You probably know by now that Google doesn’t like “general” content. Google will reward your site with better rankings if you’re a specialist and share content that addresses a particular angle –but punish you for covering a very general topic that doesn’t quite go anywhere. In short, articles on “Foods That Help Your Dog’s Teeth” will perform better than “Canine Dental Health.”
So how do you narrow down your blog posts? Even more importantly, how do you find new angles for content that has been done over and over – content both Google and your readers will love?
Here are four tried-and-tested ways to help you find narrow angles for your pet blog posts:
Identify Interesting New Angles for Popular Content
Popular topics are popular for a reason: They perform well, they are interesting, and a lot of people want to read about them. But saying the same thing over and over is not only boring but can also end up costing you traffic. The solution? Always look at a topic, no matter how common, from a different angle. One great option is to tie it up to current events or trending topics. In the world of pet blogging, that could mean the release of a new medication, a pet story that made the made the news (or has gone viral online) or even an article recently published in a vet journal.
Still lost? Try to find something NEW, something FRIGHTENING or something CONTROVERSIAL about a popular subject and you have a new angle right there to explore.
Figure Out What Will Work (and what won’t)
The tone of your article will help determine what type of material you need to include. Are you going for controversial? Newsy? How-to? If you’re going to be using expert quotes, the qualifications of your expert should also count. If you’re covering a very unique discovery by a top-notch industry insider, make it all about him or the discovery rather than the topic.
Still unsure? Use the element of surprise. Since you’ve always been told that feeding your dog human foods is a no-no, just switching your title to “10 Human Foods You Should Be Feeding Your Dog” is going to spark curiosity and give you a unique angle all at once.
Pick Carefully What to Include
Rule #1 when it comes to blog posts: If there’s so much information about the topic that you could probably write a book about it, the topic is too broad and you need to work on narrowing it down. Otherwise, you’ll end up with tons of general statements about a subject that’s too general to mean much to readers. Remember that dental example from the intro? With a title like “Canine Dental Health,” there’s just no logical way to go anywhere. “Natural Remedies for Canine Dental Health” gets you a little closer and “Using Essential Oils to Improve Your Dog’s Teeth” might just hit the spot.
How Narrow is Too Narrow?
So, narrowing a topic down to its barebones might be a good idea but push it a little too far and you’ll have readers going “Huh?” For example, writing about a very rare medical condition that causes pet obesity might get you a lot of blank stares because most people won’t know or care about the topic –but writing about helping your dog lose weight with fun indoor games makes the topic accessible and useful.
General rule of thumb about topics: If you can’t find any information about it when doing a Google search, the angle is either too obscure or not interesting enough to warrant an article about it.
Remember, you want to be different, but you also want to be popular.
How do you narrow down your angles for your posts? When picking a topic, how do you vet it for your blog?
Diana Bocco is a full-time writer and adventurer who has written for National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, Yahoo!, PetMD, and Animal Wellness. Diana has lived in five countries and taken her rescued dogs along to each one of them. You can check out more of Diana’s work, or contact her by visiting her at www.dianabocco.com.