As a content marketer, it is imperative that I frequently have fresh ideas to bring to the table for clients. However, just like any writer, I sometimes get in a slump and am hit with writer’s block.
Sound familiar? Fear not! We have put together a list of strategies to help get you out of any content marketing slump.
Let’s dive right in.
Use the Content Cluster Strategy
One method we have seen a lot of success with is the content cluster. To execute this content strategy, begin by selecting one umbrella topic in your client’s industry and conducting keyword research. Once you have confirmed there is search volume and the topic is within your competitive range, you’re ready to build out your articles and blog posts. Each article should fall under the same umbrella or focal topic but address different subtopics within it. All articles should also link to each other with strategically crafted anchor text. Though multiple articles in the same category may seem redundant, Google will see you as an expert on the subject and reward you in rankings.
Aside from the potential to benefit SEO and rank higher in search engine results pages and become an authority on a topic, the content cluster approach can have several other benefits. These include revenue increases and top-of-funnel traffic growth.
We have seen proven success and have helped to increase our clients’ domain authorities and organic traffic by following the content cluster strategy. It becomes easy to come up with tenable, new topic ideas when you have the data and case studies to back your choices.
SEMrush and BrightEdge are also great tools to help you identify opportunity gaps and capitalize on low-hanging fruit. These types of tools offer many sorting functionalities so you can easily identify topics and valuable content you are currently ranking for and can expand upon, or discover completely new ideas for a content cluster. After creating a cluster, you can conduct a content audit to discover how this strategy has improved the SEO and CRO of the site.
Take a Data-Driven Approach
If you feel like you are out of words, try looking at numbers for some inspiration. In the digital marketing world, data is abundant and every site generates some kind of unique insights. Analyze the data you have access to and you may find some interesting trends.
Look for patterns in your data from Google Analytics and AdWords that might be relevant to your audience. Check sales data for trends that may be interesting or surprising. Juice some topics out of survey data, then take what you have found and translate it in a way that will appeal to your audience. Maybe compare data and metrics to past findings and delve into what has changed and why.
Statistics can always tell a story, but a word of advice for this content strategy: keep it simple. Use language that is easy to follow rather than overly-technical, and back up the web content with clean infographics when possible.
Consider Your Competition
A helpful strategy for coming up with new ideas is to always keep an eye on your competition. Not only does it give you a peek into what they are up to, but it can serve as a source of inspiration.
If something is resonating well with your competition’s audience, don’t be afraid to write about it too! You should never duplicate website content; instead, good content marketers approach the topic from a different angle or look for a gap you can fill. Did their articles leave some questions unanswered? Then you have a great opportunity to answer them and become an authority on the subject.
This isn’t just a great way to come up with ideas; it also allows you the possibility to one-up the competition while providing readers with content you know is relevant to them.
Utilize the “People Also Ask” Box on Google
Chances are, you have noticed the “People Also Ask” box that appears at the top of search results on Google. It shows other questions people have been interested in having answered that relate to the topic at hand. It’s a solid resource when doing a search, but you probably haven’t considered the fact that it can be really handy for coming up with ideas too. And since it’s based on popular search queries, it guarantees the information is relevant to a wide audience.
The “People Also Ask” box is especially useful if you decide to utilize the content cluster strategy mentioned near the beginning of this article. Simply type in the topic you want to base your cluster on and voilà! You instantly have a list of questions you can answer through your content (not to mention it’s kind of fun to do!).
Revisit Previous Content
Even amazing writing can become outdated or leave gaps. That is why revisiting content you have published in the past can be a fruitful way to stir up some ideas.
There’s a good chance that if you look back at things you have published in the past, you will realize you learned things since then that would matter to your audience. You may have even left some holes and unanswered questions, or written some sections of articles that could be turned into an entirely new piece of content.
Take it and run with it! Once your new content is ready, be sure you are also internally linking it back to the original article you drew information from so that search engines like Google can properly index it.
Write About What is Trending
We live in a constantly evolving world and one where information is delivered almost immediately. Luckily, because of this, there are new topics to write about all the time.
Look at trending industry news, keep up with the latest changes in the technology you use, take note of newer strategies that have proven successful for others, and so forth. Doing any of these things opens you up to a plethora of information you can share with your audience. The options for content ideas are constant.
Timeliness is everything, so writing about what is trending will not only keep you relevant but will catch the attention of your audience. It also provides you with the opportunity to become an authority on whatever the hottest new topic is.
Look at Comments
Another excellent place to find ideas for content creation is in the comments section of your articles (if you have one).
Comments sections on blog posts, articles, and social media can be wonderful places to find inspiration for many reasons. Most importantly, they give you a glimpse into what people are engaging with. You may notice people commenting more on certain topics your articles touch on and you can write about these topics. You can also gain insights into what your target audience liked and didn’t like about the content in each article. Commenters might even ask a question directly, share something related, or make suggestions of their own.
While you’re at it, be sure to check out the comments on some of the work your competitors have done to expose yourself to even more ideas.
Again, this is a great approach to finding what is relevant to people and using it to your advantage. The more your content appeals to your readers, the more value they will find in it.
Have a Conversation
When you create content for a living, it can be easy to get stuck in your own brain (especially if you are a freelancer who doesn’t work with a team on a regular basis). However, engaging with others can spark a whole new set of ideas along with a refreshed sense of motivation. Using social media as a tool for exploring new topics can be a good place to start. So get to talking.
Whether you have a casual conversation about an industry topic or organize a good, old-fashioned brainstorming session, there is no denying the power of interaction for fueling new concepts and business strategies. Every person comes from a different background that brings a unique point of view. Use these varying perspectives to gain new insights and learn new things, then write about them.
Every content creator will eventually run into a dry spell when it comes to what to write about, but everyone also has hope to get back out of it and create some amazing new things. Using the strategies outlined above, you will find that new ideas for content are closer and more abundant than you may think. Hopefully, these tips will help you develop a content marketing strategy that works for you and your business and we can’t wait to see what you bring to the table next time we are looking for some inspiration ourselves!