Brainstorm content ideas with your team.
Photo credit: Burst

If you’re managing your own website, you may think there’s nothing worse than coming up with relevant, engaging content topics every week for your blog. It’s understandable: not only are you trying to run your business full-time and manage your website at the same time, you’re also tasked with crafting insightful articles and blogs that show off your subject matter expertise within your niche while delivering a timely message for your readers. Who can juggle it all?

But juggle you must, as it’s no secret now that content is king and will make or break your ranking on Google. In fact, content is one of the four most important ranking factors, along with back links, mobile-first indexing, and technical factors like encryption and anchor text. We’re seeing a shift away from keyword-focused content towards more relevant content written in a natural language, says Search Engine Journal.

Let’s take a look at some tips on how best to brainstorm content ideas each week so you can make a valid and meaningful connection with your audience.

Keep Ideas on File

It’s hard to come up with fresh content ideas on-demand. When you’re up against the clock and trying to come up with something interesting, you often panic and end up writing something off-the-cuff at the last second. Not that in-the-moment content ideas can’t work…it’s just that you don’t want to push those deadlines all the time or else you can miss the mark more often than not.

Keep a file – either paper or electronically or both – filled with ideas, infographics, articles, blogs, images, white papers, even chicken-scratched notes that you jot down while on the go. Refer to this file often but don’t forget to keep filling it up as you get inspired.

Involve the Team

Content generation is rarely successful as a solo effort. To get a wide range of ideas, thoughts and perspectives, bring in other members of your team to sit down in a brainstorming session. To get the creative juices flowing, open up the session with an ice breaker. Keep the conversation open and make sure everyone knows nothing is off-limits or wrong. Write everything down or record the session to refer back to it later. You’re looking for that spark, that attention-grabbing idea that will inspire action. When you find it, harness it and explore it – together.

Do Your Research

If you aren’t sure what will work for you in terms of keywords, SEO and content, do your due diligence and find out what’s working for your competition. This will give you a good jumping-off point. Ultimately, you’re going up against those other guys in the SERPs (search engine results pages) so do some digging to see what they’re doing. Ask yourself:

Next, find out what people are searching for online in regards to your business offerings. Google Trends is a great tool to try. In your research, ask yourself:

  • What is trending at the moment?
  • What is getting the most links?
  • What keywords are the top traffic earners?
  • Who and what are people sharing?
  • What types of content are the top brands in your niche writing?

Try Newsjacking

The daily news is ripe for the picking when it comes to garnering fresh content ideas. If you have a product or event coming up that could be related to something you see in the daily news, time your blog to coincide with seasonal changes, big movie releases or music awards shows, and piggy-back your blog off those topics. The news serves as an endless source of inspiration. Use it.

Understand Your Audience’s Needs

Don’t lose sight of why you’re crafting new content: it’s to provide a solution to your customers or clients. Find out what’s important to them and solve a problem with your content. Scour your social media platforms, FAQs, Q&As, and customer service surveys to find inspiration that makes your content marketing truly conversion-worthy, says Moz. Go out, talk to your customers, find out what they want, jot the ideas down, and build your content around your discoveries. If you’re not writing about what people in your industry care about, you might as well not even bother.

Hire a Professional

If all else fails or you just can’t seem to carve out the time for content creation, consider hiring a blogger or content creator to take over this task. You can provide them with the topic or let them come up with one. You can give them keywords, a deadline and general direction if you want, too, and then just let them take it away. It’s a win-win: you free up your time without having to stress over writing and you get quality blogs written by people who make their livings being engaging and fresh.

Start with Content Runner, where you’ll find lots of qualified writers who specialize in writing for your industry. What are you waiting for? Those blogs aren’t going to write themselves!