Let's face it, whether we write content as our primary activity or as one strand of our current job role, we've all had the experience of staring at the flashing cursor on our blank computer screen and asking ourselves, "now what?"
While on some days creative inspiration can come thick and fast, on others it can feel as though coming up with new content ideas is an inexorably painful process.
In a recent article in the award-winning online publication Small Business Trends, Digital Marketing Entrepreneur Loren Baker offered his advice on seven key steps to coming up with fresh content.
You can read his full article below, but for now here are four pieces of advice on creating new content that particularly struck a chord:
1) Have you done anything similar before? Why reinvent the wheel if you don't need to? As Baker explains, re-engaging with old content can be a great way to generate great new ideas. It may be a simple as looking at the topic from a new angle or presenting it in a different format (an infographic, to-do list or webinar for example) in order to appeal to a new audience.
2) Are there sufficient resources online? Unless you have comprehensive knowledge of your subject, says Baker, you'll likely be relying on research to ensure you're instilling true value into your content. And in order to establish yourself as 100% credible, you'll want to provide current, accurate and validated information. Baker recommends filtering your search engine results by date, rather than relevance, to guarantee you're providing the most recent and relevant statistics on your topic.
3) Is there similar content elsewhere? With literally millions of pieces of new content being created online every second, there are limitless opportunities to "borrow" inspiration from other sources. The key though is to make your new content better in every way, whether that's updating old data, adding new information or incorporating new visual elements.
4) Can you be more specific? There can be substantial leverage in simply digging down deeper into an existing topic. Dissecting an existing piece of content into smaller pieces, shifting your focus onto sub-topics, tailoring it to a specific audience, and playing around with demographics can all assist in creating new content possibilities that you may not have considered.
One of the requirements for a sustainable content marketing campaign is the aptitude for generating topic ideas. It may sound easy, but at some point, you’ll realize that this can be harder than producing the content itself — whether it’s a blog post, podcast or any form of visual content.