So, you have started a blog for your business to generate more traffic to your site, get your Google ranking up and contribute interesting, information packed content to the World Wide Webz, but your running out of ideas on what to talk about next.
I have made a little list of methods that I use and now you can use to help you along the way, because you need to have regular postings to not only keep your ranking high but because your readers always want more!
1: Write a list of topic headings
This is what I do. I have a coffee-fuelled, brain storming session where I will sit down and thrash out about 20 – 30 headings for blog articles. Not all of them are works of literary genius, but if you occasionally revisit them they can be rewritten from nuggets of dross into sweet little gems.
You must always be continually adding to the list.
I tend to have inspiration at about 2am in the morning so I will have a pen and paper ready so I don’t forget. That way you are never going to be out of topics.
2: Have an RSS feed
Another option to find inspiration is have a few RSS feeds for sites that have similar topics to yours.I’m not saying that you should re-write another person’s article, or for that matter scrape their articles because Google knows when you’re doing this, and they will send the heavies over to break your fingers.
I’m talking about reading other articles to become inspired to write a retort or even an expansion on the topic, a great article should make you feel inspired to write, so why not read other peoples posts?
The added benefit to that is you might actually learn something or at least have a laugh at a new LOLCAT image…
In addition to RSS try using Stumbleupon.com to harness the power of other users to find the content you’re interested in.
3: Get email newsletter from relevant sites
Similar to having an RSS from other sites, newsletters can also be a source of inspiration. I have about 30 odd subscriptions to random sites that send me weekly newsletters and I find that 1 out of every 20 letters will have a gem that I disagree with (I prefer to disagree than agree as it makes much more fun to write than just another ‘Oh yes, I agree with that’ article).
Something to keep in mind, set up an email that you use for this only. It saves the inbox for your regular email. Something like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org trust me, do this and you save yourself from a whole world of pain.
4: Run a poll
This is a fun one if you have decent traffic coming to your site. Run a poll and blog about the results, make it fun and make it interesting. Not all blog entries have to be some pearl of wisdom, people enjoy a laugh as well as research, so ask your reader base a few wacky questions and then build a story about the results.
The more ‘out there’ the question the more interesting the blog entry, so get creative. People are generally more honest when answering an anonymous poll online so it can make for some interesting results.
5: Troll forums
Another favorite of mine is trolling a few forums to see what users on mass are talking about. Find the most recent thread with the most views and replies and you can guarantee that a quick little blog about that subject can generate a bit of traffic.
Be picky about the topic though and make sure that its relevant to your site’s content as a blog about ‘Is Santa Clause actually a diabetic alcoholic?’ is not really going to add value to your site unless it’s somehow relevant. (if that topic heading is relevant to your blog I would love to see it)
6: Trending Topics
There a plenty of online tools that can tell you about what is trending on the social media current. This is a really great way to try to capture traffic that is searching and sharing topics that are relevant to them right now. To really take advantage of this though, you really need to make sure that whatever that topic is, it stays in theme to what your site is about but again relevance to your site’s topic is a must.
7: The low tech solution, get the Newspaper
The printed press, as old as it is; is still paying good money (although I’m sure there are many journalists out there that would disagree) for quality reporting. You know that you’re going to find some researched and well presented information in the traditional media (again, I’m sure there are many journalists out there that would disagree) so it can be utilized for quality content.
Why not keep abreast of what’s happening in your field of interest and then write about an article that piqued your interest?
8: Have a unique angle
In my last post I wrote about S.E.O as the Three Wise Men of the Internet and in 24 hours it racked up over 1500 reads. Now the content wasn’t particularly involved or really saying anything new, but it had a unique angle to it. It wasn’t a bland and straight forward ‘Do this and this will happen’ post.
It’s easy to say that, but it is hard to do, but you’re smart and I think that you can do it. The question is now though, do you bust a nut to always write like this or do you save up those creative juices for that something special every now and again?
I am a little hesitant to do this one because it feels like cheating but, it’s a handy tool if you’re starting out and need some real help.
There are a number of tools out there like the Google Keyword tool that allow you to input a selection of keywords that are relevant to your site, and it will show you what the general populace are searching for with that keyword in the search phrase.
Google Keywords is a powerful tool that keeps you on topic and relevant with your demographic, but for me, it’s kind of like buying links. You’re not adding anything fresh or unique, your just writing for the search engines and not the users. But it has its place I suppose.
I guess you can tell that I’m in two minds about this one.
10: Do the ol’ Top Ten list
This is the easiest of the lot as you can see.
You just have a single topic, for example “Top ten tips to create content’ and then all you need to do is think of the ten steps you take to develop that content that you going to publish, write a list and fill in the gaps.
It’s why the Internet is full of top ten’s, twenties and so on. They are easy to digest. They help if you get stuck for something to write about, or if they actually have some value, then your also adding to the great ocean of useful resources that can be found online.
So that’s 10 tips that can help you to get some winning content on your site. Now all you need to do is write it up, post the bugger and promote the hell out of it.
Feel free to disagree with any of these steps or point out some that you may use that aren’t listed here.