30 September 2012

How To Create Content

Have you ever gotten stuck for ideas for content for your website or blog?  I recently hit a wall and decided I'd share how I got around it. 
I formulated some rules as to what content must be, such as
relevant to your niche
relevant to your community, yet
topical
newsworthy
shareable.
With these qualities in mind, content can be found with the aid of:

Google Alerts on your niche for up-to-the-minute news

Article sites such as www.alltop.com, www.ezinearticles.com, www.goarticles.com  and www.articlebase.com will give inspiration.

Google Reader can be used to aggregate and curate blog content on a particular topics.

Ask colleagues and friends. Some may have ideas for a blog post, others may be looking for an opportunity to blog or simply just take relevant pictures that can be shared on Facebook. If you don't have any aspiring film producers in the office, you might need to farm this one out. Just remember video blogs can be made with an iPhone and they can be raw so long as they deliver relevant content.

New Business.  Because of the routine nature of business, we forget that aquiring a new customer here, or delivering a solution there is news.  If you cant give the name of the customer involved for whatever reason, just remember that its the people in your company that make it happen.  Your audience wont know how you do things or what makes you stand out doing what you do, so report it via a blog. 

Charity Or Social Events.  If you are a company that sponsors a charity event make it a condition of sponsorship that someone writes an editorial on the event which can quickly turned into a blog post.  You get great content and the event gets more PR, that's win-win.  If you sponsor a number of charity events to increase your community involvement you need a more structured approach.  You need to map everything out on an event planning calendar.  You'll need to increase engagement before the event and report the success of the events afterwards.  Remember contributors to a charity event wont just want to know how much money was raised but who benefited and how. 

Ask your community what would they like to see future articles covering

Invite a guest blogger to post a blog.  Allow him/her to include a contextual link and agree that you will reciprocate with a guest blog.

Report on trends in your industry.  Statistics always draw interest.  Infographics are a big help here

Review a product or even a book that is of interest to your audience.  Remember to sell "the sizzle not the sausage".

Write a case study.  Sometimes its the application of your product or service that needs to be written about.  This can then be compared with different ways of doing thing.  You can analyse which method gave the best results and why.

Mind Mapping. Map out what you have blogged about so far and then saw what areas you haven't yet covered to tie your blogging message together.  See Tony Buzan's book on "Mind Mapping".

Keep a List.  Just keep adding to a list of blog post ideas as you go along.  If you don't write these titles down as they come to you, they will be lost.

Hope this clears any bloggers' block.