Let me stay the course on unearthing content ideas for blog.
For many writers – me among them – this is the Achilles’ heel, the difficulty to identify the topics to write about.
You may not want to write just on anything, you are the type who wants to look at topics a bit differently, you want the facts checked before using them, you have the desire to tell your readers something unique.
If those are what make you as a writer, you need a steady input of content ideas, and for that you need to use some special techniques.
In my last post on blog post ideas, I dealt on 4 crucial models, plus I clearly illustrated the steps to have them work for you.
I also revealed the most popular ideas for blog posts based on a study done by a renowned organization.
Here is a screenshot of what I covered in that post.
Let me take this forward, and discuss how data can help you unearth content ideas for blog.
Before that, let’s understand how data is so important in our lives, and how we are changing with the new reality.
Data is the new gold
In a larger perspective, you can’t help but agree to The Economist’s article that
This may sound a bit dramatic, but look at what tech giants like Facebook and Google have, which give them enormous edge over other companies.
They don’t have oil, they don’t have anything tangible (which you can see with eyes) that would have had more value just 2-3 decades back.
All they have is data of countless people, companies, entities around the world.
Data about what you love, don’t love, what you eat, don’t eat, what you wear, don’t wear, where you go, don’t go, what you buy, don’t buy, and on and on.
When Facebook bought WhatsApp with fewer than 60 employees for a whopping $22bn in 2014, many thought it was crazy.
Crazy it was, indeed, but the move was to block any potential rivals.
Today, look at WhatsApp’s popularity, every information about every user like you and me are getting stored.
It is safe to say that WhatsApp is waiting in the wings to turn out as Facebook’s gold mine for a long, long time to come.
Okay, so this is what has happened
We are now used to data like never before.
The huge supply of information means our attention span is a fertile breeding ground for data. Data makes complex things understandable in far less time than reading essays on them.
This was the case even earlier. But now it’s more vividly pronounced.
If you search Google Images for ‘infographics’, an overwhelming majority of search results have data in them.
Let me show you a top example related to state of global education.
Not all infographics are data based, such as the example below on Arts Integration.
But such is the popularity of graphical display that data designers are creating beautiful infographics from seemingly non-data inputs.
Let me show you another infographic on world’s richest persons, which is a superb amalgamation of data and design.
When you see this, you wouldn't doubt as to why the top infographic makers command huge fees for their labor.
How does data help
There is a subtle difference between using data disparately and using it with a focus on refinement.
In the above section, I’ve used 3 random sets of infographics, but my purpose is to put it to you that in a broader sense, infographics can be both
- a) data based, and
- b) concept based.
Dave Campbell, earlier with Microsoft, explains information refinement with the following chart.
It is explained thus –
Displaying data in interactive visualizations makes it easier to transform this data into information because it is grouped in meaningful ways that allow viewers to recognize trends, patterns, and correlations…
Data sources for content ideas for blog
Okay, let us now move on to find the important resources which you can rely on to unearth data driven content ideas for blog.
When you have a good deal of data, collected from different sources, it becomes easier to connect them in a meaningful way to create helpful information for your audience.
However, you’re limited by 2 factors –
- Should you search for data every time you need content ideas for blog?
- If so, can you trust the data sources you find by searching on the web?
Instead, if you know some reliable sources that constantly supply data all the time – which you can search too – you’ll be far better off to formulate content ideas for blog.
Here is a list of top resources on data visualization and data science you must use to dig out content ideas for your blog.