Before you worry about selling, marketing, or your social media presence, you must first develop the content that makes everything else possible.
It’s the burden of every content creator—to meet your marketing goals you must produce informative and original material.
Many bloggers set out to do just that, and end up calling it quits—Blogging.org reported that nearly two-thirds of bloggers haven’t updated their blogs in over a year. Clearly, these bloggers don’t have what it takes to manage an effective content creation strategy.
Your business is different though, right? You’re committed to your marketing goals. But before you can reap the benefits of blogging, you must actually create the content that will dazzle your readers.
Frequency of site traffic versus the number of publish blogs per months, as found by Hubspot
Guidelines for Topic Generation
What exactly can regular blogging do for your site? Hubspot performed some research on the effectiveness of blogging—they found that businesses that blog 16 to 20 times per month earntwice as much traffic as those that post 4 blogs a month or fewer.
We know you’re excited to get out there and start creating, but before you put pen to paper (or finger to key) there are several important points to touch on. Keep these general guidelines in the first phase of your content brainstorming:
- Don’t try to get rich—in fact, forget entirely that you can make money from blogging for now. Commerce comes later; well after an audience has established the value of your material you’ve built. Focusing on marketing too early will turn your audience off.
- Stick to topics that have broad appeal—as interesting as your antique coin collection is, you might have a hard time building a dedicated following with niche subjects that bore the uninitiated to tears.
- Know what you’re writing about—an educated audience can easily spot a phony. When establishing yourself as an authority, use relevant industry sources, statistics, or other data to reinforce your arguments.
Unfortunately, generating blog topics is a very hit-or-miss scenario. Your audience reaction is the only real metric you can use to judge the effectiveness of your content. Sometimes, the best way to approach blogging is to just throw your ideas out there and see what your readers respond to. You might be surprised.
Writing quality content about your ideas is key to blogging, as found by jeffbullas.com
Developing Your Ideas
So, now that the basic guidelines have been established, we can move into actually creating the material that drives your web presence.
This is tough for many businesses—even though many of us start with stars in our eyes and ideas in our heads, this creativity doesn’t last. There will inevitably come a point when you’ve exhausted your supply of potential blog concepts. When this happens, there are several steps you can take to keep the content flowing:
1. Search Your Nearby Content
It’s easy to forget when you’re suffering from writer’s block, but there are tons of topics that you can utilize without ever leaving home. Review your personal hobbies and past experiences for amusing anecdotes that you can spin into content. Read books and let the author’s concepts influence your train of thought.
2. Get a Fresh Perspective
If your home doesn’t yield anything valuable, go elsewhere! Changing your environment can have a huge impact on your cognition, mental function, and development of ideas.
3. Use Online Resources/Topic Generators
You’re trying to create value for your readers, but don’t forget that the Internet has value for you to find as well. If your brainstorm ends up being little more than a drizzle, go online and use the wealth of resources available—topic suggestions, headline generators, and keyword research on relevant industry terms.
4. Utilize Social Media
Social media offers a unique way to crowd source ideas when you get stuck. Go to relevant industry pages on Facebook or Twitter and open a dialogue with other users through posting and comments. They may have some feedback to share that will give you the spark you need.
5. Watch Your Competitors
If all else fails, you can turn to your competition for content ideas. You’ll need to add your own spin on the ideas, of course, but seeing what other industry insiders are doing provides valuable insight into what may work for you as well.
The Content Machine
A content creator’s job is never done. No matter how great your blogs are, there will always be new ones waiting to replace them. This is why it’s so essential that your business establishes a framework for content creation and utilizes all available resources. Your past, your users, and even your competitors can all help unlock your next great blog post—a post that will be focused, appealing, and informative to whatever market you’re targeting.
What other brainstorming tricks have you used when your business gets the content creation blues? Let us know in the comments below!