How to Generate Content Ideas

by Tim Parker

How can you generate enough content ideas to keep your website fresh and visitors coming back?Coming up with topics to write about is easier than you think. Here are 10 tips that can help you generate new content ideas for your website on an ongoing basis.

how to generate content ideas
Image source: Graphicstock.com

You already have enough traffic, right? (Cue the laughter.) Regardless of how big you get, you never have enough traffic. Traffic leads to profit and the more profit, the better, right?

And, because the rules of content marketing are constantly changing, you can’t read enough articles or try enough new tactics. If you find the right ideas for your audience, that’s when the fun really starts.

The buzzword (or phrase) that every Internet entrepreneur knows is content marketing—using content like articles, video, podcasts, and images, to draw people to your site where you will hopefully monetize them.

But content marketing is a crowded field. Everybody is doing it now. Standing out and getting the eyes and ears of your readers is exceedingly difficult but what could set you apart from others is the quality of your ideas. Your readers will only read so many of the same tired, rehashed topics and even the cutest pictures and videos of puppies get old before too long.

So here you go. We put together 10 ways to generate better content ideas.

1. Don’t do it alone

Unless you’re one of the very few people that can create the most viral of ideas by yourself, you’re going to need help. Everybody has different experiences and those experiences will allow them to think of things you couldn’t. Grab a pizza, a whole lot of paper and technology, and start brainstorming as a team. If you help one blog owner, he or she will help you.

2. Buzzsumo, baby!

Buzzsumo watches social media platforms and will alert you when something is about to go viral. If you have it alert you after a modest amount of likes and shares, you will know when something goes viral before the rest of the Internet does.

If you know what’s trending, you can produce content to go with it. Don’t copy anybody’s work. Come up with a new angle to present a topic people are already reading. Go to buzzsumo.com to get started. The platform offers a free plan.

3. Speaking of Buzz

Buzzfeed—the site that people love to hate. Think what you want but Buzzfeed has its fingers on the pulse of digital content trends. In fact, the company plays a large part in creating the trends. Check out its recent articles and see which ones people really liked. Create content around those subjects.

4. Video!

You may not fancy yourself a videographer but the data doesn’t lie. People want video. Text and images still work but not much beats a video—at least not in 2015. Want proof? Check out your content consumption habits. Check out your kids’ too. Likely, you stop and watch those videos that Facebook throws in your newsfeed. Watching a video is much more mindless than reading—at least for most people. Sometimes a video where you talk about your blog post is enough to catch readers’ eyes.

RELATED: How to Grab Your Audience’s Attention with Video



5. Write down your life

If you’re a personal finance writer, keep a list of issues you tackle in your personal life and write about them. Did you have to deal with your neighborhood HOA over an issue? That’s an article. Also ask friends, family, and professional acquaintances about things they’ve experienced and use those as ideas. It’s so easy to forget the most obvious of sources of inspiration, isn’t it?

6. Let your readers help

If you have a blog with a reasonable amount of traffic or an e-mail list, ask them what they would like to see. Make your readers partners in your content versus seeing them only as customers.

7. What’s Trending?

All of the major social media sites have a list of what’s trending right now. Some things will come and go rapidly but others are big enough to have staying power. Think of ways to jump on trends even if it’s a fun way to insert your business into an area it wouldn’t normally belong. Animal Plant created the Puppy Bowl to bring in animal lovers on the day of the Super Bowl.

8. Interview Somebody

Find an expert and interview them on a topic relevant to your readers. Even better, ask your readers to submit questions for the interview.

9. Guest Posts

Guest posts work well when the guest is an authority in his or her field. Don’t take offers from people who want to pay you or clearly aren’t looking to add value to your readers. When they have the right attitude—and the credentials to back it up, guest posting saves you time while putting something new in front of your readers.

RELATED: How to Do Business Blogging the Right Way

10. Curate!

Go to YouTube, find a great video, write an amazing headline (or two or three), include some backstory to make an article out of it, and post it on your site. That’s how sites like Buzzfeed and ViralNova got their start. When you don’t have a giant writing staff, let other people create the content. As long as you’re embedding the video from the original source and writing your own original text, you aren’t violating any laws.

Of course, always be careful with content curation. Stick with embeddable content that you know is suitable for sharing.

Bottom Line

You’re not alone. Unless you have a team of creatives sitting around generating content each day, the struggle for high-quality engaging content is a reality for most blog owners. Always try something new. Don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t continually fall back on the same ideas. You can fail multiple times but one piece of content that gets giant traffic is enough to make up for all of the duds.

© 2015 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

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