Every blogger has the zeal to air those 'awesome ideas' across the atlantic – and the desire to be known as a niche authority. In the midst of the excitement, you manage to publish the first set of articles. Awesome! But then, you are stucked – What next do I write on?
It may seem like a beginning blogger's headache – But hey! no one is spared.
A blogger friend of mine told me recently: "Getting blog content ideas is that great monster you never envisage to meet in Romsdalen valley. But then, it comes staring you in the face."
How you deal with this question at the initial stage will ultimately put the final peg to weather or not you w'll continue on the journey or chicken out.
This post aims to help a lot of bloggers [ like my friend ] through that valley. In this post. We 'll get to see the advanced ways of coming up with fresh content ideas for your blog. So, how do you come up with new content Ideas ?
1. Study your marketDo you know the basic reason why getting a blog post idea may seem like the seventy seventh task of Hercules? Most times its because we never care to find out the need of our target audience. In other words, we fail to conduct a proper audience research
Now, that is the most fluxed position for any content writer to be caught in. Its difficult to come up with good contents for a target audience if you don't know what they need.
Market or audience research is a system of actionable and well defined steps of data gathering from a targeted market, audience or market environment.
Can you create the right content for a market that you barely know what they need? Now, I will bet it with a cup of coffee – You can not.
According to a market statistics by McKinsey, more than 80 percent of the top performers in any market said they periodically tested and validated customer preferences during the development process.
Researching your targeted audience for information gathering is not a question of choice. Its a matter of necessity – if you honestly care about coming up with needed contents.
The customer is not always right. but statistics indicate that it doesn't pay to tell him so.
Researching your market helps you meet your audience need by
- Identifying the need of your targeted audience and purpose your content to meet such needs
- Planning your content in line with your targeted audience
- Indices to predict the success risks of any content, based on past experience of competitors and appropriately suggest new content ideas
- Discovering your competitors golden balls
Its a golden rule:
Every content producer or content marketer is expected to purpose his contents to meet the needs or interests of his targeted audience
Now, I don't care if you have a different content idea. If it is not wanted! - please do me a favor: take the kiwi flight to the pacific and dump them right there. Its worthless.
Now how do you research a target market ?
Many on lines tools now help you simulate every phase of a market or audience research. Such tools provide you with quality data that can help you plan your contents and publish blog posts that meet your audience needs.
One of such is the Google's Marketer's almanac.
The Google marketers almanca has a giant database of consumer-market behavioral patterns. It helps you to predict the needs of your target audience and how such needs change with seasons and trending events.
The data that you get from Marketer's almanac should guide you in planning your content strategy and coming up with content ideas that resonate the needs of your target audience.
Below is a list of other web based tools that help you simulate survey and information gathering from their targeted audience.
Key-word research analysis
Going by the searcengineland's statistics. In 2016 alone – Google handled atleast 5.5 billion keyword search phrases a day. But how does it affect me round head? You ask, ok its simple. Every search phrase indicates a need that is waiting to be met.
Hence, targeting even one percent of such keywords and packaging your contents to meet them would give your business a Kristen Stewart's megawatt smile.
How do you conduct a keyword research?
a very easy way is by using the Google search engine itself. Have you noticed that each time you enter a search term on Google, a small field scrolls down with a list of suggestions? Now, those suggestions are what people mostly search for on Google – Their interests
For Example, lets say I run a blog in an SEO and content marketing niche. I can not decide to write a blog post on SEO. It is very generic. Such words are called short tailed keywords.
Writing on such keywords would definitely put my content in fierce competitions with a lot of highly established internet big brother blogs – including the wikipedia itself. Expectedly - ranking for such a generic term is a long shot.
What I would do is scroll down to the bottom of the result page, select any of the suggested options. Then I would re-enter the selected keywords into the search engines. Voila! you have your highly targeted keywords suggested to you by the search engine itself.
Long tail keywords have low competitions and high rate of conversion
Using Google search engines is the easiest way of doing keyword research. Nevertheless, it has a lot of limitations. Hence, most content marketers invest few bulks on more accurate and efficient tools. You may consider checking out any of the following keyword research tools.
2. Content curationGiven the copious quantities of contents on the internet – your target audience are already overwelmed with large volume of contents. Its a rat race. New contents come up every seconds.
Interestingly, no good marketer loves to admit that a competitors' content is superior to his. Now, what happens when it becomes a glaring fact ? Hijack it! Yea you heard me right! I didn't mean steal it.
The already existing contents are not your competition. They are your crutches for the next master piece in the market.A good number of great content writers resort to the best of internet contents by collating and repurposing such contents – This is called content curation. This infographics from curata details what a curated content looks like and the basic steps in curating contents.
The good guys at Curata conducted a survey of more than 400 marketers. They discovered that the vast majority utilize content curation as a key component of their content marketing strategy.
Curating and analysing Infographics
You might have heard the cliche "A picture is worth more than a thousand words". Now, that is also true in the word of content marketing. Infographics help you present your long textual contents in simple, clean and easy to understand visuals – Fortunately, people love graphics.
According to research:
- Colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
- When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
- 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.
If Infographics happens to be hot cakes in the online marketing world, then you must be sure that infographics curation and analysis are Cinnamon rolls.
Going by vtnsolution's statictics: this single infographic created by semRUSH and webpagefx had at least up to 7,400 shares on social media in 2015.
The Detailed guide on Google – a guide on Google's mobile friendly algorithm update – Mobilegeddon was a social medial rave with at least 20,000 shares across social medial platforms.
Now, as a content writer. What if you could grab any of such infographics, break the contents into pieces and render detailed analysis ? You have just got yourself a viral content by simply developing an already great content – It costs you less of a stress, all you need to do is cite the original creator of the infographic.
What content curation is not?
Content curation is not content duplication or content piracy. This might get you on the bad record of Google search engine bot or worst still, get your blog de-indexed.
Don't ever be caught duplicating anybody's content – No, that is not content curation. So sorry.. but this is what it is: Thievery
3. Content repurposingAn awesome way of coming up with new contents is by revisiting your already published contents. Here is the logic: Every piece of your already published content is a content block – each of which can be rewritten and represented in its full scope – resulting in more content blocks.
A simple analogy!
For instance, the theme of this content is "advanced ways of generating content ideas" – that's a content block. It has five sub-headings. If I expand each sub-heading and present it in its entirety as a new piece of detailed content. The result is a new set of content blocks.
What content repurposing seeks to achieve is the ability to collate different pieces of content blocks and present them in different formats for different media targets.
Its a very fantastic way of coming up with new contents while at the same time limiting time and resources overheads.
This infographics from Launch solutionsclearly highlights the steps of content repurposing.
Content repurposing gives you a never drying pool of content ideas. Before you are done exhausting each block of your content, you are presented with a much larger scope of content to revisit and expand – And the cycle goes on like a "chain effect".
Aaron Agius' quote literally captures content repurposing in a very simple way: "
Take something you’ve created, put a new spin on it, and give it new life".
Content repurposing at work
Here is a collection of top on-line marketers that met real content marketing success simply by repurposing their existing contents.
Joe Pulizz's Epic content marketing book is a great compilation of about 25 of his blog posts at content marketing institute. The book has 25 chapters each. Each chapter is at least 2000 words in length.
Coming up with such a content definitely requres you to strictly put your time and resources into consideration.To Joe, repurposing and updating his already existing contents was the best resort.
Daren Rowse' series of blog posts "31 days to building a better blog received quite a lot of head turning complements. He repackaged the series and compiled them into a single E-book – Content repurposing
Brian Dean of Backlinko had a case study from a visitor in his comment section. He expanded on it, updated the content to an older post and promoted the updated content on social media and via outreachs. That single post witnessed a 111.37% increase in organic traffic. Is sn't that interesting enough? Besides
- Content repurposing gives you a never ending pool of contents. You are never short of content.
- It makes it pretty easy to link your contents. More inbound links means reduced bounce rate and increased increase search rankings.
- Repurposing your existing contents makes it very easy to lay out your blog contents in well defined, detailed and exhaustive scopes.
4. Event TrendsAnother efficient way of getting awesome content ideas is by creating contents for trendy events. In other words, by garnishing your niche contents with current trends – Think of such popular events like the World cup, the 2016 Olympics.
The American election etc. Most times - such events are indicators of wide audience interests.
Let's be realistic – Most niche blog visitors get directed by the search engines. It could be while:
- trying to fix an annoying computer bug
- looking for how to drive customers to a new start-up company
- searching Google for business strategies to increase revenue
- How to eat 20 pieces of candies a day without gaining weight
- How to make your wife smile etc.
Now, when he's done with those boring chit chats – he switches to the ESPN website to catch a glimpse of Messi's latest skits at Barcelona.
Now, that's a wide audience interest. If you can present your niche content in your audience' language – interests or hobby. You will succeed in keeping them coming back to your blog. Its nice shot!
Trendy events are indicators of wide audience interests – Hence, in content marketing - creating your niche contents to reflect a touch of such events is " the wisdom of the masses" - A good way to keep your visitors coming back.
"If you hate beasts – and your customers interests and the hottest market trend was a beast you had better hugged the beast"
From Google's statistics, the most popular search phrases were recorded for the sensational viral augmented reality game pokeMan Go, the American presidential election election came second.
The death of the genius singer – Prince Rogers Nelson was the third most frequently searched term. In effect, these search phrases were clear representation people's interests.
"Google Trends gives you a glimpse into the topics the world is searching for" - Google
What every good marketer present his niche contents with a touch of current trends. The world largest beverage company – Coca cola, Nissan and a brazilian bank spent a whooping $194 million packaging their contents for the 2016 olympics.
I caught the idea of writing this post: 5 Advanced SEO Techniques To Win The Search Engine Traffic Race while sipping a cup of coffee in my living room and watching Hussain Bolt take off like NASA'S Juno Mission spacecraft.
5. Play the snooperSpying on your competitors seems creepy right? But, in content marketing – you've got to be a real creep to fit in.
Spying your competitor enables you to define the strength of your targeted market, draw up unique strategies based on competitors' past experience, avoid unnecessary risks and in the end come up with a unique and full- proof content idea – This is called playing the snooper.
The distinction between your competition and your foe is no where a fine line. The competitor is your best market resource, a great asset to learn from and your crutch to be a better you. But your foe dwells withing you – That every bit of feelings that tend to make you complacent in the face of market forces.
Strike the right balance between respecting your rivals and focusing on how you can beat them, then you will have a right formula – Richard Branson
But then How do you go about learning from your competitor ?
Do you just walk in into your competitors office, ask for the business or marketing manager or the CEO: Hey! what's up with you guys, any new goals ? – What! The online RSS feeder feedly makes it really easy to do.
- Log on to the website and create an account.
- Select a set of categories / niches that best describe your business or your targeted audience.
- There on the left panel of the screen, you have the list of all the blogs you follow. Feedly helps you organize their contents in magazine format thus making it really easy to folloe your competitors' blog contents.
- When you click on any of your competitors' blogs on the left panel. The list of their most recent contents get displayed on the main screen.
- On the top left corner of the screen is a button that displays your competitors' contents for the day.
Coming up with fresh content ideas does not really need to be as difficult as it seems for blog content writers. The ideas we often seek are right next to us. But like every thing else in life – It takes a bit of conscious practice.
This blog post shows various ways of creating new content ideas. Interestingly – They all point to the fact that the basic purpose of coming up with blog content ideas in the first place is to look out for your audience' needs and come up with the needed solutions – This is the building block.
Do you have other means of generating blog content ideas that this post has not done justice to?
What other ways would you recommend for content marketers to meet the needs of their target markets ?
What are the challenges that you as a content marketer often face in a bid to dig out fresh content ideas ?
Share your views in the comment box.