Trends Blogging Observations

Trends Blogging Observations

I’ve been experimenting some with trends blogging off and on for awhile, both here on OpTempo and on some other blogs. While I’m not claiming to be an expert at it, I have noticed and been trying out a few things that might prove interesting to you.

What is Trends Blogging?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Quite simply, it’s following the latest trends that people are searching for and posting about them. You can do this on almost any blog if you’re creative enough. However, it will perform best when blog is either setup to take advantage of a short term trend, for example an American Idol contestant, or in a blog built around a large, generalized, niche such as entertainment or electronics. You can also build around the idea of getting trickle traffic with occasional bursts as topics cycle.

Where can you find these trends? I had covered this in an early post, Keyword Selection Sources. Depending on the visitor demographic you’re targeting you can use these sources to identify and blog about trends.

US TV Shows Often Drive Google Trends

House Soundtrack Cover

That is one observation I’ve made from watching the trends over time. When something happens on a popular TV show, people start searching for it. For example, last night’s season finale of House featured a complication with the anti-flu medication amantadine and a mention of Huntington’s disease. Guess what some of the top search terms in Google are today? With the American Idol season wrapping up tonight and tomorrow you can easily guess what terms are going to be at the top of the list in the next 24-48 hours.

Another thing about following TV show trends are the boost you can get from reruns and from ongoing story lines. For example, the Huntington’s disease story line will probably continue to pop up from time to time on House. Another example is this post, Jin, the Next Character to Die on “Lost”, has received steady trickle traffic since I wrote it back in October with occasional bursts as the character’s story is unveiled.

Quick Addition: Another trend so far as TV watching in the US goes is that women flock to the Internet in the late afternoon and early evening to look up more info on whatever Oprah talked about on her show that day. For example, today it’s “Quantum Wellness” and Kathy Freston.

Building for the Future

Rocket Ship

One strategy I’ve been trying is to identify newly announced products, such as the HTC Touch Diamond Phone, that have popped up in Google Trends and elsewhere. I then write posts or even whole niche blogs around them. By the time the product is actually out on the market, the blog or article has age and links and will, with any luck, have steady search traffic that will monetize well.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be products that you build around. You could also build around hot business, financial and legal trends as well. While things like recessions and the mortgage crisis ebb and flow you can build a good level of authority on such topics in a niche or supporting blog that you can reuse often.

Going for the Quick Traffic Hit

Volleyball Spike

Another strategy is to try to grab onto a hot trend and write a decent post about it to get a quick hit of traffic. An example of this is my recent post on the Tang Bomb. This post has pulled in a few hundred unique visitors over the past few days. While this traffic isn’t all that easy to monetize, just by pulling in the search traffic numbers you can improve your chances for making money. Even curiosity seeking traffic from Google is better than no search traffic at all.

You’ll find many topics like this that come up regularly that you can take advantage of to drive search traffic to your site.

Other Thoughts

Well, I should mention that you can use my Link Luv Post Builder program to help you with creating these kinds of posts. Using it, you can pull in news feeds and use that information to put together a good, original, article. That’s what I did with the Tang Bomb post. You could also use it to build an aggregate news post on a particular topic.

Do you have any ideas, questions or observations about trend blogging that you would like to share?

 


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24 Comments »

Comment by MelB
2008-05-20 14:21:46

Frank,

Maybe you could write a post on aggregate news posts as that is such a easy application with your new software, Link Luv Post Builder. What are the ins and outs, the dos and don’ts. Can we get in trouble with that or what are the advantages vs disadvantages of using aggregate news posts. I think Link Luv Post Builder along with trends is a fantastic application of your software but I am a little unsure of myself and the limits I should observe.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-20 15:34:33

Hi Mel,

The ‘Tang Bomb’ post is an example of how I used it. The only thing I had to go looking for was the video and I got it from one of the links returned from my search. I then wrote my own take on the news item, hopefully gearing it toward picking up search traffic, particularly for long tails.

The key is to use the news feeds is to write your own unique content based on them. You can have a quote from a news source, see my Lost article for an example, but you don’t want it to be any more than roughly 30% of the text on the page. Placing the quoted text in blockquotes seems to cause Google’s algorithms to give it a pass on duplicate content filtering, at least up to a point. I wouldn’t push it too far though.

If you just posted without any additional content you would look spammy unless you were an acknowledged authority news aggregator like Drudge or breitbart.com. Having an aged domain with established PR probably helps prevent this to some degree.

 
 
2008-05-20 14:28:17

I have been watching your posts over the past few weeks. Has it increased your income on this blog?
What about your subscribers? Have you kept them or has it gone down?

Comment by jfc
2008-05-20 15:54:51

Hi James,

It’s too early to tell how much impact the addition of in-post eBay affiliate Sniplets will have. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m only using these on posts geared toward search engine visitors. Overall, it should help me continue to meet the rather modest income goal I have for this blog.

RSS subscriptions have gone up slightly. I think most people can tell from the headline which articles are for subscribers, who’re mostly interested in blogging and Internet Marketing articles, and those designed for search engine visitors. However, I do try to make the search engine oriented ones decently informative and entertaining, something I wouldn’t necessarily do if I was targeting search engine traffic exclusively.

 
 
Comment by April of Scotland
2008-05-20 16:45:18

Whenever I see a trend I would like to exploit I always get a sense of panic. I worry that I’ll not write it fast enough to make use of the traffic. I haven’t really had that much success because I find it difficult for the post to get indexed and ranked quickly enough.

I did write a hubpage based on a product I saw on trends a number of weeks ago and am getting about 40 uniques per day.

Overall I prefer to just write about topics that are “ever green” as I’m actually making money that way.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-20 17:55:42

Hi April,

One of the tricky things is that you never know what’s going to stick or not. For example, I expect my Lost post mentioned above to have a few hundred visitors next Thursday evening and Friday morning right after the Lost season finale. I wrote that post as a quick trend grab when the actor got arrested for DUI.

If you haven’t read it already, read this post by Griz, Let’s Make Money Right Now. That post and a few of Vic’s comments on Court’s blog pre-Blogger Unleashed are what got me headed in the right direction. I’ve wandered around a bit, trying different stuff along with their ideas, but that’s my basic plan.

 
 
Comment by Greg
2008-05-20 17:07:55

Hi Frank,

Right after the announcement was made about who would appear on this season’s Dancing with the Stars, I created a blog on one of the contestants. By the time the show premiered I was ranked well for the contestants name and various long tails. The traffic was quite good.

The challenge I had (and would have again) is how to monetize this traffic. My best affiliate results have been by attracting search traffic to sites/pages with a definite product in mind. People searching for American Idol or another pop culture item don’t necessarily have a “problem”

I sold an exercise video through eBay and a few cookbooks though Amazon. Generic ClickBank offers didn’t perform.

Do you or your readers have suggestions/comments?

Thanks,

Greg

Comment by jfc
2008-05-20 17:58:21

Hi Greg,

I’d guess eBay items might do OK, particularly if related to the subject and sorted by lowest price first. You might get curiosity clickers at least. Generic affiliate offers like ringtones, t-shirts and so forth can work too although the CTR and conversion is low.

 
2008-05-20 22:40:51

Yah… since they are stars…. CDs or movies from Amazon with them in it…..

 
 
Comment by temps
2008-05-21 00:27:56

“Overall I prefer to just write about topics that are “ever green” as I’m actually making money that way.”

what ever green would that be? there are lots of site with common topics out there. been lookin through this blog and find it good. but is it really earning here? has the traffic increases and selling stuff here?

Comment by Dinheiro
2008-05-21 13:57:58

temps, if you’re expecting to become rich with this method, well forget it. but the traffic is there. I tried this with squidoo lenses, and the traffic was superb, for example one of that experiences got me 3700 visits in just 24h. That resulted in lots of money? Of course not, but it resulted in terms that i got more traffic, and more people that come back to see my new posts and my new lenses, and as consequence, they’ll buy soon or later from one of my “mini-shops”. Also they click adsense, and adsense still gives us money.
Like everything else, it’s a question of numbers. You’ve one, two, three posts like that, and you think woooow i know it all! That’s not the case. For making money you still need backlinks, you still need hundreds of posts like that. And you’ll make money, that’s the real truth.

This is a non-stop job. Every single day, posting, researching and backlinking. Everyone who does this, have success, even if you’re not choosing the best niches, you still can have success when you hit a large quantity of this sites/posts.

 
Comment by jfc
2008-05-21 15:42:33

Hi Temps,

The initial goal with this blog, as with any monitized site I have, is to get it to the point where it is earning an average of $1 a day. It does that easily and that’s all I’m really concerned about when it comes to monetization at this time.

Secondly, as a flagship blog it serves to support my other sites and to launch other projects of mine. By having a general purpose topic, it opens up more options.

Comment by Dinheiro
2008-05-21 22:31:33

That’s what i do with blogger blogs, kind of general personal blogs, they’re are easy to maintain, and a good source of backlinks.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
Comment by Lin Burress
2008-05-22 10:08:01

Hi Frank, after reading your “Keyword Selection Sources” post, I’ve paid close attention to Google Trends. Using Google Trends is where my post about the Prestonwood Baptist Church Minister post came from, and since Prestonwood is local news for me and fits my blog, I found it to be an excellent post to write. It still gets quite a bit of traffic each day, and my analytics show they are staying around to read other posts as well.

My 5-minute Miley Cyrus rant post became a huge traffic draw, but the post was done prior to it even hitting Google Trends, so quite by accident my post about Miley Going Topless for Vanity Fair got a lot of attention.

I will continue to use Google Trends for posts that fit my blog and niche, but I’m not inclined to do any that are completely off-topic for my blog just for the sake of drawing shortterm traffic hits. And yes, regular readers of your blog realize that some of your posts are not necessarily written for us, but they’re good nonetheless.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-22 10:19:11

Hi Lin,

Your blog is well positioned as a parenting authority site to get “young celebrities acting badly” traffic, that’s for sure. It’s also great if you can catch the upswing of a traffic curve.

I agree that if your blog’s focus is on a particular topic, stick with it and don’t go all over the place chasing traffic. Of course, I don’t follow that rule here but having no specific focus is the focus of this blog.

 
 
2008-05-23 10:20:31

I’m doing a bit of trend blogging with my Wordpress.com blogs. I’m just not giving it much thought. Maybe I should. I have blogs that range from celebrity, entertainment, sports to gadgets. I spend time looking at other blogs and the news for ideas. I’m shameless I know but I don’t have a lot of time to spend a lot of time with this. My only goal is to send links to so-called “money” sites. I might be writing about the crap that is the new Indiana Jones movie but also weave in a blurb about GPS to link to my BANS store.

Blogger seems the obvious choice for this endeavor but Google doesn’t index them for me quickly. I guess I could use Squidoo and Hubpages but it’s a crapshoot whether I can get them indexed. No such problem with Wordpress. I have yet to have a WP blog hit the sandbox.

I can see that it works. Making money with Wordpress.com is problematic. I need to reconsider Blogger so I can monetize.

The one thing about this type of blogging is that I find it enjoyable.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-23 10:31:00

Hi Splork,

I think Google gives Wordpress.com a big bonus because they’re rather aggressive in combating spam and monetization internally.

One strategy is to use these blogs to support your other sites directly and indirectly as part of a link cluster. I’ve found them very effective in this area when used with care.

 
 
Comment by Houseboat Rentals
2008-05-26 10:57:02

Frank,
I was wondering how you would monetize these blogs as well. Now I know it is just to build up your sites PR to link to other sites.

I am going to be reading your keyword selection post to see how you would set up a multiple trends blog and how to focus keyword selections. Seems like this would be hard to do.

Comment by jfc
2008-05-26 11:20:24

Hi Denise,

Yes, your link cluster blogs serve to strengthen your ‘money sites’, flagship blog or other sites you want to give a boost. You shouldn’t monetize them since this gives them more authority in the eyes of Google. You should also link out to other sites beyond your own to insure a stronger profile.

Getting the traffic using trends isn’t that hard, once you kind of get the swing of it. What’s worked for me has mainly been linking up the titles and headings with long tails. For example, a hot trend might be “macaroni salad recipes” but you could add qualifiers to the title or headings like “best”, “popular”, “tasty”, “Hawaiian” and so forth and get traffic that way. You would still have the main keywords but you would also get the easier to dominate long tails as well.

Comment by Houseboat Rentals
2008-06-01 19:44:50

Frank, so you are saying not to monetize a trend blog. I have run across quite a few trend blogs this weekend and they have some awesome PR.

I have noticed also that many of the posts are 2/3 original content and 1/3 RSS snippet. Most of the original content is short and redundant to the feed.

Looks like a real easy way to build a group of blogs with high PR. The only prob I see is who you would get backlinks from.

But you blog would definitely have the ability to pass on juice for any variety of topics.

As long as you do not monetize you do not run into trouble with Google for a spam blog?

Could be fun especially with your Link Luv Post Builder. :-)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by jfc
2008-06-01 20:41:34

Hi Denise,

It depends on how you want to use the trends blog.

If you want to use it as a way to boost other blogs or sites, then you don’t monetize. By following trends this will give you a large array of topics to edit to support your ‘money’ site plus a lot of Google activity. For example, if you did a trend post about a celebrity divorce you could go back and edit that post later to add in a link to your “divorce lawyers in your-city-name” site.

You would have a second series of sites that you could use to build links to these trends sites in addition to the regular BMD runs, comments, articles, directories, etc. These could be regular blogs, free blogs, Squidoo or other low or no cost sites. As long as you don’t go overboard and/or use blackhat automation tools you can build a powerful link cluster that can really boost your earnings.

 
Comment by Houseboat Rentals
2008-06-01 20:59:24

Thanks for the response. Trend blogging is quite new to me. I will definitely be giving a whirl and let you know how it is going.

Thanks for all your help Frank!

 
 
 
 
Comment by BizzArtic
2008-10-28 17:50:33

I’ve been experimenting with Trends blogging myself and have to say that it works if you have a big website that has high rankings on search engines,…otherwise forget it as it search terms are too common.

It is much better to specialize for one search term (low to medium popularity) and build traffic on it.

Here is how my experiment with trends blogging is going: Google Trends Blogging Experiment

 
Comment by Webmaster Software
2009-02-27 17:30:06

This is a really intruiging post. I have tried this myself in recent times and found that timing is everything. If you are able to keep your eyes on the news for your given subject and as soon as news breaks quickly write a quality article around the subject. Given we are on the blogging platform search engines pick up the article almost immedately and if you are early to post searchers soon find your unique content quickly. It really does work!

 
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