I get asked all the time how I come up with ideas for posts. Especially considering I have several Blogs that I have to make the time to post to each. Add to that the fact that my Blogs are decades old.
Do you run out of ideas? How do you come up with something new and fresh? How do you keep enthused about such a pragmatic and detailed process?
I never said it's easy. That said, it may be easier for me because I've been doing this for so long. Between naturally knowing how to optimize articles without thinking about it to having a system that tracks future potential content ideas.
One of the key elements in deciding what to post about is knowing what is of interest to visitors to your website. What they will find helpful and interesting. What they need to know.
This is where your experience, information tracking and research comes in. Make it your mission to know, really know, your target market. Keep track of the questions they ask.
An excellent site to check out is AnswerThePublic.com where you can brainstorm like crazy. All you do is type in a keyword or phrase and…
The auto suggest results provided by Google & Bing are a goldmine of insight for today's marketeers. As you type you are presented with an aggregated view of the questions & therefore a hint of the motivations & emotions of the people behind each search query. It's perhaps one of the best but most underutilised sources of research for content ideas.
AnswerThePeople aggregates those auto-suggests in to charts and graphics that you can download for future reference. Nifty, right?
Never Ending Reading and Researching
I am constantly reading and researching. I subscribe to Blogs and select newsletters that offer value and very focused content. Content that is of interest to me and that I know can help my clients.
I'm very discriminating. Subsequently it is not uncommon for me to unsub after a week or so. If I do not learn something new or gain in knowledge, I don't want that clutter in my inbox.
This helps me to keep up on the latest conversations and to look at ways to put my unique spin on the topics of the day. Know that your site visitors are doing the same.
Outdated Posts to Draft
When I find I have an outdated post or a post that is no longer relevant, I do not delete it. I put it temporarily into draft status and investigate how I can update it to make it current. This keeps that link available that may have an inbound link.
With this approach you want to update the post as soon as possible after putting it in draft. Otherwise a 301 redirect to more current content should be put in place so site visitors do not get 404s.
Track What You Are Asked About
The best thing you can do is track the questions you get asked by your customers. If hear the same questions, chances are others will want to know the answers or my thoughts on those topics too.
Once I am asked a question twice, I make note. The third time it becomes a draft for a future post or added to my FAQ. This way, that information is readily available to site visitors. Or if I am asked again, I can also provide a link for the answers and details the questioner is seeking.
Take The Necessary Time
Good writing takes time; great writing even more. This is a fact that cannot be ignored or avoided.
I run into shallow, keywordy, SEO'd to death posts every single day. They serve no purpose other than to disappoint, reflect a lack of depth on the topic and the ulterior motives (affiliate links, ad clicks) of the site in question.
I have a great memory and avoid clicking through to that site in the future. Fool me once…
When I have an epiphany that I know is great fodder for a new post or article, right then and there I stop what I am doing and I login to WordPress. I quickly create a new post with a basic title, and type in the post box what my idea for that post is.
I then save it as a draft. Done. A new post is now is in que when I have time to do so properly.
What if you are not at your computer or able to login to your WordPress because of location or device? Then send yourself an email from your current device noting your thoughts. Or login to your calendar app and add those thoughts to your calendar noting the topic and your ideas for a future post.
If I am having writer's block or am pressed for time I can then go to one of those drafts that gives me a running start. Saves time and let's me easily lean into a new post with relevant content I know visitors/readers will be interested in.
Get in the habit of creating drafts or making notations on your calendar app when you have an idea for a post. Before you know it you'll have a bunch of drafts and ideas to choose from. All based on real world conversations.
At your service,