Are you well acquainted with the writer’s block and often struggle to come up with quality content ideas?
In my previous post, I shared with you some SEO fundamentals that I believe every small business owner needs to learn and implement in their own business.
And while understanding these fundamentals provide a strong foundation for SEO, producing quality content on a consistent basis is what will really help you with you search engine results.
Although Google has over 200 ranking factors that they use to rank websites, Google has been repetitively saying that they’re prioritizing quality of your content and how well it resonates with your audience more and more. What that means is that, long gone are the days when you just go for the most popular keywords and just stuff them into a blog post. Instead, today you need to stuff your content with value and ensure that it’s relevant to your readers and to your website visitors.
This all seems pretty easy in theory, but in practice, things like writer’s block and lack of inspiration can definitely slow you down. So in this episode, I’m gonna share with you 10 easy strategies to come up with quality content ideas that will resonate with your reader, so that your creative well never runs dry.
Your first starting point is understanding what type of content your audience resonates most with by looking at your Google analytics as well as your social media insights. Look at your most visited pages on your website and the most read blog posts. And in the same way, look at the best performing posts on your social media. For example, on Instagram, instead of just looking at the number of likes a post is getting, look at the number of comments, shares and saves instead. This gives a much better indication of audience engagement.
Don’t forget that, at the end of the day, you write your content for your audience, so the best place to find out what they want to learn more about is actually by asking them directly!
You can use a poll in your Instagram stories, create a post, send out an email to your list or create a survey. Frame it in a way where your audience feels like they’re contributing to your business (i.e. help me help you!
Places like Facebook groups, Medium and Quora and perfect places to seek content ideas, because these are the places where people ask questions and look for help. Look out for questions related to your zone of genius/industry and write a piece of content on it. Use the same language that people use to ask their questions in your answers – this is what will help create super targeted pieces of content.
Once you are done with your content piece, you can go back to that question and post a link to your blog post to drive traffic to your website.
What is your competition talking about? I’m not saying that you should copy their content and ideas, but you can definitely use it as a source of inspiration for future topics using your own twist and perspective.
This is a strategy that I love and that is seriously underused. Google search suggestions are excellent for narrowing down a topic that may be too broad and to help you use the exact working that people looking for such content actually use.
For example, let’s say you’re an interior designer and you have an idea to write a blog post on the topic of “how to decorate on a budget”. This idea is great, but it may be a little bit too broad. To narrow it down, let’s enter this into Google. As you can see below, you suddenly have tons of search examples with much more targeted topics:
Can you see how you could do a whole series of blog posts on the topic of decorating on a budget? You could write at least 5 different blog posts from just one broad theme!
Other places on Google that provide you more insight on what people are actually looking for are the “People also ask” area and the “Searches related to” area at the bottom of your search page.
To stay on the topic of Google, you can also set up Google Alerts for your chosen keywords/industry. What it does is, depending on your chosen frequency, Google will send you emails with a selection of content pieces related to your keyword. Here’s an example of Google Alerts on the topic of Copywriting:
Online tools like Buzzsumo are great to source quality content ideas. Think of Buzzsumo like a search engine for the most shared content pieces. This can help you understand what type of content is going viral in your industry and inspire you to write similar type of content.
So for example, if I type in “social media marketing” into Buzzsumo, it will show me the most popular current content pieces on that topic:
I know, you’re probably like… but Youtube is video? Yes, but most importantly Youtube is about answering questions and providing educational and engaging content. So have a look at what are some popular educational videos on your topic or zone of genius and think about how could you write something about that too. If there’s a popular Youtube video about it, it means that people are probably searching for it and want to know more about it!
This is something I started doing not so long ago and I just wish I found out about it sooner! Educational platforms like Skillshare, Coursera, or SlideShare are an amazing source of inspiration for content ideas! These platforms were built to educate their audience and answer specific questions, so they kinda did the research for you already.
For example, if I type in “photography” on Skillshare and click on the first course that appears (for me it was a course on Instagram-Worthy Photography), I can look into the course description and curriculum and come up with at least 5 content topic ideas already:
This is very often overlooked and I’m guilty of that myself! But don’t forget that you already have some superb quality content in your bank! You shouldn’t forget about it and update it every couple of months with more up-to-date information, improved readability and, perhaps, even adding a new freebie.
Sometimes, you don’t need to actually come up with new content, you just need to clean up and improve what you already have, especially if it’s a piece of content that is quite popular (you can check this in your Analytics).
How’s that creative well feeling now? Pretty full? With these 10 simple, yet very effective strategies, you can rest assured that you will never hit a creative block again and will always have quality content ideas in your bank.