Read industry news and write down the basic and general topics relevant to your company (read your competitors blog, small and big publications, ask other departments, read previous content created by your company, etc.). Use these tools to facilitate your search process:
- Quora: Through this webpage you are able to view questions related to your industry, and review the discussions that follow them. You can blog on some of these questions and provide useful answers. Another idea is to ask a question yourself and blog about the answers you received!
- Paper.li: Allows you to create your own newspaper based on the topics and sources you are interested in.
- Scoop.it: This tool lets you view and curate others magazines and create your own.
- Prismatic: Allows you to discover news on your topics of interest that are shared through social media.
- LinkedIn Groups and Discussions: You can discover concerns that some experts have and others feedback to these.
- Reddit: Compiles news links that are generated by the users, and they even vote for those that they think are most important or relevant.
- Google+ Communities: You can get a variety of useful and interest content shared or posted by others into the different communities you are following.
Pick one of the topics you chose previously (for example, content marketing). Seclude yourself in a quiet room with a piece of paper, pen, and a timer (aka your phone, but don’t let social media temp and distract you). Set the clock for 10 minutes. Press start, and write about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you can think off related to content marketing. It can be general ideas or extremely focused ones. No rules for this! Just let the ideas flow.
Out of time! Take a Break
Review your list and scratch what you don’t think is worthy of writing. Then, re-read your options and see if you can drill down even further on some of them.
- Content Idea Generator: Generates a prospective content idea by inputting the topic you want to talk about.
- Wordtracker: Shows the most popular keywords related to your topic
- Google AdWords: It’s their main advertisement product but also allows you to discover keywords related to your topic or title.
- Google Trends: Find out what everyone’s talking about.
- Google Alerts: It will send you email alerts every time a specific keyword (that you choose) is mentioned.
- Text 2 Mindmap: Allows you to create a mindmap for the topic you brainstormed about. It is not necessary, but it might help you connect the dots and find out what’s missing!
Get your team involved, they might want to add something.
Create an editorial calendar to keep track of what’s being posted.
Repeat the same exercise for each of the topics you chose at the beginning. Before you know it, you’ll have endless amounts of ideas which you can use to create relevant and valuable content!
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