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5 Places for Content Inspiration

A blog is a great way to share your thought leadership and provide fresh content for online marketing. But writing blog posts can be a chore! If you are looking for some content ideas, this post is for you.

Get Content Ideas from Blog and Social Media Comments

When I am running short on ideas, I take a deep dive into my recent content posted at this blog and on social media. I look for likes, shares, and comments as a hint that the topic was of interest to my target audience. Comments are gold – they are rare, but they almost always tell me what’s top of mind and important to readers.

Ask Google

I’m a long-term fan of Google Alerts. I set up alerts for keywords and let Google email the latest relevant content. Couldn’t be easier.

When I know what basic topic I want to cover, I start with a Google search. The best intel comes before I hit enter.

Google will offer suggestions on what to search for as I type. These are based on actual searches people have completed recently. Not only do I get links to places where I can research, I get topics that are currently of interest to real people.

Google also offers common questions related to the topic and related searches. Lots of options from one search!

Learn and Share

I get a lot of content ideas from professional development events. Some ideas come just by scanning the topics being offered.

Once a week, I try to participate in a webinar. This gives me a deeper dive into a topic that can turn into great content.

Conferences are a larger investment of time and money, but can be very inspirational. I am always sure to keep the program from a conference. The topics give me ideas for posts and also ideas for people I can tap as guest bloggers.

5 Quick Topic Ideas for Business Bloggers

  1. Tap into the news of the day. What is in the news today related to your industry or topic. Use a Google search to see the latest headlines. Write about your take.
  2. Get inspired by questions. What was the last question you were asked by a client, prospect or peer? Chances are more people have the same question. Answer it in a post.
  3. Revisit the basics. Cover your products and services. Don’t assume your readers know or remember.
  4. Invite a guest blogger. Ask someone who is influential in your industry to share their take on a current topic.
  5. Share a client success story. Tell a story about how you have served a client and the benefits to both organizations.

Bonus tip: Look at this calendar of remembrances and holidays for more great content ideas!

Getting Attention for Your Content

Everyone is in the content marketing game. We are all vying for attention. Getting attention for your content requires that you have an intentional content strategy.

There are 5 steps to developing content that gets attention: planning, audience targeting, creation, distribution, and optimizing.

Plan Your Content Strategy

You are busy, but you need to be strategic to get the most from the time you devote to content. The best way to guarantee that is to take time up front to plan. Focus on your content strategy, write down what you will do, and you will have a road map that will keep you on course.

Be sure to document:

  • Goals
  • Topics
  • Sources
  • Creators
  • How often
  • Where
  • Marketing plans
  • Meaningful measurements

Understand Your Target Audience

Take time to deeply understand your audience. Where are they online? What are they interested in? What do they react to both positively and negatively? How do they feel about your topic and brand?

The more you understand your audience, the better you can be at creating content that will grab attention.

Understanding your audience is a continual process. Be sure to keep track of how their interests evolve over time.

Develop Great Content

This is the step where many content marketers begin, but the first two steps should provide you with insight into the content that makes the most sense for your audience. Be sure all of your content is well-developed with great writing and clear imagery.

Be sure to provide a mix of many forms of content:

  • Blog posts
  • Visuals
  • Audio
  • Micro content (tweets)
  • Video
  • Guest content
  • Text
  • Infographics
  • Quotes
  • Facts
  • Etc.

Post, Share, and Share Again

Post your content and then share it on all relevant channels. Track what you have posted and post it again in various forms on various channels.

You want to increase the odds that your very busy target audience sees your content at least once. Several times is better.

Measure Impact and Make Adjustments

Some elements of your plan will hit the target, some will exceed expectations and some will fall flat. That’s fine, as long as you pay attention and use that intel to make your content even better.

Be sure to take periodic assessments. This should be easy if you have defined your measures in your plan. Stop doing the things that don’t get traction and adjust to the insights that have the potential to increase the engagement with your content.

 

 

Need a Little Inspiration?

Generating a consistent stream of interesting and insightful content online can be a grind. I’ve been feeling a little tapped out lately. The monotony of COVID restrictions, waiting for spring to arrive for good, and other factors are contributing to a sense of stagnation.

I went looking for a little inspiration to reignite my work in Q2. Here are some great places I found.

Be a Blog Reader

Subscribe to a variety of blogs related to your field and your target audience. Look to them for ideas that you can use for your next post. Sometimes you will find the same topic covered in different ways, giving you some good depth to draw from.

Be sure to look at the comments as well as the posts. There are often great gems in the comments that let you know what’s top of mind for your target audience.

Follow Aggregators

News aggregators pull blog feeds and newsletters together to provide a rich source of ideas around a specific topic. Just reading through the headlines can give you inspiration. Reading the posts can help with research around a specific topic.

Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are really taking off. You can find them on every topic, even ones you never knew existed! Give some a listen. Sometimes just looking at titles and descriptions is enough to spark some new ideas.

Learn from Questions and Answers on Quora

The Q&A website Quora is a forum for just about everything. The questions and answers there will give you ideas.

Put that Email to Work

We mostly talk about the overload of email, but looking at all those messages as a place to mine for ideas makes the deluge seem a little more palatable. Subscribe to interesting newsletters. Click-through at least a few items every day.

Content Ideas Offline

There are plenty of offline ways to get some fresh ideas, too. A friend finds them walking in nature. Another gets energized with a little retail therapy. There’s inspiration all around if you open yourself up to the opportunities.

Go, and be inspired!