I remember when I was a newbie blogger, looking at huge established blogs in awe.
“How do they come up with all of this content? How did they know it would do well?”, I thought to myself as I pondered how they were able to have so much energy to crank out a new article every single day.
I was disillusioned. I thought there was some secret formula I wasn’t getting.
They weren’t cranking all of that content out themselves, nor coming up with all of those ideas out of thin air. They were using tools and systems to test out content ideas and after a while, they were able to build systems to recreate that formula each time.
And guess what, any blogger can take advantage of these same tools and strategies.
How to Test Out New Content Ideas for Your Blog
To be able to effectively test out new content ideas for your blog, you’re going to have to first do the leg work of developing ideas for content. Then it’s time for the fun part – testing and developing a content strategy.
Developing Ideas for New Content
One of my favorite ways to come up with ideas for new content is by looking at what is already out there.
What are the top searched questions about a topic?
What is missing from the content within your niche that is already out there?
Is there an underserved group that desperately needs a specific point of view that you can give?
The answers to all 3 of those questions are going to be the sweet spot for new content ideas.
Tools that I use to find these ideas:
- AnswerSocrates: Pull hundreds of the top searched questions about a topic based on what people are searching online for every day.
- TikTok: Is a certain subject or angle trending, going some-what “viral”, but it is missing something? Nail whatever it is that’s missing, within your own content. Then post a video to test it out. If it does well, write a blog post to accompany it.
- Twitter: Another great platform to both come up with and test out content ideas. Outline your content idea for your blog post and post a version of it in a mini thread on Twitter. See how it performs and expand on it in a longer blog post.
Testing Your Content
The #1 best way to test out your content online before you dive into an all-out blog post on the subject, is to test the topic out on social media.
Gone are the days of Google being the primary form of how people found blogs. Today, a good chunk of your potential audience is on social media channels like Twitter and TikTok. Video content also leads as the most in-demand type of content because of its easy-to-digest format.
Where does that leave your blog? Well, it’s still your main platform for how you educate your audience but opens up a whole new world of how you can create content.
Before you get to the point of testing out your content via social media, make sure there is a demand for it online. That’s where AnswerSocrates comes in as a great free tool to search for those top asked questions online about any topic. For a great paid tool for keyword research and general topic research, check out Keywords Everywhere.
You can also scroll and search on TikTok as another form of this type of research. Gen Z and younger generations are starting to search more for terms on TikTok instead of Google.
Once you have a good topic, question, or in-demand search term that people are desperately trying to find the answer to online, start producing your short-form video or a short thread on Twitter.
For TikTok, use an existing trend to test it out, or talk directly to the camera. Tools like Canva can help with this process if you don’t want to film yourself and want to use stock video instead.
Don’t aim for virality nor expect it, but if it does happen to go viral or even a little bit semi-viral, you know you have a great idea.
A great indicator of a successful video is engagement. Are people interacting with the video and commenting? Does the video spark other questions from people or a new type of discussion? Take note of what you see in the comments and aim to answer questions that pop up there too.
There are several platforms that you can test out this video format on – including TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram Reels, & YouTube Shorts. Keep in mind that a video might do really well on a platform like Instagram Reels but completely flop on TikTok. I’d suggest starting with whatever platform you enjoy the most because chances are you know what kind of content already does well there.
As you’re testing out your content, you’re also building a following at the same time and gaining new in-demand skills.
But don’t sleep on your overall content strategy.
Creating a Content Strategy
When you start creating content for your blog, you should start putting together a content strategy.
This includes 3 core areas:
- Brand focus
- User experience
- Content distribution
First, what is the focus of your blog? Who are you targeting as your audience in your content? These are important questions to ask yourself because they will get you to the core focus of your brand.
How do your readers experience your content? On a blog, it will be in written form but how will it be broken up so they can easily consume it? Are you using graphics and video within the content? Is it fulfilling the user’s intent when they go and read it or do they have to dig for the information they need?
Finally, how is the content being distributed? Are you consistent with your posting schedule, have it strategically planned out, and are you marketing your content to your readers via their email list and main social media channels?
Content distribution includes your blog’s content calendar, email marketing, and social media strategy.
Niche Down but Don’t Limit Your Creativity
All the social media gurus who tell you to niche down all day and every day, listen to them but only to a certain extent.
When you’re starting out, you have this immense freedom to be creative. You don’t have to niche down yet and it’s actually the best time to start testing out content.
Create any kind of videos that you feel curious about or called to want to create. Whatever seems to click with your audience, explore those even more. Don’t feel like you have to be restricted to 1 or 2 subjects either. I feel the most freedom in my content and how I create content when I have a wider range of a niche.
So, if you want several niches, you can do that too! There are tons of blogs that do very well with several niches.
You never know what niche (or several niches) your experimentation will lead to.