How to Come up with Great Content Ideas7 min read
Do you spend hours staring at a blank computer screen or piece of paper, desperately racking your brain for just one great content idea? Well, the sad reality is that you cannot afford to wait for inspiration to strike: your readers are waiting for yet another one of your great posts to enjoy and share.
This article is your reference for tips and tricks to find inspiration and create great content to grow your WordPress site.
We’ll cover the following topics:
- How to source inspiration directly from your readers
- How to get great topic ideas from your social media channels
- Useful tools you may already be using, but not as effectively
- How to overcome writer’s block
Know Your Readers and Their Concerns
This is arguably the starting point to creating great content: knowing your reader and their concerns.
To gain and maintain a steady stream of followers, you must produce consistently good content that your blog visitors are interested in. Since your content is ideally centered around the needs and interests of your readers, it is therefore very important to know who they are. But how would you know what your readers are interested in?
First, put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Then ask and answer the following questions:
- What issues do your readers struggle with most?
- What would better enable them to understand and solve those issues?
- What would a reader enter in search engines to find content in your niche?
Creating valuable content boils down to problem solving. You can start writing winning content more easily once you know what your readers are looking for and what their pain points are.
A key thing to remember, however, is that some of your readers may be beginners who are trying to come to grips with your subject area. So create content that is clear & appealing to beginners and which does not exclusively focus on advanced readers.
Look at Your Analytics
Your website analytics will provide you with a lot of insight regarding where your readers are coming from and how they’re interacting with your site. Check Google Analytics for keywords that users are searching for to get to your site, and then create engaging content about those topics.
You can also use those insights to update and keep existing posts relevant; or to create new posts with detailed information on the problems your target audience is trying to solve.
Go Through Your Blog Comments
Your blog comments can be extremely helpful to you in a number of ways.
First of all, they provide you with great insight into what readers think of the content you have written. This may include positive or negative feedback on the style and clarity of your writing, questions for more information on areas you can expand on, wide-spread problems being discussed and/or solutions to those problems.
Note them down and come up with post ideas to help your readers.
If your readers take the time to report a problem they are having, or to give you feedback, you need to listen. It usually means that it’s a significant challenge they, and other users, are facing.
Sift Through Your FAQs
You can actively engage with your readers by answering their most frequently asked questions in blog posts. This will show readers that you have carefully considered their responses to your content, and also helps other readers who may also have similar questions.
And as a nice bonus, you may attract some more visitors that wouldn’t have found your WordPress site otherwise.
Use Social Media
Social media channels are arguably the best place to source inspiration. Take BuzzFeed for example. They constantly browse the web for fun ideas – typically small trends or trending topics in niche areas – and make them more mainstream.
You can also use social media to stay on top of industry trends; and to monitor the new keywords created by these trends. Use tools like Google Trends, Twitter Trends, Reddit, etc. to keep up with the conversation and take it to your blog.
Questionnaires and Polls
Another useful way to engage with readers is to put out short surveys or polls on your blog, social media or your mailing list. Ask them any questions they may have or for their opinion on certain topics that you covered. This is also a fantastic way to keep them engaged with your content.
Make it clear to your mailing list that you welcome questions. One way to do this is to offer some sort of incentive: perhaps a product discount, a coupon, or free mentoring to anyone who is willing to give a short interview. Interviewing in particular is a great way to find out a host of questions or issues your audience may have with your topic or industry that may never have even crossed your mind. This strategy may seem daunting, but is an effective way of coming up with content that is higher quality and more relevant to your audience.
Recycle and Transform
The fastest way for you to generate content ideas is by reading through existing content and expanding and improving on it. This means looking though what your competitors are writing about, and using that as a beacon to light your own blog posts. It is about taking already existing material, not copying it, but using it as a starting point for your own inspiration.
An important thing to consistently keep in mind when expanding and improving existing material is to not limit yourself to the original piece; to consider what else readers would benefit from knowing. Perhaps you could make the piece more personal and relatable by referencing your personal experiences.
So how can you discover other content in your niche? Use tools such as Feedly which shows you a list of publications that have been produced about a certain topic. Once you create an account, you can simply enter in specific keywords, URLs, or browse through existing categories.
Read Every Day
Reading every day actually means reading something relevant to your niche every single day. By doing so, you will find that over time, not only will your knowledge of the subject matter improve substantially, but that new sources of inspiration will spring up as well.
Reading content written by others in your field and the comments left behind by their users is also a good way to find inspiration. When reading through other peoples content, you may notice that similar problems keep cropping up but have remained unanswered. You can subsequently try to answer those questions in depth and address those issues in your own blog.
Visit popular blogs and websites, and observe the different ways in which they operate. Pay close attention to their writing style, and the topics that they are covering. You will slowly begin to pick up fresh ideas, and gain exposure to different viewpoints.
Reading stimulates the brain, thus making it that much easier for you to generate great content ideas.
How to Tackle Writer’s Block
So you’ve found inspiration and are now struggling with writer’s block. One of the best techniques to overcome it is simply to write! Write something down every single day, no matter how small, or jumbled. The point is to get all your ideas down on paper, which you can later revise and expand on.
Keep your work well organized, and easy to refer back to. You can use online note applications such as Evernote or Google Docs to keep your work backed up and easily accessible.
Having something to start with makes that blank page much less intimidating.
In a Nutshell
Once you get started using these tips and tricks, you will find that generating good content ideas is not as difficult as it may have initially seemed. So we hope this post has helped you to find inspiration for your next engaging blog post. The truth is, you really never know when your next source of inspiration may strike, so best of luck!