A content idea is the basis of any content strategy. The ability to develop content ideas and concepts is a vital capability for any marketer or content strategist. However, it can be a difficult task to come up with content ideas for a blog. This is especially the case when you’re bombarded with promotional pitches from ad agencies every day.
It’s a vicious cycle: you promise yourself you’ll write about something useful, and you keep getting pitched different ideas for content. Before you know it, weeks have gone by and you haven’t written a word. That’s why I’ve decided to share with you a simple yet extremely effective technique that can help you generate content ideas for your blog, without being overwhelmed by pitch books from various agencies.
Step one: Create a brain dump
The first step in our technique is to create a brain dump. This is simply where you jot down all the various content ideas and concepts that come to mind while brainstorming. You don’t need to limit yourself to just one piece of paper–it can be a bit of a brainstorming session. Now is the time to throw out all the ideas and concepts that come to mind. There’s no need to dwell on anything. Simply write them down. You can also add any links, videos, or relevant documents to the page as you jot them down.
You can use a tool like Trello to create a to do list. Using Trello, you can establish different boards for the various steps in your plan–in this case, brainstorming, researching, and structuring. Set the date that you’ll begin working on the content and the time that you’ll need to complete it. Then, using the Trello boards, you can break down the process into small, actionable tasks that you can accomplish in smaller chunks. Finally, using a project management tool like Asana, you can connect all the different tasks in each board and follow the progress of your content idea through each stage of the planning process.
Step two: Sort the ideas
Once you’ve finished your brain dump, take a quick break. Then, when you’ve had time to calmly reflect, you can go back and review your ideas. This is where you begin to sort the good from the bad. The first step is to weed out the bad ideas. These are the ones that are either completely irrelevant to your content idea, or just too far-fetched to be feasible. For example, you have an idea for a video blog about graphic design. But the idea of creating a video blog about graphic design seems totally unrelated to what you’ve written about up until that point. In this case, the video blog idea would be a bad idea because it’s a complete departure from everything you’ve written about up until that point. On the other hand, if you’re considering an in-demand speaker for a company event, it might be a good idea to create a blog post about speaking engagements. In this case, the idea of creating a blog post about speaking engagements is much more relevant to what you’ve written about up until that point.
Step three: Distill the good
With the bad ideas out of the way, you can begin to concentrate on the good ideas. You can use your notes from the brainstorming session to create a shortlist of the most promising content ideas. From that point, you’ll need to distill the good into a single, succinct idea. This idea will be the foundation for your next step.
Step four: Research the topic
With a content idea in hand, you can begin to research the topic. It’s important to do your research correctly. For some content ideas, you might need to conduct some comprehensive background research. But for others, you might just need to do some quick Googling or search on Twitter. Regardless, this is where you begin to build a foundation for your content strategy. Once you know the topic, you’ll know what elements to include in your content to make it engaging and useful.
Step five: Write a brief summary
After you’ve done your research, you’ll need to write a brief summary. The goal of this section is to distill the complex content idea into a single, succinct paragraph. Sometimes, this can be a challenging task. Especially if you’re not one person by yourself, but work with a content strategist or editor. Once you have a short summary, you can include it in your next step. This will help bring the idea to life and make it more tangible.
Step six: Flesh it out
Finally, you’ll need to flesh out the content. This is where you develop it into something more comprehensive. Remember: this is only the beginning stages of your content strategy. Once you have a good idea of what you’re going to write about, you can begin to structure it–breaking it down into pieces that are both engaging and informative. You might need to do some additional research or find some outside sources to enrich your summary with more information. Once you have the basic structure of your content idea, you can begin to flesh out the content–making it more of a real thing that you can present to the world. This is where you develop content into something that’s useful and interesting. Remember: it’s a work in progress. This is not something that you can ever truly perfect.
Ways To Generate Blog Content
You’ve decided to start a blog. Congrats! Now, you need content to fill it up. There are many ways to generate blog content, but not all of them are suited for every situation. Hopefully, this post will help you figure out which is the best option for you.
The Most Popular Way To Generate Content
The most popular way to generate content is to simply surf the web and find articles that interest you. Sometimes, the most popular way isn’t the best way. Luckily, there are other options.
If you want to write an e-book or do some in-house product reviews, you’ll need to go the route of traditional publishing.
Choose An Influencer Or Blogger To Review Your Product
If you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in a product to help with your blogging initiatives, the first thing you’ll need to do is choose an influencer or blogger to review it. The person’s opinion will give you an insight into whether or not the product is worth the investment. If you’re new to influencer marketing, it’s a good idea to reach out to a PR agency for assistance. They will be able to introduce you to some of the top influencers in your niche and help you choose the right reviewers for your product.
Another great way to generate content is to guest post on other blogs. This is a fantastic way to get exposure for your blog and to potentially grow your audience. It’s important to remember that guest posting isn’t always an easy option. You’ll need to make sure that the blog you’re guest posting on is a suitable fit for your audience. Additionally, you’ll need to choose your posts carefully and make sure that each one is engaging and worth reading. If you’re looking to guest post, try reaching out to some of the top blogs in your niche and offering to write a guest post for them.
Get Featured In Online Magazines
There are dozens of top tier online magazines that readers and bloggers alike visit on a regular basis. If you want to get found by this audience, get featured in one of these magazines. You’ll need to have a blog that’s at least a year old to be considered for publication. Once you’re published, you’ll have the opportunity to gain new followers keen on your content.
Start A Q&A Blog
If you’ve decided to invest in a product to help with your blogging, you’ll want to invest in a quality one. In addition to reviewing the product, you’ll also be providing a base for other people to ask questions about the product. If you want to generate traffic, look into starting a Q&A blog.
A Q&A blog is similar to a traditional blog in that you’ll need to constantly be posting to keep up with the influx of questions. However, a Q&A blog doesn’t have to be completely free-form. You can structure your Q&As into topics that you’ve already covered in your blog. For example, suppose your blog is about fashion. You could start a Q&A blog with the title “Fashion Q&A.” In this case, you’d only need to post when someone asks a question about fashion. You can then direct them to a blog post that addresses their specific question. This saves you the effort of constantly searching for the next topic and ensures that you’re always providing value to your audience.
Sign Up For An Email List
A popular way to generate content is to sign up for an email list. You’ll get notifications when new subscribers join your list. If you want to get paid to blog, sign up for a free affiliate account with a company like CJ Affiliate. Once you’ve created an account, you can jump into your dashboard and start looking for products to promote. You can even set it up so that when someone subscribes to your email list, they also become a member of your affiliate network. When they make a purchase after being on your list, you’ll earn a small commission.
Create Videos To Post On Social Media
You’ve probably seen bloggers post videos of themselves reviewing products. These videos are a great way to generate traffic and engagement on social media. In the future, video might even be the predominant form of content on social media. If you want to do your part to prepare for this transition, start creating videos to post on social media.
If you want to create videos for social media, you’ll first need to understand the form. The most popular videos on social media are usually between 30 and 60 seconds long. That’s the ideal length for videos. Longer than that and people begin to lose interest. Shorter videos are even more popular on social media. It’s a bit of a war out there.
To create videos for social media, you’ll need a smartphone or a laptop with a camera and microphone built in. If you don’t have one of these devices, it’s time to invest in one. It really is that simple.
Turn A Traditional Book Into An E-Book
It’s time to update your blog and turn it into a money-making machine. One of the best ways to do this is to turn your traditional book into an e-book. With an e-book, you don’t need to incur the expense of printing out millions of copies. You can reach massive audiences with an e-book, provided you write one that’s good enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough to entice readers to click the buy button.
There are many benefits to turning your book into an e-book. You can do this yourself by uploading your digital copy of the book to Amazon (or any other digital book store) and following the instructions. You’ll need a professional editor to help you polish your e-book. However, the effort will be worth it, provided you can find a publisher who’s willing to take a chance on your book.
As you begin to develop an audience, you’ll want to look into different ways to generate revenue. One of the most effective (and free) ways to do this is to take advantage of affiliate marketing. If you’ve decided to invest in a product to help with your blogging, consider looking into affiliate marketing as a way to generate revenue.
No, we don’t need to tell you that blogging isn’t free. There are many ways to generate revenue from a blog, which you can learn more about in this free guide to becoming a sponsored blog writer.
The End Result
At the end of the day, your goal is to come up with a good content idea that’s both engaging and informative. To do this, you’ll need to follow the steps above. Remember: it’s a process. Do not be discouraged by any of the steps above. Simply move on to the next one and begin again.
Hopefully, by following these simple steps, you’ll be able to generate a good set of content ideas for your blog. From there, you can flesh out a plan and begin to write. Remember that you’re only at the beginning stages of your content strategy. With each new piece of content that you create, you’ll be able to improve your technique and become better at coming up with relevant content ideas. As you continue to grow and develop your blog, you’ll be able to continually add more value and make your content more compelling. If you ever find yourself stuck for content ideas, just follow the above steps and you’ll be on your way to vibrant and healthy blog content–in no time.