Are your fingernails drumming on the desk?
Are you peering out of your window, gazing at a beautiful sunny day wishing you were out there rather than stuck in your office?
Does the curser blink on a blank page, demanding words while you’ve got nothing?
We’ve all been there. Creating content is hard. But coming up with content ideas? That can be a killer.
Honestly, if there were some sort of equivalent to a rain dance for thinking up new content ideas, I’d do it.
But unfortunately, there isn’t. So here are a few tricks I use when ideas run dry.
1. Write Down Every Question a Customer or Client Has Ever Asked You
Go do it now.
Now answer them.
It doesn’t matter how you answer them. On your blog, infograph, vlogging from your bubble bath. Just answer them.
And there you have it, lots of lovely new content marketing ideas. Ones that users will search for and find informative and helpful.
Well done you! *applause*
2. Grab Your Employees (not literally, HR doesn’t like that)Content Sharing Office
Grab your friends, family; bribe your co-workers if that’s helpful. Shove them all in a room and get ’em talking.
This is a great way of generating brilliant (and some not-so-brilliant) content marketing ideas!
3. Keep a Pen and Paper Handy
Did you know J.K. thought of her amazing, beyond amazing idea about a boy wizard on the train when she didn’t have a pen and paper? Avoid that mistake. Ideas hit us at the most inconvenient of times. So, make sure you have something with you in order to jot them down.
4. Jump on the Trend Horse
Was there just a horsemeat scandal involving major supermarkets? Are you a local butcher? Holy Cow! Or Holy Horse!
Jumping on the latest ‘trend’ or piece of news is a great way to create content that people will love to read. So if you’re an expert in a field that’s currently a ‘hot topic’ make sure you are talking about it!
5. Join Forums and Groups About Your Niche
Hang out with like-minded people, join discussions, ask questions, talk to other humans and you’re bound to come away with some juicy content ideas.
6. Be a Buff on Buffer
I love Buffer. I don’t know how I survived without it! Not only does it help you plan and schedule social media posts but it also gives you great content ideas through its handy ‘suggestions’ tab. You can also set up your own feed from websites of your choosing, giving you up-to-date info you can reference.
7. Go for a Walk Walking in Bad Weather
There is a world out there! With trees and grass and birds tweeting. So leave your four walls and venture far and wide (or to the shop on the corner at least).
It’s amazing what pops into your mind when you step away from your business. Often, we can become so involved in what we’re doing, we fail to see the bigger picture. Getting away from your business is just as important as showing up, and walking is a great way to get those creative juices flowing…
Just remember to take paper and a pen.
And if you live up north – a brolly.
Quora is essentially an addictive Q&A site that gives you an idea of what information people are after. So type in the product or service you offer and away you go! In a short space of time, you’ll have an indication of what topics people are interested in surrounding your business.
Warning – you do get sucked into finding out about stuff completely unrelated to your business. *Cough* Favourite Harry Potter characters *Cough*
9. Get People to Know the Real YouPicca Boo kid
Yes, you. The one hiding behind their logo.
Get out and start showing people the face behind your business!
Answering questions, being helpful and informative are all great but why not let people get to know the real you?
Talk about why and how you started your business – for example, your rise from a one-man-band to a warehouse of sixteen members of staff who work together like one big family.
Talk about your passions, your hobbies, your kids, your pet parrot – just get people to know you – the person behind the brand.
10. Hubspot Generator
Just type in three keywords from topics of your choosing and ta dah! Fancy blog post title. Thanks Hubspot!
11. Ask People… Woman thinking keyboard
What?! As in real life humans that walk and talk and everything? Yes! Ask them!
Customers and clients often have questions, worries; little niggles in their brain that perhaps they don’t feel comfortable asking you straight up. So why not ask them if they have any questions? Email them. Set up a Twitter networking event. Post a question on Facebook.
Not only will this method give you some great ideas but it also builds authority and trust with your audience. In short, you’ll look super-duper.
Apologies for the generic “woman thinking ‘hmmm’ at a keyboard produced circa 1995” image. It’s all I had.
I get super excited when I’ve finished a blog post. Trouble is, I’m always tempted to post it right away, and probably around fourteen minutes since the last post went out.
Create a schedule and stick to it. That way you give yourself more time and structure to create your next post.
13. You Don’t Have to be Unique but Try to be Better
Try not to spend time coming up with brand-new, completely original content. It’s the internet. Your idea has probably been thought up before.
But what you can do is make your content better, more informed, funnier, more opinionated etc. And that’s how you can differentiate yourself.