How to constantly get new content writing ideas?

Constantly get new content writing ideas

Constantly get new content writing ideas

Are you constantly running out of content writing and blogging ideas? Then we are on the same boat.

I write for my own blog. I also write for many clients. Most of the clients send me topics but there are some who insist that I provide topics to them.

Therefore, I don’t just need to come up with new content writing ideas for my own blog, but also for blogs and websites of my clients. How do I do that?

Some of the ideation happens on autopilot and some happens with lots of research, reading and constant looking around.

Why is there a problem in getting new content writing ideas?

To maintain your visibility, you need to publish regularly. How regular you are depends on your content marketing strategy. I try to publish every day for my blog although I must confess, I’m not as regular as I should have been. I’m trying to be now.

Most of the clients cannot afford to publish every day. So, they publish either once a week or twice a week. No matter what your frequency is, you eventually run out of content writing ideas. In the beginning it’s quite exciting because you are bubbling with ideas but as you write regularly (provided you are consistent) you run out of things to say.

It is like a conversation between two individuals. There are only finite things you can talk about and eventually, you run not of topics. The same happens when you are writing content for your website. After a while, you run out of topics.

Then how come there are so many blogs that have been publishing awesome content for years? And they publish almost daily.

Listed below are a few ways you can have an ongoing stream of content writing ideas for your website and blog

Subscribe to the feeds of different blogs

You can use a tool like Feedly to subscribe to the feeds of your favorite 20-50 blogs. These blogs, preferably big names in your niche, publish almost every day. Even if not every day, 10-15 blogs out of these will have new content. Don’t copy their ideas but you can use their content for inspiration.

Another good thing about established blogs is that they publish lots of useful information that you can use (after citing them) for your own content writing efforts.

So, in the morning whenever you need new content writing ideas, just go through your Feedly feeds and start writing.

Maintain a journal of content writing ideas

This can be a notebook. You can use OneNote. You can use Google Keep. You can also use an Excel sheet. Whenever you come up with a new blogging idea you jot it down at a safe place that you can easily find. I prefer to keep all my content writing and blogging ideas using OneNote because I find it easiest to maintain intricate hierarchies of information.

Some people also use Pinterest to simply pin blog posts from other sources so that they can visit their dashboards whenever they cannot come up with some great content writing or blogging ideas.

Keep an eye on social media feeds

Do you like to spend time on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? There also you can follow your favorite publications. These publications post links on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn whenever they publish new content. You will be instantly notified.

You also find a wealth of information on social networking platforms that can stimulate completely unique content writing and blogging ideas.

Accept guest blog posts

Even if sometimes you cannot come up with great content writing and blogging ideas some guest bloggers can. Guest bloggers won’t approach you unless you have crossed a threshold – your page rank has improved or your search engine rankings are better and they can easily find your content and get impressed.

But once you reach a stage where people begin to approach you for guest blogging opportunities, don’t refuse them. There comes a time when so many people will approach you for guest blog posts that you won’t have to constantly think of content writing and blogging ideas for yourself. Make sure you maintain quality standards.

Get content writing ideas from your own blog

Again, you must have published for a few months. When writing a blog post or a web page you often divide your various ideas into headings and subheadings. Sometimes these headings and subheadings can be expanded into complete blog posts.

For example, I wrote a blog post on What is search intent and in this blog post, there is a subheading called Informational search intent. There are other subheadings such as navigational search intent, commercial search intent, or transactional search intent. Don’t you think individual blog posts can be written on these search intents? Surely they can be.

You can also re-purpose your existing content by curating themed blog posts and web pages. For example, I can curate all my copywriting blog posts into a single blog post.

Write a series of blog posts on a single topic

A hit movie often has a sequel. A TV series that does well has seasons. Similarly, if there is a blog post that generates lots of traffic, you can write a sequel or a prequel. A sequel means, ever since you have written that blog post, you must have learnt something new that you can add. Or you can present a completely different take on the same topic to intrigue your readers.

This you can do with even those blog posts that didn’t do well but you feel that they have the potential to generate lots of traffic for you. Without duplicating content, write their variations. Rewrite them from a different perspective. You can contradict yourself in a certain blog post by writing completely opposite of what you said previously, but in such a convincing manner that people don’t doubt your judgement.

Link to other blog posts and articles

Although most of your content must be original, ideally, should come from you, you can also link to other blog posts and articles to keep your content writing and blogging idea engine smoothly functioning.

Suppose, you come across a blog post you really like. Although right now you cannot come up with a similar, complete blog post by yourself, you have some pointers to share with your readers regarding the contents of the blog post. You can quickly write a couple of paragraphs and then you can link to the original blog post. This way you can write lots of content for your website.

But ultimately, if you write most of your web pages and blog posts like this, Google may think that you are publishing thin content. So do that with discretion. I do it occasionally.

Continuously coming with great content writing and blogging ideas can be a challenge but if you really get involved in writing and publishing content, you will be surprised to know that most of the ideas begin to come to you on your own. Something or the other keeps happening, and you keep stumbling upon great writing ideas.

10 tips for starting a successful blog

10 tips for starting a successful blog

10 tips for starting a successful blog

A successful blog can be defined in multiple ways. You may have a successful blog in terms of traffic and advertising revenue. You may have a successful blog in terms of building your brand. Success can also be gauged by the amount of business your blog generates.

Every individual, every business has a different definition of success. The moot point is, does your blog help you achieve your goals, and if it does, it is a successful blog for you.

Blogging brings you many benefits but just like any venture, it also comes with its own set of challenges. For example, 70 million blog posts are published each month just by WordPress users. You can easily imagine how much competition an average blog faces and how difficult it must be for Google algorithms to crawl, index, and rank blog posts based on their relevance and quality.

If it is so difficult to generate visibility of your blog, why am I advising to start a new blog? Isn’t blogging already saturated?

Blogging is saturated for people who want to make a quick buck, or people who don’t have enough patience or a desire to work hard.

Yes, in the beginning years it was easier to get enough visibility for your newly started blog and now it may take a few months before some decent traffic begins to trickle down, but it all depends on your niche, how much competition you face, and what is the quality of your content.

Besides, many people think that starting a successful blog means getting millions of visitors and generating lots of advertising revenue. Even a small blog with 200-300 visitors per day can be successful if it generates business for you. A successful blog can help you

  • Improve search engine rankings of your main website.
  • Generate leads for you.
  • Enhance your brand presence.
  • Establish yourself as a thought leader.
  • Increase your social media visibility.
  • Keep your audience engaged and informed.
  • Build you a platform where you can tell your side of the story in case of a controversy.

Listed below are 10 tips for starting a successful blog

1. Clearly define your niche

The narrower it is, the better it is. Remember that you are not looking for millions of visitors. You are looking for visitors who will do business with you. 200 people coming to your blog and 10 among them submitting your contact form is much better than 5000 people coming to your blog and just 5 among them submitting your contact form.

It is also easier to start a successful blog if your audience is selective. It means there is less competition.

I’m publishing a blog on content writing and copywriting. This is not a narrow niche because in the field of content writing and copywriting there are multiple fields, but when I started it was a niche because there were very few content writers.

Suppose you start a blog on digital marketing. Again, it is a broad topic and many people might be covering many things in the field of digital marketing. How about just creating a blog on podcasting for digital marketing, or digital marketing writers? Or even graphic designers for a select few graphic design tools?

2. Blog about something you love (or hire a blog writer)

I know, this is a clichéd advice. You love different ice cream varieties, and you would like to start a blog on ice cream recipes, but you are into finance and your business requires a successful blog in the field of finance.

Since you are into finance, you must be passionate about your topic (unless fate has entrapped you).

Love for the topic will enable you to work on your blog every day even when you don’t encounter success in the beginning. The ongoing effort can be daunting especially when you don’t see any improvement in your blog traffic.

Most of the people who started a successful blog are passionate about the topic. Every day I write on content writing copywriting, and blogging, because I am interested in these topics. I have learned a lot. I like to share. Also, my website is my bread-and-butter and this keeps me motivated enough to stay put and work on successive blog.

Even if you’re not passionate about the topic but still you want to start a successful blog on your chosen topic, and if you have the budget, the next best option is to hire a blog writer or a professional content writer.

Since he or she is a trained writer, and since he or she will be paid, which is a good incentive, you will get a regular supply of high-quality blog posts.

3. Choose the right blogging platform

Currently my favorites are WordPress and Medium. WordPress gives you independence (I’m talking about WordPress.org). You can install it under your domain name either as a subdomain or a directory. Your design, your layout, your images, and all your blogging content belong to you.

A good thing about WordPress is that it gives you complete customization. You can have custom themes. You can search engine optimize your blog. You can install plugins to achieve various tasks and get different features.

If you want to move to another host all you need to do is take backup of your entire content (images, themes and blog posts) and take it to the new host.

I have been using WordPress for more than 15 years and I believe it has been an excellent choice.

There are many more content management system but WordPress is the best, both for managing website as well as blog.

Medium is a third-party blogging platform. Which means, all the blog posts that you publish belong to Medium. It is basically a content publishing platform that can generate lots of traffic for you. It already has a great following. You don’t have to build everything from scratch. There is a standard template and people are accustomed to the template. Medium allows you to take backup. There is also provision for publishing Medium blog posts appearing under a custom domain but you will need to figure out how to do that.

Both WordPress and Medium have their individual advantages and you will need to weigh your pros and cons. The only problem with Medium is that a third party owns your content and the traffic that comes to Medium may remain on medium and not come to your website. It is good for branding though.

You should also keep an open mind towards LinkedIn blogs. Just like Medium you can use the LinkedIn platform to publish blogs. Again, the content that you publish will remain on LinkedIn and the traffic that you generate will be secondary, but just like Medium, you can increase your visibility faster.

My personal take: Install the blog on your own website through WordPress and keep Medium and LinkedIn secondary options for additional visibility.

4. Publish blog post with greater frequency in the beginning

This will help you get your content crawled and indexed faster by Google. How fast Google crawler crawls your content depends on how often you publish. If your publishing frequency is quite low, the crawling frequency too is quite low.

For example, if you publish just one blog post every week it may take you anywhere between 5 to 6 months to get some traffic and visibility. On the other hand, if you publish a blog post every day, at least for the next two months, your content will get indexed faster and your search engine rankings will improve quicker.

Even if every day is not possible, keep your target 2-3 blog posts every week.

 5. Pay close attention to the search intent of your visitors

Why you want people to come and read your particular blog post? What should they get out of it? This can be gauged by knowing their search intent.

Although search intent is SEO specific it can also help you write and publish targeted blog posts to help you start a successful blog without wasting much time.

Are your visitors looking for humor? Are they looking for a specific solution to a particular problem? Do they want to read a review so that they can say something based on your decision or based on the information that you have presented?

Paying close attention to search intent will help you generate highly targeted traffic faster.

6. Create great, high-quality content

The quality of your blog posts is going to be the backbone of your successful blog. No matter how great your template is, no matter what blogging platform you use, no matter what is your frequency, unless the content is great, unless it serves a strong purpose, it is of no use.

I advise my clients to focus on quality at the cost of quantity. Yes, quantity does matter but it is of no use if it is not backed by quality. If you need to compromise based on budget or effort, compromise on quantity, but not on quality.

What does quality mean in terms of starting a successful blog? Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Write for your readers.
  • Provide applicable solutions and advice.
  • Satisfy their search intent.
  • Make it easier to read your content by using appropriate formatting.
  • Do enough research and find credible data to back up your claims.
  • Always be accurate when you are presenting statistics.
  • Try to write mostly on searcher’s query.
  • Make your content readable on all devices.
  • Write in a simple language people can easily understand.
  • Add your own perspective to trending topics.
  • Whenever possible, use your own experience and anecdotes to explain concepts.
  • Write on niche subtopics.
  • Create a knowledge wealth.

7. Don’t ignore promotion and marketing

Your blog is just another business venture, or a subset of a business venture. To start a successful blog, you need to promote it regularly. Simply publishing blog posts won’t do. How can you market your blog?

Maintain a vibrant presence on social media. Promote your links over there. Start a mailing list. You can promote your links with your mailing list. You can also create shorter versions of your blog posts and then post them on blogging platforms like Medium and LinkedIn with a link back to your original blog post. You can also run paid promotions for certain blog posts on Facebook and Instagram.

8. Maintain a repository of blog post ideas

When people try to start a successful blog, this is one of the biggest challenges they face: how to keep coming up with interesting blogging ideas that would serve their audience? You need to brainstorm constantly. You need to keep your eyes open when browsing the Internet.

You can use apps like OneNote or Google Keep to maintain a list of blogging ideas or you can maintain an Excel sheet.

You can also use Google alerts to come across trending topics and interesting ideas for your blog posts. I have set up Google alerts for content writing, content marketing, online copywriting, and other terms for which I want to get regular blogging ideas.

Here is another trick that I follow: when I start adding blog post ideas to my repository, I don’t use them unless I’m hard pressed against the wall. I keep them when I completely don’t find any new ideas. I keep adding ideas to the repository but then for the upcoming blog post I try to find or come up with a new blogging idea by myself.

9. Publish guest blog posts

Once your blog begins to generate decent traffic, people will approach you to publish guest blog posts for your blog. This is a good way of publishing fresh content and bring in fresh perspective. The only caveat is that they will want backlinks to their own blogs.

Some guest writers will want to publish on your blog to get extra exposure from your blog and some will approach you for backlinks because they want to improve their search engine rankings. You can decide whether you want to use the no-follow tag for your outgoing links but if you do that, do let it be known to the guest bloggers.

I provide do-follow link from the author profile section but not from the main blog body content. Anyway, that’s a different issue.

Make sure when you get guest blog posting ideas you maintain the same quality standards that you maintain for your own blog posts.

10. Prepare for a longer haul to start a successful blog

You will need to be patient. You will need to persevere. There are months of struggle behind overnight successes. No matter how narrow your niche is, someone is already writing on the topic because there are billions of web pages being created and published on the Internet every month.

What the others don’t have his persistence, which you have to start a successful blog. This is where you stand apart. Most of the people give up after a month. Be prepared to continuously publish your blog for at least six months without experiencing any success.

That’s why it is important to choose a topic that is close to your heart so that even if you don’t experience much success in the initial months, at least you enjoy writing about it.

Importance of E-A-T for writing SEO content

The importance of E-A-T for writing SEO content explained

The importance of E-A-T for writing SEO content explained

The term E-A-T came to be recognized after major Google algorithm update in August 2018. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness – three attributes of your content that help you improve your search engine rankings.

Theoretically these are not new concepts. For more than a decade now Google is increasingly making it difficult for websites to rank well, especially those websites that publish lots of random content just to improve their search engine rankings.

E-A-T is Google’s new standard to gauge the relevance of the content that you write. It isn’t simply the quality now. Sure, quality still matters, but in addition to quality, you also need to show your expertise, your authority, and the level of trust that people show in your content.

What exactly is Google E-A-T?

The expression E-A-T began to appear in various SEO articles after a major Google update in 2018. The finer nitty-gritty of the E-A-T part of the algorithm isn’t exactly clear to anyone but in this SEO guideline, Google seems to define “low quality pages” as pages “lacking expertise, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness”. Untrustworthy pages have the lowest E-A-T quotient.

To rank well, according to the Google update, the following needs to be considered:

  • The level of expertise of the creator of the main content.
  • The authoritativeness of the creator of the main content, the authoritativeness of the main content itself, and the authority of the website.
  • The trustworthiness of the creator of the main content, the trustworthiness of the main content itself, and that of the website.

Expertise can be of two types:

  • Something like a medical journal where highly expert people write about medicine and treatments.
  • Less formal expertise such as restaurant or movie reviews.

It depends on how much the writers and their websites are trusted and believed by the readers and viewers.

The most important factors for E-A-T web pages may include

  • The main content quality and quantity.
  • The main beneficial purpose of the content (the web page or the blog post).
  • The expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the content as well as the content creator.
  • The reputation of the website and the author.

How to write content according to Google’s E-A-T

Google’s intention is to find and showcase the most reliable and trustworthy information to its users. This is its reason to exist. If people don’t find trustworthy information, they will stop using the search engine and another search engine may fill the gap. You need to write content keeping that in mind. Here are a few things you can do

Write content based on search intent

Why are people looking for your content? Exactly what is the information they seek to solve their problems?

Further reading: What is search intent and how knowing it improves your SEO

When people are looking for content on my website they have to reasons

  • They are looking for a professional content writer and copywriter.
  • They want tips and information on content writing and copywriting so that they can either write themselves, or link to the blog post to add value to their own content.

When people link to my content it improves my search engine rankings. Also, when people are easily able to find my content on Google they more eagerly contact me for work thinking that I can achieve the same for them (which, on many occasions, I do).

Hence, whenever you are writing your content or editing existing content make sure why you are writing, what purpose it solves, and whether it delivers exactly what the readers are looking for.

Write blog posts and web pages in question-answer formats

The reason is quite simple. People are constantly asking Google questions and Google intends to provide answers. If you already write in question-and-answer format you deliver a ready-made template to Google.

Writing in the question answer format also helps you write according to the search intent. When you answer a question, you already know what you are writing about. Similarly, when people find your content on Google they already know what answer lies ahead, and more eagerly click your link, improving your CTR, and in the process, elevating your search engine rankings further.

Increase your authority as an author

This happens over a long period of time, but ultimately, it begins to have a bearing on your search engine rankings, especially considering E-A-T (the authority part). Do people refer to you as an expert? Do they mention you as an expert or an authority figure when they link to your content? Do they recommend you?

These things are interrelated. Unless you have content people are not going to find it and if they don’t find it, how do they know that you are an expert in your field?

Now, unless they know that you are an expert (based on E-A-T), how are you going to improve your search engine rankings so that they can find your content?

It may become a vicious loop, but it doesn’t have to be. You need to begin from somewhere.

Be active on social media. Use websites like Quora and LinkedIn. LinkedIn these days have many forums you can post your answers in and once you have built a presence, you can start sharing your content over there.

Pay close attention to search engine optimization when writing content

Don’t just write and publish content because you think you are an authoritative figure in your field. Yes, this definitely matters, but you need to make it easier for Google crawlers to crawl and index your content. For that, you need to follow some SEO conventions when writing and formatting your content.

What can you do?

Use an appropriate title that truly represents what you are writing. Preferably use your keywords or an SEO tool when formulating your title.

Use headings and subheadings like <h1>, <h2> and <h3>. Use <h1> just once for the main heading of your blog post or web page. You can use the subheading tags for multiple headings to make your content scannable.

Sometimes Google crawlers don’t go through your entire blog post or web page. They just skim through the headings and subheadings and bulleted points. Make sure you have useful information in these tags.

Why pay close attention to search engine optimization when writing content?

As I mentioned, it will make it easier for crawlers to make sense of your content and increase your chances of appearing in search results.

However low your rankings are, sooner or later people are going to find your content and start interacting with it. After that, your further rankings depend on how people interact with your content. This is where writing content according to search engine optimization standards is going to help you.

Find credible data and cite authoritative sources

Content writers, especially thought leaders, do lots of research when writing content. They find research data, quote it, and then link to the original sources. This renders credibility to their writing. It’s easier to trust numbers. Find information from multiple sources so that your readers don’t have to do that, and they can find all the credible information at the single source.

If you are an organization, you should also encourage your writers to improve their authoritativeness. You can invite well known authors to write for your blog. Write and publish lots of long form content because it is considered more authoritative and informative compared to thin content. Researching and citing sources also elevates your E-A-T factor.

Call-to-action tips for your day-to-day content writing and copywriting

Call-to-action tips

Call-to-action tips

Call-to-action is a statement that you make to prompt people to take an action when they are reading your blog post, web page, landing page, or an email. It is also called CTA.

Think it in this manner: why do people come to your website? Why do you want them to come to your website?

If you run a business website (provide app development services) you obviously want people to contact you if they want to develop a mobile app. Almost every page has a Call-to-action button such as “Call us” or “Contact now”.

But simply telling people to contact you isn’t going to make them contact you. Your entire copy must fuel your Call-to-action statement.

Call-to-action can be straightforward (buy my book right now), or it can be subtle – the narrative of your writing moving in such a manner that people want to take an action.

Content Marketing Institute has compiled a list of call-to-action tips to help you supercharge your writing. Some of these tips include

Clearly define your call-to-action goal

You’re CTA isn’t always about making a sale, although, that would be the ultimate goal. Before a sale happens, you need to generate leads. You generate leads by establishing communication channels. How do you establish those channels?

You can ask your visitors to download your white paper or case study. You can ask them to download your e-book. You can encourage them to subscribe to your updates. You can also ask them to visit other portions of your website for further action.

If you define your CTA, it helps you write your content accordingly.

Make contextually relevant offers

Call-to-action must be relevant to the document or the visual your viewer is currently viewing. Suppose I’m writing a blog post on how to write compelling copy and then in the middle of the copy I ask them to download an SEO book. Vaguely they are connected, but directly they are not. Instead, if I ask them to download a small PDF on how to write a compelling copy with more details and data, they will be more eager to download it.

You also need to keep in your mind the intent, both for the content and for the reader/viewer. Is the reader looking for information or is she ready to buy? If she is looking for more information it is better to direct her to the relevant document and if she wants to buy, then it is better to prompt her to buy.

Keep your CTA straightforward

Call-to-action must be an active verb. Use expressions like “Download our White Paper” or “Subscribe to our newsletter” or “Download our mobile app”. These are very clear actions. Avoid using something like “Learn more” because it is very vague and doesn’t tell much what it leads to.

Create a sense of urgency and importance

Instead of saying “Download our mobile app” it is better to say “Download our mobile app now”. Also, use “Call us today” instead of simply “Call us”. Also, something like “Download our custom catalogue specifically for you”. This makes the reader feel unique and special. There is also a sense of urgency.

Avoid using multiple Call-to-action prompts

If you choose too many call-to-action prompts readers begin to ignore them or their eyes get used to them. Use CTA only where you think now is the right time for them to click and do the needful.

Also, keep your CTA brief if you are using a button, because people prefer clicking buttons that are of small size.

Be transparent in your CTA prompts

Don’t needlessly send people to other locations of your website because you want them to stick around. The Call-to-action must be transparent. If it prompts them to download an e-book, they should be able to download it without much fuss. If they need to fill up a form, no matter how small it is, quickly mention that. Avoid using words like “Sign up” or “register” if they need to fill up a form before downloading.

Why should people click?

Can they get a 25% discount – “Avail 25% discount instantly”? Are they going to generate ideas for their blog posts? Is the software going to help them generate quality content? Is it a toolkit they can use to manage their customers and clients? There needs to be a great benefit that your call-to-action offers. Solve a problem. Help them get unstuck. Help them save money.