One of the tasks in feeding the “content monster” is to regularly come up with new ideas for blog topics and email newsletters. Lists of “100 blog post ideas” can be a starting point, but they’re often quite generic and don’t always line up well with your specific business needs.
Here are three places to look for content ideas specific to your business that you may not have considered.
1. Crowdsource them
There’s a quick and easy way to discover what people want to know about your area of expertise. Simply start typing into the Google search bar and see what options Google offers you to autocomplete your query. These options are based on what others have searched for, so they’re a great way to find out the specific questions people are asking.
You can also use the Answer the Public website to generate lots of topic ideas around short keywords. Answer the Public also takes data from Google searches but has the advantage over simply using Google autocomplete in that you don’t have to think up different variations of how to start your question. It offers paid plans with extra features, but you can use it for free to access a limited number of searches each day.
2. Use social media and your email list
Another place to discover what kind of content (potential) customers want to read about is on social media. Make a note of questions people are asking in Facebook groups or on Twitter, for example.
You can also directly ask people. You could run a poll on social media, perhaps with a few options and the chance for people to add their own ideas. Or you can include questions when you send broadcasts to your email list, such as asking subscribers about their biggest challenges or things they wish they’d known starting out.
3. Mine the content in your own products
If you’re offering digital products such as courses or coaching, you don’t want to give away the “special sauce” in the content you make available for free. But there are still likely to be topics you can write about that don’t cover the parts of your products that are unique to you. Even with the “special sauce” aspects, you can still provide a very brief summary of the content — creating list-based articles that showcase your content at a high level, for example — and tease that people can get much more detail by purchasing the product.
For printables such as planners and checklists, you could talk about why you included each kind of content, what issues it will solve and how your customers should use it.
If you’re creating physical products, you can talk about the process. Perhaps you can offer tips for getting a perfect finish or explain what inspired you to create that particular product. You could also talk about how to use your products. Examples would include showing people the different looks they can get with a pattern if they vary the materials or ideas for journal prompts and page spreads if you’re selling notebooks.
My free guide to 4 Toolsets Every Writer Needs includes two sets of tools — for brainstorming and for capturing ideas — that will help you generate blog topics to feed the content monster. Get your copy by clicking here or on the banner below.