Yup, I am currently in love with Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods and her iconic line from the time (supposed boyfriend) Warner second-guesses her getting into Harvard. Of course, in this community, we stan our GOAL-DRIVEN GAL WHO CAN DO ANYTHING and a SUPPORTIVE BOYFRIEND, which Warner was not by the way! But, save me my feelings for another time. I know you’re here because you want to generate some content ideas and yes, you are still in the right place! 😉
We know that content makes the world go round and there are so many ideas worth writing about. However, no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get YOUR OWN ideas flowing and you’ve been experiencing writer’s block since… well, forever.
Relax, my friend. I’ve been there too, but I’ve managed to make it easier for me to generate new content ideas – thanks to my 5 years of blogging which began in Tumblr (LOL please do not check that out). Personally, coming up with content isn’t the problem, it’s finding the time to write them, which is another story and to be saved for next time. But for now, let’s get on to it!
I’m sharing with you 5 fool-proof ways to come up with content for your blog and brand that will be worth reading. I say “worth reading” too because some of these tips involve an extra step that makes your content relatable and uhm, worth… reading (AKA we’ll be looking into WHAT EXACTLY your audience wants to hear from you too!) Sounds good, right? Let me break it down for you!
1. TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE
This is my personal favorite way of coming up with content for the blog. Talking to your audience directly can give you soooo much ideas!
What I personally do is take the time to meet my readers or even just friends who read the blog (AND I MEAN REALLY READ IT). These are the people who engage and give feedback on your blog. You want to talk to these people because they are first, your tribe and target audience. And second, you’re also building that relationship with them, which makes them feel special and be able to connect with you.
When I talk to readers, it’s usually a face-to-face conversation asking how she/he is doing. HONESTLY DON’T BE WEIRD AND JUST HAVE A NORMAL CONVERSATION WITH HIM OR HER. After that, this is where the note taking begins – I ask for random words or topics she/he would like to know about or is struggling with or ANYTHING. I’d write them down on the list and be sure that we have a TOPIC and PAIN POINT for these random words. If not, then just ask.
Here’s a peek into my creative process of generating content ideas! Sorry about the mess…. ironically, it gets messy coming up with ideas but I’ve picked the most readable page.. hopefully.
WARNING: It’s about to get colorful.
After sitting down with my friend, I’d jot down random words and group them into themes (ORANGE BOX). Sometimes I do this simultaneously but it helps to rewrite the themes in a separate column so you can break it down (PINK BOX). On the right column, I come up with possible solutions I would offer to their pain points (BLUE BOX). Once that’s finished, I jot down potential titles on how I can best talk about these solutions or ideas (GREEN BOX).
So for example, during the engagement, my reader said she:
Is always tired and does not have the “energy to live” and time to do things anymore (it’s a millennial thing) > the theme itself is managing her energy/time
> my proposed solutions would be taking a break (self-care), prioritizing tasks or goals AND time management hacks > the possible titles now: self-care for the busy girl, a guide on how to prioritize tasks when faced with “no time” AND how-to make time.
I usually repeat this process until the last theme and highlight those which I think are worth pursuing or prioritizing. Of course, not all ideas work.. some needs re-inventing but I will leave that to you. This is my personal favorite method because it not only helps me generate a lot of ideas but because their pain points are clearer to me, I can write better for my audience.
In case you don’t have the leisure time to meet-up and engage with them, there are also of ways that work too! You can:
- Crowdsource on Instagram (super useful!) and other social media platforms
- Start conversations with people in the same niche
In case you’re struggling to connect with them on social, you could ask those on your email list! You can definitely ask them for feedback and suggestions – they love that. Feel free to get creative with this and try surveys or quizzes or even schedule one-on-ones!
2. PLAY WITH GOOGLE TRENDS
You have a lot of TOPICS but the problem is they’re too general and vague. Here’s a quick easy fix for you!
List down all your words or potential topics to paper or file.. whatever works for you. Log on to Google Trends to check what people are searching for your topic.
For example, I want to talk about freelancing so I type it in as my keyword. Google Trends will then tell me the following:
- How popular the topic is being searched over time
- Which countries are interested in this topic as of the moment
- Related queries or terms they also searched for from the topic
- Related topics or terms they also searched
With this data (wow very scientific), you would like to focus your content on the last two bullet points – related queries and topics. It doesn’t tell you exactly what they’re searching for but it does give you another breakdown from the topic you want to write about. Take it from there and write!
PS. Another tip, try incorporating words from the related topics and queries so that you can boost your post’s SEO and clickability. 🙂
3. USE CONTENT GENERATOR TOOLS
You could also let the technology work for you! There are so many content generators out there but my personal favorite would be ANSWER THE PUBLIC. It’s a paid tool but they have a free version that is gonna give you all the data you’re gonna need.
Answer The Public provides the auto-suggest results provided from Google & Bing. As you type in your keyword, you will be presented with questions, prepositions used and comparisons behind each search query. They all provide alphabetical results that can help you write your keywords.
Choose a keyword or two and wait for the magic to happen! I spend a lot of time just reading all the questions people have been asking. They’re pretty interesting and sometimes funny but also real too! I mean, you’ll never run out of ideas now.
ANSWER THE PUBLIC describes themselves as “perhaps one of the best but most underutilized sources of research for content ideas.” But not anymore. This is a gold mine! Go. Check. It. Out. Now!
Other content generators you might want to check:
4. USE GOOGLE… AGAIN
Okay. Other than Google Trends, here’s another exciting hack for you! You can just use Google if you’re curious to see what people are asking about a particular question or topic.
It’s simple. Google your topic/ question AND scroll down until you see the “PEOPLE ALSO ASK” box. Click on the questions inside and you’ll notice newer questions pop-up from the button. Keep on clicking till who knows when BUT now you have an endless scroll of questions PEOPLE are actually typing and asking.
You’ll be surprised by how far these questions can go. You can quickly jump to what is the best vlogging camera to what kind of system is (insert religion here)! Yup, that apparently has happened. Go see it for yourself though.
Also, you can use the questions as blog post titles so you can work your way up to the People Also Ask box or at least the first three pages of Google.
5. SPIN THAT CONTENT
Review your old content and take bits and pieces from things you’ve written. People don’t really believe in this – but it works too! You can either write new posts with these bits and pieces OR write new posts such as an update on these bits and pieces. You can even write a whole new topic on a subtopic or heading you’ve discussed before.
Don’t forget to link back your old posts to your new ones too! Use of the same keywords in different posts may also help boost your website’s SEO.
BONUS: Take a break or go on vacation
The best ideas don’t have to come from the internet. Sometimes, they come from taking a break or vacation because sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration. There’s not much to say for this tip except you’re only gonna come up with great new fresh ideas when you try it for yourself. Just be sure your notebook and pen OR laptop is ready when these #content ideas start to pop up!
Whatever it is, before you go start saying you don’t have anything to say or write about, know that you cannot say that… seriously. With all these 5 tips?? I’m kidding though. Just remember – repurpose your old work, use content generators, spark conversations, and get creative while you’re at it!
Now go get that #content! Always cheering for you,