10 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE NO IDEAS FOR CONTENT TOPICS

As a regular content writer, I am well aware of the difficulties of content writing. The challenges of finding topics for content is problematic at many levels, not only does it need to be an interesting topic but it often needs to be a trending topic e.g. a topic of current relevance.  As a content writer, you need to be creative but creativity is not always present and writers’ block can ensue. Sometimes, even if you have a topic, making the content interesting can be an even greater challenge as whilst you know that the topic is relevant to your readers, you are struggling to find the words to inspire your readers. 

At times, when your confidence is at a low, take a step back and as with everything that you do in marketing, consider who is your audience, where are they located, what are they trying to achieve? Be your audience for a few minutes and try to understand some of their challenges and problems and then write from the heart as you are now in tune with the people you want to communicate with. Have the courage to take a new standpoint on a topic and give your audience something to think about. It is okay to be bold as long as you have thought out your argument thoroughly.

 As you start to develop your thought process, start to consider a structure for your content. A beginning, a middle and an end – or you can just start to write as I do as for me the hardest stage is starting to write content and once I have got some of my thoughts down on paper, I then go back and create the structure as I now have some of the content and my confidence is higher as now I know that a piece of content is possible.  My approach may seem that I am starting without a plan – and you’d be correct but don’t let my approach diminish the importance of structure. For the second iteration, I have a structure in place and in reality when I read over the second iteration, the flow is so much better now that I have a structure in place and I now have a clear purpose of what I am trying to say  to my audience.

 When creating content, there is no exact way to start but there is most definitely a required flow – the beginning, middle and end and at some point you will need to ensure that you have a structure to meet those requirements. 

Finally, once you have spent all this time creating engaging content, make sure that it is delivered beautifully and responsively. Content needs not only to be engaging but also visually beautiful across diverse devices. Content Experience Platforms such as Experios allow a designer and marketer to quickly and cost-effectively design and produce templates that enhance your content so that your publication can really engage your audience.

If lack of creativity is still hampering your content creation, below are some ideas on how to help you get started on your next content creation journey.

  1. Get a notebook
    Just write words in the notebook.  The objective of this exercise is to get your brain working and to get it to start thinking differently. Often when one is deft of ideas, it can become quite stressful. Stress is a great inhibitor to creative thinking and brainstorming can significantly reduce that stress and hence the brain starts to work better and more creatively.
    Ask yourself several questions – such as who is my audience? Where are they located? What are their problems and challenges? Put yourself in their shoes.
  2. Google
    Google will always remain a good place to go and both find and research ideas. As you put words into the search, Google will throw out suggestions. 
  3. Other Social Media Platforms
    Linkedin/Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram
    All of these platforms will help to give you an initial idea of a content idea.  What are your customers and prospects discussing? Then it is a good idea to go back to the pen and paper and start brainstorming different angles on that topic. 
  4. Talk to the sales team
    The sales team is often an unused resource for content ideas.  The sales team spend most of their day talking with the market.  They are usually the experts on your audience’s challenges and problems.  Marketing often wants to market to their audience without the input of sales but in reality, marketing works best with participation from sales.  Salespeople are your ears on the ground. Listen to what they have to say as they usually have good ideas about what topics your audience is interested in.
  5. Review your product/service
    See if there is a feature that is a hot topic at the moment. Your audience is always interested in a feature that will benefit them and it is a really good topic especially if the release of the new feature is before your competitors.
  6. Look at any events that are taking place that may be of interest to your audience.
    Let your audience know where you will be and why this event is of relevance to them? If you have invested the time, money and resources to go to an event, make sure that as many people as possible know that you will be there. Writing about an event is an easy topic if you are struggling with creativity as it is largely factual – this is the event and this is why you should join us there.
  7. Look at your reviews, what are people mentioning the most- is there a blog that could develop from your customers’ feedback – ensuring that the blog is positive. If the reviews are constantly mentioning a certain feature and how that feature has transformed their business, write about it, ensuring that your audience understands that such a feature is part of your product/service.
  8. Look at other competitors, what are they writing about – as they probably have the same or similar target audience, their content topics might inspire you.  Make sure, however, that whilst the topic might be the same that the content is different – for many reasons – plagiarism, but also that the same audience can see a different standpoint on a trending topic and that they can see your company as a thought leader with the ability to discuss a topic differently and in way that is more innovative than your competitors.
  9. Forget about Writing – do a video or a vlog 

 Take a look at what other media you may have – such as video.  Write an article around the video and embed the video or attach a link in your publication.  Maybe, just forget about writing and do a video talking about a certain topic instead of writing about the topic.

Creating content is something that can be challenging even for the best writer. Develop a structure and when confidence is low, use some of the nine ideas above to help you start writing. Never forget that content needs to be engaging but also visually beautiful.  Platforms such as Experios facilitate beautiful and easy distribution of your content. Let loose your imagination and you will find that the world is your oyster.