Coming up with quality content writing ideas is one of the biggest challenges faced by content marketers.
Content marketing in the contemporary world is unavoidable. Either publish quality content on your website or blog, or you make way for your competitors. There is no other way.
Whether you are writing content on your own or you have hired a content writer (or a team of content writers), you have to come up with exciting and engaging and most importantly, useful content writing ideas.
There is no use publishing content regularly if your target audience doesn’t find the content useful and engaging.
Every piece of content must be useful. It must solve some purpose.
Different Google ranking algorithms have made sure that if you simply focus on algorithms, you don’t get much headway if you want to improve your search engine rankings.
Your search engine rankings can only improve if actual human beings respond to your content, and they respond only if they find your content interesting and useful.
So, it is very important that there is a steady stream of content writing ideas.
But where do interesting content writing ideas come from?
Topics for content writing and come up from anywhere, yes, anywhere.
How to find all those elusive content writing ideas non-stop?
In the beginning, usually everything is very easy and hunky-dory. You are bubbling with ideas and you feel as if you’re going to conquer the content marketing world and become its King or Queen.
Then, after having published 10-15 blog posts or articles, you suddenly begin to panic. You can no longer come up with great content writing ideas.
Even if you have hired a content writer, he or she cannot, on his own come up with great content writing ideas. There has to be a mechanism for a continuous supply.
What do other content marketers do? How come other publishers never run out of content writing ideas? How come they are always coming up with great ideas? Are they a bunch of exceptional geniuses?
They have a system in place that gives them a never-ending supply of great content writing ideas.
And the beauty of this system is, everyone has access to it, everyone can develop it.
Listed below are 5 ways you never run out of great content writing ideas.
1. Read and enhance your expertise
Writing about your topic on an ongoing basis means you need to develop some sort of expertise. If you have noticed, people who develop expertise in their field, write often.
Blog post after blog post, article after article, book after book, lecture after lecture, nothing seems to stop them.
A big reason why they never run out of interesting ideas is because they’re constantly acquiring in-depth knowledge about their field.
Even small topics and subtopics can be converted into highly engaging articles and blog posts.
There can be umpteen topics in every subject matter.
Even if you are a plumber you can write exciting series of blog posts on your experiences handling various plumbing jobs.
Reading is an essential part of writing. It is like, what goes in comes out. If you don’t feed your intellect with information and ideas, your intellect won’t be able to process new ideas.
Reading is like the seeds that you scatter over the productive land of your mind.
There is nothing wrong in first acquiring knowledge from the others and then creating your own take on what you have understood.
As Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
You can build new knowledge only when you have acquired existing knowledge.
Invest in books on your field. Read blogs dedicated to your profession. Follow people on Twitter and Facebook who constantly write about your field of expertise.
This can be time consuming.
But content marketing isn’t a week-long, or a month-long activity.
It is an ongoing process.
2. Be open to taking risks
People who always play it safe rarely succeed. In business very often you have to take risks.
How do you take risks trying to write interesting content for your business?
Swim against the tide – not for the heck of it, but because you really have something contrary to say.
Suppose there is a popular belief in your profession and it is considered a gospel truth. Maybe you think differently but you don’t want to annoy people and hence you keep quiet.
Make a thorough assessment of your opinion. Gather as much information as possible. Spend ample amount of time presenting your case. And then write a “controversial” post.
Even a single controversial post can present you with many blog writing opportunities with at least 10 more topics.
3. Constantly communicate with influencers in your field
If you continuously interact with influencers in your field you constantly get new content writing ideas.
This is because you are constantly exchanging opinions and ideas with like-minded people. There might be many issues you could have missed that can be brought up in various discussions.
Some people may have more experience than you. Some people may have different opinions. Some may come from different backgrounds serving different audience though the same business as yours.
A good way of keeping in touch with influencers in your profession is by remaining active on social platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. For your specific domain you will have to find out on your own which is the best platform.
If you feel you are not the talking types you can just track the ongoing conversations. Even reading through various threads will give you many content writing ideas.
4. Maintain a list of ideas
This is an oft-repeated suggestion. Content writing ideas can come to you anytime. They can even come to you when you are not ready to write.
So that you don’t lose great ideas, maintain a list of them. You can maintain a Google Keep note.
You can use a web clipper browser extension from Evernote or OneNote.
You can use a simple Word file or text file.
You can use a voice recording app.
You can simply send yourself an email whenever you get a new idea.
You can use an Excel sheet.
You can use an editorial calendar plug-in if you prefer WordPress for maintaining ideas.
I use Trello these days.
The point is, you must have a place where you can store the ideas and then you can quickly refer to it when you need a new idea.
5. Repurpose your existing content
You may not realize it, but there might be a cornucopia of great content writing ideas within your existing content.
You should anyway keep on updating your existing content to keep it relevant, fresh and topical.
While updating your existing content you can draw many content writing ideas from it.
Sometimes even a headline or a subheadline or a bullet point can trigger a complete blog post or a complete article.
For example, I could write a complete blog post on how to repurpose your existing content. In fact, you can go ahead and read How to repurpose old content.
Sometimes, while reviewing my existing content I come across an expression or a phrase that needs further explanation.
In the context of this blog post, you may wonder, what exactly is “an interesting content writing idea”? In a completely different blog post I can discuss what might be interesting and not interesting depending on a particular business.
Continuously coming up with content writing ideas is very critical for the success of not just your search engine rankings but your entire content marketing exercise. If you think you are all set, good for you.
If you think you may run out of quality content writing ideas in near future, or even after a few months, you should better start preparing a mechanism that allows you to save and track great ideas.