The #1 SEO strategy at the moment revolves around the idea of topic clusters. Some people call this Hub and Spoke model. It relies on creating pillar pages (AKA cornerstone content) that cover broad topics, and then creating tons of blog posts based on the underlying topics, which you then link back to the pillar pages. The strategy is simple enough, the problem is finding enough compelling ideas for blog posts.
Where I Get Ideas for Blog Posts
If you had a website about playing basketball, your pillar page would be an extensive guide that offered a broad overview. Then, you’d cover the other subtopics pictured in the diagram above.
Using SEO Tools to Find Blog Topic Ideas
- Aren’t too competitive
- Drive enough volume to be worth the effort
To stick with the basketball example, I might look up a site like Breakthrough Basketball.
I pull up all the keywords they rank for and export them so I can work with them in Excel or Google Sheets. Then I take a look at the range of the SEO difficulty and the traffic volume for each keyword. I try to find the high volume keywords on the lower end of the difficulty scale.
How difficult is too difficult will depend on you and your site. Has your site been around for a while? Do you already have a lot of backlinks? Are you planning on doing a lot of link building and outreach for your posts?
The more seasoned your site and the more work you plan to put in, the more difficult the keywords you can target.
A Note About Keyword Difficulty
I don’t know how Neil Patel’s UberSuggest determines keyword difficulty, but I’d imagine it’s not extremely precise. I just use it as a general guide. Ahref’s may or may not be a better way to determine keyword difficulty (at least they take backlinks and things like that into account, I don’t know if UberSuggest does), but then again, maybe not.
Do your own research and make up your own mind 🙂
Using the Buyers Journey for Content Ideas
Where possible, I try to align my content with stages of the buyer’s journey. That way I get more out of every post. They’re helping with SEO, and I can use them in my digital advertising efforts to guide my leads down the funnel. (For more information on how to do that, check out my Lead Generation Guide.)
Think of every question your prospects might ask (use Answer the Public, Ahref’s “Question” keywords, and Quora if you need help developing a list) and answer each one in a blog post. Once you’ve got enough posts on a topic, create a pillar page for that topic if you haven’t already.
Just Steal Stuff
If those methods don’t work for you, just steal stuff. Not really. (But kind of.)
Find popular posts (with something like BuzzSumo or Ubersuggest), and make a better version of it. Not just a little better, but a hundred times better.
This is called the Skyscraper Method, and Brian Dean explains how you can use it to develop amazing content that will win you backlinks.
Always Be Contenting
If you consistently use these approaches to keep your content calendar full, you should find that the process gets easier and easier. Ideas will start coming to you while you’re in the shower, waiting in line at the grocery, or driving to work.
Grab a notebook so you’ll be ready when inspiration strikes!