Let’s talk about how to generate content ideas.
Content ideas can be something that is really easy in the beginning but becomes more difficult as time goes on.
Especially when you’re trying to stand out in the sea of humanity out there on the Internet. It can be really hard to know what type of topics to cover to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
How much content do you need to create?
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I think content is really a numbers game and it’s going to come down to how much you create and how far of a reach it all has online.
My goal as of late has been to create as much content as I can and then syndicate that across the web to take advantage of the audience on different platforms.
That takes a lot of ideas. You can’t just take 5 ideas, create a thousand pieces of content, and call it done.
In my experience, you want to be consistent which I’ve discussed at length both in email as well as on The Candid Cashflow Podcast. You want to be consistent with the amount of content that you’re creating. My podcast is just one thing I create, so I try to maximize that to the full extent that I can.
In addition to distributing the audio to multiple platforms, I create a blog post (like this one) and a copy of that blog in PDF format.
5 Ways to Generate Content Ideas
I’m going to go over what’s working for me right now, and what’s working better.
First and foremost, let’s get this one out of the way.
1. Read a lot
Everyone says that. They say if you’re creating content, then you need to read a lot of content. If you’re writing books, you need to read books, right?
If you’re not much of a reader, this can be tough.
Consume content where you are creating it.
If you make podcasts, listen to podcasts.
If you make videos, watch some YouTube.
If you’re a writer, read blogs, read books.
Consume a lot of the same kind of content that you want to create.
At the same time, you can be conducting research on the platform. For example, I’m looking to get into Medium.com and begin publishing content there on a regular basis.
In order to be ahead of the game so that I can succeed sooner rather than later, I can spend a lot of time reading there and conduct my field research. I can get what I need to know so I can see what’s working for other people.
So, your consumption of content can have that two-fold purpose regardless of what you’re creating.
Now that the whole “read a lot” thing is out of the way, we can get down to the nitty-gritty.
2. Start with What You Know
I always advise people to start with what they know because well, it’s the easiest place to begin. It’s easy to create content about a topic that you already know so much about.
I also suggest that this thing you know be something that you’re interested in. You might know about underwater basket weaving, but do you really want to be married to that topic for a long period of time? Do you want to be updating your content about it for years?
Stick to your passions and interests.
There are people out there who will advise you against that too. They’ll say, “Don’t do that just because it’s something you love. If you do it for a job, you will get to where you hate it.”
They think you should choose topics that are trending or have been proven in the marketplace to be money-makers.
I believe that passion has a positive impact on your business. When you’re authentic, it will come across more genuine to your audience and your readers and customers will pick up on that. If it’s not, they’ll also pick up on that.
Now that you’re focused in an area that you know a lot about and it’s something you love and you can spend a lot of time in that space, niche down.
What I mean by that is to start with the broader areas of your niche and then break it down.
For example, let’s say your main passion and area of interest is art. You might diversify by creating content about painting, drawing, and sculpting.
Then you can niche down further. You could take painting and drill it down to watercolor, acrylic, and oil. For drawing, break it down to graphite and pen & ink.
Some niches and even sub-niches run really deep.
Once you have a good number of topics covered, you can diversify further and monetize by doing product reviews.
Pro Tip: Put your gear on Kit.co. It’s a website where you can go and set up an account and share the different sets of products you use to create content. For my podcast, I could have my microphone, computer, speakers, and anything else I use for podcasting.
Kit.co gives me a link that I can share via social media, on my website, in content descriptions, etc. to my kit with affiliate links. If anyone buys through my link, I get a 100% commission.
Whatever niche you choose should provide you with tons of content. When you’re out of ideas, revert back to reading.
If you think there’s nothing new under the sun, use the Google search tools to find the latest news in your niche.
Type your keyword in the search.
On the results page, click Tools.
Select your timeframe from the drop-down menu, preferably something more recent.
Google will return all of the content that fits in that timeframe.
Once you’ve exhausted these options, it’s time to move on.
This used to be my main source of content ideas.
I would sit down every few months or so and just have a brainstorming session. I’d grab my notebook and pen or open Notepad on my computer, and make a list of ideas for content.
If you’re feeling creative, that’s a great time to make a list.
Some ideas are going to spawn new ideas.
This works the same with my daily emails. Emails beget more emails. You also get new ideas when you’re creating the content itself.
Keep a place handy to jot down stray ideas so every time you have fresh stuff, you’re accruing that list because there will be times when you draw a blank.
You’re not going to have a clue what to create, but you’ll always have that list to revert back to and pull an idea from it.
When you create a piece of content from your list of ideas, check it off. If I learn new information on an old topic, then I update that content.
I’ve lost countless ideas by not keeping that place to write them down, so I’ve got notebooks and notepad apps on my phone these days just to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore.
The next strategy is my current favorite.
4. Write Every Day
If you listened to Episode 57 of The Candid Cashflow Podcast, then you heard me detail the benefits I’ve experienced from emailing my list every day.
I ran a 30-day challenge with my list, and just this week, I was able to review my emails from the last 30 days and see how many topics I generated. I ended up with 22 topics.
If I took the last 90 days that I’ve been writing to them, I would have a Quarter year of topics for articles. That’s perfect for what I want to do with Medium.com.
This has single-handedly been the biggest content idea generator for me so far.
5. Connect with Your Audience
However it is that you connect with your people, do it. That might look like an email list, Facebook Group, or any one or more of the hundreds of other ways you can connect online.
Once you are hanging out in the same places as your people, they will generate content ideas in their conversations. This is a great way to get topics because you already know it’s something your audience wants to know more about because you got the idea from them.
Once you’ve connected with everyone in your audience, then connect with people interested in your niche who aren’t necessarily members of your audience. Not only does this give you a chance to invite people to your offerings, but you can get even more ideas from their conversations.
You can do that on forums, Reddit, and Quora just to name a few places. You’ll never run out of ideas coming from those last two platforms.
That’s pretty much all of the strategies I’m using these days to come up with ideas for content.
If you want to expand on these strategies, you should check out the article I put out last week on repurposing content.
It was actually an updated piece from where I’m moving my old podcast episodes over to CandidCashflow.com from HeyYoAva.com. I pulled that article and actually ended up adding about 4 more ways.
I’m going to make that into a PDF.
There are 25 ways to expand and repurpose the content you are already creating.
I’ll link to that from the show notes. You can grab those at CandidCashflow.com/Episode60
I’ll be keeping that updated which brings me to a close.
That’s a Wrap!
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You’ll also find many other things I’ve created there. If you’ve listened to any of my back episodes, I am the BONUS QUEEN.
All of the bonuses I’ve ever created for the show are in that folder, so head over to CandidCashflow.com/email and find out what others are saying about my emails and subscribe today!
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