Quality content is what you need to grow your brand, to attract more audience, build trust and create lasting relationships between your business and your customers.
Content marketing has proven to be the moving force for: incoming traffic, generating leads, conversions and eventually revenue.
How can I come up with new ideas for blog posts and content all the time?
Where can I find new, fresh content?
What happens when I run out of new ideas?
What kind of content will engage my audience?
I have been there, you have been there, we all have been there.
So, how easy is it in reality to generate new ideas for content all the time?
Actually if you follow the steps described below, very easy!
I am going to list you every single method I use to be able to generate new pieces of content consistently.
Actually after a few days, you’ll have so many article ideas noted down in your to-do list that will be sufficient for the next few months! (Depending on your preferred content output frequency obviously)
1. Keep Notes
I can’t stress this enough. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, no matter when, no matter how, keep notes of every single idea that goes through your mind throughout your daily.
I can’t tell you how many ideas I have lost due to not noting them down immediately. I learned the hard way that: “I’ll remember it later on” never works, or works very very rarely. You can’t rely on your memory through busy days.
It doesn’t matter how you note your ideas. Thankfully our smartphones are well equipped with several different note taking apps, otherwise use your laptop, a post-it, a plain piece of paper, a napkin, your hand, as long as you note down your idea.
Even a plain bullet point could do wonders later on when you sit down and expand your idea into possible article titles.
2. Create an “Ideas Depot”
Use whatever works best for you: Google docs, dropbox, a simple word document, any specialized app, etc.
You will write all your ideas here with as many details as you feel like.
As I described earlier if you keep notes throughout the day, most likely you will have a couple of ideas noted down by the end of the day. You take those ideas and add them to your “ideas depot” file. Expand them as much as you feel like, add some details that you think are relevant or needed for you to be able to understand better what you meant in the future.
Hint: never delete your “completed” ideas. As you create more and more content, you can always come back to this list and find more content ideas. It will be your daily go-to!
3. Read, Read and Read Some More!
Ok, by that I don’t mean that you should consume yourself reading content and doing nothing else. Obviously, there’s a time for action but there’s also a time for thinking and preparing.
You have picked your niche, you definitely follow some of the industry’s leaders (if you don’t – what are you waiting? do it!). They pump out content on a steady basis for sure. Read those articles, read everything interesting from your niche that you come across.
By reading it’s only natural that questions might arise, or new ideas, agreements, disagreements, objection, etc. – note everything down, this is food for thought!
Furthermore, by consistently reading new articles you become more and more familiar with your niche’s trends and hot topics. You might notice some issues that you didn’t think were noteworthy. You’ll get more familiarized with the content your audience asks and needs.
So, do you like what you read? Maybe you disagree somewhere. That disagreement may become a new article. Maybe something resonates deep with you, that could be another article.
Consuming content, bears ideas and don’t forget that you become more and more proficient in your field.
Hint: I use Feedly which I think is the best content curating tool. You can create your own categories, sort your sources and easily monitor new content every day.
4. Ask your Audience
Sometimes it’s this simple. Have you ever tried directly asking your audience what they would like to read?
At the end of each of your articles, you can add a question in the style of: “Did you find this article interesting? I would love to hear your thought and point of views on the subject”.
This is called a “call to action”(CTA). People like being actively engaged and not just fed content without properly being engaged.
Sometimes they want to be heard and make some noise, they want you to listen to them. Make that happen!
Additionally, you can ask questions through your social media profiles: twitter and facebook are both great platforms for directly asking your audience what they want.
Always monitor users’ replies to your articles and make sure to always answer them, even if it’s just a “Thank you for taking the time to read my article”.
People need to feel valued and even the simplest reply can make the difference.
5. Scan Social Media & Online Communities
Let me explain this a little better: undoubtedly you are part of some online communities, most likely within your niche.
Learn to identify the problems users have. Any of those questions or problems could be your next blog post.
Let’s take Reddit for example, this is a screenshot of the “Top” thread of the past week:
This screenshot is taken from the /r/blogging subreddit. You will have to find active relevant subreddits to your niche and subscribe to them. Then follow the exact same steps described here.
I have noted with a red frame all the topics that could be my next blog post.
The first person asks: “Is it a bad to blog about more than one subject?”. This can easily become an article about blogging subjects, should a blog be about one thing or more?, keep it specific or a broader approach is better?
Heck, even the question itself is a very interesting article on its own, you don’t even need to change the title.
Another person created a thread titled: “Questions about monetizing a blog”. This is pretty much how I wrote my article on how to monetize a website.
I had stumbled upon the same question many times: “What do you think is the best way to monetize my blog?”, “Should I use AdSense or try affiliate marketing?”, “Hey I am new to blogging and I was wondering how could I make some money online?”.
The answer to all these questions is valuable to a large portion of the internet users.
Do the same in the subreddits you are subscribed, you will come up with new ideas every single day!
6. Scan for “Idea Patterns” and Trending Subjects
Search for the “Missing Piece of Content”. What do I mean with “missing piece of content”. It’s a piece of content that is seemingly missing from the general consensus of a trending subject.
Let’s elaborate with an example:
This is a screenshot from my “Tech” category in Feedly. I have created a “Tech” category and I follow all the industry’s leading authorities.
Today’s top subjects are about Tesla Model X, a folding E-Bike and a car powered house.
As you can see the general consensus of today’s trending subjects is: electric car manufacturing, new energy technologies, alternative means of transport.
Take those trends and create your own content. Maybe a piece about new energies and how it affects us throughout our daily routine, or maybe the future of electric cars, the future of new sources of energy.
Write your own point of view. Maybe you disagree, maybe you have something valuable to add, write your commentary regarding everything that’s going on.
As I mentioned earlier keep monitoring new content within your niche and find idea patterns as I described here. By finding idea patterns and identifying the trending subjects, you will be able to create your own content that “fits” within the trending subjects and engage your audience effectively by offering true value.
7. Anything Could be a Blog Post
…and I mean everything!
Imagine that you are completely brand new to blogging and you have no idea what to write about, you are not even sure what you want to blog about.
Your experiences can give birth to valuable content. If you are a complete beginner and you are investing all your time reading and trying to figure out how this “blogging” thing works, it’s very simple: write about that!
Write about the challenges and the difficulties you face while figuring out your next step. Write your complete experience as a beginner. Thousands of people will identify with you.
Many times, people are tired of reading the experts and the authorities.
Sometimes people want to read the average Joe, the complete beginner. It’s easier for them to “feel” someone who is closer to their position if not exactly to the same position.
All the expert advice and guides are great and whatnot but they can become tiresome and “heavy” reading.
Your experiences will provide fresh new content all the way. You go through different phases when you are a beginner, when you advance along the way until you become proficient in your field. It’s a journey, create content for it throughout all the phases!