19 Ways to come up with ideas for great content
Are you stuck or struggling to come up with ideas for new content for your business? We’ve shared 19 ways we generate ideas for new content for our blog & for our customers.
1: Answer the public
If you know the topic you want to write about this is a great place to find out what people are asking about your topic. Go to answer the public & enter your topic area.
For your search keep it really top level, one or two words. You can also change the language & country settings to match your target audience.
Results are showing visually but you can also download as a spreadsheet.
2: What are people talking about
Look to see what your customers are saying about you on social media. What types of content are they engaging with? What posts are they commenting on & what are they messaging you about?
All of these can be a great place to get content ideas. Answer a question you are getting asked a lot or write about the content topic people are engaging with the most
3: Ask your audience
Your audience is a great place to source ideas for new content. All you need to do is ask them!
For example, post a question on your Instagram stories asking your audience ‘what content would you love to see on our blog?’. Or post a poll asking your audience would they rather read about topic a or topic b.
4: Competitor websites
This isn’t about stealing or plagiarising what your competitor has done (you wouldn’t like it if they did it to you).
Look at the topics & titles they’ve used on their blog to see if you can get any ideas for yours. Don’t just look at their blog look at their other content too, FAQs can be a great source of ideas for blogs.
5: Google search suggestions
Got a general topic in mind, start searching it on Google & see what appears in the search suggestions.
You can also look at the related searches at the bottom of the page.
6: Recent events
Are events happening that are relevant to your audience? This doesn’t have to be a traditional event for example a conference, it could be a change in legislation, television programme (think Blue planet) or something that is happening in the world.
Create content based on what your audience needs to know & how what is happening will impact on them.
7: Topic generators
Topic generators are really useful when you’ve hit a brick wall.
Try HubSpot’s Topic Generator just enter your topic and the generator will suggest blog titles for you.
Or if you’re not sure of your topic you can use Build Your Own Blog’s generator which gives you completely random suggestions.
8: Sign up for newsletters
Have an email address you use to sign up to industry newsletters (this stops them getting lost in your regular email). When you need ideas for content you can look through this email account for inspiration. Look for trends, topics & events to help create content.
9: Data & analytics
Is there new data, reports or stats out there about your industry? Use these as a starting point for a piece of content & write about it.
Just remember to add your own perspective. Do you agree with the findings? Have you got the prefect solution? Or is it something your clients need to be aware of.
10: Update old content
Your old content can be a gold mine for new content ideas. Look at your analytics & see what people are viewing on your website. Think about if there is a new angle you can take on the topic. Or if some of the information is now out of date refresh & update the blog.
If you know who you are targeting you can find forums that they are part of. Look for trending topics or posts people are commenting on a lot.
12: Industry publications
It’s great to keep up with what is happening in your industry for personal development but it is also a great source of content.
Look at trends & developments in your industry & work out what your customers need to know.
A great example of this is when everything was happening around making tax digital. We don’t know about you, but tax & accounting aren’t really our thing. Accountants simplified the information for small businesses & created content based on this, they gave their audience what they needed to know.
13: Social media hashtags
Look at what people are talking about on social media hashtags in your business area. Start by searching on the channels your target audience uses.
Twitter & Instagram are the best for hashtag searches, but more people are now using them on LinkedIn which can be a great source of B2B content inspiration.
SlideShare is a platform where people share their presentation. There are presentations for most industries & you can view by popularity.
Look at presentation in your industry & create content from your own perspective.
15: Conference agendas
Conference agendas are created to be of interest to their target audience. If you know the conferences your target audience is interested in attending check out the agenda to see what is on.
This should give you lots of ideas of what people are interested in finding out more about.
If you have the topic you want to write about Buzzsumo can be a useful tool to help you come up with ideas & see what is getting engagement.
You search your topic area & see what content has been created. What we love about Buzzsumo is it also gives you social media share stats so you can see what is getting engagement.
The downside is the free version is limited in the number of searches.
17: Behind the scenes
For your audience to feel connected to your business they need to know who you are. Behind the scenes content is all about letting your audience in.
It can be sneak peaks of new products or services. Sharing tips about what you’ve learned on your business journey. Or if someone from your team has done something epic tell people about it.
This is your opportunity to show the human side of your business.
18: National days
Ok so it does feel a bit like there is a national day for most things. I mean there is a national awkward moments day! But these can be a fun way to create new content or to share content with a little bit of a twist on it.
Just be careful how you use these as you don’t want to be seen as jumping on the bandwagon. If you’re not sure if the content is right don’t post it, go with your gut on this one.
Awareness Days lists all of the national days in the UK and US.
19: Industry myths
Pretty much every industry has a good couple of myths circulating & you’re going to bust them.
Create content that proves the myth is real, completely debunks it or puts a different spin on it.
How to cope with complete writer’s block
If you have hit a complete roadblock & just can’t find a way to get going it’s time to step away from your computer (seriously before you throw it out the window).
Go out for a walk, do a mediation (we love headspace) or come back to it another day.
Get help with content ideas for your business
We’ll create you a strategic content plan with 6 months more of content ideas. We focus on helping you create the right content for your audience & business. Find out more about our Strategic Content Plans.