​It takes a lot of time, energy and resources to create a high-converting blog post. Even if you’ve created an SEO-optimized post, are people really searching for the keyword?

​Your content needs to be relevant to both the search engines AND your audience. Before you write anything, choose the right keywords by ​researching your audience.

What are People Talking About?

A particular keyword may be very relevant to a product you sell. Ask yourself, “Do my readers know this particular word? Is this the phrase they use when searching?”

Think back ten years ago. You’ve created an amazing SaaS product for the travel industry. Does anyone in the travel industry know what SaaS means? Write your post to your readers, not to your product.

How can you find the right words your readers are using to look for information? Start with social media.

Listen to Your Audience

​When posting on social media, people tend to use less formal language. It’s a social platform, so we approach it with a different mindset. We may change the way we speak depending on a situation. Few people will greet their boss the same way they greet their beloved grandmother, or their spouse.

​To get started, you can join LinkedIn and Facebook groups where your ideal buyers hang out. While peer groups are useful, stick to groups that have people who might buy from you for your research.

Once in a group, check on it for 5-10 minutes a day for a week. You’ll “hear” what everyone is talking about. Then, start participating in conversations for a week. Once people start to recognize you, ask more direct questions about your product or industry. You can determine if people have an interest in a specific topic.

Even after you’re finished with one topic, don’t waste the resource. Continue to participate and visit at least once a week. Your research time will be much shorter for future projects.

While you’re building trust on social sites, use other research sources.

Ask the Industry Directly

You can "ask" the industry through trade publications. This can include websites, associations, and magazines. Don’t worry about joining a dozen new membership organizations. Any public-facing content gives you an idea about trends and current concerns.

Some industry publications only allow members to see their content. Often, you can still see headlines on the main page. If one or two recent articles relate to the topic you want to cover, there’s a good chance you have an audience.

Ask Google 

No keyword or blog topic research would be complete without looking at Google or other search data trends. Look at current search trends and search volume over the last 3, 6 and 12 months.

After finding general search data, look a little deeper. Many people may search for a term, but are they very interested or only a little interested? Use social bookmarking and content sites to get more information about interest levels. These include places like:

From all of these public facing sources, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of what people are reading. For sites like Medium or Reddit, you can see the popularity of an article.

With all of this information, you can choose a keyword and topic relevant to the people who read your blog. Next up, writing the article!

Have other questions about writing blog content? Check out these great posts about content marketing.

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