04 May How Do You Come up With Content Ideas?
Ways to Come up With New Content For Blogs and Social Media
A guest post from Jo Dodds of http://jododdssocialmedia.com/
Creating valuable and interesting posts consistently can be quite a challenge. Here are five creative ways to get content inspiration:
Read magazines, blogs and industry magazines. Often just the headline in a magazine or newspaper can inspire a few blog ideas.
If you participate on social networking, apart from being a great way to promote your blog, also pay attention to what others are saying. What information are they looking for? What problems do they have that you can solve or discuss on your blog? What questions do they have?
You can come up with some great content topics just by perusing social networking sites. For example, try http://search.twitter.com using your keywords and a ‘?’ to see what questions are being asked around your niche.
What questions do you commonly get asked by your prospects and customers? Answering them can make for great blog posts, which will be used time and again by your prospects and visitors to get information and find answers to the things that they want to know.
Ask your readers what they want to know. You can use free survey tools like http://www.surveymonkey.com to ask your email list what they want the answers to. Ask questions on your social media platforms to see what the hot topics are.
Keep up with your competitors’ blogs and other blogs in your niche
Read what other people are saying about your niche and get ideas for your own blogs. Publish posts that are opposed to the comments made on another blog. Controversial information and opinion can be attractive on your blog but you do need to balance that against how professional you want to appear!
Set up Google Alerts to send you links to content in your niche. Collate relevant RSS Feeds in Google Reader to easily gather content in your niche to keep you up to date with the most common questions and content online.
In all cases think in terms of these types of posts:
– How to posts
– Pros & Cons
– Facts pages
Planning Your Content
There are many approaches to organising and planning your blog content.
You can wing it and respond to topical news as it happens or as inspiration strikes.
Or you can plan ahead.
Planning ahead can save you a lot of headaches including helping you to get over ‘writers’ block’! Consider sitting down once a month and planning the month’s content. Call it a brainstorming session. Also consider carrying a notebook with you or some type of recording device to enable you to record ideas as they come to you. Ideas are all around you – maybe in something you’ve read or as a result of a conversation you’ve been involved with. If you have the means to capture the idea, you’ll save time and energy later.
Some people plan their blogging and then batch write their posts. So they sit down and write a number of blog posts in one go making the most of ‘being in the groove’. They then schedule the posts to go out gradually during the month.
Or you can plan a certain time of the week to write your blog, sticking to a schedule as closely as possible ensures that your content is updated regularly.
This should give you plenty of ideas for content and how to make creating it a simple process. Just remember that creating fresh content on a regular basis is really important for helping you to rank in the search engines, so you need to make it as easy as possible to get ideas and create the content to ensure that you take full advantage of that opportunity.
You can sign up for Jo’s free ecourse ‘Social Media Sites and How to Use Them Effectively In Your Business’ at http://www.jododds.