Content Marketing will be central to every business’s strategy in the 21st century.
Everybody knows they have to create great content. But no one finds it an easy job to do. No one except me, that is. 🙂
Firstly, a definition of Content Marketing
Here’s a short definition of Content Marketing: Content Marketing is about creating content (text, slides, images, sound, video) that engages an audience so that – a some point in the future – that audience turns into customers.
Here’s a long definition of Content Marketing: Content Marketing is the process of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Central to the problem of creating great content is finding great ideas. Here are 15 ways you can find content ideas for that are right for your audience:
1. Learn to be you
You have to be yourself. Don,t write thin content on a general subject (for example, “The A-Z Of Web Marketing”). Don’t rehash what other “experts” are saying. People will never see value in what you are saying if you imitate what someone else has said. Forget about what the guru says and follow your own wisdom.
And don,t be afraid to go outside the mob majority opinions or the prevailing wisdom within your niche. If you have an opinion that differs from everybody then be proud of it. Prevailing opinions come from the “guru echo chamber” where everyone imitates what they say and their ideas get hackneyed and overdone. So it is often quite easy to be different and to be right.
Don,t worry about people disagreeing with you. When people disagree with you it is an advantage since it gives you publicity and it does not mean you are wrong.
2. Create content about what you know
Write about what you know and keep it simple. Always think outside the box and don,t just be limited to one area.
Write about you are good at and what you enjoy writing about. This is best since you are sure about it and no one can do your work better than you do.
Write about what you know. Write about what you are good at.
Here are some examples from my blog: articles about interactive PDFs, multi-lingual WordPress sites, calendar templates, etc. They may be boring or irrelevant to most people but incredibly helpful to a specific few.
3. Be honest
Being honest enables people to connect with you on a deep and personal level. For example, WPcurve and Buffer show traffic and income reports. This transparency helps others and makes for valuable content. Here’s my latest income report and here’s my latest business report that contains my traffic figures.
4. Create content about your failures
But also, write about what you did that went wrong. For example, my articles Why I Failed at Podcasting and How You Can Succeed and Dealing With A Humbling Profit Drop received more likes, tweets, shares and comments that a lot of my other articles.
Explain why you made the mistakes. People get value because they can see where you went wrong and can avoid your errors.
5. Make your titles and content specific and descriptive
You will get more traffic from Google with more descriptive titles. Ensure your blog post titles target more descriptive keyphrases – phrases that contain keywords of three words or more.
In the above graph you’ll see that the “long tail” of more descriptive phrases actually has more search volume than the ultra-competitive phrases of one or two words.
- An example of a competitive keyword that I shouldn’t target: weight loss
- An example of a competitive keyword that I could potentially target: video course creation on Udemy
Being specific in your title and content would really helps someone with a specific issue within your niche. These are the areas that you need to be concentrating on.
6. Ask people
Everyday, I hear the complaint: “But I’ve got no audience!” But everyone has an audience. Your audience – primarily – are your family, your friends, your colleagues at work, and the people you rub shoulders with on social media.
Ask people what they’re interested in.
7. Ask your email list
Now, remember, if you are creating content, you must collect email addresses. An email list is the most valuable tool of any online business for so many reasons.
An email list is great for market research. You can ask people in your emails questions like: “what are you struggling with” or “what is the number one issue in your business today”.
You can use Google Drive to create questionnaires. Responses will be collected on a Google spreadsheet. This will not only foster a relationship with your subscribers but it will also give you great ideas for content.
8. Ask people on social media
You can ask people questions in social media groups such as LinkedIn or Facebook. If you know of a particularly good group full of experts, so much the better. Read here about how I earned $10,000+ Passive Income From One Blog Post That Took An Hour To Write.
9. Help people
Create valuable content that will help others. Give freely of your talents. So whatever you are good at you could offer to do it for free.
Do this for everyone. But, you if you help an influencer, they might share it and that will increase your reputation.
When somebody emails you a question, you must answer it – and answer it very well because you are an expert and people expect the best from experts. Always be thinking of opportunities where you can offer help.
10. Tell a story
It is great to write specific technical information because it will be helpful for certain people. But the information might get a bit dry and it’s hardly interesting to everybody.
So, there is a need to mix it up. Everybody loves a story. And the best way you can do that is with your own story. People are naturally curious about other people. No matter who you are or what your background is, certain people will identify with you – this is a big win.
11. Use Google Trends
Google Trends shows you the trend of a keyword – whether it’s becoming more or least popular.
As you can see the trend for the search term “Udemy” is on the up.
Use Google Trends to choose subjects where their interest over time is increasing.
12. Use Google Suggest
Google Suggest is what Google hints or auto completes once you start typing into their search box. Type in keywords for your latest blog post ideas.
There are a couple of sites that can help you further. UberSuggest collates all these suggestion and is sometimes an easier option than typing in the keyword in Google itself. Another great free tool is the Suggest Tool at SEOchat which will give you suggestions from the Google, Bing, Amazon and YouTube search engines.
13. Use Buzzsumo and other blogs to get great title ideas
Buzzsumo tells you what content is shared socially the most for any topic or competitor. Simply head over to Buzzsumo and key in either a competitor’s site or a keyword. This will tell you a huge amount about which type of content and titles work in your niche.
Make a habit of visiting other blogs and learning from their titles of their content. You will see that titles should not only contain keywords but they should also be very “clickable” since they are the ones that make a person want to know what is in the article. Visit extremely profitable blogs like Copyblogger and Huffington Post and see if you can remodel your ideas onto their title types.
14. Understand the valuable information in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics show the traffic statistics of your site or blog. It keeps records of each and every visit and shows a huge amount of information about your visitors.
If you go > Behavior > Content, you can see which blog posts were the most popular. You can now, therefore, enhance and contribute more content on these subjects.
15. Re-purposing content from elsewhere
Re-purposing content from elsewhere saves you time. I find client work especially useful when creating content.
This is what I love about content marketing and passive income:
- I get asked to do a job for someone (create a multi-lingual WordPress website)
- I do the job (and video myself doing it)
- I put the video on YouTube and earn money from Adsense on YouTube as the video is popular
- I link to WPML, the multi-lingual plugin for WordPress, under the YouTube and start earning affiliate commissions
- I write a blog post about it and earn more affiliate commissions, plus attract traffic from Google and get more sign-ups to my list
- I create a successful Udemy course on the subject and get paid, drive traffic and earn yet more affiliate commission
I could go on but you get the idea.
- Have you written to a client something that you’ve written before to many clients? It’s probably a good point and could be turned into a blog post
- Have you done something this week within an application that you don’t think many people know how to do? That could make a great YouTube video.
- Have you given a presentation this week? Upload the slides to Slideshare.
The world is full of content for you to create. And it ain’t that difficult.
Content Marketing Strategy – You Can Do It
What have you done this week that you could turn into content? I hope this article has helped you with ideas for great content.
Maybe you have other ways of getting ideas for your content marketing strategy? If so, I would love to hear them, please leave a comment down below.
And, lastly, if you enjoyed this article and you want to get started in content you may be interested in my free course: Set Up WordPress And Blog: A Crash Course In Web Publishing. Or, if you’re wanting to go deeper into this here’s my advanced content marketing course: Content Marketing: Get Visitors And Customers With Zero Advertising.
Erick Borland says
Really good article, Rob. Nice balance of strategy and concrete and actionable details. – Erick
Rob Cubbon says
Thank you, Erick, I’m glad you liked it 🙂
Your best tip? #9 Help people. Rob, you are a master at that. I’ve had an idea for an article about a cheap tree injection system I developed to cure root rot in avocados. I used the tools in your article and realized it’s just too niche. I may write it anyway!
Rob Cubbon says
Hey AstroGremlin, always so great to see you hear. So glad that this article helped and thank you for your kind words about my content.
Thanks for the information. I work in the softcore adult world and content marketing is becoming our number one priority.
You’ve given me a few things to think about, for example teaching on YouTube. Unfortunately AdSense won’t except adult oriented videos to make money from.
Rob Cubbon says
My pleasure, Missy, I’m glad this information was useful to you. Don’t worry about Adsense on YouTube in that it’s pennies really, so the money from Adsense is not an important part of my business – but YouTube is. If you keep making YouTube videos you’ll hit the jackpot sooner or later.
Michal Stawicki says
For written content Quora is a greatplace to re-purpose.
I answered a question about overcoming shyness using my plan I wrote over a year ago. 2.5k views and 3 sales of my book.
I shared my blog post I wrote 2 years ago when starting my blog. 455 views. I don’t think it collected so many for 2 years on my blog.
I shared my article on GoodMenProject. 570 views.
“Shared” means answering specific questions with my content.
Rob Cubbon says
Hello Michal, interesting. Thank you for that.
Just based on your responses here, Rob, it’s clear you ‘walk the talk’ and actually do care about your clients. Increases my confidence in your courses and services.
Rob Cubbon says
Thank you so much, Joy 🙂
Samrat Singh says
Thanks for sharing these amazing tips with us. These suggestions are really valuable and going to be effective if followed and implemented properly and consistently. Reformatting content in different formats and sharing them on different channels work like charm in terms of traffic. Many thanks for sharing this post, Rob.
Rob Cubbon says
Very happy to share this stuff, Samrat, hope it helps you. 🙂
Wow! such an exhaustive list…I’m sure I won’t run out of content creation ideas when I start out.
Thank you. Fantastic Post!!
Rob Cubbon says
My pleasure, Hanuman 🙂
Mike Sam-Jerson says
I admire your honesty. I have been studying your articles for about 1 . 5 yr now; I think you have brought me to a point of ‘action-taking’
Thanks so much!
Rob Cubbon says
Thank you, Mike. Taking action is what it’s all about.