Tag Archives: Content Writing Tips

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.

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.

Do I have writer’s block as a professional content writer?

Do content writers have writer's block

Do content writers have writer’s block

My clients pay me to write. They set deadlines. In most of the cases they are like, “Oh, I needed that blog post yesterday.” And then accordingly I need to write.

Although I am at a stage when most of my clients allow me to follow my own pace (because of the quality that I deliver) I need to write everyday. I need to write for my clients. I need to write for my blog. I can’t afford to have a writer’s block.

Does it mean I don’t have it? I’d be lying if I say that I don’t suffer from writer’s block.

Here are a few things I do when I suffer from writer’s block

Accept that I have writer’s block

Once you know you have a problem, you can look for a solution. Sometimes you don’t know you have writer’s block, and you feel quite frustrated. You wonder why you can’t write even a single sentence. Even raising your arm to type on the keyboard seems like a Herculean task.

Over the years I have come to recognize writer’s block. It doesn’t overwhelm me. It doesn’t disturb me. This is because I have gone through multiple instances of writer’s block, and I know that sooner or later I overcome.

This immediately relaxes me.

Get a reality check

The client doesn’t understand your block. This is more so when he or she has made to the advance payment. If he or she expects a blog post on Wednesday, the document must be delivered on Wednesday.

This gets your creative juices flowing. You know that despite writer’s block you need to deliver your document by Wednesday. You begin to look for solutions.

Just start writing

This always works. Write the first sentence. Write the second sentence. Write the third sentence. The sentences don’t have to be complete. You can write in monosyllables. You can even write single words.

Don’t tell yourself that you have to write 1000 words. Tell yourself to write just 20 or 50 words. This does the magic. Once you have written those initial 20-50 words, you don’t even realize when you have written 1000 words.

Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination can be dangerous. I have learned this at the cost of thousands of lost hours. Procrastination means doing other things than doing the actual work. You may look for interesting blog posts to read. You may want to read a book when you should be writing. You may want to sing songs. You may want to get into political arguments on social media. The moment such a tendency raises its head, squash it. Follow the advice in the above heading: just start writing the first and the second sentences.

Go through previous work

Often writer’s block manifests through self-doubt. When this happens, I go through my previous work. I have also saved some words of appreciation from my clients. There are many clients who insist that I write for them. I also have superstitious clients who think that if I don’t work for them, their business won’t do well. These are quite encouraging facts. Go through your old documents. Visit websites for which you have attracted praise. Go through your best blog posts.

Writer’s block is basically a state of mind. There can be many reasons for such a state of mind. You may be simply feeling lethargic or are suffering from malnutrition. Sometimes you may be dehydrated so try drinking lots of water.

When you write professionally writer’s block is just a simple annoyance you need to deal with there and then, and then move on. Unlike established and famous writers, professional content writers cannot afford to wallow in the luxury of having a writer’s block.

13 tips for writing thought leadership content

How to write thought leadership content

How to write thought leadership content

What do you mean by thought leadership? Thought leadership is the way you express yourself to demonstrate you have expertise in a particular field or a topic. For example, if I write lots of advice on content writing and copywriting, I display thought leadership.

Thought leaders not just have a command over their subject area, they are also passionate about their subjects. They may even be evangelists for a new way of, for example, writing effective content.

Benefits of thought leadership

Your potential customers and clients trust you more when you establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

One of the biggest benefits of being a thought leader is that you become recognizable.

Isn’t it easier to do business with people whom you know what people who are recognizable, compared to people who are totally unknown?

People are more receptive to your thoughts. Bloggers and news reporters more eagerly cover what you want to communicate. People respect you. They listen to you attentively. Your content is shared more on other blogs and social networking platforms. You are quoted more often. Your visibility increases. You seem more credible and trustworthy compared to people who haven’t worked on their thought leadership.

All these collectively help you grow your business.

How to build thought leadership through writing content?

The Rolling Stone magazine https://credible-content.com has compiled suggestions from 13 thought leaders on how to write content to build your thought leadership. Although the advice is not out of the ordinary, it is always better to revisit the age-old concepts so that you don’t forget them. Some of the advice include

Understand what your audience wants

Publish content that satisfies some pressing need of your audience. Everyone is looking for a solution. When people find the needed solutions through your writing, they respect you and trust you. They begin to believe in your thought leadership.

Write for human beings

When you are writing on the Internet there is often a tendency to write for search engine algorithms and robots. Although it is important to improve your search engine rankings even to build your thought leadership, don’t obsess. Remember that your primary target are human beings. Do whatever it takes to improve your SEO but ultimately, keep the primary focus on your human readers.

Keep an eye on the future

Everyone is worried about the future. Thought leaders don’t worry, but they are constantly thinking about the future of their field. For example, in the field of content writing, what is going to change five years down the line? Understanding the future helps people prepare for it.

Use personal anecdotes and examples

Being a thought leader is all about you. How you are achieving great feats. How you are discovering new things. How you form opinions. How you are discovering new insights. Share your experiences. Tell your unique stories from within the industry. How you are constantly solving problems for people who work with you.

Always be relevant

Well, this goes without saying. If your content is not relevant, it is not going to be valued, and if it is not valued, you cannot build your thought leadership.

Deliver a clear value

Always be aware of what you are delivering and what impact your content is making. There must always be a purpose. Your readers must be able to experience tangible results when they access your thought leadership content. For that, you will need to understand what drives your audience, what makes an impact on them, and what they truly value.

Have a unique perspective

Express original thoughts. Have the courage to say something that is right and valid, but the others don’t have the courage to say it. Take risks. Make predictions even if there is a risk of being proven wrong in future. As a leader you must lead. Things that people haven’t yet thought of, you should be able to think.

Improve your specialization

One of the best aspects of building a thought leadership is that it motivates you to constantly improve yourself. If you don’t increase your treasure of knowledge, how are you going to share that knowledge? If you don’t gain experience by taking risks and doing things that others don’t do, how are you going to share that experience?

Act on your own advice

Words are easier, action is difficult. People are not looking for a preacher, they are looking for a leader who acts. Come up with new ideas, implement those ideas, face the results, and then share those ideas, whether they succeed or fail, with your readers through your thought leadership content writing.

Have a consistent set of values

Values are ideas and ways of thinking you believe are important and you must adhere to them. They render a sense of clarity to your thought and purpose. They define your identity. People begin to recognize you by the values that you have on display. Therefore, as a thought leader, you must be consistent with your values. Of course, in the beginning it will take some time to define your values, but once you are clear about them, stick to them.

From Me, make a shift to You

A leader is always thinking of the others. A leader is selfless. When you are writing content, no matter how much effort you need to make, no matter how much pain you need to go through, always have in mind how your content can help your readers. You need to be at the forefront of action and leadership.

Make your advice practical

As a thought leader you may apply many unconventional methods to your field of profession, but for your readers, keep things practical. Before sharing your thoughts, think how you would like to implement your own advice to your own work. People should be able to implement your advice, if not easily, then at least, in terms of manageability.

Be authentic

When you are authentic and unique, people can easily recognize you. You stand out for your opinions and for your voice. You can be authentic in the manner you write your content, you can be authentic about your ideas, and you can be authentic about how you help people who follow you. Don’t tread the already beaten

How to generate more leads with strategic content writing?

Strategic content writing to generate hot leads

Strategic content writing to generate hot leads.

You publish content to generate new leads.

Leads can manifest in multiple forms. There are hot leads and cold leads.

Hot leads are those people who contact you for the purpose of buying from you or hiring you.

For example, if someone submits my contact form for the purpose of hiring my content writing services, that person is a hot lead.

But if someone subscribes to my newsletter, he or she is a cold lead. Or if someone shows interest in my content writing services on a social media platform but right now doesn’t hire me, he or she is a cold lead.

When you are writing and publishing content to generate more leads, you need to be careful of what type of content you are publishing.

When I had a web design website – in my previous life – I ended up attracting the wrong traffic because although I was writing and publishing lots of content and consequently, generating lots of traffic, the traffic never converted. I was not generating the right leads.

Back then I was smitten by educational content. I didn’t put my energies into explaining my services as a web designer. All my content writing consisted of teaching people how to achieve things using HTML, ASP and JavaScript (back then I didn’t know PHP, which I know now).

How to strategize content writing to generate hot leads?

You need to find out why people are searching for you, when they are searching for you.

Obviously, people who are looking to buy something, or hire someone, or use a software service, are not looking for educational content, at least not knowingly.

For example, if you are looking for someone who can help you improve your search engine rankings and you are not aware that optimized content writing can help you improve your SEO, my blog post titled 5 reasons why content writing is important for SEO can reveal something that you  don’t know.

For that matter, even a blog post like 10 SEO content writing tips for your small business can be quite helpful.

You may ask, if all I am doing is teaching people why content writing is important for SEO or how you can write content for your small business to improve your SEO by yourself, how am I generating hot leads for my own business?

Even if your writing is seemingly instructional content, you need to write in such a manner that the central message – your open for business – shouldn’t be lost.

To generate hot leads, you need to create precise web pages, landing pages and blog posts. There shouldn’t be any ambiguity. You shouldn’t club multiple messages under the same web page. When you club multiple messages, the central objective of your content is diluted and people end up getting confused.

Seriously consider search intent to generate hot leads

Not all type of search intent gets you hot leads but writing and publishing content keeping search intent in mind can definitely improve the number of hot leads your content generates.

What is search intent? You may like to read What is search intent and how knowing it improves your SEO.

Most of the information about search intent that I have published on my website and blog is about improving your search engine rankings, but writing your content centered around the appropriate search intent can also help you generate more leads.

Writing content for searcher intent helps you be with your customers and clients throughout their buyer journey.

Again I will give you my own example.

Someone is researching for ways to improve search engine rankings and comes across my blog that talks about how content writing can help you improve your search engine rankings. The person has been informed.

The search intent here is informational. The person isn’t looking for someone to hire. He or she simply needs information that can help him or her improve his or her search engine rankings.

Once a person has read my blog post on how content writing can help improve search engine rankings, he or she finds out that I provide such content writing services, through another web page or blog post. The other web page or blog post has been written keeping “commercial intent” in mind.

These days I’m getting lots of traffic for “content writer for accounting services” or “content writer for life coaching services”. These searches are carried out with commercial intent.

Accountants or accounting companies are looking for a content writer. People providing life coaching services are looking for a content writer. The intent is clear. Search traffic generates hot leads for me

On a related note: do hot leads always convert?

Not necessarily. Hot leads are people who are ready to do business with you but they haven’t yet committed.

Maybe they won’t like my samples. Maybe they won’t find my rates acceptable. Maybe after contacting me, they come across someone else who they think is a better match. There are multiple reasons why even a hot lead may not convert, but that’s a different matter.