Content is such an important component of online marketing, and with the majority of your competitors also focused on content marketing, you need to come up with compelling content ideas in order to stand out.
It’s not always easy to come up with new ideas for your content ideas or topics. Sometimes the industry you are in is just very small, or sometimes you fall victim to writer’s block. In order to help you easily brainstorm new content topics, I spoke with entrepreneurs and business owners from within my circle of connections and we came up with a dozen ways to help you source new content ideas.
Not only can these simple strategies be used to create blog posts, but they will also help you come up with topics for podcasts, vlogs, infographics, e-books, or any other content format.
1. Join Industry-Specific Facebook Groups
Facebook is the most popular social network, so it’s no wonder that Facebook Groups are a constant source of new topic ideas. I suggest joining several groups relevant to your business, and begin to participate in the discussion.
If you find a particular group doesn’t provide value, leave it. By simply joining conversations, you will see what common questions and topics are that are relevant to your business.
2. Listen to People You Follow on Twitter
You should be following influential thought-leaders within your industry on social media, especially Twitter. Scroll through your feed and look for articles they share or recommend reading. Click over and see if it’s something that your audience would also be interested in reading about. If a particular tweet has a lot of engagement, it’s a great indication that the topic will be one that your blog readers will also enjoy. — John Rodeman, Digital Marketing Director of Taylor Morrison
3. Be Active on Forums
Forums are such a great source of topics because it’s where people go to ask questions. Look for recent questions that have received a lot of replies. That’s typically a good indication that it’s a relevant topic and one that people are interested in reading about. There are online communities and forums for almost every subject-matter these days. If you aren’t familiar with any, use Google to see what is available. — Stephan Boehringer, CEO of Get The Clicks
4. Ask or Poll Your Email List
“If you have been building an email list since day one, which every business should, then you can pool your subscriber list to see what they are interested in reading about. This can be your most valuable source of content ideas, as these are the people that are most likely to purchase your product or service in the near future. You can send out a simple, “What are you interested in reading about?” email, or use a survey app that integrates with your email provider. This strategy helps you create content that your buyers will engage with, which can then lead to additional purchase conversions down the line, increasing the lifetime value of each customer.” — Matthew Willens, Founder of Willens Law Offices
5. Search Quora and Yahoo Answers
I have found Quora and Yahoo Answers to be the best inspiration for blog topics. You can find questions and answers about every topic imaginable. Just search terms that are related to your industry and you will find an endless supply of questions that you can convert into blog topics. Yahoo Answers was more popular several years ago, while Quora has become more popular, so you will find the most current questions on that platform. — Hillary Hobson, CMO of Highest Cash Offer
6. Read the Comments on Popular Industry Blogs
Every industry has popular blogs, so identify the top 10 blogs that your audience is likely to read on a regular basis and start to monitor the comments section on their most popular posts. These are the same people that are your potential customers, so by curating topics from their questions, it’s going to help you attract organic search traffic and if people land on your blog and see topics that answer their common questions, it will greatly increase the chance of them converting into a customer. — Tim Johnson, Managing Director of Ink Factory
7. Ask Your Customer Service Team for a List of Common Questions
It doesn’t matter if you customer service team is in-house or outsourced. Whomever speaks with your customers on a daily basis is a great source of content topics. Ask them to put together a list of the top ten customer service questions, and you will be able to come up with multiple blog post topics. This can also reduce the number of customer service inquiries, as many of the common questions will be answered on your blog. — Chris Saviano, Vice President of Business Development of PGM Billing
8. Find the Most Popular Topics on Your Blog Via Google Analytics
Successful older posts on your own blog can be great sources of content ideas. As most industries evolve and change over time, old topics can be updated and re-written for the present time. If you dive into your Google Analytics data you can identify the posts that have received the most views, as well as what posts had the longest time spent on the page. Once you identify these, visit the post and look at the number of social shares and comments they received to determine if it’s worth re-visiting the same topic in a future post. — Aaron Haynes, Founder of Fenix Pro
9. Read Relevant Sub-Reddit’s on a Regular Basis
Reddit is a great source to find out what people are talking about and sharing that’s related to your industry. There are subreddits for every topic under the sun, and this is one topic source that many business owners don’t think about utilizing. The number of comments and upvotes submissions receive is a strong indication on its potential as a blog post topic. — Jennifer Shima, CEO of The Bacon
10. Monitor Major Media Outlets for Topics Related to Your Industry
If a major media outlet such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post or Inc. writes a story related to your industry, that means it’s a very timely topic, and one you should consider covering as well. It takes just seconds to search these websites daily, and you can often cover the topic on a local-level, before any of your competitors do, simply by being proactive and performing daily searches. — Sean Flynn, Owner of Flynn & Associates PLLC
11. Google Search Suggestions
When you type in a search into Google’s search box, there will always be a list of suggested searches. By playing around with topics and niche-related terms, you can often spark some content ideas. You will have to get creative and think outside-the-box, but often times you can come up with a couple topic ideas just by mind-dumping into the search box. — Steve Kappel, President of Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
12. Curate Flipboard Topics
Flipboard is aggregated content from all over the world. You can enter in any search term and see content that has been shared related to that topic. The top results are a good indication of what you should be writing about, as it’s what is currently being shared. Consumers only share content that they find helpful and useful, so publishing blog content based on similar topics will likely be well received by your audience. — Paul Denman, Owner of DMS Air
If you use the tips above, you will never again struggle to think of topics for your content. When you have a constant source of content ideas, it allows you to publish enough content to satisfy the appetite of your audience.
Do you have additional ways to come up with new topic ideas? If so, please leave your suggestions in the comments section below.