You can’t fill your blog with just anything. To be successful, content has to be relevant to your target audience. It has to give your readers helpful information on a consistent basis.
Not only that, your content must be in demand. Even the greatest content is worthless if nobody’s looking for it.
Writing powerful, in-demand content means finding the trending topics—those that answer your readers’ current questions. Besides inspiring your own blog, finding interesting, relevant topics to share with your audience on social media can up your value to your audience.
Still, pinpointing trending topics can take hours of scanning blogs and social media sites. It’s easy to spin your wheels, wasting time and making mistakes.
Online Tools for Finding Trending Topics
Others have faced this problem. Lucky for us, those people have developed online tools to make it easier to find the latest trending topics. These tools analyze online content by identifying recent content and tracking shares on social media.
One of these most popular tools is BuzzSumo.
What is Buzzsumo and How Does It Work?
This content analysis tool both identifies and analyzes trending topics. It allows you search by keyword or URL across multiple sites. It shows you which topics are getting the most attention and where they are being discussed.
Keyword and Domain Alerts
Besides the searches, Buzzsumo lets you set up keyword alerts. These let you know when the content you’re following is posted or updated. You can also set up alerts for authors and domains.
With information from your searches and the alerts you set up, you can see what your competitors are doing. You can also isolate what is working or not working for them. This information can save you tons of time and keep you from making expensive mistakes.
Social Media Shares and Influencers
This handy tool also shows you who gets the most media shares on their posts. These are the “influencers” on your topics—the people other people are listening to the most.
Knowing who these influencers are, you can make them part of your sales strategy. You might do this by requesting guest posts for your blog or offering to link to their content.
When you search a topic using Buzzsumo, you can search by content type, date it was published, and more. The results are sorted by total media shares. Or, you can choose to sort by shares on a given network, like Facebook or LinkedIn. The paid version gives you access to a feature that lets you see who has been sharing particular content.
Analysis and Strategy
Buzzsumo can save you hours of time and help you strategize the content of your blog. And once you’ve put your plan into action, it analyzes how successful you’ve been. This gives you the chance to tweak and fine-tune.
Searches and alerts using Buzzsumo are a good way to start finding trending topics. But although it’s a great tool for finding popular content on many topics, it’s also expensive. There is a free version, but it has limited functionality. Paid programs start at about $80 per month.
Alternatives to Buzzsumo
Feedly is a tool that lets you pull together RSS feeds into one location that you can see on your browser. First, follow a bunch of publications in your area of interest. Then you can search for and add any number of feeds by publication, blog, keywords, #topic, title, or URL.
Reddit gives you access to popular and trending posts prioritized by freshness and the up-and- down votes of Reddit users. It’s not the easiest to use, but can be great inspiration for content.
Content Explorer by Ahrefs, like Buzzsumo, lets you search for content by keyword and time frame. It’s a paid service, starting at $99/month.
Some experts prefer EpicBeat, another BuzzSumo-like tool. There’s a free account that lets you do unlimited searches for “latest content.” The Plus account lets you use more features and is priced at $49/month.
Google Trends monitors trends in Google searches. It shows you how popular a keyword is in comparison to overall search volume. It also lists the most popular online stories at a given moment.
For more discussion of these and other alternatives, check out Sujan Patel’s post on finding trending content using online tools.
Online Tools Can Help
Marketing your products or services by means of blogging and social media shares takes research, strategy, and planning. Pinpointing trending topics for use in your blog using online tools can help you get the job done faster, saving time and money.