One of the hardest things to do when you run a blog or website is to think of new content to keep your website fresh and up to date, this blog post will look at ways of keeping updated with industry news to help find topics that you can blog about. The first step in this process is to find out what topics are popular, you can do this by keeping an eye on the popular news and blog websites for your industry.
Checking each of these websites one by one can be time consuming and you will quickly end up either checking less websites or not at all, one way of reducing the amount of time involved in checking websites for updates is to subscribe to their updates through either their social media links or RSS feeds.
Using social media to keep up to date
We will look at social media first, to use this method you will need to decide which social media platform you want to use to follow the industry news, the most popular are Facebook and Twitter. When you have chosen which service you wish to use and created an account you will need to locate the websites social media account, many websites provide links to them on the websites – popular locations are in the header, footer and sidebars.
When you have located the websites social media account you will then need to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ the account this will then mean you receive updates through the service each time the website makes a new message – for example each time I post a new update to my website i post a link to the content onto Twitter and my Facebook timeline to let people know about the new content. Not all websites have social media accounts but more and more websites are starting to identify the importance of social media so this method is only going to increase in popularity.
Using RSS feeds to keep up to date
The next method we will look at is RSS feeds, this is my preferred method of keeping updated with industry news but because i am interested in website development the websites that i want to keep updated by are more likely to have an RSS feed as the website owners will know how to add it to the website and identify the importance of a feed.
RSS feeds can normally be found in the same places as the links to the social media profiles with popular locations being the header, footer or sidebar. You can find the RSS feed by looking for an orange icon with lines looking like waves coming from it.
You will need to use a online service or bit of software to keep track of your RSS feeds, there are several available and if you wanted you can even add the RSS feed as a bookmark in popular browsers such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.
I have found Google Reader to be the best solution for my needs, it lets you add RSS feeds using the web interface and check them from any computer. This means that if you use more then one computer you will still be able to use the same service to monitor the feeds. There are also a large number of mobile applications that sync with your Google reader account which means that you can read the RSS feeds on your mobile – perfect for keeping up to date with content on the go – for example on the way to and from work.
Now you know how to keep updated with industry news the next step is to add / follow several industry leaders and blogs that you have found contain good information, with all of these added to your service of choice you will be able to keep up to date with popular subjects which will give you an idea on the types of subjects the industry is talking about and finding interesting. This will help you focus your content on subjects that will attract visitors and also help give you ideas on what to write about.
It is worth noting however do not simply copy and paste content from other websites as Google and other search engines will be able to tell and you will not gain any SEO benefit from it – if anything if you regulatory copy content it will harm your ranking results.
Search engines love popular, well written unique content.
Blog post by Alex Wells
Working as a Website developer I love nothing more then working waist deep in code, I have specific interests in PHP and WordPress development but mostly working with local businesses to provide them with a website that meets their needs. Contact me if you have a project in mind and would like to get an input from an experienced website developer.