(image credit: Ed Yourdon)
Since the Google Panda and Penguin updates, content marketing has become as important as it has ever been for Search Engine Optimisation and Link Building.
Creating quality content for your blog or a third party blog will help towards attracting an audience, customers and can be used as a way of engaging. The more quality content you produce, the more likely people are to come back.
If you have something worth reading, people will read it and people will spread it. With the expansion of social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, it is easier than ever for content to be shared these days.
Here are 40 ideas to help you create the quality content you want to produce:
1. Check Your Analytics
Take a look at your Analytics to see what keywords visitors are using to enter your site. This can inspire you to write content specific to those keywords, and those keywords can also be entered into tools such as Google Suggest to find more ideas.
Another benefit of Analytics is to check the data of your search box - find what users are searching for internally on your website. Perhaps users are searching for something within your site that doesn't exist.
2. Google Keyword Tool
Use the free Google Keyword Tool to find terms and phrases that potential visitors are searching for to create content around. This tool gives you a rough idea of how many people are searching these terms each month.
3. Google Suggested Search
When you start typing a search into Google, the search engine attempts to complete the phrase with a drop down of suggested, popular searches. Type half of your phrase in an attempt for Google to suggest phrases relevant to your niche that you could write about.
4. Google Related Search
When viewing a set of Google SERPs, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will find a list of related searches that could be inspirational to you.
5. Google Insights for Search
Google Insights gives you lots of historical search data dating back to 2004, as well as top searches and emerging trends.
6. Google Alerts
Setup Google Alerts for the keywords in your industry. This can be done on a daily basis or even as-and-when Google finds news stories. You may find topics and discussions popping up that you can cover
Photos and images are one of the most engaging types of content you can produce. They're quickly consumed and easily spread, particularly across the social platforms. It's also important to include these within your blog posts as they help engage your readers.
What works well for images also works well for videos. YouTube is one of the biggest search engines online, home to millions of videos and daily viewers. Make some interesting content. Once uploaded, this can be embedded into an article.
A picture speaks a thousand words. Infographics went boom in 2011 and continue to be good link bait. Using graphics to visually represent your information, data or knowledge can really grab the attention of your audience who can just so easily spread it.
Produce charts, graphs and statistics around your product or service to use as a base to producing fresh content.
11. Publish Case Studies
Brag to the world about the success your product or service has had with a case study that details this. Everyone likes to read a success story.
Search Twitter for hashtags and phrases around your industry to find new topics or queries that you could produce articles and answers to.
Discussion forums are another place to find people talking about your industry. You don't have to check one forum at a time either as Google has its own set of results allowing you to search forums.
14. Stalk Competitors
Check out your competitor's websites and blogs to see what they are doing. Find out what keywords they are targeting through their page titles and what topics they are discussing on their blog.
15. Check LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups can be a source to find popular topics within your industry or about your product for you to discuss.
Check out Pinterest to see what images are popular in your sector. These could be used to inspire a blog post based around them or even a similar image.
Take a look at Digg/Reddit/StumbleUpon and similar resources for the top news, or any news in your field. The ones at the top of the pile are the most read and discussed and therefore, the most important.
18. Yahoo! Answers
Search Yahoo! Answers to find relevant questions related to your industry. Answer these in a blog post. And if you're quick enough, answer the question on Yahoo! and include a link to your latest blog post.
19. Read Newspapers
There may some big industry news in the local or national newspaper that you could reword and give your opinion on via your blog, or discuss how this affects your company or your customers specifically.
20. Write Reviews
If you are knowledgeable in your field, you may wish to try reviewing specific products in your industry that you believe would be of interest to your audience. Including both pros and cons is an ideal way to increase the trust of your readers.
21. Solve Common Problems
Write about the common problems that your product or service can solve. Particularly if your competitor's product(s) do not solve these problems, it's a good opportunity to showcase yours.
22. Competitor Reviews
Read your competitors' product or service reviews, find what complaints they are receiving and write a blog about how your company's offering solves that issue. You don't even need to mention your competitors or the review in your blog.
23. Fresh Product Reviews
Are there any new products or updates coming out soon in your industry? If so, be the first, or one of the first to break the news or review these. Being the first to break news, means those who subsequently cover the topic can refer to the original (you).
24. Create Tutorials
Producing tutorials or guides can help boost your authority in your industry as well as providing you with some healthy content that could naturally gain links to your website, and traffic to your site for a long period of time.
25. Disprove a Myth
Perhaps there are some debates online about your (or similar) product or service where no one is really sure what the correct answer is. Divulge these if you can as other bloggers can then use it, link to it and maybe even help you become an authoritative source in your chosen subject.
26. Conduct Interviews
Interviewing someone in your work space, someone well-known or popular in your industry can not only provide you with excellent content, but also with link bait material. An interview can be provide in video format, transcript, or both to provide you with more content.
27. Record Podcasts
Podcasts are popular, easy-to-listen to content. They can be uploaded to the mainstream iTunes or be downloaded or streamed from your own website. This method requires funding for the equipment to record podcasts, but once that's setup you can go on to produce weekly/fortnightly/monthly casts.
28. Host A Local Meetup
Host a local meetup group. The initial content from this would be a review of the group, but you can also be inspired by questions or discussions from the audience to produce many more pieces.
29. Answer Questions
Q&As are another popular type of content. They're perfect for engaging with your customers/followers. Automatically they are targeted to your audience and provided you have the answers, the content is straightforward to produce. If good enough, your content could end up being used as an authoritative source or bookmark.
30. Comments on Previous Blog Posts
Are there any comments left on any of your older blog posts that could inspire an article of their own? Or how about comments on your competitors' blogs that may inspire you to write?
31. What are the Industry Leaders Doing?
Use the activity of leaders or inspirational people in your industry to inspire new content. Your fresh content could even come out on top of Google News, or Google to gain the presence on your site of users who were searching for them.
32. Current Worldwide Events
Link a current, popular seasonal event to your industry. For example, many companies have recently been writing content around the Olympics, despite their product or service is not-at-all related.
33. Unique Product Uses
If there are a few unique uses for your product or services, this could lead to you producing a series of blog posts or even videos (or both) where you can discuss how it is being used. This could be turned into a fun blog, and supported with a video to attract a wider audience.
34. Link Your Topic to a Celebrity
"10 Things Usain Bolt Taught Me About SEO" or "How David Beckham Can Teach You SEO", basing your post around a celebrity and their personality can make for an exciting post to attract new readers.
35. Share Takeaways from an Event
Common practice in the SEO world (here's one I prepared earlier: http://www.receptional.com/blogs/internet-marketing/brighton-seo-roundup). If you attend any events in your industry, share the best takeaways from these and encourage the speakers you have discussed in your article to share it.
36. How Not To...
Produce a series of funny blogs or videos showing how not to use your product. Perhaps your audience has photos of accidents they've had with your product that you could use on your blog.
37. Your Timeline
There's nothing wrong with getting old. If your company has an anniversary coming up or it's just 1 year older, celebrate this by publishing photos of your business from way back when...
38. 30-Day Challenge
Do a 30-day challenge and post regular updates and photos to show the progress. Get your audience hooked.
39. Predict the Future
Make a prediction or something that you think is likely to happen within your niche in the future. You may need to be bold or brave to consider doing this one though!
40. Hire Writers
If you've looked through all of these suggestions and are still out of ideas, consider hiring a professional or freelance writer to come up with content for your blog. Yes, there's a monetary cost to this, but if you hire the right writer and they produce the right content that connects with your audience, then you could be looking at a good Return on Investment.
With all of these ideas in mind you may not have enough time to write all the new blog post ideas you have mind! Hopefully now you will no longer be staring at a blank Microsoft Word document for hours on end wondering what to write.
Do you have any ideas? Please share any content creation ideas you have the comment box below along with all the wonderful compliments I'm sure to receive: