Step by step how to use Google Insights to brainstorm writing ideas

I’ve been working on an editorial calendar for a blog that I’ve neglected for a while now, My Weight Loss Struggle. To help brainstorm writing ideas, I took a look at Google Insights, the tool that gives insights into keywords, news stories that correlate to spikes in keyword interest, and geographically where these keyword searches are popular.

Google Insights is a tool most useful to advertisers looking for information about trending interests, but just as easily it can help you discover new writing topics or niches of topics you’re already writing about.

Here’s a step-by-step example of how I discovered some great topics for my weight loss blog.

  • First, I did a simple search for “weight loss” to see what came up. This was just some preliminary exploration.
  • I found too much information. I needed more focus. Insights can give you focus using a few different variables; the ones I chose were date (last 12 months), geography (US only), and category (health)
  • Now we’re cooking with gas! Straight away the regional interest section catches my eye. Here are the top 10 states looking for weight loss information using Google search: Alabama, Utah, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Idaho, Montana, Louisiana, Wyoming, and Mississippi. There’s something about that group of states that looks familiar.
  • I look up the median household income by state statistic, which gives us a rough idea of how poor or rich people are in different states. Bingo! Using 2008 numbers, here are the 10 poorest states: Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Tennessee, Montana, and Louisiana. Get this! 6 of the poorest states in the U.S. are also the ones most looking for weight loss information.

You can’t beat having information like that. In this example it was my curiosity that caused the find. Looking at that Google list regional interest states, it seemed like they were poor. My hunch paid off.

google insightsWhat you can do with this information

Write posts! This gives me some great ideas about post topics because I can now picture my audience. There seems to be a group of states down south …

  • what about weight loss tips for people that like southern food? Is that possible?
  • these are poor states, so many posts about eating healthy on a budget
  • recipes that use ingredients often found in southern food
  • what about finding a guest blogger from one of these poorer states?

I’m just getting started. Do you have any ideas to share?

Give Google Insights a try and let me know your results in the comments below.

Top Photo (CC) andymangold