The first thing you must do when trying to create content ideas is to understand the purpose of the content you’re creating, what your goal for each piece of content is, and why you’re creating it. If you don’t know why you’ve created a particular piece of content, you will soon get sidetracked and so will your readers. Don’t just put content up for the sake of content. All your content needs to have a purpose, a goal, and a reason.
Planning Ahead is Key
Aside from understanding why you are creating content, it’s important to plan ahead. If you can plan for an entire year in advance, that’s best, but if you can at least plan a quarter in advance that’s something. The reason you want to plan in advance is that you can look at your year, and then just know what to do each day to reach your goals.
By planning all the products you’ll create, or services you’ll offer, and then a content plan to market your products and or services through the year, it will be easier to come up with the right content because you’ll have a “why” and a direction. Just shooting in the dark without the ability to see won’t work when it comes to content marketing. You need to have a plan.
Create a Content Calendar
An editorial calendar and a publication calendar is a “must have” if you want to do content marketing effectively. A good calendar will list not just what you’re going to write, but when and how you’re going to produce it, too.
Perhaps you are going to have a series of articles written to promote your new widget during the month of May that goes on sale in June. You’ll need to know who is responsible for creating them, and when and where they’ll be published as well as the topic of each one. Then you need to follow your calendar which will be one of the biggest actions that take your content marketing to the next level.
Repurpose the Content You Already Have
When you know more, you do better. You can rewrite content that you already have and update it so that it complies with whatever is true today, plus you can change its format. For example if you have an eBook, you can break it down into many different blog posts, or an eCourse, or a drip membership program.
Anytime you create any piece of content, consider the many different ways you can use it. You can make an entire podcast or YouTube video out of one blog post, or even one customer comment can become an entire blog post, a video and an idea for an eBook or report.
Read and Report on News about Your Industry
It’s important to be widely read if you want to become a thought leader in your industry. If you don’t read what your contemporaries are saying, you might get left behind. Read important blogs and news about your niche and you’ll get many ideas from what other people are talking about and the news of the day.
Invite Others to Contribute
Create a guest blogging program on your blog, open up blog post comments, and invite influencers to comment on your blog posts, videos, podcasts and content on your website. If you’ve written about someone, be sure to send them the post so they have an opportunity to comment.
By getting other people to help with contributing to the content that you create – whether it’s on your blog, or on social media, you actually get to do less work. You also never know when something they write or say will spark a great idea.
Approach the Same Idea from a New Perspective
If you’re reading industry news, or a blogger within your niche that you enjoy, try writing about the same topic but approaching it from a different perspective. One thing that no one else has is your personality and your point of view. You have a special viewpoint that can’t be duplicated by others. It might be the same topic, and you might even be saying the same thing, but you’re saying it your way, which automatically makes it unique.
If you’re creative with your content, it’s likely you’ll get a lot more views. For instance, if you can figure out how to combine your love of painting with marketing, you might write an article about the Fine Art of Marketing where you compare and contrast how oil painting is like marketing. How small brush strokes add up to the overall picture, or something like that.
This can work for almost any topic including child care, baking, and even building furniture. You might write a piece about what taking care of children taught you about marketing. Only your imagination can stand in your way.
Forecast or Explain Trends
Your audience will enjoy your explanations of current trends and forecasting of potential trends within your niche or industry. This can be a little more tricky and should be outside of your planned editorial calendar. You might just leave a space for one day a week or month to talk about current or future trends, and that is something you write on the spot depending on what the news of the day is.
Keep It Simple
Many times the trouble with coming up with content is the tendency to over think everything. If you understand who your audience is, and your niche, you should easily be able to come up with content that is engaging, interesting, and useful. If you’re having issues, it’s probably because you’re being too complicated. You don’t have to write like a college professor to create content for your audience that gets results.
Focus on the Little Things
Blog about the big picture, then blog about the small picture. In other words, blog about the same ideas again from a smaller perspective. One problem with blog posts is that they often cover far too much information. If you’ve written a blog post with ten points, and ten subheadings, see if you can take one of those subheadings and write a more in-depth article or blog post about that one part. Often you’ll again be able to create subheadings about that one point, and be able to repeat this process in perpetuity.
Use Different Content Formats
Some of the content ideas mentioned in the beginning of this report are a good start. You should be able to create a blog post, and make it into a longer report, then an eBook. Then you should be able to take that and make it into videos, or a membership eCourse, and more. Just because some content started out in one format doesn’t mean it needs to stay there. It can always be expanded, contracted, and changed.
Curate Other People’s Content
If someone else has written content that is already perfect, answers questions for your niche, teaches information that you find important, then why not curate it on your blog. You simply write a small blurb about the information, then link to it to read on the owner’s blog.
While it’s true you’ll be sending your readers out of your blog, you can create a kind of one-stop-shop for all things related to your audience and your niche to the point they’ll come to you first to see the important information they need to know.
By using several of these ideas, repurposing content, and combining types of content, you’ll never run out of things to inform your readers about. You’ll have a never-ending supply of content by using these ideas. Once you have a supply of content, then you have to take it one step further and market the content that you create.