How to Find High Demand Blog Topics For Your Food Blog
This How to Find Blog Topic Ideas That Will Rank on Google: Capitalizing on High Demand Blog Topics post may include affiliate links. When I find a great product or service, I like to share it with my readers. Sometimes I use affiliate links so I can earn a commission for my recommendations. Thank you for your support!
Capitalizing on High Demand Blog Topics To Build Your Audience
Early on in my SEO keyword research days, someone clued me into a strategy that struck me like lightening. Dramatic, I know. But, in the ever-competitive world of being found online, a gem like this is hard to come by. I call it the: 2 For You, 1 For Me Approach. It’s the key capitalizing on high demand blog topics with blog topic ideas that will rank on Google.
Now, you might be thinking: this flies in the face of everything I learned as a kid about fairness and sharing. It’s 1 for me, 1 for you. Not so when it comes to blog topic ideas. Think about what I’ve shared in previous articles about a good SEO strategy for food blogging: it’s all about the end user. It’s not about giving the audience what you want… but giving the audience what it wants.
The trick, of course, is not only knowing what your audience wants, but how to deliver it in the most effective way possible.
What Does Effective Blog Topic Delivery Mean?
When I refer to effective delivery of your blog topic, I mean the best return on investment for your time. If you’re reading this blog post, you’re likely trying to grow your audience; perhaps write a cookbook or partner with brands. All of those things come by way of drawing people to your blog and they can’t come if they can’t find you. And if they can’t find you, you’re wasting a good deal of time.
In this article, I focus on a golden rule of picking a blog topic: it’s not all about you. In the three steps below, I’ll describe how to approach picking a blog topic that will help you to be discovered and, in turn, build your blog audience over time.
Distinguishing What Your Audience Wants from What You Want
Step 1 is really the key to discovering blog topics that will rank. Early on in my food blogging days, I might wake up and think: I’m in the mood for avocado toast. I love avocado toast. I’ll make some and then I’ll write a blog post about it. Unfortunately, this led to a lot of time spent writing blog posts that no one was finding.
Now, I agree that it’s important to center your blog around topics that interest you but taking “I like it and so will they” approach to picking a blog topic isn’t the best way to ensure that your efforts will get the best return on investment.
For example, it may be that you’re the only person in the world who likes avocado toast. If that’s the case, then your avocado toast blog post won’t get any traction on Google no matter how clever your recipe or stunning your photographs. If no one if searching for avocado toast, your blog post is not going to be found.
Knowing What Blog Topic Ideas Your Audience Wants
Got it, you say. I won’t let my taste buds dictate what recipes I decide to write about. I’ll determine what’s popular and focus on those topics.
If you’re active on social media following accounts similar to yours, it’s easy to identify popular topics. Scroll through any food blogger’s Instagram account and I pretty much guarantee you’ll run into more than one recipe for avocado toast. In this case, you might think: Perfect! Everyone is talking about avocado toast. I’ll follow the trend.
Why is This Bad?
On one hand, it’s not bad. A recipe for avocado toast is certainly addressing the needs and desires of an audience. And, following a popular trend might get you some traction on Instagram or Pinterest, but the focus of this blog post is to get you ranked on Google.
Virality on social media like Instagram or Pinterest can give your blog traffic a wonderful boost. It’s also provides a great hit of dopamine. The problem is that it will be short-lived (and infrequent). Ranking on Google differs because it’s foundational. A blog post that ranks highly on Google can return results over the test of time.
Let’s play out this example. Some quick research on the key phrase avocado toast demonstrates that 167,000 people are searching for it on Google each month. In the food blogging world, that’s a lot of searches.
Here’s the rub though: avocado toast is also a highly competitive search term. And, it’s high among some very long-standing and popular food bloggers. Bloggers with a high domain authority. As you can see, Cookie & Kate, Love & Lemons, Cooking Light and the New York Times are among the top 10 search results in Google for the term avocado toast.
Wait…? What is domain authority? If you’re asking the question, it’s an important one. Learn more about domain authority in my What is Domain Authority article.
So what does this mean for your avocado toast idea? Well, it doesn’t mean that you can’t write about avocado toast, it just means that you shouldn’t always write about avocado toast. You need to also be looking for those hidden gems — the recipes that a smaller number of people are looking for and that fewer bloggers have developed.
Focus on Two-For-You and Reward Yourself with One-For-Me
The two-for-you-one-for-me approach means that the majority of your blog topics should be underserved keywords. It means having the research dictate what you write about instead of your stomach. Or, letting your stomach have a say and then figuring out the most strategic way to accommodate it.
For example, I really wanted to write a recipe for hummus. The trouble, of course, is that hummus is about as popular as avocado toast. There was just no way I was going to rank on Google for hummus, hummus recipe, hummus dip or hummus ingredients. So, instead of plowing ahead anyway or abandoning ship, I figured out where I could be different. The answer: navy bean hummus. It’s ranks #8 on Google with 200+ searches a month.
You might be thinking: 200? That’s not very many. That’s true when it stands alone, but if you build you blog with many recipes or articles with the same results… well, then the numbers start to add up and your domain authority starts to grow. And every once in a while, you’ll stumble on an SEO unicorn – the perfect blend of high volume and low competition.
What About One-for-Me?
The one-for-me is the reward. Sometimes there just isn’t a variation of keywords that fits all the criteria. You’re just not going to rank for it in Google. At least, not yet. And while ranking blog posts are great, I do also think it’s important to stay motivated. So, I will occasionally (about 1/3rd of the time) indulge in those blog topics solely because they interest me or because they’re so popular that I can’t resist.
And, just because a competitive key phrase is tough climb from Google’s perspective, doesn’t mean that you can’t drive your existing followers to a popular recipe through your social media channels. I find great success sharing these recipes through my Instagram account, which points my followers to my blog. I just know not to expect great things from search engine results and that boosts will be short and sweet.
How to Research High Demand Blog Topics
There are many tools available for finding high demand blog topics – some free, like Google Ads’ Keyword Planner, and some pay-for services, like Ahrefs, Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest and Moz.com. Many of the pay-for services have a free tool to help you get started. I’ve tried many of them and have settled on Moz.com’s subscription service. There is a free version that limits the number of searches you can do each month, but it is a great place to start learning.
Getting into the nitty-gritty of keyword research is beyond the scope of this article, but if you want to dig into keyword research for food bloggers, check out this article: SEO Keyword Research for Food Bloggers.
In the meantime, remember: don’t be discouraged. In a way, I admire Google’s ranking system. It truly rewards domains that have earned their viewers’ trust. And trust, as we all know, takes time.
About Confessions of a Food Blogger
Kate Friedman is the creator of Herbivore’s Kitchen, her vegan food blog, and Confessions of a Food Blogger. Confessions of a Food Blogger is an informative resource for food bloggers (and, actually all bloggers) that provides helpful articles, online courses and tips and tricks for starting, building, marketing and managing a food blog.