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The Good (And Bad) of Using Trending Topics for Blog Post Ideas

Every hour or so, you can get any variation of trending topics from a variety of sources – Google Trending Topics, Yahoo Trends, trending Twitter hashtags, etc. The truth of the matter is that these trending topics are traffic gold for your blog. I once wrote about a trending topic, not only trending on various social networks and searches, but trending on the news for several weeks, and I have received 7,000 hits on that post alone. Seven. Thousand.

But, I learned something that day as I later analyzed my blog’s traffic via Google Analytics. My bounce rate increased and the amount of time people actually spent reading my blog, decreased significantly.

Why was that?

Well, the thing is, I didn’t actually have anything new to say about the topic. So, while it provided me with a great amount of traffic, something about the post itself just wasn’t good enough for the people who managed to find my post.
So, here are a few tips to keep in mind while trying to apply the latest trending topics to your newest post.

Write about a relevant subject to your blog.

If you usually write about photography or interior design, and you are suddenly writing about the latest drama with the Prince William and Kate Middleton, unless you are somehow getting an inside scoop on the subject, and you are using your blog to brag about your insider access, you may not get the traffic a lot of long lasting traffic and new readers to your blog.

But…if you do decide to step out of your blog theme, make sure to have an opinion.

If a news story has caught your eye, and it isn’t too far off base from what you usually write about, than write a post about it. But instead of just regurgitating exactly what every news story has already gone over, have your own opinion about the matter. This is one way to provide something new about a story that everyone is probably talking about, and even better if you can pose a question about the subject to your reader.

And don’t forget to ask the opinions of others.

Have you ever watched a news program and you catch the newscaster commenting about a Twitter user’s tweet about a current, trending topic. Well, if you have garnered a decent following on your social networks, call out to your followers what their feelings are about a subject. This is not only a way of getting new content about subject talked about time and time again, but it’s also a way for your users to feel like they have something relevant to say too (and we all love feeling important, don’t we?).

Just don’t overdo it.

While we all like to ride on the coattails of the latest and greatest of subjects, be wary of making this the only real feature to your blog (unless of course, that is the nature of your blog and how you designed it).
In reality, though, if you have always blogged about marketing, arts and crafts, book reviews, or your personal life, and you are suddenly doing a shift to what the top ten trending topics are (which probably don’t always relate to what your blog theme is), you may lose a few of your devoted readers. And remember, those are the ones you should stay devoted to first, in order to have a truly successful blog.

John Beveridge
John Beveridge

Great article. I recently wrote a blog post connecting entrepreneurial spirit to the reality TV show, Jungle Gold. While I did get a good deal of traffic for the post, most of it was not traffic that furthered my business goals. In other words, if you're selling marketing services, don't expect to get qualified traffic by posting about an unrelated trending topic.