How To Use Quora And Bitly To Validate Blog Topics: A Step-by-Step Process

validate blog topics

Today I want to show you a validation technique to come up with blog topics that your audience is actually interested in.

Too often people come up with random blog post ideas without validating if there is any demand or interest on a given topic.

They waste a lot of time creating and publishing content on topics that they THINK will work well without having any evidence behind that assumption.

This means they end up spending a lot of time writing posts that their audience doesn’t care about and will not share or link to.

This is a technique I first learned from Bryan Harris of Videofruit. He calls it the “Buffer Validation Method.”

Bryan created this technique after thumbing his way through the analytics in his Buffer app.

He discovered that some of his tweets were 5-10x more popular than others.

While some tweets got 3 clicks others received 15-30.

So what better way to validate ​the topics that your audience is interested in reading by measuring how they interact with your tweets.

I’ve recently used a similar technique to validate a topic on a SEO case study, which I’m about to write.

Since September 2014, I’ve helped Denise Duffield-Thomas of Lucky Bitch to increase her organic search traffic and some conversions by over 90%.

With her permission, I will shortly write a detailed case study on how I did this.

I’ve been able to achieve these results via keyword research and using simple on-page SEO techniques...without building any backlinks.

Before I invest my time in creating it, I want to find a good hook to use in the headline to help increase the post's click-through rate (CTR) so more people will read the case study.

If your CTR is low, it decreases the chance that people will actually read your content and I want to reach as many people as possible.

I used a simple 3-step validation process to determine how people are interacting with my tweets.

I tested different headlines based on the topic of my SEO case study and tweeted them out.

Here are the results so far:​

bitly results
bitly results
bitly results

Seems like a winner!

The difference is that I've used Bitly to analyse the results of my tweets whereas Bryan uses Buffer.

Introducing ...The "Bitly Validation Technique"

The purpose of this technique is two-fold:

​1. Find topics that your audience is interested in

2. Find a great hook for the post

I recently did some work for a client that matches the perfect chef with the right menu at the right price. If you’re looking to host a dinner party at your home but you don’t want to cook or clean up, then you can hire a chef to do it all for you.

If someone was interested in having a dinner party at their home, there's a good chance that he or she would like to know how to throw a fantastic dinner party for their friends.

My client can then research some blog topics to show my reader how to host the perfect dinner party.

Here's the 3-step process to validate this idea before they spend all their time creating it:

Step 1: Go to Quora.com and find someone that has asked a question around a particular topic. Type in a generic keyword and see what comes up. E.g. “dinner party.”

Look for questions that has a lot of answers and upvotes to them.

Step 2: Tweet or buffer a link to that Quora post with their question as the body of the Tweet.

Step 3: Wait a few days or a week and look at your analytics to see how many people interacted with it.

​Want to see how's it done in real-time?

I put together a video to show you the process to come up with some blog ideas to host the perfect dinner party:

After you've gone through this process, you want to wait a period of time to see how people interacted with your tweets.

Check back over the analytics in Bitly and see if there have been any traffic spikes.

To check how people have engaged with your tweets, pay attention to the number of clicks.

You can also check to see if anyone has retweeted, shared or replied to your tweets to.

If they do, write a post surrounding that hook.

If they don’t, you can repurpose them one more time and if it still doesn’t do anything you might have to abandon that post completely.

Conclusion

Let's review what you've learned:

Step 1: Go to Quora and find someone that has asked a question around a specific topic.

Step 2: Tweet or buffer a link to that Quora post with their question as the body of the Tweet.

Step 3: Wait a few days and look at your analytics to see how many people interacted with it.

When you look at how people engage and interact with you on social media, it's a good way to validate whether that blog topic idea is going to work for you or not and to determine the exact topics that your readers are interested.

These traffic engagement spikes validate that your audience is interested in reading about a particular topic, which means the chances of it getting traction are high...

...and has a direct influence on the likelihood that people will engage with your content.

Click on the image below and enter your email to get access to 3 bonus under-the-radar blog post validation techniques (not included in this post) that walks you through how to discover the RIGHT topics to create content your audience craves....in under 10 minutes.

PS: Do you have a validation hack that you use to be sure that people actually care about what you are saying? Share it below.

*****************

Thanks to Bryan Harris of Videofruit for this genius idea.

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12 Comments

  1. Hey Shae~ Great article, and super useful! Quick Q- so you are creating a bunch of links on twitter back to Quora threads essentially? Since I am in the health field, I am just tying to wrap my head around that as useful content for my followers. I have always linked back to what I felt like were reputable resources for my tribe, and am having this conundrum of posting to quora threads as useful health and medical tips……as they are a mix of opinions, rather than content I have read through and personally validated. Curious your thoughts around this. Am I overthinking how people will interpret my feeds by linking back to quora in the health field? I love the utility of this exercise.

    Reply
    • Yes that’s right. I see your point but you are experimenting to determine a hook and CTR. Just try it over a period of a week and see how you go. I don’t think it will be an issue.

      Reply
  2. Shae, thanks for a great idea!
    Everything is simple and clear. I will certainly add this to my armoury! 🙂
    What should I do in your opinion: tweet several options at once on the same date (just at several minutes intervals), or choose the best time, when followers are most active (either from Buffer analytics or with the help of Tweriod) and tweet just then?
    Michael Pozdnev recently posted…How to Conduct Simple SEO Audits for Your Blog [+Checklist]My Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks Michael. I wouldn’t schedule them back to back. I tweeted mine out at a day apart. But experiment – so choose times your followers are active and see how you go. And let me know how you go.

      Reply
  3. Your posts are always full of wonderful insights and ideas, thank you Shae. I know I’ve been guilty of posting random topics in the past without validating their level of interest, so this is great food for thought.

    Reply
  4. Shae, love your videos…really clear and easy to follow. I loved this post because it is a simple way to find blog post hooks and topics that readers really want. I am still new to blogging and so your tips really help. When leads or clients contact me, I write down keywords they use to describe their challenges and pain as well as questions they have. This is how I actually created a post about keeping the kitchen table clear of clutter. I was asked this by a couple people, so I wrote about it.
    Jul’s recently posted…Quick & Easy Recipe To Bring To A PartyMy Profile

    Reply
  5. These are awesome tips. I knew about Bitly but didn’t know about Quora nor about its ability to help you increase traffic. Thanks again!

    Reply
  6. WOW Shae! This is an incredibly helpful post! I am totally going to try this out! I’ve bookmarked it so I can easily refer back to it because it’s genius! You made it simple and totally do-able! Thanks for sharing such valuable information with us!!
    April recently posted…10 Tips to Reduce StressMy Profile

    Reply
  7. i love these easy-to-implement tips, shae! this makes such perfect sense. there are definitely certain things i post on social media that are wholly embraced, and others that just fall through the cracks. paying close attention to what really resonates with my followers will provide ready-made clues for future posts.

    Reply

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