Prevent Content Drought With The Ultimate Reliable Inventory
With the constant demand for high-quality content, you can often face a content drought. You might struggle to find ideas for future topics or maintain a full inventory of existing content.
How do you overcome these challenges?
The answer: build a reliable content inventory with idea generation, content calendars and lasting content types.
This article serves as part one of a series on building and maintaining a strong content inventory. In part one, I provide advice and resources on idea generation, the start of a content inventory.
Using Headline Creators
In a past article on content generator tools, I introduced three tools you can use to discover new ideas for your blog articles.
My favorite is Impact’s BlogAbout tool. It has several key features that makes it more useful than the other options, including the options to free write and save generated ideas.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator is a fun alternative. It gives you topics with a fun twist and commentary. I recommend this tool if you want more creative topics to work with.
Read more about the pros and cons of these tools in my article – Overcoming Writer’s Block: Content Generator Tools.
Asking Your Audience
Another way to generate more content ideas is to involve your audience and customers. By asking your social media audience and existing customers for their input, you not only receive more ideas for your blog. You also give participants a voice, which leads to a more engaged group of people supporting you.
Ryan Kettler, Director of Communications for BootSuite, wrote an article for Constant Contact on this subject: How to Get Great Content Ideas Directly from Your Audience.
A common idea Kettler suggests is surveys. You can use these with your social media audience, event participants, and email subscribers. The more fun and interactive they are, the more successful they can be.
Also, a great approach he mentions is using feedback forms. I like the idea of using UserVoice to find out which topic to choose from based on website visitors’ input. Asking your audience for their input in an interactive manner increases your content’s success rate because it’s a topic your audience chose.
Another great article out there on this subject is written by Steli Efti, CEO of Close.io, on the Shareaholic blog: Need Great Content Ideas? Consult Your Audience.
There is one part of this article that really stood out to me, and I quote it here:
“Don’t talk to them. Talk with them.”
This is such a great point. The more you broadcast your content, the more likely you’re pushing your audience away. You’re essentially isolating and ignoring them, which can be quite damaging to your brand image and content success rate.
If you engage with your audience instead, you receive content ideas you might not have thought of otherwise. You get fresh perspectives to use for future articles, and your content will be more successful. This success is a direct result of getting your audience involved and giving them a voice.
Using a Creative Approach
Beyond the approaches I already mentioned, you can also find more resources for idea generation in these articles:
Aaron Agius wrote an article for the Jeff Bullas blog titled: 27 Killer Strategies for Brainstorming Blog Post Ideas. He gives you a variety of examples for ways you can generate content, including:
- Reading a nonfiction book
- Word association
- Researching competitors
- And much more
Another great resource is by Liz Jostes on Social Media Examiner: 10 Ideas to Inspire Your Next Blog Post. This list gives you plenty of topic generator ideas, such as:
- Answer common questions
- Make an announcement
- Host a Q&A
- And many more
Will Blunt, founder of Blogger Sidekick, wrote an article for HubSpot that includes some great recommendations for developing blog ideas – How to Research Blog Topics: A Step-by-Step Process.
My favorite part about this article is that Blunt recommends maintaining a note-taking system. I’ve always been one to save my ideas in a Word document or notepad because it’s so easy to find an idea and proceed to forget it soon after. In order to keep your ideas available, you should record them somewhere.
This article has several more recommendations to check out, and I recommend using Blunt’s advice for your own idea generation process.
Leave your input in the comments section below or reach out to me directly by email.