Many bloggers will run into the issue of coming up with new, fresh content for their blogs. If you are writing for an industry that has limited topics, you can exhaust your content ideas rather quickly. Now of course you can write some content to write content, but if it isn’t adding any value to both the web and your site, it’s just a waste of time. Many content creators believe they need to be pumping out content to be successful in the search results, when in reality good quality, helpful content is what is going to help the site excel.
So where do I look to get content ideas?
Google News – Do a quick Google search for keywords related to your industry, select News from the Google navigation bar, review what’s hot in the industry. Google will show results from the last few days with articles that match your keywords from articles that were visited often. Here you can see what other sites are writing about related to the news in the industry and get an idea of what people enjoy seeing.
Social Bookmarking – Subscribe to industry specific categories within different social bookmarking sites. Reddit is a great example, it has thousands of sub categories, referred to as sub reddits, that are specific to particular needs and likes. Monitor these categories to see what articles are most popular, what questions users are asking, and what trends are happening. You will quickly find new ideas to write about.
AHREFs – Find what your competitors are doing and where they are succeeding. By using a tool like AHREFs, there’s many other tools that are similar however this is one I prefer, you can spy on competitors and see what their most popular content has been. Within the dashboard, plug in a URL, and once the information pops up click on Top Content which is located under the Pages tab. You’ll see a list of URLs that are sorted by linking metrics, such as referring domains, social likes, and the date posted. Here you can get some ideas on what articles have been the most popular.
Ask different departments – When we begin working with clients and are building a content campaign the first thing we ask is “what are some common questions your customers are asking?”. This gives us an idea on what some of the most frequently asked questions are and gives us some ammunition for content. Chances are users are searching these questions before they are calling in, and if they are not finding the answer no one has provided a quality answer yet. Going around to different departments in the business, such as customer service and sales, can help gather ideas on what issues are coming up often. You may find the sales department is always answering questions about a specific feature on an item or service. The customer service department may be tasked with a common question related to troubleshooting an item. This gives the content team lots to work with all while adding value and helpful information to readers.
Keep in mind these are ways to get ideas for new articles, not articles you should copy. Don’t hurt your site by blatantly copying other site’s work. Always reference other ideas and if you do want to share another site’s article remember to use a canonical tag.