A few weeks ago, the light bulb went on with a great article idea. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. I lost my excitement when a quick Google search revealed that my great idea had already been done by other content writers and big news sites like Forbes and The Huffington Post.
When it came to content writing, social media, and marketing, some sites kept popping up again and again. I was discouraged, sure, but also, a little intrigued. How do these content writers come with such great ideas time after time when I spend hours only to produce a handful of mediocre topics. What’s their secret?
I figured that, instead of wasting my time and energy on just another boring idea, maybe it’s better to do something productive that will help both other content writing services, that face the same struggle and me. With this in mind, I’ve started researching the best way you can find great content ideas even if you don’t feel inspired at all.
- Take Good Ideas and Make them Better
Most probably, you have a list of content writers that you look up to and hope to become as good as them one day.
Why not start practicing right away?
Have a look at their best articles and ask yourself how can you improve them? Can you write a better headline? Can you add more valuable content?
Brian Dean, from backlinko.com, named this practice “The Skyscraper Technique.” Here’s how it works:
- Step 1: Look for content that is having success in your niche
Use tools like Buzzsumo, Open Site Explorer, Topsy or simply do a Google search to look for popular articles in your industry.
Once you find an article that is relevant to your audience and that you know you can improve, you can move to step 2.
- Step 2: Make it bigger and better
The most obvious option is to make the article bigger. For instance, instead of “5 Ways to Find Awesome Content Ideas when You Don’t Feel Inspired” write “12 Ways to Find Awesome Content Ideas when You Don’t Feel Inspired.”
- Step 3: Make it more visually appealing
To make the new piece of content stand out, you need to add value in some way. Turning an article into an infographic is a great wat to attract more attention and get more shares.
- Listen to What Your Audience Is Asking
Sometimes, an article can seem pretty comprehensive, and it can be hard to tell if the author missed something. When this happens, what you need to do is to read the comments. Readers always notify the author if there is something missing from the article, and you can use this information to write better longer content.
If you can’t find out what problems readers are facing from the comments, the second best option is to go to forums and Q&A sites and do a quick research.
Go to Google, search for [your niche] + forum (e.g. roof inspection forum) and just browse through thread topics.
- Interview Influencers in Your Industry
Another great idea to come up with great content ideas fast is to interview an expert in your field. Here’s the thing: your audience likes to listen to people who are seen as “superstars” in their niche and learn from them. So, this type of content can gain you a lot of respect and vast amounts of traffic.
All you have to do is contact an A-List expert and ask him or her for an interview. Prepare the questions, send them via email and transcribe the answers into a text interview. Then, you can use the things you’ve to create a new list of awesome content ideas.
- Write a New Article from a Fresh Perspective
You don’t always have to compete against the number one article. Maybe your audience is different, or maybe they have a different perspective on the topic covered by the leading article.
So, instead of trying to write a longer article, you can write a new piece of content from a fresh perspective. For instance, let’s imagine you want to write an eBook about copywriting. But, the folks at Copyblogger.com already did a pretty good job at it. Instead, you can focus your efforts on creating something for a narrow niche, like a guide for freelance writers about how to find the right copywriting industry for them.
- Use a Tool
Coming up with new content ideas every week is hard. BuzzSumo is a content discovery tool that allows you to find trending topics and analyze their performance on different social media platforms. You can see what content is the most shared on your topic/industry, and what types of posts get the most social shares.
As you’ve learned from this list, there are plenty of ways to come up with awesome content ideas. But, remember that every post should provide value to your audience to keep them hooked and coming back.