Content Idea Creation: 4 + 1 Tips to Avoid Hitting a Creative Wall

Here’s the scenario: you’ve set up a blog or you have a blog section on your site and of course you want to fill it with great content.

You most certainly need some kick-ass ideas related to a trending topic in your industry with the possibility of going viral. Okay, cool beans. But where do you find those, how do you come up with ideas promising you that? Luckily you are not the only one asking these questions. Being truly original all the time is a tall order even for professional wordsmiths so don’t be afraid to be inspired by the top players of your industry. Research and identify hot topics, learn what people are buzzing about and weigh in on the matter with adding your own thoughts. As the marketing blogger Jeff Bullas said: “All creative work stands on what has gone before… The art of creativity is a mash-up and remix.” Very well said, Jeff.

In the following paragraphs I will be focusing on giving you some actual advice and recommend a couple of useful tools to help you come up with your best ideas so far.

The Basic Stuff

Let’s start basic. What is usually working really well for me is simply typing a couple of relevant keywords into Google combined with the advanced query “inurl:blog”. This way you will find a lot of blogs and blog posts similar to the niche and topic you want to write about. The more specific you are with the keywords the better results you will get helping to kickstart your creative brain. Take a look at this example: I have a small business themed blog and I want to write an article about how small and medium enterprises can benefit the most from setting up their Twitter presence right. So I will just type into Google that “small business twitter marketing inurl:blog”. Of course without the quotation marks. You can see the first five results from this search below.

content idea

 

Pretty cool, right? You’ll find a variety of sites and blog posts related to the content you actually work on. As you can see above, during my quick search I’ve find:

  • a blog themed about exactly my planned topic
  • a couple of articles with basic tips regarding my topic
  • a dozen of ways how I can grow the number of my business account’s followers

Hop on the Social Media Express

Dig deep into social media. Twitter is the best place to start regarding trending topics, breaking news in the industry and buzz in general. A simple twitter search can get you priceless insights what your target audience talking about, what kind of content they tend to share with their followers and what questions they are asking. Same example as before: I’m already typing into the Twitter search bar that “small business twitter marketing” and after that I’m browsing through the first batch of results. These five tweets looked like the most promising and useful to me:

A Social Media Examiner post from this March exactly what I want to write about.

Some tips from Fox’s small business center. The post is around a week old.

An infographic named “10 Tips for Twitter Success”. I might include this into my post!

An article on smallbusiness.com from June 27 about how to attract new customers using Twitter.

And the last example is an article about how to build up a Twitter account that will drive your small business. On the spot, just what I needed.

Competitor analysis

First things first: I am not encouraging you to steal your competitors content. However you are playing the same game at the same field so it’s almost sure that taking a look at their blog will be worth it. Let’s say you find an interesting article but there are a couple of points where you disagree with the statements or tips. What are you still waiting for? Weigh in on the topic by writing a better blog post and share your own opinion about the matter providing useful tips to your audience.

And my new favorite content idea superhero

Buzzsumo is a content research tool which will find you the most shared and currently viral content from any topic or domain. It’s awesome and it’s pretty easy to use. You just need to search for a chosen keyword or keywords that are likely to pop up in the titles of content related to your niche or topic. You can filter your search, too, selecting only guest posts results or videos for example. You can also choose the date when the content was found.

Pro tip: if you really want trending topics then don’t choose options which will give you results older than a week.

After the search is complete Buzzsumo will show you all the types the given content was shared through various social media channels so you can judge its popularity just by taking a look at the results. And it isn’t all. You can also see the sharers, the users who retweeted or posted the piece of content. You can even sort them by metrics such as page authority or followers to identify thought- or opinion leaders. Did I say already that Buzzsumo is awesome?

content idea

 

I’m sure it’s a huge surprise but I’m keeping my good old example and testing Buzzsumo for you guys with the phrase “small business twitter marketing”. The screenshot you see above features the top three results after sorting the articles by the total amount of social shares. It’s like a paradise for everyone who tries to come up with new and exciting content ideas for her or his respective blog.

+1 Give a Chance to Content Idea Generators

You can also play around with content idea generators such as Portent’s tool. You just need to type the main keyword or keywords you want to write about and the generator will come up with possible headlines.

Of course a lot of them will be too weird or random but there’s a good chance that you will find some inspiration or a fresh angle on the topic. If you find something that sounds good, you should just copy it to Google and check if there are any posts or other content around there related to the headline. Let’s stick to the usual example and write into the subject field “small business twitter marketing”. These are from the first 15-20 headline ideas I get from it:

  • Small Business Twitter Marketing by the Numbers
  • 20 Ways Small Business Twitter Marketing Could Help You
  • 5 Ways to Become the MacGyver of Small Business Twitter Marketing
  • Why Small Business Twitter Marketing is the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
  • Don’t Hold Back Your Small Business Twitter Marketing

They are not the best ones that’s for sure but they are good enough to make you think outside of the box a bit and maybe indicate a true brainstorm in your head.

Of course all of these methods and tools are just like good running shoes. They will help you once you started the job but they won’t drag you out to the running court day-in and day-out. To produce fresh content consistently you have to find your inner motivation. Even if you managed to do that, it is possible though that blogging will take too much time as you have a business to run. If that happens, just stay relaxed. You don’t have to make any compromises. Our blog management service is here to help you out. Choose a plan and drop us a line. It’s as simple as that.

So that’s it for today folks, I hope I could give a couple of useful tips to try out in the future. A week or two from now I will let you know what to do after you think you have your golden idea and the best possible headline in mind. Hint: it’s not writing the article. Until next time!

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