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Trying to consistently come up with fresh, exciting ideas for your content is one of the hardest parts of writing for your business’s blog.
Actually writing the post is comparatively easy — there are plenty of handy guides available online to help you create high quality content that will capture imaginations, generate leads and convert to sales.
But coming up with the ideas in the first place? No fear!
Many business find that they start off well, with plenty of topics to discuss and play around with. But after a while, it seems like you’ve exhausted all of your options and your content well has run dry. Sad times.
If you’re stumped on what to write, then don’t worry — there is help out there! We’ve listed five easy ways below of generating content ideas. We’ve kept it broad so that these can apply to any business — regardless of whether you sell fish tanks, carpets or yoga retreats.
Check out our ideas below to get those creative juices flowing.
Bookmark interesting content that you’ve read
As someone who writes content for their business, you probably spend a good chunk of time researching and reading other businesses’ posts. So if you discover articles on the web that you genuinely find interesting, then bookmark them!
There’s a lot of terribly-written boring content out there, so if you’ve found something that really tickles your pickle, then save it. Create a list. Keep adding to the list. Use this list as inspiration.
This could be an awesome topic, an attention-grabbing headline or creatively written content. However it’s packaged, if there’s something in there you want to emulate then there’s a way to do it tastefully and professionally without plagiarizing.
You can use articles you enjoyed as a springboard for a deep dive into a topic you want to know more about. Take a different angle, hone in on a specific question — it’s up to you.
Take advantage of online tools for powerful optimization
There are some awesome online tools that will help you with content creation in a number of different ways.
For example, keyword tools like Ubersuggest use Google’s search data to let you see what users are searching for in terms of specific keywords. This is great in terms of generating content ideas because it directs you towards topic ideas, plus keywords to include in your content to make it more SEO-friendly.
Give headline analyzer tools like CoSchedule Headline Analyzer a go too. It may seem like you’re jumping the gun by creating a title first, but experimenting with headlines can help you to direct your thoughts on your content.
Headline analyzers give you suggestions for improvement — for example, the CoSchedule analyzer rates your title in terms of things like emotion and power.
Playing around with your headline to improve it will not only result in an engaging, compelling title; it’ll give you a good place to start with your content.
Find out what your audience are really interested in
You need to write content that your audience will find genuinely useful and interesting. Sometimes it’s hard to relate to what your market wants and needs, and you can be blinkered by your own perceptions of what is valuable content.
You need to get out there and do some market research — find out what your audience care about.
Twitter and other social media platforms are a good place to start. You can monitor your market’s keywords and hashtags, and see which topics and questions are recurring. Social media tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social can help you manage and monitor social channels.
Quora (an open Q&A forum) is another useful place to gather content ideas from the curious. It can give you a new perspective and fresh insight into what your market want to know. Discussions are usually intelligent and helpful, so you shouldn’t have to worry about misinterpreting trolls or falling down rabbit holes.
Find a popular query or topic within your niche and use this as a basis for your article. If you can clearly answer this question in detail with your content, then you’re onto a winner.
Check out your competition
Find out what your competition are writing about and analyze it. This will help you to generate competitive ideas for your content.
REGIONAL: For example, if you’re a small business in Texas, find out what other small businesses in Texas are writing about. Be locally engaged and community-oriented to beat people at a local level. This is a great opportunity for growing small businesses, whether you’re selling products or services.
NICHE-SPECIFIC: Head online to find similar websites for sale in your niche and check out their performance over time to identify those with the highest revenue or with the fastest growth. Check their blog posts for new content ideas and analyze their success — how they are received by your market? If a competitor’s post is ranking highly and generating traffic, then you know that a particular topic will be good to cover on your blog
TOP TIP: Handy analysis tools like BuzzSumo and SEMrush let you do a direct comparison between top posts to find out what works — and what you need to beat! Recognising trending topics will help to direct your writing so that your content ideas remain on trend and ranking well.
Try a different angle
If you’re struggling to come up with new content ideas, then why not go back to your old ones?
We don’t just mean reposting — you need to keep publishing fresh, exciting content to stay relevant and keep your readers interested.
Rather, you can use topics you’ve already written about and come at them from a new angle.
If you work in a team or have colleagues, this is a great time to start spitballing ideas around about a topic. I guarantee that if you gave this topic out to your team, each person would go in a different direction with their post ideas.
Exercises like this are brilliant when you’re completely out of inspiration — finding people to bounce ideas around with can inject new life into a topic you thought was dead.
As you can see, there are a number of easy methods you can use to help you generate content ideas for your business.
Using online tools is a great way to get the ball rolling with topics, and you can also use market and competitor research to guide you. Look for inspiration in the online content you are drawn to, and think about how you can apply successful methods to your own writing.
Are there any other methods you use to generate your content ideas? Let us know in the comments below.
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