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SpinWeb is an Indianapolis-based digital agency, specializing in enterprise website design & digital marketing

7 Tips for Formulating Fresh Content Ideas

Posted by Nikki Jasper on 11/3/16 9:30 AM

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You sit at your keyboard and stare at the screen; your mind is a blank. You know you need to write engaging content that will draw people to your website, but what can you write about? Your idea well has run completely dry. 

Fresh content is the cornerstone of digital marketing; our friends at Hubspot discovered that companies publishing 16 or more blog posts per month get 3.5 times more traffic than companies publishing fewer than four posts per month. And if that's not sufficient motivation to blog more often, companies that post to their blogs frequently get 4.5 times more leads than those who rarely post.  

We share this information in hopes of encouraging you to tackle the issue head on, not to scare you. Don't panic. We've all faced the scary blank screen at one time or another! And we're here to help. We've created a list of ways you can free yourself from the dreaded writer's block without breaking your brain. 

1. Talk To Your Team

Who else is better placed (or more incentivized) to help you generate content than your teammates? Show them the stats we mentioned above to make sure they understand just how important it is for you to blog frequently, and ask them to share their ideas with you.

Talk to your sales team; have they noticed that many clients seem to be bringing up the same questions over and over again? That could be addressed in a post, and the sales team could then refer the clients to your blog when the issue arises. 

Perhaps your designers could give you some useful ideas that you could turn into a post (or even an ebook or white paper) that you could direct your website design clients to when they have questions about designing their logo or creating their branding guide

2. Interview an Expert

Bringing in outside expertise is one of the simplest ways to inject new ideas and knowledge into your content strategy. You can stretch your content calendar and add more blog posts to your weekly schedule with this one technique—the email interview. What do your clients or customers really want and need to know? Of those things, what expertise do you have in-house? Survey your employees who do not normally contribute to your blog. Send them a list of questions that you can imagine your target audience asking, request a timely response from your employee, and let them know that you will be posting the interview on the blog. Your employees are just one treasure trove of content expertise. What about your partners, vendors, professional and personal contacts? Reach out to your network and ask if people would care to answer a few questions about their area of expertise. Get a step-by-step tutorial on creating an email interview here.

3. Ask Your Clients

The best way to know what your clients are interested in reading about is to simply ask.  One of the most efficient ways to do that is to add it to the form on which they provide their contact information. Just ask them to explain what they're interested in learning more about; you'll not only gather fodder for your blog, but you'll get valuable insight into the minds of your clients. You'll know more about where their interests lie, and you can market to them accordingly. 

4. Subscribe to Other Blogs

Of course, you're not looking to copy what they're doing, but you can definitely get ideas from your competitors' blogs. If nothing else, dig into their comment sections. If you notice that a lot of people are commenting on a certain topic, that could be a good topic for you to explore on your blog. (For that matter, you could check out the comment section on your own blog as well—it might be an unexpected source of content gold that you haven't mined yet.) Or, dig into the blogs' archives; there could be topics there that you might have a fresh, exciting take on that could be repurposed into a blog post. 

5. Social Media

Oh, social media. What would we do without it? A simple keyword search on your favorite social network platform could bring up enough topics to keep you in content for weeks! A glance at the trending topics can be inspirational as well—just slant it so that it is relevant to your business, and you'll be set. This is yet another place where you can gather information about what your clients are interested in learning more about; engaging with them on a more personal level while addressing their particular pain points is a wonderful way to get more eyes on your blog, too. 

6. Check the Q&A Sites

These sites can be a surprisingly helpful source for content fodder; search sites like Quora or Yahoo! Answers and you'll see which questions potential clients might have that could be formed into a blog post. Sure, you might have to wade through the nonsense (seriously—beware!) to get to the truly useful stuff, but it's likely an untapped source, one that can produce new and completely original content for your blog. 

7. Have Fun With It!

Here's a thought: maybe you're trying too hard? We know that some of our best ideas happen outside the hours of nine to five. I'm listening to a podcast or reading a good book, and suddenly my marketer brain connects the dots. Perfect example, this episode of SpinRadio that was inspired by Allison's love of Hamilton (the wildly popular musical). She was thinking about the way this musical gained popularity and found a lot of marketing lessons that apply to our business and our clients. Voilà, a new episode of SpinRadio is born (and probably a blog post to follow), and it was easy to put together because of the organic way the idea came to her. Follow your passions and you will have fun generating new ideas for your marketing content.  

Hopefully these ideas will help you kickstart your creativity and get your content up to speed. Do you have any other inventive ways of coming up with fresh ideas for your blog? Share it in the comments!  

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Topics: marketing, content, digital marketing

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