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 time to post to each.
One of the key elements in deciding what to post about is also knowing what is of interest to your readers and what they will find helpful and interesting. 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!
Never Ending Reading and Researching
I am constantly reading and researching by subscribing to Blogs and select ezines that offer value and very focused content. I'm very discriminating and it is not uncommon for me to unsub after a week or so. If I'm not learning or gaining 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.
Outdated Posts to Draft
If I find I have an outdated post or a post that is no longer relevant, I don't delete it -- I put that post into draft status for when I have time to investigate how I can update it to make it current. This keeps that link in place that may be linked to indexed elsewhere.
With this approach you really want to update the post as soon as possible after putting it in draft. Otherwise you'll want to do a 301 redirect so site visitors do not get 404s.
Track What You Get Asked About
The best thing you can do is track the questions you get asked by your customers. If people are asking me 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 when 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 server no purpose other than to disappoint and 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 waiting to be created when I have time to do so properly.
If I am having writer's block or am pressed for time I can go to a draft that already gives me a running start. Saves time and let's me hit the ground running with relevant content I know visitors/readers will be interested in.
By getting in the habit of creating drafts when you have an idea for a post, before you know it you'll have a bunch of drafts to choose from all based on real world conversations. A draft library of topics you know those who visit your Blog want you to write about!
At your service,