How to Generate Content Ideas Like a Growth Hacker

Every writer has had writer’s block. Every content manager has faced the problem of finding relevant topics to publish for their audiences. But we can’t rely on just waiting in our chairs until the ideas come to our minds. Now, we have many resources that help us find content that is already working for other people. We can find out which topics have grabbed the audience’s interest or which ones are trending right now.

The goal of this tutorial is to help you learn the necessary techniques in order to find content ideas in a scalable way.

Blog Scraping

We want to find out which content is working on other blogs, if the content gets comments and if it’s being shared. In order to do this, you need to analyze your competitor’s blogs, websites that publish similar content and the big names in your niche.

First of all, we need to download Import.io and follow the next steps:

Create the scraper

  • Create a new extractor
  • Add the URL
  • Select ON to choose the elements to extract
  • Create new columns for every element you want
  • Select the title, likes and number of comments
  • Publish the API

Get the data

  • Get the blog pagination links (create a list)
  • Select bulk extract
  • Paste the URLs list
  • Run queries
  • Export the data as Spreadsheet

Clean the data

  • Import CSV to Google Sheets
  • Add new column entitled “Interactions”
  • Sum up the values from likes and comments into “Interactions”
  • Order by “Interactions”
  • Select the Top 200 blog post titles

Extract terms

  • Go to Term Extraction website
  • Copy the Top 200 post titles
  • Select max words per term (3–4)
  • Select Terms in lower case

Now, we have a list of the most popular terms for this blog and we know that these keywords are already getting likes, shares, and comments. I suggest not copying the post titles but instead, using the popular terms within as inspiration to avoid the content managers block.

Twitter Data Mining (Advanced)

The previous technique is useful to figure out which content is resonating with our similar audiences, but with this one, we can find out which keywords are trending the most in our niche. For this example, we’ll scrape the Techcrunch twitter account to analyze their latest tweets in order to get some insights.

The fun part here is that we’ll use a Python scraper to download all the tweets into a CSV file. I want to thank Yanofsky for sharing his script on Github. For this section, you’ll need a basic knowledge of Python.

Install Python

Get your Twitter credentials

  • Go to apps.twitter.com and create a new application
  • Go to Keys and Access Tokens
  • Copy Consumer Key, Consumer Secret
  • Copy Access Token, Access Token Secret

Set up the script

  • Download tweet_dumper.py
  • Add your Twitter App credentials at the top of the script
  • Add the Twitter account you want to scrape at the bottom of the script

Run the script

  • Go to the folder where you have the script
  • Run the command: $ sudo python tweet_dumper.py
  • You will get a file called “TechCrunch_tweets.csv”
  • *Note: Twitter API only allows to get the latest 3,200 tweets

Clean the data

  • Import “TechCrunch_tweets.csv” into Google Sheets
  • Go to Term Extraction website and paste all the tweets
  • Select output as HTML
  • Select max words per term (3–4)
  • Select Terms in lower case

Get insights

  • Copy the output table and import it to Google Sheets
  • Order by “Word count” and “Occurrence”

Finally, we have a list of the most popular topics that Techcrunch has been writing about lately. This is just one example of the possibilities that you have with Twitter data mining. You can even go further and connect your script to Twitter to get data in real time by performing predefined queries and connecting these data to visual reports.

Conclusion

With all the resources that we currently have at a hand, it is no longer an option not be a data-driven marketer. Growth Hackers, Tech Marketers, Digital Managers, you name it, we have to find new ways to be creative and make decisions based on data.

Hopefully, this tutorial has shown you how to generate more content ideas and a new approach to finding valuable data that can spark your imagination for your new projects.

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Alberto Grande is the Head of Marketing of X-Team, a global community of extraordinary remote developers. The human behind Growthy, a chatbot to help you find the best content related to Growth Marketing.