Writing is easy when you know what to write about. But it can sometimes be hard to think of ideas in the first place – especially if it’s for an industry you don’t know much about; or a brand you’ve worked with for years, and you feel like you’ve run out of ideas.
Obviously, the last thing you want to do is create a piece of content that’s similar to something that’s already on your website – or worse: write something irrelevant that no one will read.
If you’re stuck for ideas, then first of all, don’t worry – it happens to the best of us! Secondly, give these ideas a go, and hopefully you’ll get the inspiration you need.
1. Review competitor content
From an organic point of view, you’ll want to create articles that are going to rank for relevant keywords and drive traffic to your site. If you’re stuck for ideas, one of the first places to head to are your competitors’ sites.
Obviously, we’re not suggesting for a second that you copy them, but they may give you some much-needed inspiration for ideas you’d otherwise never have thought of.
Take a look at their keywords to see if they rank for anything that you don’t, and (provided they’re relevant), you can create new blogs that target these keywords, and add them to your content strategy.
2. Check your own keywords
Check out your own keywords and see what each of your pages are ranking for. It’s likely that some of your pages or blogs may be ranking low for slightly irrelevant keywords. However, those keywords could rank higher if they were targeted on another, more suitable page.
If you can find some keywords that you want to rank more highly for, you can create topics based around them.
3. Head over to Google Trends
If you want to write a more trend-led piece, then I’d definitely recommend using Google Trends.
You can see which topics have increased and decreased in popularity over time, compare different topics with each other, and see trends in specific cities and countries.
For example, if you wanted to write a piece on travel predictions for 2021, you could use Google Trends to see what people are searching for. I compared ‘summer holidays 2021’ with ‘ski holidays 2021’; and you can see that skiing holidays are currently more popular – suggesting that people are either hopeful they may be able to escape at the beginning of 2021; or are holding off until the end of the year, when the vaccination has been fully rolled out.
4. Discover trending topics on Twitter
If you want to write a piece of content about a current trend, then head over to Twitter. You can see what’s trending in the UK, or in different sectors, such as news, sport and entertainment.
It may well be that there isn’t anything you can turn into a story – but then again, there might be. Just make sure you don’t create content for the sake of it (there’s literally nothing worse).
If you can write up your piece and get it out on social, you may be able to pick up some extra traffic to your site. Then, over time, you could update it or optimise for keywords, to increase your traffic in the long term.
5. Identify relevant days of the year
Another good source of content inspiration is to look at international days of the year – you might be surprised by the types of ideas you can link these back to.
For example, Blue Monday is coming up on Monday 18th January 2021, so you could tie it into a piece on mental health. Similarly, there are lots of product-specific days of the year, such as Brownie Day and Gin and Tonic Day – if you’re an ecommerce company, you might be able to tie these into a nice blog article, which you can then use to link through to your products.
You could also – and I know this sounds obvious – create relevant content based on different seasons – think Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Halloween. Obviously this depends on what you sell, but for Christmas, there’s a ton of content just waiting to be created – from gift guides, to food inspiration, parties and decorations.
6. Consider your customers
Whilst this may not result in fun, light-hearted blog topics, it’s SO valuable to listen to the questions your customers are asking. Speak to the people in your business who communicate directly with your customers, to discover the questions they’re asking. You can then turn these into FAQs – not only will it help you to rank for the queries they’re searching for, but it’ll also lighten the load for your comms team.
If you want to create a data-led piece, you could also send out a survey to your customers, which you could then turn into an insights blog.
Hopefully that’s given you the inspiration you need for coming up with some new content ideas! I think an important thing to remember as well, is that you can’t just turn creativity on and come up with ideas as and when needed. Sometimes they come to you when you least expect it, so if you’re still struggling for ideas, don’t beat yourself up about it.