The Ultimate Guide to Creating Content for any Topic
How did you find this page? My bet is that you typed something similar to [how to generate blog post ideas] into Google and found the link somewhere on the search engine results page (SERP). If I’m correct, you’re like the other 2 billion Google users who utilize Google to find the information they need on a daily basis.
Though you’re unlikely to reach all of those users, you can reach your target audience by producing content that they actually want to read. This guide will show you how to generate content ideas to reach new users, engage with your audience and keep them coming back for more.
How to Think of New Ideas for Blog Posts
“How do you come up with new ideas for blog content?” As a content writer, I love when people ask me this question because my answer is never what they think it will be. I don’t come up with ideas for blog posts.
My audience does. I just write the content that they tell me they want to read. Now that might sound like “doublespeak”, but it’s true. It’s not like there’s an all-knowing, omnipresent entity giving me insight into the minds of my readers… or is there?
Use Google Search to Source Content Ideas
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Google is the best way to gather insight into the minds of your readers. The search engine quite literally records every word that every user types into it (appx. 63,000 searches per second) and compiles that information into data sets that we can use to create content for those users.
I assure you, the Google algorithm is infinitely more sophisticated than how I just described it, BUT for the purposes of sourcing content ideas, it’s simple to understand and easy to use effectively. Here is how to use Google to find content ideas:
Identify Search Intent - Go to Google and type a random topic in the search bar and analyze the first page results. If the SERP is split into informational and transactional results, then you have an opportunity to cater to potential customers in different stages of the customer journey by writing both top-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel content.
Discover Keywords and Phrases - If you already have a topic in mind, simply toss it into Google and see what turns up. Read through the top 5-10 results and take note of the overlapping words, phrases and topics. Then utilize the skyscraper method to create content that both utilizes those keywords and builds on those topics.
Use Google Suggest, Related Searches and People Also Ask - You can find even more keywords, topics and phrases to include in your content with the “Related searches” and “People Also Ask” sections of the SERP.
They are visible at the top and bottom of the search result page and very handy when looking for new content topics.
Check out Google Trends - Google Trends is a remarkable tool that enables you to explore a keyword or topic’s search demand and compare search popularity over time. Using the data you collect, you can then create a content outline that covers most, if not all related sub topics and keywords.
Allow Guest Posts to Add New Voices to Your Brand
One way to source content for your website or blog is to allow writers to guest post. Everyone wants to guest post these days, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find writers, but you should exercise caution. Don’t let just anyone post on your blog.
- Only publish content that adds to your blog.
- Only allow content from contributors that are actively involved in your industry.
- Ensure sure links in contributor bios are to quality relevant websites.
- Proof-read and edit all contributor submissions.
- Remember that you have the final say on who and what is published on your blog.
For an in-depth look at guest posting, check out my article on How to Guest Post: A Content Writers Guide.
Rewrite Old Content to Keep Things Current
The only thing Google likes more than informative, quality content is informative, quality content that is frequently updated. If you have old content on your blog that isn’t up to today’s standards, consider rewriting it instead of starting a new post from scratch. It will take less effort and enable you to flex your expertise to Google and build trust between you and your customers.
Create Case Studies to Prove Expertise and Build Authority
The case study is a staple of marketing departments everywhere but also a great source of content no matter the topic or industry. What’s more, 55% of marketers surveyed in the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Report said that case studies were the single most effective content format they employed.
Answer Industry Specific FAQs to Be a Resource for Others
Now that you’re a pro at using Google to source content ideas, you may have noticed that users utilize the search engine to answer their questions about anything and everything. Remember, Google doesn't know the answer to any question it’s asked.
It only knows to return the most relevant content for any search. It’s up to you to answer user questions with your content so that Google can provide that content to the reader. If your content is the most relevant (i.e. proves expertise, authority and trustworthiness), it will rank higher on the SERP.
One way to prove your expertise, authority and trustworthiness in a given industry is to create a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page to answer questions on the topics in which your audience is most interested. A great place to source FAQ questions is the “People also ask” section of SERP.
Outsource Content Marketing So You Don’t Have to Do Any of This Stuff
Arguably, the best way to source content ideas for your website or blog is to outsource the process to an experienced content marketer. The keyword in that sentence is experienced, because few business owners have the experience to write quality content on a regular basis.
You could outsource to a content farm but most will take your requested topic (and your money) to simply rewrite an existing article and pass it off as original content. Don’t fall for that garbage. Contact me to get started on an original content strategy today and experience the difference quality content can make.