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I’m going to “give you the gold” here…
I’ve made BANK using these exact techniques on my blog that made over $1,000,000 in ad revenue.
You could honestly build an entire business on the back of what’s in this post. Shit, should I be telling you this? Ah screw it, here goes. Nobody pays attention anyway. I’m just another idiot on the internet! Click the back button and stay poor. 🙂
Loads of media channels and social media channels do this – these are essentially the techniques of syndication. They use data insights to locate the strongest content (headlines, stories, images and videos) and then make their own version; simply because it gives a higher likelihood of a winning post than “shooting in the dark”. You can also use search data to see what people are already looking for and deliver that.
This post will also save you from EVER ending up in the situation where you are stuck for what to blog about! Using these ideas, you can literally get thousands of post ideas super fast – whenever you need them.
NOTE: Don’t steal content. You can learn from success, but you have to make your own version and get permission / correct licensing for images.
Ok let’s get right into it.
Method 1 – Search Engine “Autocomplete” And The Alphabet Trick:
You have probably noticed that when you start typing a search in Google, Youtube, Pinterest and other search boxes, autocomplete gives suggestions to help speed up your search query:
What you might not have known is that these suggestions are automatically generated by the search engines based largely on the most popular search queries other people have already made.
In other words, you can use these to see what people are already looking for and this gives an almost limitless list of topic ideas that are in line with genuine interests!
The best way to do this is to start typing some words related to your niche and then do the alphabet trick.
For example let’s say your blog is about dog training: You could start with a phrase such as “how to train your dog to _____” and then just add the first letter of the next word to get lots of variations:
The alphabet trick is super awesome! You can see that I just came up with about 40 ideas for top dog training posts in about 10 seconds!! This method can yield tons of ideas that people are actually searching for. Make screenshots and keep them in a folder.
To dig even deeper, you could “double up” on the alphabet trick – so for example you would try “how to teach your dog to aa”, “how to teach your dog to ab”, ac, ad –> az, and then ba, bb, bc. etc. Not all of these will come up with ideas but on a popular search term you can get even more results this way.
It’s total nerdsville, but it sure does work! 🙂
Now of course, some of these results will not be at all suitable, and there will always be a few “OMG, do people really type that into Google?” type results (these can occasionally be hilarious, or disturbing) – so you will of course have to filter the results and discard the ones that won’t work. But you are BOUND to find some real winning headlines with this technique that you would not have found otherwise!
For even more ideas, change the first part of the phrase. You can also go “back to basics” – for example with just “dog training” or other keywords related to your niche, and build out from there:
You can see from this list that there are several potential new “bases” to build out from – such as clicker training, german shepherd training, collar training.
The next step is to spin these ideas into stronger headlines [use power words; headline tutorial coming soon!], and then – of course – create awesome content that makes people glad they clicked!
⭐ Pro Tip: “Gift ideas for ____” is an amazing example of a search that will pull in people who are shopping! Quite often these people are stuck for what to buy and need to buy something. That’s great news for you! 🙂 And “gift ideas” is just one example. Use “shopping keywords” such as this one in your headlines and you will find it easier to convert your visitors into affiliate commissions and ad revenue!
See the gold here? 🙂 Many entrepreneurs build entire highly lucrative businesses and all of their content around this kind of autocomplete keyword research. It’s an internet business ninja tool – use it!
Another ⭐ Pro Tip: Try this technique on Google, Pinterest, Youtube, Amazon and other big websites that get tons of traffic and have the autocomplete feature!
Method 2 – Data Mining Top Facebook Fan Page Posts:
A simple way to create slamming content is to locate the content that has done the best, and make your own unique version. Important note, don’t steal articles or images. However you can observe the most popular topics and headlines, and run your own article with a similar headline and unique content.
The first step here is to find the slamming posts. There are lots of ways, but here are a few:
a) build up a database of the top FB pages in your niche. You can start doing this with Facebook search. Enter one of your main keywords and then Filter to “Pages”. For this example I just randomly picked the basic keyword “quotes”:
Scrolling down the results, you will see some big pages. Grab the URLs for your database and collect let’s say 20 to 50. More is better though! Start making a collection of big fan pages as this will continue to be a useful resource in future when you need new ideas!
b) Scroll. Just look through their posts and take note of any that ‘jump out’ in terms of the engagement they get (I use the number of shares as my main metric).
The more you dig, the more winners you can find. You can also outsource this type of data mining task and assign it to a VA.
However you will note that with FB pages, scrolling down more than a few days gets difficult before the browser gets totally bogged down. It’s near impossible to scroll back through years of content, although you might be able to flip through their image posts by scanning through “photos” (use the right arrow key for faster results). Which leads us neatly on to:
c) (Risky but amazing) – use a data mining app: If you are going to do this, don’t use your computer and do not use your own Facebook profile. Best would be to have a VA create a spare facebook account (not their main one either) and run a data mining app. For example Bino Scrape and Sociograph (UPDATE: both these tools seem to be non-op now). There are various other ones (see section 4 on Buzz Sumo).
This technique is a real social media secret weapon…. A good data mining app will enable you to pull years of Facebook posts from a page, together with their metrics. When you put all this into a database, you can quickly locate the REAL viral posts of yesteryear. Now not all of these will be usable (news becomes old news) but there are many that are “evergreen” and the info is still just as emotionally engaging, relevant and true etc. These are the ones you want. Now build your own unique version, not stealing anything (please don’t break copyright, it is not worth the risk!) and you will have a reliable post that stands a fantastic chance of mega engagement!
I just gave you a MASSIVE golden key that could literally be used to build an entire blog. I have had posts get hundreds of thousands of shares and send hundreds of thousands of visitors using this method (no joke!)
The thing to bear in mind on social media is that a) even when a post goes viral, only maybe 1% of the world’s population has seen it. b) 5 years later, the entire audience “on Facebook” has probably shifted. c) even if people did see it, most of them won’t even remember or will be delighted to see that inspiring meme all over again. I’ve “recycled” posts years later that did super well in the old days and had them do super well all over again – and nobody complained! 🙂
Method 3 – Outlier Videos (Absolute secret weapon… this method is incredible and not many people are using it):
You are going to love this one. Some of my most viral ever blog posts have come from using this method – including one that got over 2 MILLION Facebook shares and make over $7000 in ad revenue in three days. I am not making this up. I can’t believe I am telling you all this… 😉
So I noticed a strange quirk of the Youtube algorithm and you can observe this for yourself…. go to any popular Youtube channel, then click the “videos” tab…
– and then on the right hand side, click “SORT BY” and select “Most Popular”:
You will notice that there is one video that tends to “stick out” in terms of its view count. This video is what I call an “outlier”. It gets way more views (typically it seems to be around 50% more) than the second most popular video.
This is the video that had the headline-image combination that got the highest clickthrough rate and thus got rewarded by the algorithm with even greater visibility.
Take their headline, use that for your blog post, embed their video and write an article that summarizes the video.
Boom – you got content that has a very high likelihood of doing well on social media.
You can’t steal their thumbnail image so it has to be something where you can find an iconic or highly eye-catching image that will work. Or, you could simply write to them and explain what you are doing, that it will promote their channel and they may well let you use it! Get permission!
In a nutshell, this technique works so well because it gives you a “best of the best” topic idea. This is the video that has performed the best on a popular channel, and this channel is already probably in the top 1% of channels (because most channels are tiny and never get to 1000 subscribers). So now you can take this headline, put a twist on it, create a new article with a very high chance of success and show it to an entirely new audience that probably hasn’t seen the original!
Note of course that there are going to be some topics that are simply not do-able for you, for one reason or another, and so you should skip those. But you should still find unlimited great ideas this way.
Method 4 – Buzz Sumo:
Try this one too! I’ve had some great results with it. BuzzSumo data mines and collates a huge number of social media and news posts and collects the ones that got millions of shares. You can use it to find some of the world’s most viral content – and then of course get ideas for making your own. Once again, don’t steal the content but you can really see what works and “model success”. Buzz Sumo allows you to do a 10 searches per month for free, and then there is a paid option for those who want to go in deep. Their top paid version (normally $299 per month) has a 30 day free trial and includes the Facebook Page Analyzer feature.You can see from their pricing structure that this is an app used by media professionals, whose daily job is to create the super-engaging content that is an absolute requirement of their trade.
There you go!