5 Simple Ways to Come Up with New Content Ideas
Whether you’re a blogger who’s struggling with writer’s block or a business owner who is trying to think of new content to add to your website, trying to come up with new ideas that are actually interesting can be quite a challenge. Although it’s easy to crank out fluff for your blog or website, this isn’t going to hold the attention of your visitors. And as Google has shown over the last year, they’re not interested in content just because it has relevant keywords in it.
If you’re trying to come up with some great ideas but feel like your brain is stuck in park, here are five tips for getting your creative juices to flow:
Turn Off Your Computer
When you’re sitting in front of your computer, you’re less than two seconds away from an unlimited supply of sites that are extremely fun and very distracting. Because it’s so easy to spend time not focusing on work, sometimes coming up with new ideas is as simple as disconnecting.
The next time you get stuck, turn off your computer, grab a paper notepad and go sit somewhere. Whether it’s outside or a different room in your house, the key is to just sit without being overstimulated by so many distractions. You may be surprised to discover that as soon as your brain has a moment to relax and focus, the ideas you’ve been trying to find will start flowing.
Take a Shower
While this sounds a little strange, it can definitely work well. If turning off your computer and sitting with a notepad doesn’t work, you may need to free up your mind a little more. By simply thinking while taking a long shower, you can eliminate the need to worry about writing ideas down and just allow your thoughts to flow.
Connect Two Concepts from Different Fields
One reason some people have trouble coming up with content ideas is because they feel like they’re simply repeating what others within their field have already said. However, what these people fail to take into account is not everyone in their field has the same interests as them.
As a result, you can use your unique interests and hobbies to bring in fresh concepts and connect them to your field.
Often there’s just no answer to “what didn’t I write about before?” “At least, not one that is a good blog post actually. So rather than seeking new topics, look for new angles or approaches.
High volume, famous blogs do this all the time. Social Media Examiner, for example, publishes a few new articles per day. Obviously, there will be some overlap on the subject. They can not tell contributors “no” to everything about which they have already spoken. So, you see different posts on the same subject as the basics of Periscope and the use of Periscope.
Use Evil Twin
You can of course look at the opposite angle, instead of looking at a similar angle. If you wrote in your last post about success, talk about failure in this next one. It’s pretty simple, but it’s quite a genius.
In Orbit Media thanks to Andy Crestodina for this one:
“If you wrote a very good article about ‘best practices,’ try to write it from another angle: ‘top mistakes.’ I call this kind of article the evil twin. Since work has already been done, evil twins are easy to make. Only use different examples to write it from negative perspective.
Read through blog comments
If you’re a blogger, use the comments visitors leave as inspiration for new content. And if you have a website for your business, look through the emails you’ve received from visitors to find patterns of what you have been asked about on a regular basis.
Your followers may have expressed their views in the past is your blog’s comments. Or the comments of the other blogs they’ve read. Go and look at their questions, thoughts, and suggestions, and see what new material springs.
Ask Your Visitors
The simplest method, of course, is to go straight to the source or maybe the next best thing. It just means asking your target readers what they want.
Asking “What do you want me to write about?” creates a lot of pressure on you. Therefore, you need to be a bit sneakier than that. Instead, you should be asking questions that tell you what they are interested in.
Here are a few ways to go about that.
➡ Ask customers what they need help with
➡ Ask your support team (if any) what trips up customers
➡ Ask what readers’ favourite posts are
➡ Ask google what people are working on
➡ Ask industry leaders for their best tips
➡ Interview experts
➡ Hold a group brainstorming session
➡ Ask peers a question
➡ Think about what you’ve learned
➡ Ask yourself what went wrong with you in past
Update Existing Content
You already have content on your blog or website. While it may not be out of date, that doesn’t mean you can’t revisit previous ideas. By simply reading through what you’ve written in the past, you will likely discover topics that you want to approach from a different perspective in a new post or article.
People claim they shouldn’t dwell on the past, but they underestimate how much insight it can give you into the future. Historical output can be one of the best predictors of future success, which for our blogs is obviously what we all want.
Looking at various qualities and metrics in blog posts you have already published can help guide your content strategy and help you come up with new ideas for blog postings.
This is clear to any content marketer or data-driven marketer in general. Look at the analytics, find out what works, and do more. As far as content is concerned, that means looking at popular blog posts of past and coming up with similar ideas.
For example, our digital marketing checklist post has (converting) page views coming from your ears. So as soon as I finish writing this post, I ‘m starting to update it.
What other strategies do you use to come up with new content ideas? Please comment.