When trying to do market research, or come up with a new blog post, it’s always a good idea to browse through the current trends online. There are many different venues for this such as eBay Pulse , Trendhunter.com, Yahoo Buzz, or my favorite – Google Trends.
Google Trends is a really neat tool for doing market research. You can find out exactly what people are currently searching for online. They have a section called “hot trends” that shows you what people are searching for “today”. It doesn’t just list broad topics such as recipes or weather, but rather it focuses on surges in traffic to specific topics. It uses a special algorithm to analyze the amount of searches for a topic vs. the amount of searches for that topic over time.
A really cool feature in my opinion is the search field. When you type in a certain keyword phrase, it will then show you a chart dating back to 2004 of the trend history for that phrase, along with related news stories.
Although it’s a great tool for basic market research, the best way to use Google Trends to your advantage, is to use it as a blog content research tool. This is true for blogs in any niche. If you want some fresh content or ideas for your blog posts, you can look at the hot trends, and research what people are searching for. Since blogs get indexed rather quickly in Google, it only makes sense to jump on a hot topic that’s related to your blog. If there is a massive surge in traffic /searches for a related topic, your post could potentially go viral. So, why not grab your portion of that traffic? If you are a niche blogger, you NEED to pay close attention to the various trends online.
Now don’t get me wrong… I DON’T suggest you go out there, find a hot trend related to your niche, and 4 minutes later pump out some crappy keyword stuffed blog post that doesn’t make any sense with hopes of snagging your share of search engine traffic! That is the worst thing you can do.
When you find a hot trend that matches your blog, do your research, and make sure you write an informative, quality post with your readers in mind. You want them to enjoy your post enough, that they will subscribe to your blog, tell others about your blog, social bookmark / tweet it, and ultimately come back to your blog! If you write a killer post that interests people, and then ask them to leave comments, your blog readership could go up like crazy in just a couple of days. Now, imagine if you are always on the lookout for hot trends. You can easily build a loyal following of readers who can’t wait to read your next post.
The one thing I must stress though, is MAKE SURE your blog post is closely related to your niche. Don’t start blogging about foot fungus, if you have a cat blog ;-). Just use common sense and you will be fine.
Here is the link to Google Trends (and other sites)
Have you ever used any of the “trend” sites when trying to come up with a new blog post? Share your thoughts on this below.