Once you've started blogging, and you've covered some of the most important topics in your niche, it can be hard to come up with good new content ideas.
You want your blog to attract the right set of people — the ones that will convert.
So you need to choose topics that your audience is going to be interested in. Most of the time, this means providing some kind of value to them.
In a lot of niches, there's already quite a bit of content out there. Most of what there is to talk about has already been covered — in many cases, by a website that's bigger and more authoritative than your own.
It's all too easy to fall into a pattern where you churn out derivative content that doesn't add anything new to the conversation. When you basically just parrot what the first few Google results have already said, are you really adding value?
This kind of thing is what really makes the difference between mediocre content and truly great content. We talk about content using terms like “fresh,” “unique,” and “original.” There's a lot more to this than just making sure your content clears Copyscape.
So how do you add value?
You want to create something that's genuinely unique. You want information and ideas that no one else is talking about. There are a couple of ways you can do this, as Moz discusses in a recent Whiteboard Friday post.
Here are two of the best ways to start coming up with ideas for content that really is original.
Do you have access to unique types of assets that other people don't?
[image source: Moz]
That could be research. It could be data. It could be insights.
It might be stories or narratives, experiences that can help you stand out in a topic area. This is a great way to come up with blog post content.
So basically, the idea is you could say, “Gosh, for our quarterly internal report, we had to prepare some data on the state of the market. Actually, some of that data, if we got permission to share it, would be fascinating.”
We can see through keyword research that people are talking about this or querying Google for it already. So we're going to transform it into a piece of blog content, and we're going to delight many, many people.
We can get these through a bunch of methodologies:
- Research, so statistical research, quantitative research.
- Crowdsourcing. That could be through audiences that you've already got through email or Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn.
- Insider interviews, interviews with people on your sales team or your product team or your marketing team, people in your industry, buyers of yours.
- Proprietary data, like what you've collected for your internal annual reports.
- Curation of public data. So if there's stuff out there on the web and it just needs to be publicly curated, you can figure out what that is. You can visit all those websites. You could use an extraction tool, or you could manually extract that data, or you could pay an intern to go extract that data for you, and then synthesize that in a useful way.
- Multimedia talent. Maybe you have someone, like we happen to here at Moz, who has great talent with video production, or with audio production, or with design of visuals or photography, or whatever that might be in the multimedia realm that you could do.
- Special access to people or information, or experiences that no one else does and you can present that.
Those assets can become the topic of great content that can turn into really great blog posts and great post ideas.
So I'm not just going to walk you through the ideas. I'm also going to challenge myself to give you some examples.
So I've got two — one less challenging, one much more challenging. Two websites, both have blogs, and coming up with topic ideas based on this.
So one is called Remoters. It's remoters.net. It's run by Aleyda Solis, who many of you in the SEO world might know.
They talk about remote work, so people who are working remotely. It's a content platform for them and a service for them.
Then, the second one is a company, I think, called Schweiss Doors. They run hydraulicdoors.com.
Very B2B. Very, very niche. Pretty challenging to come up with good blog topics, but I think we've got some.
Remote Workers: They might say, “Well, gosh, we have access to data on the destinations people go and the budgets that they have around those destinations when they're staying and working remotely, because of how our service interacts with them.
Therefore, we can craft things like the most and least expensive places to work remotely on the planet,” which is very cool. That's content that a lot of people are very interested in.
Hydraulic doors: We can look at, “Hey, you know what? We actually have a visual overlay tool that helps an architect or a building owner visualize what it will look like if a hydraulic door were put into place.
We can go use that in our downtime to come up with we can see how notable locations in the city might look with hydraulic doors or notable locations around the world. We could potentially even create a tool, where you could upload your own visual, photograph, and then see how the hydraulic door looked on there.”
So now we can create images that will help you share.
Can you relate a personal experience or passion to your topic in a resonant way?
[image source: Moz]
I like this and I think that many personal bloggers use it well. I think far too few business bloggers do, but it can be quite powerful, and we've used it here at Moz, which is relating a personal experience you have or a passion to your topic in some way that resonates.
So, for example, you have an interaction that is very complex, very nuanced, very passionate, perhaps even very angry. From that experience, you can craft a compelling story and a headline that draws people in, that creates intrigue and that describes something with an amount of emotion that is resonant, that makes them want to connect with it.
Because of that, you can inspire people to further connect with the brand and potentially to inform and entertain.
There's a lot of value from that. Usually, it comes from your own personal creativity around experiences that you've had. I say “you,” you, the writer or the author, but it could be anyone in your organization too.
Some resources I really like for that are:
- Photos. Especially, if you are someone who photographs a reasonable portion of your life on your mobile device, that can help inspire you to remember things.
- Ajournal can also do the same thing.
- Conversations that you have can do that, conversations in person, over email, on social media.
- Travel. I think any time you are outside your comfort zone, that tends to be those unique things.
Remote workers: I visited an artist collective in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I realized that, “My gosh, one of the most frustrating parts of remote work is that if you're not just about remote working with a laptop and your brain, you're almost removed from the experience. How can you do remote work if you require specialized equipment?”
But in fact, there are ways.
There are maker labs and artist labs in cities all over the planet at this point. So I think this is a topic that potentially hasn't been well-covered, has a lot of interest, and that personal experience that I, the writer, had could dig into that.
Hydraulic doors: So I've had some conversations with do-it-yourselfers, people who are very, very passionate about DIY stuff. It turns out, hydraulic doors, this is not a thing that most DIYers can do.
In fact, this is a very, very dramatic investment. That is an intense type of project. Ninety-nine percent of DIYers will not do it, but it turns out there's actually search volume for this.
People do want to, or at least want to learn how to, DIY their own hydraulic doors.
One of my favorite things, after realizing this, I searched, and then I found that Schweiss Doors actually created a product where they will ship you a DIY kit to build your own hydraulic door. So they did recognize this need. I thought that was very, very impressive.
They didn't just create a blog post for it. They even served it with a product. Super-impressive.
You can find more ways to come up with great ideas for epic content over at the Moz Blog.
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