A blog can be one of the most valuable aspects of your website. It’s where you get to create content relevant to your industry, educate your audience on important topics and add personality to your writing. However, coming up with ideas isn't always a pleasant endeavor. Sometimes it takes a lot of brainpower to figure out precisely what your target audience wants to read about and what will keep them engaged for the long haul.
That's why it's essential to come up with fresh ways to curate ideas for your content calendar. According to recent studies, 53 percent of marketers consider blog content creation a top priority for their business. Without having a plan for your content marketing strategy, it's easy to experience burnout because information keeps overlapping. It'll feel like you've gone over the same topic a million times, which will irritate and bore your audience.
To ensure you don’t run out of creative, compelling topics for your blog, it's essential to:
Collect consistent feedback from your readers.
Stay up-to-date on your industry's trending topics and current events.
Use social media to gain inspiration.
Create a swipe file of documents, images and media relevant to your niche.
Knowing how essential it is to make sure you never run out of content ideas for your blog, here are more details on the four ways to get started.
Collect feedback from your audience
The most direct way to get honest feedback about what type of content your audience wants to consume is by asking for it. Reaching out to your readers and finding out what kind of content they're interested in learning more about brings you closer to giving them what they want.
There are different ways to go about collecting feedback. Send them a survey asking them what kind of content they'd like to see from you and how you can help them out. Take it a step further by turning it into a conversational form that works with your audience's answers and feeds them questions relevant to their responses.
Conversational forms provide a higher completion rate and create a less overwhelming, daunting experience for your users. Questions are given one at a time and change based on how people answer for increased relevance. Providing a positive UX is crucial to gather as much feedback as possible. People don't go out of their way to fill out surveys, so making the process smooth is a must. Ask questions that are user-focused and aim to cater to your audience's needs for the best results.
Stay on top of current events and trends
Naturally, many people like to stay on top of current events and trends happening within their industry. Aim to stay on top of trending topics so you're always able to create content ideas your audience loves.
Make it a habit to do your research about everything happening in your niche. With the right tools, it's much easier to keep track and stay informed.
Use Google News to search for popular keywords that will give you the most current information on that topic. It’s updated around the clock to provide recent information about any topic you choose.
AnswerThePublic lets you enter keywords and provides you with the latest, most frequently asked questions surrounding that topic. It's a great way to see what people want to know and how your blog content could be the answer they’re looking for.
Use Reddit to stay on top of what users are talking about. You can stay on top of the latest events and hot topics surrounding your industry by using its filters based on what you want to see. For example, you can search keywords in the search bar at the top to get specific results. Reddit's tabs let you filter what kind of content you're looking for, choosing from hot, new, rising, controversial, top, gilded and promoted.
Quora is a Q&A platform where users can learn about all kinds of topics and ask questions they receive from other users. It shows you questions posed by your target audience when you search for relevant keywords so you know how to cater to them better. Answer users' questions and then link them to the full blog post so you increase engagement and drive organic traffic to your website.
Engage on social media
The more you know your audience, the better you'll know what they want so you can create blog posts that speak to them. A great way to get inside their heads and gauge their perspective is through social media. People tend to be more honest, straightforward and authentic when expressing themselves on social platforms, and this is no different when it comes to your readers.
Take advantage of social media and use it to get to know your audience on a deeper level. Track trending keywords and hashtags relevant to your industry to see what your audience has to say. Encourage engagement by reaching out to your followers, replying to their comments and asking them questions. It's crucial to acknowledge users who interact with you because it humanizes your brand.
You can also use social media to network with other professionals in your niche and spark a conversation about your target markets. It's beneficial to gain other leaders' perspectives so you can look at things from a different angle and, hopefully, get ideas out of it. It also gives you valuable insight and material to consider working with for your blog.
Create a swipe file
If you don't already have a swipe file, now's a great time to create one. It's a collection of articles, news, visuals, emails and other types of content that give you material to work with later. These examples aren't for copying; instead, they're there for you to gain inspiration for your content strategy. When you come across something interesting, resourceful, or unique, save it to your swipe file.
Think back to a time you were so in awe of someone else's writing or other creative abilities that it made you envy their talent. A swipe file lets you keep those awe-inspiring pieces of content in one place so that creating topic ideas is more of an adventure than a death sentence.
Creating a swipe file allows you to:
Find and develop your brand voice
Enhance your writing skills
Become a better, more experienced blogger
Learn from others’ achievements and pitfalls
It’s easy to create one. You can use Google Drive, software like Evernote, use a browser extension, or create a digital folder. Store information like screenshots, images, links, notes and whatever else gets your creative juices flowing. Regardless of where you store your swipe file, make it easily accessible and keep it organized so everything is easy to find.
If you run a blog, you know how important it is never to run out of ideas for it. It can be daunting to create a content calendar when you aren't quite sure where to get inspiration from or what your audience wants. However, if you know where to look and trust in your audience's feedback, you'll find that coming up with ideas really isn't that daunting after all.