This blog originally published in January 2017 but was revised to include new resources and updated information.
Struggling with how you’re going to be able to come up enough content marketing ideas to get you through 2019? As someone who creates content for a living, for both myself and others, I sometimes have a block when it comes to coming up with ideas that my audience wants to read about.
Each year, I spend time brainstorming different content topic ideas based on where I want to go in my business in the coming year. I also talk to my audience about what they want and need from me (probably one of the most important steps). And I use my own question method of developing topics that are complementary to create a true content strategy that keeps multiple platforms in mind.
Use this video to help you develop new content ideas for your marketing in the coming year. This is a great place to start.
A few years ago, I gave you 25 blog ideas that every business owner should use. And I also created a series of videos that give you content ideas for specific industries, like accounting, business coaching, product-based businesses and health and fitness coaches. But my bag of tricks doesn’t end there. Here’s how I came up with enough content topics to publish new, fresh content multiple times a week, every week for a year. (That doesn’t mean I’m advocating this much content; it just means that it IS possible!)
Add a New Element
No matter how long you’ve been in business, you have untapped territory when it comes to your content. You grow and develop as a person and a business owner throughout your journey, which means you have new ideas at your disposal. Add a more personal element to your content and create content around your own personal business story. I did this a few years ago and it got a great response from my audience, with us being able to connect on a whole new level. If you’re not interested in sharing your own story, you can include feedback from your clients (with their permission of course!), case studies or even a new element in your industry that you don’t necessarily do but that you can speak on.
Know Your Zone of Genius
You have specific areas where you’re an expert, your zones of genius. These are things you know about, work with clients on and can talk about…a lot. For me, these include content strategy, content creation, writing, idea generation, etc. When I work with clients on creating their own zones of genius, we create a Google spreadsheet and brain-dump all the things that light them up and that they want to talk about–in blog posts, on videos, on their podcast. You can find out more about identifying your zones of genius in this training I did a while back.
In this brainstorming stage, there’s no such thing as a bad idea.
Plotting Ideas Out
Once you hit a wall on the topics you can create content about, start plotting them out on a spreadsheet, calendar or content planner. Now, I’m absolutely not a fan of planning out a whole year of content at a time. As a small business, you never know what will change in the coming months. You may find that your audience isn’t responding to your content. Or maybe you’re making a shift in your business (because that’s really easy to do as a small business). Instead, plan out the next month or quarter–down to what you’ll post on what days and on what platforms. And make sure that this content feeds directly back to your goals. So if you’re launching something in a few months, all of your content should build interest in that idea or topic. Tease out some of the paid content and start leaving your audience wanting more.
As you’re plotting out your ideas, keep in mind that some content will serve your audience better as a video vs. a blog post. Keep your options open. There are also ways to get more traction out of your content, both new and already live.
Gathering Guest Bloggers
Hosting guests on your blog is a great way to increase the amount of content you have, find your way in front of new audiences (because your guests will share their blogs to their audience) and cover topics that aren’t necessarily in your zone of genius. When I hosted guests on my blog a while back, I approached specific business owners who I knew had great information to share and would resonate with my audience. I also sent a guest blogging interest form to my list and posted it in Facebook groups. One thing to note is that hosting guest bloggers on your site is no easy task. Some people promised an article and never delivered, some required a lot of editing and generally it was pretty time-consuming. Because of this, I only offered guest spots for a year, then discontinued the practice.
Getting the Content Ready
So now it’s just a matter of creating and sharing that content! For many, this is the most challenging piece. For others, it’s a piece of cake. I recommend batching your content, from emails to blog posts to podcast episodes to videos. It’s all batch-able, when you do it right. You can outsource some or all of the process, depending on your budget and your desire to create content.
Learn more about how to batch your content right here!
Coming up with ideas for content doesn’t have to be a challenge. As a business owner, you have so much expertise and so many ideas in your head that you just need to put together a bank of ideas that you can pull from any time.
Need help with your ideas? I love brainstorming blog ideas and putting together a plan to get it done. We can do that together in a Map It Out session! I’ll show you how I format my Excel spreadsheets, we’ll create one together and start developing your 90-day content plan.