It’s not always easy brainstorming new content ideas; especially when you’ve been blogging since Day One, and you feel as though you’ve covered every topic under the sun within your industry. Trust us, we’ve been there, staring at the blank piece of paper labeled “Amazing Content Topics for XYZ Month.” So what to do when you’ve got a serious case of brainstorm block? Below we’ve outlined some creative ideas to get outside your own head when brainstorming new content ideas. Some we’ve tackled, others we can’t wait to try ourselves. Let’s dive.
The Magic of Generalized Topic Ideas
If you work with SEOs, then you know that the more niche and long-tail the focus keyword is for a content piece the better. I agree (as I AM an SEO myself). However, sometimes looking for that perfect, specific, unicorn keyword isn’t realistic. Focus, instead, on generalized topics and narrow it down from there.
For example, let’s say you work at Pets-R-Us. You feel as though you’ve beaten pet care, pet emergencies and adopting pet topics into the ground. You’ve focused on heartworm in dogs, dental care in cats, things your audience may not have known about guienea pigs, and why certain fish can’t be together in a fishbowl. You’re feeling stuck.
Instead of looking for a granular keyword, pull out your focus and pick something basic…like birds! Now, you may have written 100 blogs on birds. That’s cool; keep in mind what ones you have already written, but start narrowing down from there. Pull out as many possible bird blog ideas as humanly possible. Write a giant list of all the possible scenarios you could touch on when it comes to birds. Your list is probably getting pretty long. If you’re still feeling a bit perplexed, we tend to turn to Answer the Public. Here you can type in a keyword phrase and it provides you hundreds of questions people have asked surrounding that topic that you can answer.
Jeopardy Topic Ideas
This method has the #TeamTower stamp of approval for topic generation. If your business has multiple facets and/or product lines, pull a sample of people from each team. Come together and start writing in the form of questions about your specific department. Categorize your questions based on monetary value:
- $100-$200 Questions: Basic, top-level questions that we receive on a pretty regular basis
- $400-$600 Questions: Questions we receive that are a little more intensive, for the intermediate level customer
- $800-$1,000 Questions: Questions that we ourselves ask others in the office as experts or have seen on professional forums about this product/department/skill
Set a timer for each round of questions and keep the questions for brainstorming new content pieces moving forward.
Getting Outside Your Four Walls
Oftentimes as marketers we forget that there’s a whole world of people outside our office, including a) our audience itself and b) influencers who speak the same language we do. Consider the following when brainstorming content ideas:
- Ask current customers what they want to know more about. Send them a survey or pose the question on social media.
- If you’re open to guest writers, pick their brains about topics they feel are your weak points on the blog and/or topics that they themselves have more experience in than you do.
- Look at popular industry forums and see what questions other professionals are asking. Write a couple blogs that specifically answer these questions and post the link back in the forum when you’re done.
- Reach out to businesses/consumers that might use your product/service. Ask them, if they were looking into purchasing your product/service, what questions would they want to have answered when looking at a potential site.
“Do Geckos…” and Other Recent Google Search Ideas
It may seem too simple, but oftentimes the best ideas are. Looking for a topic? Start typing into your Google search bar and see what others have looked for recently regarding that topic. You may be surprised that many of the questions posed could all be included into one singular blog.
Imitation Is the Greatest Form of Flattery…And Then Do It Better.
Get inspired. Find other content pieces and topics that you love on Pinterest, on competitors’ sites, through popular content publications, by other influencers…and then figure out how you can either a) expand on the topic or b) make it more compelling, interesting, or entertaining.
For example, you find an amazing blog on a competitors site entitled “The First Six Months With a New Puppy.” It explains all the vaccines you should be getting for your pup, what common health issues might pop up, training qualms to expect and growth patterns. The information is comprehensive and the writing is easily formatted enough to not be overwhelming for users. It’s a 10/10 on the content scale. So how can you do the same but better? We know humans are visual creatures. How about an infographic? How about personal anecdotes from your customers? How about a “Case by Case” scenario or a comparison chart between common breeds? In what way can you take a topic that’s already been done and make it 10X better?
Feeling like your creative well has run dry can be tough, but finding the right brainstorming technique can crack the code for the jackpot of all ideas. We wish you luck and happy writing!