Having a platform to share your thoughts and expertise is one of the most important things you can do for your business. It gives you a place to show what you you know, to establish yourself as an expert, to boost your credibility, and gives people a reason to "get back to you". One way or another, it's crucial that you become a producer of content, and not just a consumer.
All of that being said, one of the most common excuses I hear from businesspeople and marketers as to why they neglect their content/platform, is that they simply don't know what to write or post about. They might catch some inspiration and put out a burst of interesting posts, followed by a much longer period of radio silence while they are busy doing "other stuff".
So to solve this critical and important problem, I've compiled a list of 10 great sources of inspiration for content ideas for your podcast, YouTube channel, blog, and any other platform. There are many ways to come up with content ideas, but here are a few that will help.
I'd suggest having a pen and paper in hand to jot down ideas as you do these.
By building an audience first, an entrepreneur can change the rules of the game, pivot at will, and significantly increase his odds of financial and personal success.
10) What YOU Want to Know
A few informative books are between you and your goals
The most straight-forward way to think of content ideas and is to consider which content YOU are looking for. Want to know how to grow your YouTube channel, or start a Facebook group, or advertise on Instagram, or come up with content ideas?
Do some research and create content answering just that question. That is literally how this very post came to be.
If you are a marketer, entrepreneur, or business owner, then you constantly find yourself learning and researching new skills and topics. You are not the only one, so share your research.
9) What You Are Learning
Similar to considering what you want to know or learn, also review what you are currently learning or researching on a daily basis. Did you hire a freelancer recently? Fix something on your website? Create a thumbnail for a video or a blog post? Create a post about to do that.
Of course, try to keep your content tied to your niche, but chances are that if it's something you had to (learn to) do, others in your field will benefit from your knowledge and experience.
Remember that you do not have to be a seasoned veteran to teach someone how to do something. You literally only have to be one step ahead of whoever is behind you, to be useful.
You are already consuming content every day. Just turn the corner and start sharing it, too.
8) What You Want Your Prospects to Know
Probably the best source of ideas for your content should be what you want your prospects and customers to know. For example, if you are launching a new product such as mountain bikes, it benefits your marketing to produce several content pieces about mountain bikes.
Not only will this content show that your business knows what it is talking about in regard to mountain bikes, but you can also control the conversation and show them what to look for in a high quality mountain bike, which you just so happen to sell. This also provides content for emails.
7) Breaking News
Perhaps the most evergreen sources of content material are current events and the news. Has a law recently been passed that affects your industry? Did your colleague (or competitor) recently launch a new product? Did a new co-working space recently open up in your area?
You can even relate topics to more general events such as the Olympics, the Super Bowl, or whatever else happens to be happening at that time. As always, try to relate to your industry.
Everyone is interested in what's new.
6) Your Advice
Veterans and newcomers alike are always on the lookout for advice, tips, tricks, and lessons learned from others in their space. Whether that takes the form of checklists, how-to's, tips & tricks, or other, people appreciate the fact that your experience can save them time and mistakes.
Also, humans are naturally fearful creatures. Some blame it on the lizard brain or on society, but the fact remains. This is why people are drawn to content of things to avoid and avoid doing.
You can think of these as anti-checklists, or anti-how-to's, and are maybe even more useful that the standard lists and instructions. Blame it on the academic system or whatever else, but we fear making mistakes and it makes sense that people would want to know which to avoid.
5) Products and Events
A product showing an event
Regardless of your industry, there are countless things you can review that would interest your peers and target market, including any tools and resources you or your team use often.
This include software, books, conferences, online courses, training programs, and more. People are understandably interested in the opinions and reviews of others who came before them to judge if such products or events are worth their time. Just look at Amazon reviews.
4) Industry / Competitor Posts
"Steal From One Author, It’s Plagiarism; Steal From Many, It’s Research"
I understand why some people feel uneasy about reviewing competitor posts, but this is a very standard practice. If it makes you feel better, they're likely already doing it to you.
I am NOT suggesting blatantly copying their posts, but simply reading over their topics for inspiration. After all, they've already done the research to discover customer interests.
It's as simple as Googling "best dog training blogs", reviewing the latest 20 posts from each one, and simply seeing if any of those topics inspires any ideas you could discuss or expand upon.
3) Keyword Research Tools
Once you are a bit more experienced, it may time to use marketing research tools. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner, BuzzSumo, SEMRush, UberSuggest, and many more do the research so you don't have to. They scan the internet to see what is trending and getting clicked.
While some of these services come with premium price tags, the info and research they provide can prove to be invaluable if content marketing is a big part of your business.
2) Quora and Forums
Another great source of content topics is your target market itself! You can find your target customers (and even peers) in Facebook groups, Quora, and other forums asking questions they need answering.
Great topics include those: 1) which deal with new developments, 2) which you can answer clearly and thoroughly, and 3) that you see people asking over and over again.
For content ideas, do keyword research, check the forum questions, and search creatively.
1) Lessons, Talks, and Chapters
If you are a marketer or entrepreneur, I will go ahead and assume that you maintain and increase your knowledge by reading newspapers, journals, books, reports, or anything else.
Summarize and/or delve into the topic covered in each interesting chapter or section. That way, you provide valuable nuggets to your readers, and you also "save" them from having to read or consume that content on their own time.
Your content can be summaries of the content you have read, learned, or consumed.
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