I’ve seen a lot of these blog post ideas floating about the bloggersphere and I thought I’d be a massive copycat, except well, I’d go one step further and help with inspiration for posts that will WORK.
And when I say work I mean generate traffic. Either by search, by people sharing your blog post or just by it getting enough views and attention that it starts showing up on Bloglovin’s popular feed.
Because that’s why we do what we do, right? We create content on our blogs with the hope that people will find it interesting enough to say to their mate – YOU HAVE TO READ THIS.
So I looked at my stats and I gathered up everything I learnt at LOOK and Metro to bring you my list of post ideas that generate traffic. Clue: It’s not £40 beauty product reviews and outfit posts, who knew, eh?
1. Nostalgic lists
My all time biggest hitter was a list about being a noughties teenager. Whilst two of my most successful posts from Metro.co.uk were on toys nineties kids wanted for Christmas and things the youth of today will never get to experience which between them had about 200,000 shares.
Pick any time in your life – it could be as early as you remember, it could literally be five years ago (someone once left a reaaaaally mean comment and was like HOW CAN YOU ALREADY BE DOING NOSTALGIC LISTS ON THE NOUGHTIES, but whatevs), but try and be as specific as you can. Remember brands, remember flavours, remember TV, remember computers, remember what YOU did because chances are, everyone else did it too.
Images are good as long as they’re big enough, but totally not fundamental for going viral.
2. Twenty-something lists
Turns out, most of us are just as basic and lost and obsessed with avocados and New York as each other, who knew? Lists about thoughts, obsessions, problems, dreams, Instagram uploads seem to do pretty dang well for me, so why shouldn’t they work for you too?
People love to click on these articles mostly to see ‘what fucking shit someone has written’ and then, if you’ve done an alright job, they’ll be like ‘OH, OK, right, yeah this is so me’. And then they’ll email it to their BFF whilst their supposed to be at work because OMG THIS IS SO US.
You get what I’m talking about because you’ve totally done it.
3. Place specific lists
London lists always do phenomonely well because there’s so many people who live in London or who have lived there and totally get it. But you can think more outside the box – Metro do a lot of ‘xx things you’ll only know if you went to (insert university name here) lists and I recently did one about the nightclub I went to at home.
Yeah, these appeal to a much smaller demograpic but that’s kinda the beauty of them – they’re not overdone. They’re fresh on the internet and fresh list ideas are SO hard to come by which means people will be more likely to click through and share.
4. Blogging tips
You could have a million hits a month or have been blogging for 5 years, or you could be somewhere in the middle or somewhere not even close – but everyone’s journey through the bloggersphere has taught them things.
Full-time blogging is fast becoming the latest must-have job – and, whether that’s a bit weird or not – it means there are literally hundreds of thousands of people out there who want to make their blogs more successful.
Lay down blog posts ideas, tips on monetising, tips on going viral, tips on taking better photos, tips on utilising social media, tips on balancing a full time job and a blog – there are so many routes you can go down. Sure, you won’t be an expert in every field (I for one am SHIT at photography) but you’ll have learnt something that other people will want to read about. Oh and also – there’s SO MANY PEOPLE GOOGLING THIS SHIT, so there’s great opportunity for search traffic.
5. Anything Primark
The joy of Primark is that it isn’t available to buy online so people will basically wet themselves over a Primark haul (erm, yup, guilty).
Despite popular blogger belief, the majority of readers don’t actually give a crap about a designer brand they’ve never heard of, 90 per cent of the UK lifestyle blog audience (I’ve totally made the figure up, but you get it) just want to know where they can buy nice things for a tenner – enter Primark.
Do hauls, compile wish lists (easier if you can wangle an invite to their press days) and do style posts. The other joy with Primark is that there’s also a lot of people searching for it. I get about 100 views a day on this baby because it ranks in Google. And it’s great to have a few slow burners like this just ticking along in the background.
6. Cheap beauty round-ups
Do people give a fuck about your £52 new foaming cleanser? Probs not, unless it actually holds the key to immortality or they’ve just won the lottery and desperately want to spend ALL the money.
Do your faves under £10, do your faves that have more than one use, do your faves from the supermarket. You get the gist. People love a beauty bargain and they love an excuse to buy something that’ll make them feel better about themselves without suffering from shopper’s guilt afterwards.
7. Speedy make-up
It always amazes me that one of my most successful posts is about my 4-minute make-up routine. It’s the speed I managed to get it down to when I was commuting and waking up at the crack of dawn – but it’s a feeling that we pretty much all have. HOW THE FUCK CAN I LOOK GOOD BUT STAY IN BED FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE?
Weirdly, because it’s such an old post, it’s not a video, just a detailed description of my beauty application process. But yeah – your 2 minute nightime skincare routine, your 5 minute make-up routine, your 2 minute smokey eye – you get the idea!
Also, this whole speedy thing totally works for recipes too. I always want my dinner in my belly within two minutes of walking through the door.
8. Mental health
OK, so maybe you’ve never suffered from mental health problems, but still, don’t rule this one out completely.
There is still a stigma about speaking out about depression, anxiety, and all the other destructive and isolating illnesses that are so, so common for young women in today’s society. So break the mould. Maybe you’ve never suffered yourself but know someone who has? Maybe you just want to write about what the worst day ever feels like. Maybe about how you’ve spent the last week crying every day. You get the gist, people like reading about unhappiness/tears/ craziness/mental health because it makes them feel less alone.
There isn’t that many people writing about it, which means that you’ll have less competition. Write about your own emotions, your coping mechanisms, the things no-one tells you about being diagnosed etc etc – be as oversharing as you feel comfortable.
On a similar theme, people, women, ME, are desperate to feel happier. We feel like it’s something we’re forever searching for, on a journey towards and we want to read about how we can have it.
So yeah, any insight? Share it. Lists on things that help you relax, things that make you instantly happier, films that change your mood, lyrics that just work, you get the picture – happy lists are a happy thing on the internet.
10. Honest perspectives
I’ve written about what London Fashion Week and the journalism industry are really like – I’ve taken away the glossy Instagram filter of OMG IT’S SO FUCKING AMAZING AND GLAMOROUS AND MY LIFE BEATS YOURS, because nothing – not even being Beyonce is probably as good as it looks.
There’s a difference between laying out the truth and the facts and moaning and taking what you have for granted, but be real. Be your readers best friend, not the girl they wanted to be in year 11.
So yeah, talk about what your life’s really like ‘What’s being a nurse/call centre manager/beauty therapist really like?’ I love those posts because it’s always interesting to see how my life could have panned out had I done something different. ‘Here’s what dealing with a disabled sibling/debt collectors/epilepsy is really like’ you get the idea.
11. Anything London
This follows on from the thing about writing lists about where you’re from, but because London is so big and so different to living anywhere else, people want to read about it – mostly fellow Londoners.
People want to know they’re not alone when they’re drowning in exhaustion, hideously lonely and wanting to cry – because that’s the effect London can have on life and it’s so, so, so, so isolating.
Do typical British lists like Buzzfeed ‘things all Londoners think about Covent Garden/the Central Line/TFL’ or just do your honest insight into living in the capital. These posts have done surprisngly well for me – Life As A London Girl Vs Life As A Commuter and Take A Sneak Peak Inside My London Flat
12. Anything social-media related
You could write lists about social media, you could write about how social media makes you feel, heck you could even write up your thoughts on a study about social media and people would read it. Why? Because we’re obsessed with social media, like more obsessed with it than we were obsessed with Sabrina The Teenage Witch.
We hate it, we love it, we feel like it *might* be destroying us, we check it every 37 seconds (made up fact). And we want to read about it because it’s still something so new and fresh and it’s something that affects so many of us.
SO YEAH, GO WRITE MAGIC.