By Antonio Tooley
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve written a killer blog post that will dazzle your readers and have them asking for more? Of course you have, but more often than not, those posts would wind up getting maybe a few Facebook likes, and not much else. That’s because you are going about it all wrong. Lots of bloggers make the same mistake: they create their content based on their own personal preferences, or what they think the readers want to see. The final result are posts that nobody seems to be interested in, and after investing all time and effort into writing them, the bloggers give up on the blog altogether.
Instead of repeating those same mistakes, try going about it the opposite way: bring the content to the people. Give them what they want. In order to achieve this, you need to be aware of what’s currently grabbing their attention. Sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t because there are tools which can do that for you. We have chosen 7 tools that will help you discover trending topics. Keep on reading for more.
It’s no secret that Buzzfeed is one of the most entertaining websites on the web, covering a wide range of topics, anything from pop culture, food, music, social news to gadgets, life hacks, and everything in between. But, it can also be used as a tool to give you a keen insight into what’s trending at the moment. With millions of viewers every day, Buzzfeed is definitely one of the tastemakers as far as content is concerned.
Since Google is the most powerful search engine on the web, you would be right in thinking that Google Trends have a good idea about topics that are trending among internet users. It allows you to search through trends in several different categories, if you want to fine-tune your research, or you can simply make use of the “Trending Now” button, which provides you with a detailed list of topics that are hot at the moment. You can either choose to view the results of your search with the help of a visualizer, or with the tried-and-true method of top charts. You can also customize your search based on your location, month, and plenty of other parameters.
Another great online tool which can help you discover popular topics, as well as the most influential people on the web, is Buzzsumo. It is a bit more flexible than its competitors, because it allows you to perform your search by entering either a keyword, a topic, or a domain. Now, the clever bit is that it ranks the results based on a total number of shares across all major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, as well as Pinterest.
And there it is, the mother of all websites when it comes to trending content: Twitter. Apart from being one of the most popular platforms on the Internet, Twitter also allows you to discover trends in several different ways. You can choose to search through topics that are trending throughout the entire world, or you can simply limit your scope to your own country. You can even check out the topics that are trending in some cities, as well. You should also take the time to check out trending hashtags and read what other influential users have to say on that particular subject. Once your blog attracts enough followers, you can use Twitter to expand your influence and become one of the trendsetters.
Flipboard is basically a news and digital magazines aggregator that is also compatible with social media’s news feeds, which allows users to browse through all kinds of content in a single very pleasing space, where focus is put in one content at a time. However, what makes Flipboard really interesting is its recent addition of a news curation software, designed by its former rival Zite, which lets the app deliver to each user only that content that is really relevant to him or her. Thanks to a powerful Artificial Intelligence core, Zite learns from users’ habits and interactions, and constantly perfects the content selection it displays. It was thanks to this great power that the app was first bought by CNN for $20 to $25 million dollars in 2011, and later on bought by Flipboard in a deal that the press estimates may have been as high as $60 million, in order to improve its own application.
Reddit is one of those resources you have to check out if you are interested in trending topics, if only for the fact that is so popular. In fact, there have been many reports that the influx of visitors from Reddit was sufficient to crash smaller sites. You don’t want your blog to go down, but you do want to take advantage of Reddit’s massive influence. Finding your way around trending topics on Reddit can pose some difficulties if you are new to the site, so we suggest that you subscribe right away to subreddits that are related to your industry, or simply your personal preferences.
FollowerWonk was designed as a site to help users find and follow influential content creators and brands within one’s area of interest. You can also be clever and use it as a tool to figure out your target audience. For instance, if you are running a blog that is reviewing digital cameras and providing useful guides on photography, you’ll want to find influential blogs on Twitter that are similar to yours, and discover if they have a common audience. Simply use the “Compare Users” feature, after which you will know if that particular niche you are targeting has enough readers to make it worth exploring.
With these 7 helpful tools, you will never be out of the loop when it comes to trending content. But, even if you are leaning on trends to find topics for your blog, don’t just follow in everyone else’s footsteps. This is your chance to provide your own fresh take on popular topics.
Antonio Tooley studied journalism at Rutgers University and lives in New Jersey. He’s a writer for a dissertation writing service Edugeeksclub. He will be happy to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.