4 Techniques to Help Generate Content Ideas

Are you the best techniques to help generate content ideas? In order to create high-quality content that resonates with your audience you need to have a consistent source of ideas. There are many different techniques in how you can generate content ideas, but in this post, I’d like to share a few ways that work for me.

Techniques to help you generate content ideas, Pinterest Graphic

Here are my top four techniques to help generate content ideas to last a lifetime.

You made it! You have the awesome inspiration to launch a content campaign and you just know that it’s going to be a big boost for your business and help get your audience engaging with you.  However, now you may be facing the daunting question every new content creator faces at some point in this process… what am I going to write about? It’s especially difficult when starting something new, but there are things you can do to make it easier. 

There is a lot of content out there. So you may be left with the impression that everything has already been done and we can only refresh and re-package what’s already out there.  I have been there too, however, I disagree that everything has been done. I believe there are still lots of new ideas out there, lots of things that haven’t been said, plenty of places where there are big opportunities for new ways of doing things better.

1. Start with the Fundamentals

When you begin to put any content out there, it’s important to understand the basics of your industry and company. It’s also important for your audience to know these things as well.  It’s easy to get caught up in the creative aspect of content, but it is important to establish your foundation first.  As you build your library of fundamentals you can reference them in posts later on through internal linking.

  • Give a brief history of your company.
  • Tell us what your mission statement means to you.
  • Create a post for each FAQ you get from clients.
  • Describe the most practical applications of your product.
  • List the trends that you need to watch in your industry.
  • Write about what your workday typically looks like.
  • Take advantage of popular holidays and do a themed post about them.
  • Consider writing a year-end report which highlights lessons learned throughout the year.
  • Identify and discuss books that inspire professionals in your industry.
  • Name and describe acronyms and jargon commonly used in your industry or workplace.
  • What certifications, schooling, etc. are needed for someone to get a job in your industry.
  • When you first started your career, what would you have liked to have known.
  • Highlight and interview an employee or client.

2. Research the Competition

If you’ve been having trouble coming up with new topics, check out your competitors’ blogs.  This is a great place to brainstorm ideas.  In fact, it’s a good idea to check out the competition’s blog on a regular basis anyway.  While researching your industry and company, you can then turn your focus towards creative ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors.  Create a list of 10 competitors to monitor, this will help you keep up with the latest industry trends while keeping an eye on your competition.  While you’re there, do an audit and find out where their backlinks are coming from, this is a great way to find out where you can get your backlinks.  Buzzsumo is a handy tool to help you with this research.

3. Give the People What They Want

The search engines are looking for useful and relevant content that answer questions people have. When someone searches, they’re looking for information to solve a problem, not more of the same generic keyword silo type of article.  Make a list of the questions you come across in your research, and take time to genuinely answer them when you create your content.
When you do this you can post your answers to questions in Quora and Reddit with a link to your content to further help.  This will drive some organic traffic to your site and boost your SEO.  I like to use Answer the Public to help me find questions to answer based on the keywords we are targeting.

Image from answerthepublic.com
Image from answerthepublic.com

4. Try Out a Content Idea Generator

These tools can quickly generate content ideas suitable for your blog or other content creation efforts. They’re an excellent starting point, but they won’t always give you ideas that you personally find interesting and relevant.  They’re more like a foot in the door, a good basis to help develop your own ideas.  It’s important to remember that there really is no such thing as a bad idea, as long as you can write about it thoughtfully and informatively. So don’t hesitate to try out some of these generators and brainstorming exercises, even if nothing great comes up the first time around.  The Hubspot Blog Idea Generator is the best free tool we have found.  If you’re willing to pay, Semrush and Moz have great tools to generate ideas on top of the many other SEO functions they provide.

Now go create content

Generating high-quality original content ideas is hard. It takes time, effort, research skills, and most importantly of all practice. You don’t need to stress yourself out with coming up with something that no one has said before, after all, your audience hasn’t heard it from you yet.  Here are some techniques to help you find new topics for your blog or for generating any other type of content.

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