As a writer, I realized that it was not possible to simply wait for inspiration to strike or keep researching endlessly for triggers. I needed a process that would allow me to create quality content on time. Every time.
In this article, I wanted to share some of the ways that have proved the most successful for me personally.
1. Find out what customers are already searching for.
The best content addresses existing pain points and what better place to look than forums where customers get together to discuss their issues and struggles with your category of products or services. Bookmark the top few discussion boards and pay them a visit when in need. You won’t come away empty handed.
Basing your content on real user issues ensures relevance and therefore better readership. Of course, not all topics are equal – choose a theme where you have experience and can add value.
2. Piggyback a trending keyword / topic that is newsworthy
While coming up with an idea from thin air is actually pretty hard, it becomes a lot simpler ( and fun) if you try and correlate it to a trending social debate or trend. It could be the presidential elections or a celebrity’s wardrobe malfunction, see what is most likely to catch your audience’s interest and weave a story that includes your brand in the most interesting way.
A word of caution – There is a fine line in leveraging and baiting. Proceed with caution. You don’t want to look desperate. Or worse, manipulative.
3. Curate a great Infographic, white paper or article
As a specialist in your field, you will often come across white papers, statistics, cartoons or infographics produced by other minds. Bookmark these for dry days. Make sure to acknowledge the source, but add your own layer of insight and opinion that helps create better context for your set of users.
The important thing to remember is that content creation is just one small part of content marketing. If you can repackage someone else’s insights ( making sure to give credit while doing so), its a win win for all.
4. Plan a sequel to your best sellers
If movie studios can get away with it then so can you. Identify your most popular posts from the past and see how best you can take the concept forward or update it in some way. You could add examples, new data / case facts or simply more conceptual meat. You could also convert it into a new format like an article into a cheat sheet or better still, a video.
You could look to user comments as triggers or just color in the spaces of the previous article to provide better clarity. Be sure not to just rehash the points you made earlier. Not all sequels succeed.
5. And lastly, proactively build a pipeline
If there are dry days, then there are also days when you have more than one good idea. Instead of trying to pack them both in a single piece of content, pick a winner and park the other in a list. Scrolling through websites while doing research, you will come across many ideas. Make sure to jot down as many as you find. Not all will still be relevant when you finally need them but they will be excellent triggers to come up with one that is.
If YOU have a great idea for coming up with ideas, please do share in comments below ( and then i can hopefully use that to come up with a sequel when i need to:-))