We get excited by this whole blogging thing. We start posting interesting content frequently on our blogs. We keep on posting, and after a while we eventually run out of interesting content to post. None, zero, blank, nada, void!
This is a problem that we all have to face at some point when consistently producing content for either our blogs or any other channel that we use to market our businesses.
Finding relevant, interesting and informative content ideas isn’t always easy as it seems to be. You could just take the approach of updating your blog just for the sake of consistency, but that won’t really make any difference in your business. The key to any successful content marketing program is addressing real issues that your prospects are facing in a non-boring, interesting and unique way!
For me personally, I have a document that has probably more than a hundred post ideas. Whenever I want to write a new blog post, I grab the list and choose an idea that I know my audience is going to like. In order to help you do the same for your business, here is how I never run out of interesting content:
1- Use What You Have:
This is the most powerful technique ever. Whenever I want to deepen my understanding of my audience and get post ideas along the way, I just email my list asking them to submit their questions so I could address them each in a separate blog post.
You’re building your email list, RIGHT? If you’re not, then you’re missing on one of the most powerful marketing channels of all time!
If you don’t have an email list yet, then there are other ways to get questions from your audience. You can ask people on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ about the concerns/problems they’re facing. I see many business owners do this especially on Twitter. To make this more appealing, do it in a specific day once every week. Another thing you can do is to offer some consulting for free. During that consulting session, let the other person ask you as many questions as they wish. This will help them get their questions answered and help you get tons of questions that you can answer in your blog posts.
Once you have your questions, try to answer each one of them in a separate blog post, so when people search on Google and find your article, they’ll be amazed of the amount of detailed information in your post. Also, long tail keywords (usually the exact phrasing your audience use to ask you) are easier to rank for and they’re also more targeted and covert better. Here is an example:
As you can see, this post is consistently bringing me lots of search engine traffic from a variety of related keywords like (companies that do social media well, companies that use social media, companies using social media, businesses that use social media, companies known for using social media…etc).
Here are some of the posts I got from my subscribers:
As you can see here, I’ve put the exact question as the title of the blog post. When I write blog posts I think of 2 things: social media and search engines. Keeping this combination in mind will help you write the exact titles people will search for on search engines in addition to mixing it with attention grabbing headlines that work well on social media.
2- Check Other Websites FAQs
This is a very powerful technique, yet most business owners don’t make use of it.
FAQ pages on your competitor’s websites are goldmines for you, especially if you’re just starting out online. They’ve already done the research and compiled a list of questions their prospects are asking. All you have to do is to answer those questions in more details adding your own spin on them. When you’ll have a considerable following that you can get constant feedback from, then you can abandon this technique and focus on asking your audience about their biggest concerns.
One thing you should keep in mind is to be selective when picking questions from your competitor’s websites. Many website owners include generic question that your prospects aren’t necessarily asking. The deeper you understand your audience, the better you’ll be able to spot interesting questions and turn them into valuable resources.
3- Check What Your Competition Is Posting
Although competition analysis and monitoring could be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal, I don’t recommend that you stalk every move your competition makes. Your main focus should be on your own business, but it’s sometimes beneficial to look at what your competition is doing.
“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time”. –Henry Ford
Focusing on your business will bring in the most return on your investment. However, looking for inspiration and new ideas in other places is never wrong. I wrote a post a while back called (Reverse Engineering a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy). The focus of this post and this particular point is to never copy other people’s work, but to learn what they’re doing correctly and what you can do to outperform that and bring better experiences to your customers.
4- LinkedIn Groups
A while ago, LinkedIn answers was a very valuable source for me personally when looking for questions. However, when LinkedIn shut that service off, I switched to LinkedIn groups to get valuable insights about my prospects.
The only thing you need to do is to join 5-10 relevant groups so you can get the most targeted questions to your particular audience.
You can either look at what other people are posting on the group or you can post questions yourself asking what people are struggling with the most in your industry (in a form of polls). Whenever there is a new question or insight, don’t comment right away. Instead, go and write a detailed post about it and then come back to the LinkedIn group and give an answer with a link to your post.
5- Consume Content More Frequently
I don’t know about you, but most of my ideas come when I listen to podcasts, and most of the times the idea isn’t even related to what I’m listening to!
I guess this is how the brain functions. It pulls many unrelated data (at least we think it’s unrelated) and glues them together into an idea.
Disclaimer: I’m by no mean an expert in the subject of how the brain functions. We probably should ask Steven Pinker about this
The point is to consume interesting content frequently so you always keep up with your industry and in the same time come up with fresh and interesting ideas. The content you consume doesn’t always have to be related to your industry, sometimes the best ideas come from a content that is outside of your niche, so don’t put yourself in a tight corner by only consuming content that discusses your industry’s latest news and issues.
I hope you never run out of content again after you read this. If you have any other techniques you want to add, don’t hesitate to put them in the comment section below. Good luck
Image Credit: adihrespati