For content creators, coming up with new ideas for blogs can be a harrowing and scary proposition, and not just because it is Halloween. With only two months left to go in the calendar year, you have had ten months of constant brainstorming, writing and re-writing, and at this stage you may feel drained of inspiration and walking slowly into a graveyard of the mind. What else can you possibly write about? How do you come up with that killer content over and over again?
Even in an industry as dynamic as inbound marketing, the well can sometimes run dry as you feel you have covered pretty much everything you can, in as many ways as you can. Thankfully, there are ways to banish those fears and find new content ideas that will keep your output flowing.
Read the Signs
Look at what is in the news regarding your industry. Has HubSpot brought out a new report? How many different topics do they cover, and how many of those can you write about from a unique perspective? They are constantly bringing out new products and features, so perhaps you can write about those. What about industry events? Our team went to Inbound 2017 in Boston recently, and this one event meant we could write preview blogs detailing what we hoped to see there, as well as our post-summit takeaways.
HubSpot also run training courses regularly, so you could write about the benefits of these, or even look at what they are going to talk about and discuss your take on the subject. Other agencies also offer seminars all the time, and while you may not want to follow their lead, what they say can give you new perspectives on topics you need to revisit.
General news pieces can also be a valuable weapon to ward off the threat of lost inspiration. Could a recent news article on the growing use of AI and automation be turned into a thought-piece on how it applies to your industry, or how your business or agency is using it?
Maybe there has been investment in the digital sphere, with new jobs coming on line that will mean more potential customers for your business, or on the flip side, maybe there has been a downturn that presents new challenges for your industry. Either way, that’s something to write about.
Know what lies ahead
Look at what is in the calendar. Apart from industry events, which we mentioned above, look at actual dates in the calendar. This blog is an example in itself – Halloween is here, so here’s a blog on not being scared at Halloween (are we breaking the fourth wall here?) We did the same with this blog last year.
We also brought out a blog for Valentine’s Day, examining how your digital marketing strategy that tries to engage with leads and convert them into customers is akin to going on a date, while we all know Christmas is coming, and with it a whole heap of content gift ideas.
Find the source
All of your content ideas must stem from what your business or industry is about, so find the source of all that is happening by looking at the concept of pillar content and topic clusters, which is by now becoming the norm when you want to create great content that also ranks well in search. Today’s perception is that your SEO will increase by using this approach, but within this very idea lies a rich seam of possible topics to discuss.
Map out the key services your agency provides, and your main areas of expertise, and think of them as the source from which all other aspects of what you do branch out. Then brainstorm on the different ways you can talk about these branches, and you should get some new content ideas.
If one of your main services is social media messaging, promotion and monitoring, plan some content around each different social media platform, its uses, benefits, downsides, hidden secrets, tips, and so on. You can also consider writing on the changing perception of social media from a consumer point of view, how consumer behaviour has changed, what social media platforms have done to accommodate this, and what you think the future holds for each of those platforms.
For example, we have written about various social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook before, but have noticed there is now a buzz around Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps that are spin-offs of the big social media platforms, and so have started to write content on this.
Looking at what we do in our role as the agency for inbound agencies, we have also written about the ways to create a positive work culture, as well the best approach to take to bring in revenue pre-retainer, and how to map out the ‘pain mountain’ and draw up a perfect retainer model.
Already written about pretty much everything you do and every aspect of the platforms, tools and devices you use? Never fear – that leads us on to our next bit.
Repurpose what you have
Just as Dr Frankenstein pulled together the parts of old corpses and reanimated them, you can take your old content and repurpose it to create your very own (hopefully benign) marketing monster.
Get your metaphorical shovel out and start digging up the bones of blogs you thought were now deceased, and you might be surprised by what you find.
Those old blogs looking at the top marketing trends to look out for in 2015 can be revisited, with a commentary on what stayed popular, what turned out to be a flash in the pan, and the reasons behind this.
As inbound marketing approaches and strategies are constantly changing, you can look back at previous blog posts and update them to include news about upgrades, changes in outlook and approach, etc.
Take a look around
Knowing how to survive the horror often requires learning from others, even your competitors, so read what they are writing about and consider whether you can take a fresh angle on the topic. Also look to social media to see what peer groups are talking about, and frame your content ideas for the next while around these topics.
You can also see what is trending and of interest to your market by running a few of your keywords through Google Trends and other handy tools, which this blog by moz.com touches on in an overview of content creation.
There are many other ways to come up with fresh ideas for your content creation strategy, but the ones mentioned above should get you started, and arm you against the terrors writer’s block can bring.
By the way, you can get some more great tips on Content Creation and Lead Generation by downloading our Lead Generation Survival Kit: