When done right, content marketing is the best way to attract your ideal audience, build authority and trust, and ultimately convert readers into a profitable action.
It's a sensible approach to a long-term strategy. If you've put in the work of creating valuable content over time, folks learn to trust your experience and seek out your suggestions.
Even before you started reading this article, we were probably already in agreement that content marketing works.
But (there's always a big but), where does all this valuable, relevant, and consistent content come from?
You, my friend.
For me, the toughest part is coming up with the topic for a post. I've come up with a few strategies of where to find good post ideas and I'd like to share them with you.
You remember that tweet of yours that was re-tweeted several times? Well, it struck a chord with your audience. Take those popular tweets and expound on them in a blog post.
No popular tweets of your own? Take someone else's and use it as a jumping point to write about your knowledge, opinion, or experience with the topic.
Just about every form of social media is ripe with potential blog topics. What's trending? What's controversial?
Take 5 minutes to scroll through one of your social media feeds and you'll find some good fodder.
I'm sure you've seen plenty of Buzzfeed-esque posts titled something like “12 Things ____ Can Teach You About ____.”
It may be formulaic, but it works. Use current events as a creative way to put the spin on topics you're already writing about. For instance, how about “20 Things Donald Trump Can Teach You About Recurring Revenue” or “How Caitlyn Jenner Changed the Way I Look at Google Analytics.”
For more headline hacks, check out this free e-book by Jon Morrow.
Industry Blog or Magazine
Look to the leaders in your industry – what topics are they writing about?
Odds are they're selecting topics based on known reader interests. Leverage their insights by piggybacking on those topics.
Don't re-hash the same details – this isn't about copying – write an opinionated piece that takes the idea in question and explores it from your unique perspective.
Is there some tool or product you use in your business that's made your job easier?
Write a review about it.
Go into detail about your likes (don't be afraid to throw in dislikes) and share examples of how and when you use the product.
If you're an affiliate, be sure to include (and disclose!) links in your review.
Ever get questions via email? Ever had the same question more than once? If so, that's a wide-open invitation to write a detailed answer in the form of a blog post.
If two people have asked, there are probably a lot more that would also benefit from the answer.
Along the same lines, if your websites already have a Frequently Asked Questions section, take one of those and expand it into a detailed post.
If you've blogged consistently for more than six months, you've built up a decent post history.
Use Google Analytics to discover your top posts. You've got a proven track record of people coming to your site to read those top posts, so why not write more about what people are already loving?
What was the last project you worked on (either for a client or an internal work project)? If the project went well, make a case study out of it. If the project had a lot of bumps, write about that along with any suggested tips for making a similar project go more smoothly in the future.
Most of us don't get things right on the first try, so blogging your shortcomings along with your successes is something your readers can relate to.
Read a business book lately (e-books count, too)? If you gleaned any useful nuggets of wisdom or inspiration, share it in a blog post.
This isn't your high-school English class, so don't worry about writing a formal review. Just recap the premise of the book, point out the parts you found particularly useful and wrap up the post with how you plan to integrate those useful parts into your business.
Are you feeling inspired? These are just a handful of my favorite places to look for blog ideas, but you never know where your next burst of inspiration will come from!