There is not one true internet marketing expert who would not agree that adding new, fresh content is vital to keep visitors (yes, including the search engines) coming to, and maintaining interest, in your website, your blog and your social media properties.
Creating your initial website copy (especially if you engaged a professional to do it!) was the first, somewhat easy step to take; however, you may eventually feel that you’ve come to a point where you’ve exhausted all possible sources for ongoing content creation. Over the years I’ve spent as a content writer, I have discovered ways to draw out new topics or angles to write about to keep the marketing content ideas flowing.
Here are some of the strategies that I use, which might to help you generate an ongoing supply fresh website content to use in on your authority site, or for publishing on third party sites.
Listen to your niche community
- When writing for a specific audience, going straight to your clients or potential customers is the quickest way to learn about what they want to read or learn from you.
- Activate your email list and start sending emails asking for feedback from your email readers. If you have not created a way to collect the names of the visitors to your website/shop/practice/business, its time you did (ask me about this now, or wait for a forthcoming post!).
- Start new conversations on your social media properties and take note of the comments and questions of your fans and followers. Keep the conversation flowing by engaging your readers with interesting responses and addressing them by their first names (which, depending on their settings, will alert them to the reply).
- Contribute to the conversations on other people’s relevant sites and social media pages, and see what is creating a buzz.
- Go offline and talk to your customers or clients at the office or sales floor.
- If you have a customer service/help desk – they know first hand where people’s problems may be with your product/service – so ensure that you get regular reports from them on why people are calling or emailing.
- Ask for feedback: a quick email after a purchase or service provision will without doubt tell you where improvements can be made. If the comments returned are positive, then they can become, with the client’s permission, a testimonial (or the impetus to ask for one) to add to your website (grab a photo if you can!).
- Compare feedback obtained from clients with the opinion of your family and friends. By engaging in conversations, you’ll most likely pick up a common question or problem that you can address in an article or series of articles.
Repurpose your content
Existing content in print and electronic formats can also provide fresh ideas for social media posts and website content.
- Take another look at your printed brochures, advertisements or reports, and pull out an interesting photo and caption that you can post on Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook to generate comments, replies, Likes and Shares.
- Review your blog archives and pick several popular articles that you can incorporate and reformat into an eBook.
- Look at those same blog posts and extract a single element that there is value in expanding upon.
- You can also convert a blog post into a video email.
- Other potential sources of content to be repurposes are the About and FAQ pages of your business website – expand on elements worthy of more detail.
Another way to keep fresh content ideas flowing is to have a swipe file of articles that you admire. Draw inspiration from the points raised in the articles, expand on them with your own thoughts and findings – but don’t copy! If you particularly like something in the article, put it in quote marks and attribute the author.
Google Alerts and Google Trends
Without doubt, one of the best sources of content ideas for me is the information received through Google Alerts – on specific, relevant topics (for both my own business and for my clients’). Read what’s new in the industry and see if you can write about important updates that can affect your business or your readers’ – its also a great way to monitor any activity from your competitors (in fact set up a Google Alert for their business name as well!).
To discover what is trending in online searches in your field, look to Google Trends and target a search term/industry/niche – the results are sure to inspire your content writing ideas. Note these ideas down! If you don’t have time to write, get someone else to do it for you! Just don’t let them lie in limbo.
Outsourcing your content writing
Finally, if you don’t have the time to implement these strategies, to put great ideas into words to support your online business activities, then include the outsourcing of them in your monthly marketing budget.
Perhaps you are wondering how much this type of service may cost?
For me to write 10 articles for posting to third party sites e.g. article directories, would be around $220*, for an authority blog post from your existing material, from $80*; for an more detailed, authority blog post, created from my own research, fully referenced (i.e. you do nothing!), then we are looking at around $180*.
*Depends on the niche (legal/medical/very detailed topics attract a surcharge), and the length of the article/post.
And remember, once you have quality written content to start with, you are able to repurpose it (we can do human rewrites for you) for further leverage.