That dreaded cursor in Word…
It just sits there, blinking at you, demanding that you type something incredible.
But you’ve hit a wall.
The well on content has run bone dry.
Ideas are washed up or outdated. That blinking cursor is mocking you.
We’ve all been there as creators. Of course you want something truly spectacular, eye-catching, and even viral-worthy. Yet, here you are: watching the white screen.
The good news? Crafting quality content doesn’t have to play mind tricks with you.
But it takes some time (and energy) to get it done. Coming up with provocative content ideas is simpler when you have a little guidance. When you monitor the web, take a look at the trends, and listen to your own readers, you might be surprised at how many ideas come up.
Ready to be inspired? Keep reading!
Overcoming The Killer of Your Great Content Ideas: 4 Ways to Flood the Idea Gates
Creating engaging content is a skill.
It starts with the right ideas, and the copywriting comes second.
To help jumpstart your content ideas, you need to look at the resources you have available to you — and most are free. Here are a few places to look first:
1. Talk to Your Customers or Clients
The people you already work with may be able to tell you what they’re looking for from you. They are already customers, but they still have questions. According to Brian Sutter’s article on Forbes, asking your current clients what they are struggling with and then answering it within your content is key. Don’t just do a quick answer and never dismiss any question. Instead, take each question and create an entire blog post out of it. Expand upon what was asked, back it up with research, and make it entertaining.
Think about telling your client’s success stories, too! Check out how we talked about our client’s success in a blog post here. Our case study services are actually oriented to position your client’s success story in the best possible way, by not only creating a PDF but a short story blog that resonates with your subscriber list. (Check our out our case study writing and creation here.)
2. Use Tools at Your Disposal
There are plenty of tools out there that can help you grow your blog or website. From keyword research to content ideas. BuzzSumo is one of those tools. BuzzSumo allows you to analyze what content performs best based on the topic or competitor.
BuzzSumo’s data goes even further by breaking it all down for you by Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest shares. You can customize the results further by the type of content (e.g. interviews, videos, infographics, articles, and guest posts). You can also identify the country, language and filter it by timeframe (such as 24 hours or up to one year).
3. Ask Your Sales and Support Team Members
Your marketing department is there to support your sales staff. According to Brittany Berger from SocialMediaToday, that means your content should be designed to stand in as a virtual sales representative. It should answer customer questions, entice them to try products or services, and educate them all at the same time.
So, ask your sales and support team members what customers are struggling with the most or what people don’t understand and often ask for clarification.
We’ve asked our team members for topic ideas that include the most common questions they get in sales, and have had fantastic results flow in content ideas!
4. Ask Your Readers
If you have a good following already, ask your readers what they would like to see next. Ask them what their favorite posts are or just look at your stats and see which posts have the most shares online, receive comments, etc.
What About Content Ideas for Boring Topics or Industries?
Yes, there are some industries or topics out there that make the world groan.
While they can be rather dull to think about, they do not necessarily have to be boring to read.
ProBlogger featured a guest post that dove into the task of finding topics for boring industries, and they shared some interesting insight.
First, they highly recommend Twitter. That is because social media is a mecca for finding content ideas.
Perform a tweet search on Twitter, searching by hashtags and keywords. While the results are not as refined as Google, they will provide you with some insight.
You could also use Twitter and other social media outlets to find out what’s trending.
Be cautious here, though.
You need to look for a hashtag that is trending that applies to your industry. Adding in hashtags or writing about trending topics that have nothing to do with your brand, industry, product, etc. is dangerous territory. The goal here is to be relevant and strike on hot topics that apply to your site.
Also, tap into the resources of other social media sites. See what’s trending on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and of course, Facebook.
Our full time copywriter, Ashley, wrote a guide on how to craft content for boring industries. Check it out!
Putting All Your Great Content Ideas Together
Once you have a plethora of starting points, take the time to perfect and create your content from it all.
To see if you have a viable idea, take it and write a few headlines. Your headlines are just brainstorming, so they don’t need to be perfect — you can fine-tune your headlines later for EMV value.
If you can come up with several headline ideas, you may be able to incorporate all of them into separate articles — meaning one idea became multiple ideas in a flash!