Pssst! Want the secrets to an UNLIMITED supply of juicy content ideas for your biz?
If you've been struggling to come up with new content ideas, then you are not alone my friend.
Let's face it, if you're supposed to create fresh new content on a regular basis then at some point you're bound to get a bit stuck for inspiration. I mean, eventually you'll have covered all the topics there are in your niche and then what are you supposed to do??
Fear not because I'm here to help you fill your content calendar with sparkly new ideas to last you well into the future - and when they run out? Well you can just use these tips again and fill that baby right back up. Woop!
1) Try These Tools
There are tools for EVERYTHING these days and frankly, I LOVE it! You should see the number of chrome extensions on my laptop....
When it comes to content inspiration I have 3 go-to's that never let me down:
Answer the Public
Aside from having a bit of a love-hate relationship with the dude on the home page (if you don't know what I'm talking about - you HAVE to go check it out), Answer the Public is a fab site for brainstorming a particular topic and finding out what people are actually asking and searching for regarding your niche.
Just pick a topic, type it into the search bar and go...
You'll get a long list of questions which you can export to a .csv file and then do with as you wish.
Let's look at an example. This month, I'm covering Content Marketing...
Once you've hit 'Get Questions' you can either look at the pretty visualisations OR you can download the data (I prefer the latter).
This particular search revealed 82 questions! That's 82 potential content ideas right there with just the click of a button...
Pretty cool hey?
Have you joined my Facebook group?
Google Keyword Planner
I couldn't write a post about content ideas and not include this little beaut. Google Keyword Planner is an absolute must when it comes to researching your content topics.
After all - Google is where most people go to find the answers to their questions so if you want to know what to write about, you may as well go straight to the horse's mouth.
As with Answer the Public, you just pop your topic into the search box and await your results...
Let's take a look at my example of 'Content Marketing again.
One of the advantages of this tool is that Google provide search volumes. You know that if a particular topic or term is getting lots of searches, then it's a good one to choose!
Of course, not all the results may be relevant to you but you'll soon develop the skill of weeding the best ones out or even refining your original search term to optimise your results.
Buzzsumo is an incredible tool - but also unfortunately, a paid one. And a pretty pricey one at that if you're just starting out!
However, I'm including it here because they do let you have juuuust a little free taster each day...
Unlike the first two tools I've mentioned, Buzzsumo focuses on social shares rather than search. Using my same example, here are the results I got...
So now I can see the types of posts relating to Content Marketing which are getting most social engagement. Woop!
The downside of not paying is that you can only search content for the whole of the last 12 months. More specific searches only become available when you sign up. Boo!
The other downside is that you only get 5 free searches per day - so use them wisely...
2) Your Ideal Clients
The best people to tell you what content to create for your ideal clients - are your ideal clients!
Now my FAVE way to tap into my ideal clients' wants and needs is to actually jump on the phone with them. There's no better way to really get to know someone than by actually talking to them.
However, because I'm kind, I'm going to share three other great ways you can use your ideal clients to fill your content calendar with ideas.
After all - if you want to know what content your ideal clients want you to create, just ask them!
You could create a full-on survey asking your ideal clients to fill you in on all their current challenges and fave topics. My fave tools for this are Survey Monkey and TypeForm.
But it doesn't always need to be that complicated. Often, a simple poll or question posted on Facebook can work wonders too. Ask your ideal clients something like 'what are you currently struggling with when it comes to <your topic>?' and see what answers you get...
And hey - it doesn't matter how small your audience is - their opinion still counts, so none of this 'I only have 5 people in my group/on my page so it isn't worth it' nonsense!
This is my super-ninja tactic so make sure you're wearing your black catsuit and mask before you start...
Another great way to find out what questions your audience are asking is to go check out the popular forums relating to your topic.
This method has the particular benefit of letting you see exactly how your ideal clients describe their frustrations and challenges.
Why is this so useful?
Because you can then use those exact words in your content. What better way to connect with your peeps than to use their own words back to them?
Are there any questions that you get asked over and over again?
Start making a note of them! Your most frequently asked questions are a brilliant source of content for your biz so make sure you don't waste it...
If you're not getting many questions at the moment then you can always help things along by giving your audience more of an opportunity to ask you.
Here are a few ways to encourage questions:
'Umm, Colette - I don't have any ideas... that's why I'm reading this post!'
Yeah, yeah - but the thing is you DO. You just need to know where to look...
I've talked before about the importance of storytelling in your content. You see, people remember stories because they can connect with them on an emotional level.
And anyway, your audience is a nosey bunch (I mean, not just them - we all are!) and they want to know more about you; why you do what you do, times when you struggled or got things wrong and times when you succeeded and came out on top.
Not all your stories need to be dramatic tales of heroism though - in fact often the simplest stories work the best.
Here's an example of a blog post I wrote that was really a story all about how I started this business...(it's actually one of my favourite posts that I've written).
We're ALWAYS learning as business owners. As soon as you master one thing, you're chucked right into something else brand new.
So think; are there any key experiences or lessons that you've had in your own life recently that your audience might benefit from hearing?
Sharing your opinion can be a great way to build your brand and to attract your ideal clients - just make sure it's an opinion that they're likely to share!
Consider your niche and whether there are any polarising topics that seem to split people into different camps. Or think of a topic where your opinion might be different from the crowd and where you can offer a different way of looking at something.
Perhaps your audience are new Mums? You could talk about breast v bottle feeding.
Do you work in the online business world, like I do? You could share your opinion on why Pinterest is the best/worst way to get traffic...
Get the idea?