It happens to the best of us — the content ideas desert. You’re sitting in front of the computer, waiting for divine intervention to strike to help you through this content marketing crisis where you have not a single, solitary idea of what to write about for your blog or ezine.
This syndrome can strike at any time, out of the blue, without warning, and can seem like the end of the world as you know it, especially if you’re on deadline. Okay, I took a little dramatic license here, but what’s an online business owner to do when the “I don’t have anything to write about” disease sucks all content ideas out of your brain at the time when you need them most?
The answer is pretty simple. Keep a content marketing list of useful content ideas that you run across. If you’re like me, you get the best ideas in the strangest places. I had a great idea for a client’s domain name the other day while in the bathroom (it was a very ironic moment, given what he does for a living! LOL).
In order to keep track of those ideas, I maintain a notebook in Evernote called “Newsletter Notes” in which I keep track of what has come to me when I’m doing other things. If I happen to be out and about away from home, my handy-dandy iPhone lets me jot down a note or record my thought for retrieval later.
When you’re out of ideas for content marketing, here are 7 great sources you can call upon for content ideas:
1. Client problems. When explaining something to a client or helping a client solve a problem, I often realize that the topic would make a great subject for my next blog post. I then jot down my ideas in my Newsletter Notes so that I can remember the issue. When I need a piece of content, all I need to do is to refer to that notebook, fill in the blanks, and I’m done! Usually, my client will recognize his/her situation (I don’t ever reveal names or anything that anyone could track back to a particular person) and ask, “Did you write that article for me?”
2. Your own problems. For whatever business you’re in, you run into any number of issues that could also be issues for your clients. What are those problems? How are you dealing with those issues?
3. Your strategies. When you develop a great way of accomplishing something, don’t keep it to yourself! Write about how you came up with a strategy to deal with an issue, and outline the steps that others facing a similar issue could take to achieve similar results. I find that using my business as the guinea pig for my strategy lets me work out the kinks of a system before I try it with clients.
4. FAQs. There are so many ways that you can interact with prospective clients these days — Twitter, Facebook pages, blogs, email, texting. Go back through and take a look at the questions that clients or prospective clients frequently ask you and create content to answer those questions.
5. Current topics. What are the hot-button topics in your industry right now? What are things that you need to learn how to do to be a more informed expert in your field? Trends change constantly, so take the opportunity to put in your two cents about a hot topic when you have something relevant to add to the discussion.
6. Interests and needs of your tribe. When is the last time you surveyed your email marketing list or your blog readers? Come up with a simple survey of what’s on their minds or what they need and offer a bribe to incentivize them to complete it (if it’s a longer survey). You may be surprised at what you find in the results and have great fodder for new content for months to come.
7. Social media sites. What are your connections discussing on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter? What articles are you seeing about your industry in your Google Alerts? What’s being asked on Buzz Sumo or Quora? Pay attention to your tribe, and they will help you create some great content.
For even more ideas, check out my article, 20 Best Blog Post Ideas for Small Business Blogging.
If you haven’t yet created your content idea repository, get it started today. Try out some of the ideas listed above, and soon you’ll discover a never-ending source of creative ideas to make your content marketing efforts easier!
Using content marketing is one of the best ways to build a business. It’s also one of the best ways to generate new prospects for your website. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with a content marketing plan for your business, or schedule a 1:1 Marketing Rescue Session to explore the best options for you.