How to Generate Content Marketing Ideas
You have heard it all before: Content is King!
(Do you get the idea that content is king? LOL)
The internet gurus have finally seen the light and proclaim—now, finally!—that not only is content king, but there is this concept called “content marketing” that you should be employing to get your web site ranked for your targeted key words.
Let’s talk about content marketing for a moment before we get into how to generate content marketing ideas.
Content marketing really is nothing more than producing quality material that is interesting to potential customers that helps them arrive at the conclusion that they ought to consider using your services or buying your products. This content can be in the form of a text-based blog post, a video, a podcast, or a slideshow. It can be any or all of the above.
You are marketing using your content.
It’s really nothing more than that.
You may be one of the rare folks who never runs out of things to publish. It that’s the case, consider yourself fortunate. For the rest of us (and it’s most of us), we run into “writer’s block” on occasion. For some of us, we are afflicted with this malady more often than not.
So we run out of ideas and we don’t write. This is bad.
There is a pretty easy way around this. Here’s a content creation method I use and I think you will find it helpful as well.
Super Simple Content Marketing Method
I’m going to put the cart before the horse on this one by describing the 2nd half of the method before the first part. It will make sense in a minute.
Let’s just assume for a moment that you know what key words you will be using. This is step 1. You will learn about this momentarily.
Step 2—Gathering ideas and writing your posts
Go to Google and type in your key word phrase that you want to create some content for. Down the left-hand side of the page, find the “Blogs” link. You may have to click on the “More” button to reveal the “Blogs” link. When you find it, click it and take a look at the results.
Click through on a few (2-4) links and skim them for “interesting-ness.” What strikes you? Is there a common theme that each of the articles share? Read the ones that are compelling. Jot down some ideas on paper in your own words that you will refer to when you go to write your own post.
The idea here is that you will use articles published by others to generate ideas and help you formulate your own awesome piece of content.
Try to take the common pieces from each article that you have found and write them down in your own words. For a short blog post (around 300 words), you need only one idea. Write your post like a short paper you wrote in school: You will have an introduction, the body, and a summary.
For longer posts, you may have to chunk up the body into several pieces, denoted by subheadings and/or horizontal rules (a horizontal line between sections).
Start writing (or typing)! Just let the ideas flow. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, formatting, or structure just yet. Just get down on paper or pixels what you read in those other posts. Do not copy and paste the content you find in other blogs. You want all of your material to be in your own words.
Later, you can certainly pull a quote or two from the various pieces you came across and link back to the original article. This is an application of another topic you may have heard about: Content curation. That, however, is the subject of another post
Now, for step #1.
Step 1—It’s all about the key words
“Okay, Bill, I know how to write, but I just cannot come up with an idea. I’m all tapped out.” Not to worry.
Do you have any idea what you want to write about? No?
What is your web site about? What posts have you written that got you lots of traffic or engagement (comments, likes, shares, +1, etc.)? Use those posts as seed ideas.
Now, use those posts to generate ideas for you! If a certain topic got a lot of interest in the past, it may serve you well by revisiting it. Write another post about it. You can call it an update to a previous post and link back to the original (you can also edit your original and link out to the new post) or you can just expand on the topic or go a slightly different direction with it.
“But Bill, I’ve written all I can about that topic.” No, you haven’t
There’s a way around that, too. Go to Google and type in that key word phrase from one of your more successful posts. Google will “suggest” as you type other key word phrases it thinks you may type in. In short, Google is anticipating what you may type next, based upon what other people have searched for in the past.
This is a totally awesome method for finding content creation ideas!
Now, as you type, you can jot down Google’s suggestions. Or you could use this awesome key word research tool that my friend and superstar Warrior Sam England made. It’s called, “Keyword Researcher” and what it does is use that concept you just learned about and takes it a few steps farther.
At its simplest, as you type in a key word phrase, it queries Google and brings back all of Google’s suggestions and records them (that means you can take the output all at once and copy it to notepad or Excel).
The manual method would have you write down each key word phrase. Keyword Researcher makes this process nearly effortless (you do still have to type some words in a box!).
Now, once you have a good list of key words, go up to Step 2.