Using Google Alerts to Generate Business Blog Ideas

Using Google Alerts to Generate Business Blog Ideas

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a million times – your business NEEDS a blog! A blog can help your organic search results, establish you as an authority in your field, and bring in customers who otherwise wouldn’t have discovered you. This sounds great but there is one problem: getting a blog is the easy part – filling it with quality content is much more difficult. Let me show you how you can clear writers block by using Google Alerts to generate business blog ideas.

When you start your business blog you likely have a couple blog post ideas to get started, but eventually you run out of ideas and time constraints make it difficult to explore new avenues. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to try out this method of using Google Alerts to generate business blog ideas.

Setting Up Your Alerts

The first step is to set up relevant Google Alerts that will help you generate business blog ideas. If you haven’t heard of or used Google Alerts before, this is a Google feature that sends relevant news content for topics you’ve chosen straight to your inbox.

  • Head over to the Google Alerts page.
  • Type a relevant word or phrase into the “Create an alert about…” box. (Choose a topic related to your business but something specific enough that you’ll get targeted alerts.)
  • Enter the email address where you’d like your alerts sent (if you’re already signed into your Google account that will automatically be chosen as the delivery address)
  • Click on the “Show Options” section to choose how often and how many alerts you’d like to receive.
  • Click the “Create Alerts” button to finalize.
  • Repeat for more terms/topics if wanted.

Generating Your Business Blog Ideas

Now it’s time to sit back and let the ideas come to you. Based on your settings you’ll get regular emails for of all the best Google News hits for your targeted word or phrase. Each email will have up to 10 news articles with the title and a two line preview.

  • Create a file to keep track of your business blog ideas. Try a three-column structure where you list the general topic/idea (which very well could be your SEO targeted keyword), a short description of how you envision the blog post, and a link to the original post that helped you generate that idea for reference.
  • As you scroll your Alerts emails, check out any articles that look interesting. You may get an idea from the title itself, but often times there are ideas hiding within the paragraphs too.
  • Make sure to click the “flag as irrelevant” button for articles that aren’t on point with what you’d like in your Alerts emails. Google will use your information to figure out what you’re looking for and send you better Alerts in the future.
  • If your alert matched more than 10 news stories, hit the “See more results” link at the bottom. There are often many more results, so if you have time you should scan these too.
  • If you’re noticing a consistent problem with your alert, use the “Edit this alert” button at the bottom of the email to modify your alert terms to get better results.

When you have your alert settings down you should be able to generate a handful of ideas from any given Google Alerts email. Your Business Blog Ideas file will begin to fill up, and when it’s time to write your next blog post you can choose any idea that interests you at the moment.

Tips on Using Google Alerts for Generating Business Blog Ideas

Here are some other ideas that may help:

  • Consider creating a new email address to send your alerts. This way they won’t crowd your main inbox, and when you go to check Alerts you’ll be more focused.
  • If you find you’re not keeping up with alerts, click the ‘Edit this alert’ section and change the frequency (your options are ‘as soon as it happens,’ ‘no more than once a day,’ and ‘no more than once a week.’)
  • Set up a regular time each day/week/month to check Alerts so you can continually build your list of business blog ideas.
  • However much you like an article, don’t simply copy the idea! Be original – find a way to put your unique spin on it.
  • A good article can generate multiple ideas, so give yourself time to read and explore.
  • Make sure to write topical articles right away – this is your window of opportunity!

Using Google Alerts is a great way to stay up-to-date on industry news and to generate business blog ideas along the way. Use these tips and you’ll have an ongoing list of go-to blog topics to write about, and a quality blog that drives visitors in.