How Can I Come Up with Content Ideas to Start Writing?

The most difficult part in writing is coming up with the initial ideas. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.

Video transcript:

Tim: I find, myself, when it comes time to brainstorm on ideas, content ideas, strategies, I find it’s like opening up a book to start writing something. I tend to just go blank there for a minute before I get into it. It’s like any type of creative event. You eventually get there. I was wondering if you had any strategies for developing that blueprint.

David: So, the keyword research process is a great place to start, not just for what you should have pages for, but as part of that process you will discover that if you take the time to record the blog article ideas that you find along the way, there can be almost a limitless amount of content. The challenge is, making sure it’s unique to your website and you’ve got something new and innovative to say to your audience about it. So, you know, if as you’re doing research on, let’s say web design and branding, you’re going to find all kinds of questions that people want to know about web design and branding. The problem is, that a lot of virtual ink has been spilled on those topics. So that means you need to write about it in a way that’s different and unique from other people, but still maintain the same topic. That’s where it’s a challenge. But the other way of looking at it, that’s where you can be creative. Right? That’s where you’re not just writing a “What does branding do for my company?” article just like everybody else has an article about that. You could still write the same. It can have the same title, but you can find out what’s different about what you do, or the area in which you want to help customers, or problems that you have encountered or, more anecdotal stuff for you. And heck, if you can produce data insights then it makes it even better because it’s really just to write something, but it’s a totally different ballgame if it’s something that has a lot more value and interest. So, that stuff is going to be hard for a writer to do. Right? But the good news is, you don’t need to have as much quantity of that kind of stuff. You just need to have new and unique and good stuff.
So, I guess my suggestion is to start by doing a keyword process and making a record of all the potential blog posts you can, and then as those inspire you, that’s probably the best place to start. Right? Because that’s gonna be the most interesting to you and you’re going to be able to write or at least talk to those for your writer to be able to write more knowledgeably than some of the topics you might find really boring to you.

Tim: Yeah.

David: Now you might have to write some of the boring ones. Or maybe the boring ones, you just have the writer write, and you move on. But the key is doing that. So, a couple of ways to do this. One of my most successful clients we just literally started writing down every question we can ever think of anybody would ask in their industry. Just writing a long list of questions. Then we went to Google and we did autosuggest to see what people also ask and people also search for, and we wrote down all those questions. Then we went to social media, and we said, what questions do people ask social media about our industry? We had so many questions, it became game point, where there’s so much overlap because sometimes people ask the same question in different ways.
So we had no end to the number of questions people wanted to know, and we just started writing – just started going and it worked really really well for that, really well for them. Now, in my experience, on my own website, some of that stuff does okay, but it’s the stuff where I take time and do my own data and analysis that really does a lot better. So, this week, I just think I hinted at this last time we spoke, I wrote an article about how John Mueller started criticizing thin poor content on websites.

Tricia: Hey, I saw that.

David: Yeah. He basically said if you have a lot of bad content on your websites, it’s going to reflect poorly on your whole site. Yes, I immediately thought of terrible transcripts of videos on Curious Ants.

Tricia: Yeah.

David: I was like, oh, that’s really bad content. I mean, it’s meant well, I’m not trying to trick Google. I’m just trying to help people find what these videos are about. But what could be happening is that Google could interpret that as all low quality. And the vast majority of this website is those automated transcripts, therefore the website as a whole is low quality. So I did a big analysis, pulled out all stops, crawled the website, pulled that search console, and I came up with this big analysis and I published that. That is stuff that really does well. That took a lot of time, it took a lot of data, and it frankly took me admitting I have a website and there’s a lot of crappy content on it, to be able to produce something that hopefully would be helpful. But the other side of it is, sometimes if you just get in this routine of writing on a regular basis, something will hit now and then. And that is great. But you have to just keep that momentum going. Eventually, something will outperform the others and be worthwhile.

Tim: Yeah. Thanks for the helpful tips there. That’s good.


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