Creating new content can be really overwhelming, especially if you feel like someone else has done it better! (Related: Why creating killer content is so difficult and how to make it easier!) However, it's good to press forward and create the content, even if someone else did it, because your subscribers and readers are probably different than another blogger's! So where do you find new content ideas?
The best places for you to find new content ideas are:
- Facebook groups
- Pinterest search
- Google search engine
- Other blogs
Ready to dive in? Let's go!
My very favorite way to find ideas for new posts is to simply ask people what they're struggling with! At one point, I know I asked this question specifically:
"Is anyone struggling with Wordpress? What kinds of help do you need with your Wordpress blogs?"
Lemme tell you... I got a TON of answers. It led to a little series I did a long time ago when I wasn't going by my name and my blog was called With a Heart in Danger. It was a lot of fun creating that series and being able to share it with the people who were struggling! When you create content people NEED, they share it, love it, and comment!
Another way to find content in Facebook groups is by utilizing the search bar. Simply enter your keyword or your phrase and see what questions are being asked and develop your content from that! (Read: How to grow your audience with Facebook groups)
Ask yourself what sorts of things your subscribers are needing. Have they responded to any emails with questions? What sorts of emails do they seem to open most? What are they clicking on? These are all great questions to help you understand what kinds of content your subscribers want to consume. Some great ways to ask your subs what they need are:
- What is something you're struggling with?
- What is your favorite way in which to receive new content? (PDFs, posts, vids, etc)
- If you could ask me ONE question about blogging (or whatever topic you're knowledgeable on), what would it be?
Obviously, I had to include this one. (I have a slight problem with Pinterest. As in, they have to pull me away from it every day.) In the Pinterest search bar, use the same strategy that you used on Facebook. Enter your keyword, but this time, pay attention to what searches are suggested in addition to what sorts of things pop up after searching. If you enter "content", these things pop up: "Content Quotes", "Content Marketing", "Contentment", etc. Click on those to see what is most popular.
I don't really need to go over this much, since you use the same strategy as your Facebook groups and Pinterest search strategies, but I do want to mention that at the bottom of every Google results page is a list of other links. These are the most popular search terms related to your search. Here's a pic so you can see what I'm talking about:
Polls are so fun! You can post them just about anywhere, too. Facebook groups, emails, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest... people love taking polls. Ask them questions about THEM, because people like to talk about themselves, right? So they love answering polls about themselves. Sarah Hart has a great example of a quiz, which is similar to a poll, on discovering your brand legend. She gets answers AND emails all at once.
Some good questions to ask in your polls or quizzes are:
- What blogging platform do you use? (This is good to know for future tutorials, etc)
- Do you struggle most with content, design, or social media? (Be sure to list only the things you have experience in!)
- If you could receive help in a specific format, what would you prefer? (Give them options like video tutorial, blog post, audio, etc)
This is a touchy topic, because I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. Don't STEAL CONTENT, ever. It is unacceptable. I have a feeling you all know that, so I'll move on. :)
Gathering ideas from other blogs is totally a personal practice of mine. Here's how it usually works out:
- I visit one of my favorite blogs
- I see what types of content they're trending
- I check the comments for questions people are having
- I write down the best questions, comments, and topics I find
- I create content based off that
I never use the same sorts of methods for delivery, the same titles, or offerings that they have. I typically link back to them in my post, mentioning that they also have a great post on this topic.
A great read for those of you not looking to break into new content just yet - maybe you have limited time to create - would be Melyssa Griffin's guide to repurposing content.