The “secret” to enjoying online success has always been producing great content. But finding ideas for posts then leads to the resource-intensive process of creating, publishing, and promoting that content.
This can become a draining cycle. What if finding ideas to write about is the problem? How on earth are you supposed to keep churning out great ideas?
Here are 10 easy-breezy content inspirations that will help get your writing going:
News, trends, & industry reports
This is one of the easiest ways to find content sources. The trick is to add your own opinion, interpretation, and research on how the content impacts your industry or niche.
For example, a few months back, I came across many articles and blog posts written by professional marketers complaining about how Facebook’s new algorithm has dramatically reduced the organic reach of their posts. I realized that many people were and still are affected by the changes and are interested in reading about the issue. Therefore, I did some research on the case and provided my honest, informed opinion on the issue.
What information does your audience need? Since you probably have studied your audience or intended markets extensively, whether through market research or Google analytics, you can easily pull the answers to this question from the back of your head.
After all, it is what the audience wants to hear, not what you have assumed for them, that matters the most. Most brands lose the interests of their customers by making the product take the center stage of every marketing piece, when in reality, the customers want to be the center of their own universe and your content.
Frequently asked questions & problems
What are the top questions of your audience? What are the top problems?
One way to determine the questions that your audience members ask frequently is to monitor their activities on social media. Then you can easily build posts based off of the questions raised by your audience.
Tips and how to lists:
People love to read content in easily consumable and sharable bits and bytes.
Tips are easy to digest and to act upon. They come in handy when you have a lot of information to offer, yet don’t want to lose your audience’s potentially short attention span with a lengthy report.
Your lesson learned
What have you learned on your job or in your life? How can you help your audience to avoid the mistakes that you made?
Share your honest experiences or stories, which can help you to build a rather personal connection with your audience. Scientifically speaking, research has shown that the human brain makes a similar distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life. In each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated. Basically, stories stimulate the brain and even change how people act in reality.
Write your brand’s stories
Telling your audience members stories about your brand invites them into your community in a more intimate way. They become insiders of your brand. Then, when you start to succeed, they feel as though they were part of your success. Your content doesn’t come across as self-promotion to the extent that it would if your audience did not know you and how you achieved your success.
Stories about how you created the brand and the challenges and excitement you had along the way will do the trick.
Spice up your blog with a video or a video blog once in a while. Videos can be very refreshing for your audience to see as well as interesting for you to create. You don’t necessarily need to have crazy video editing skills or expensive equipment. Start with your iPhone or a webcam and a simple editing application. Expensive videos with well-scripted words and professional grade editing won’t necessarily get you the engagement you want. Focus on being real and connecting with your audience.
What inspires you or your clients? Who inspires you the most?
Inspiration can start with a quote, a personal belief, or a story you have learned. It can also begin with a person who inspired, educated, and or otherwise influenced you. This could be a famous person, a leader, or someone you know personally.
Invite other people from your organization to guest blog, or invite industry experts you know and trust to offer their opinions on topics that would interest your audience members. Quality guest blogging offers your audience a different writing style and perspective while giving your guest blogger extra exposure. It’s a win-win situation in most cases.
In terms of content creation, looking into old ideas is not creating a piece from scratch, but even less so is reusing the same exact content in another post. Repurposing content is a smart and effective way to get the most out of an existing topic by finding ways to make the content relevant to multiple audience groups. Your content has many facets. Each facet provides a new opportunity to tell your story.
No matter what, start writing …
Writer’s block happens to everyone at some point, regardless of whether you are a professional copywriter or someone who writes for fun. And it’s even more frustrating for marketers who are accustomed to the pressure of having to create content at a moment’s notice and whose jobs depend on their ability to create engaging material. However, you have far more to say to people than you realize. It’s just a matter of pulling it out of the deep recesses of your unconscious mind.
Louis L’amour has said, “Start writing, no matter what. The water doesn’t flow until the faucet is turned on.”