Tag Archives: content writing ideas

How I generate content writing ideas for different clients

Getting content writing ideas for clients

Getting content writing ideas for clients

It is difficult to come up with content writing ideas, especially on an ongoing basis. This is why when sometimes clients ask me to come up with my own content writing ideas, I charge them extra. Often, writing is easier, but coming up with writing ideas is very difficult and time-consuming.

I normally help my clients with writing topics when I’m working on their content marketing strategy rather than simply providing content.

A successful content marketing strategy cannot be implemented without a comprehensive list of content writing ideas surrounding a particular niche. Before you start writing content you need to know

  • Why you are writing that content?
  • Whom are you targeting (your customer or client persona)?
  • What reaction do you want to elicit from your target audience?
  • What is your long-term content marketing goal?

It is very important to know these points because otherwise, though content marketing is very promising, you will be simply wasting money and effort if you randomly publish web pages, blog posts, articles and email updates.

What is your purpose of writing content?

Different reasons for writing content

Different reasons for writing content

Different content marketing needs may have different reasons for writing/publishing content, and these may include:

  • Attract more people to your website or blog
    • You aim at making your content go viral
    • You aim for increasing brand awareness on other websites, blogs and social media platforms
  • Educate people
    • You want to establish yourself as an authority and an expert in your field or industry
    • You want to help your customers and clients by providing them information they can use to improve the way they work
    • You want to educate your prospective customers and clients so that they are in a better position to use your product or service
  • Encourage call-to-action
    • You want people to click on advertisements published on your website
    • You want to build your mailing list and hence want to encourage people to subscribe
    • You want people to buy your product or use your service
  • Increase your general visibility
    • You want more people to link to you
    • You want people to share your content on their social media profiles
    • You want to attract large number of people to your own website or blog
    • You want to increase your search engine rankings

Every business can use a strategic mix of all these reasons to publish and write content. If you have a clear idea of these reasons, you can easily come up with lots of topics that can see you through over many weeks and months.

Aside from these, you can also decide whether your content should fulfil a need, should cater to a desire or a want, or simply provide enjoyment.

What keywords do you want to target?

Importance of keywords in SEO content writing

Importance of keywords in SEO content writing

Your keywords – both your primary keywords and related keywords – have a significant bearing on your content writing ideas.

If you have a list of your keywords, then you naturally want to cover them through your content. Only when you write on these keywords search engines like Google will be able to make out what core topic you are trying to cover.

Taking my own example, for my business I have two primary keywords: content writing services and content marketing services.

One way or the other, all my content – web pages, blog posts, graphics, videos – hover around these two primary keywords.

What sort of content can be published on a business website or blog?

On a typical website you can publish

  • Educational and informative blog posts and articles
  • Web pages describing your products and services and encouraging people to buy your products and services
  • Case studies and white papers
  • Email marketing content
  • Curated content – useful, helpful, and relevant content gathered from other websites
  • Testimonials from your customers and clients
  • Straightforward promotional content
  • Landing pages
  • Industry News updates
  • Your internal corporate updates (hired a new CEO, installed a new enterprise solution, started a new department, released an updated version of your software)

Using the information gathered to generate content writing ideas for a long time

Frankly, you cannot ensure an ever-lasting supply of content writing ideas.

Publishing content for content marketing is a journey and many unpredictable events can happen during your journey, and these events will generate further writing ideas.

But the information presented above can easily give you 40-50 writing ideas for your website.

When I start on a new content writing or content marketing project I try to get as much information as possible from the new client.

The basic purpose is, understanding what the client wants to achieve.

He or she must have a clear idea because if he or she doesn’t have an idea, it will be very difficult for him or her to make it clear to me what sort of content I should write and what sort of audience I should target.

Initially I begin with trying to understand what sort of questions and apprehensions people may have regarding my client.

What would stop them from doing business with my client and what information should be provided to them to allay their fears.

Together with the client, I prepare a long list of topics (preferably using the exact language used by the client’s target customers and clients) that should be of interest to my client’s prospective customers and clients.

If the client already has some existing content I go through it and make a list of strengths and weaknesses of that existing content. Sometimes new content writing ideas can come from existing content.

Also, existing content can be repurposed, and new content can be generated out of it.

Sometimes, same content can be regenerated using different formats, for example, an old blog post can be easily turned into a slide or an animated GIF, or even a YouTube video.

You may also like to read 15 ways you never run out of blogging ideas.

For an ongoing content marketing assignment, I also use Google alerts to get alerts on the latest content being written on my client’s profession. I also use content curation tools like Flipboard, Twitter feeds and Feedly.

Google search too is a great way of finding new content topics. When you search on Google, it gives you some suggestions that people have used to find similar information. When I searched for “content writing tips”, in addition to bringing up the results for my search string, it also gave me the following suggestions:

  • How to write content writing samples
  • Content writing samples PDF
  • Content writing tips for beginners
  • Content writing tips examples
  • How to write content for project

There are more examples. Even when you click one of these suggestions Google gives you more suggestions.

You don’t need to generate topics out of every Google search suggestion, but they give you a very good idea of what people are looking for.

Checking Google trends is also a good way of knowing whether a particular content writing idea is worth trying for or not.

Google Trends for content marketing and content writing

Google Trends for content marketing and content writing

Closely observing Google Trends will also let you know that the topics that you want to cover are used mostly in which region. For example, if you compare “content marketing” with “content writing” in Google Trends, you will notice that not many people are looking for content writing outside of India. Very few people are looking for content marketing in India.

For every client I have an “Ideas” file where I keep collecting all the good ideas I come across on my own and from different sources. The list in this ideas file is not definite; it keeps changing. I keep modifying existing ideas and adding new ideas as long as they conform to

  • The keywords that need to be used
  • The messaging that needs to be conveyed
  • The end result

I also arrange content writing ideas in an Excel sheet in different columns: Long blog posts, short blog posts, long web pages, short web pages and social media updates.

Sometimes my clients help too. For example, if they have multiple employees some of their employees come up with great content writing ideas because they directly dealing with their customers and clients, constantly.

Is it easier to come up with content writing ideas for one’s clients?

Compared to those who don’t write content regularly, and professionally?

Obviously. When your write content for a living you get into the habit of finding content writing opportunities everywhere.

If you hire me and I know you are going to pay me $35 for every piece of content I give you, my brain is constantly on an alert, even when I’m not aware of it.

Running out of content writing ideas? 5 ways to never run out of them

How to never run out of great content writing ideas

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?

Finding great content writing ideas

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?

Not necessarily.

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.