing messages are consistent, if your strategy only has you blogging once a week (or even less) that’s not actually very much.
Keeping your blog full of trending topics can boost your SEO and is actually very easy to do with curated blogging.
Help! I need a simple way of finding relevant and interesting material to use
The good news: the internet is full of content that is relevant to your business which you can use as a base for your curated blogging. Plus, more gets added every day.
The bad news: the internet is ginormous and you don’t have time to look at all of it every day.
Luckily, you don’t have to do the searching yourself.
Step 1: Get code robots to follow topics for you
There are many ways to track and follow trending news. Hashtags (#topic) are common throughout social media, especially on Twitter. But the lifespan of these topics is often short and uncontrollable.
To get more meaningful (and stable) content, I recommend using Google Alerts and a RSS reader (such as Feedly).
Google Alerts is a great way to keep track of trends or topics you are interested in, and will alert you to anything really new that appears on the web on the subject.
How to use it: go to https://www.google.com.au/alerts and type in a topic.
If you are using Chrome and are already signed in, this will automatically give you the option to create an alert. (Otherwise you will need to enter your email address to create the alert or create an RSS feed instead).
You can control many aspects of the alert, including the frequency you will get email alerts and how many alerts you get, by clicking on ‘Show options’ and adjusting to your preferences.
Some of the benefits:
- Google Alerts will track your topic from across the web automatically once it’s set up – you don’t have to tell it what websites to track
- The alerts are emailed to you at the scheduled frequency you select
- You can control language, region and sources to improve the relevancy of the results
- All you need to get started is an email address
- If you are running an RSS reader like Feedly, you can opt for an RSS feed instead of email alerts, then copy that RSS feed into your reader to cut down on emails
Feedly is a RSS reader which describes itself as ‘a single place to easily read all the news you rely on to think, learn, and keep ahead.’ There are many RSS readers out there, but Feedly’s basic account is free and very simple to get started with (plus the organisation of all your content, once it’s set-up, is really clean).
How to use it: go to http://feedly.com/ and select ‘get started’.
Once you’ve created an account, follow the simple guide to get started. Search broader topics you are interested in to find good pre-made collections to follow or add specific websites you want to track.
Some of the benefits:
- Feedly allows you to track specific websites so you can follow industry leaders (or competitors) without fear of their content becoming lost in the noise
- The information Feedly tracks is stored in easy-to-manage folders that lets you navigate between topics fast
- The information isn’t intrusive: it just sits in Feedly until you go look at it
- You can add in any RSS feeds you like (including ones you make from Google Alerts)
Step 2: Read it, then blog it!
Once you have your news flowing in, dedicate a few minutes to reading through the results each day, even if you just skim the headlines. When you spot something that resonates, use a tool like ExpressCurate to ‘reflex blog’ and start writing.
Make sure you add something original to your blog post as well: don’t just quote what’s already been said. Give your opinion, why you agree (or disagree) with the article, what the article means for your industry/clients, etc. It’s this additional information that gives your blog post its value.
Not sure what topics to follow?
The best rule of thumb is to follow topics that align with your content strategy.
Remember, the goal of your blog is to help increase your brand presence in the areas most likely to appeal to your prospects and clients. Only follow and respond to topics and trends that will give value to your reader. Don’t waste time (and muddle your marketing message) by talking about off-topic subjects.
If you aren’t sure which trends will be the most appropriate for you to follow and blog about, it may be time to re-visit your keyword and SEO strategies and make sure you have a solid over-arching content strategy for your blog.
Now, go see what the news has to offer your blog!