What to say when everything has been said already?

We’ve all been there before, hands on the keyboard staring into a a blank screen wondering what to type. Frustrated you turn to the internet for answers only to read ‘content is King!’

But, what do you do when the King can’t think of what to say?

As a small business owner, it can be very frustrating when you read article after article telling you that high-quality content will bring visitors to you website but the topics you come up with have already been covered.

Creating any type of content can be a daunting task let alone creating something that will attract customers. And, let’s be honest, in the frustration of it all you want to do nothing but avoid content altogether. Don’t worry you’re not alone it’s human nature to avoid something that we don’t like doing.

Finding Your Way

Although, it’s true creating content on a consistent basis is a difficult task but it’s not impossible. When you break it down & simplifying things into the premise that your content will help your audience figure something out, it become a lot easier. This concept only works for the larger aspect of your industries topics.

If you want to get deeper into the subjects within your industry to truly help your customers out & become that thought leader then you’ll have to get creative. In the spirit of digging deeper here are 5 ways you can come up with content ideas.

1. Think In Themes

One of the most valuable steps you can take in content creation is to think of it in themes. The easiest way to start thinking in themes is to start with your industry if to use these 6 steps as a guide:

  1. Write down a list of around 3-5 broad topics within your industry. The one that directly relate to what you do. For example I would write web design, marketing & graphic design
  2. Then go to your blog & look at the categories you most write about.
  3. Compare your categories to the topic list you’ve written out. There should be some relation between the. The categories from your blog tend to be more specific. For instance, the topic of marketing could have public relations related to it. 
  4. Once you’ve matched your categories with your larger topics you can keep breaking every down to more specific topics.
  5. Now you should have a nice list of specific topics to write about.
  6. Depending on how many you have you can space them out over a period of time in your content calendar to have themes over those times. For example you could do it by month – January:Website Design, February: Video Marketing, March: Offline Marketing, etc.

Think about the intricacies about the topics that you not only think will be valuable to your audience but interesting to them as well. If you want to take this a step further take a look at your rotation & see if you can  match it up with the time of year it is or any special occasions.

2. Ask Your Customers

The single most obvious & simple way to come up with creative content is by simply asking your customers. You can do this in person while having a conversation with them or have a survey for them to fill out. Other ways you can do a little content research is by hopping on social media & finding out from your social connects.

This not only helps you come up with ideas that you may have not previously thought of but it gives you an inside look at what your customers really want from your content. By understanding this you can create content specifically for them giving you an edge on the competition.

3. Social Listening

Some people see social media as a waste of time, while others see it as an important resource to generate leads. Regardless of what your stance on social media is, the one thing that can’t be argued is that it’s one of the most valuable resources to find out what exactly what your customers & prospective customers are saying.

There are three different ways you can start to social listening:

  1. Take time to peruse your timelines & feeds to find out what’s being said on your various social networks.
  2. Utilize the search sections to find out what’s being said in your specific area of expertise.
  3. Run a poll asking your audience what there biggest challenge is

Social listening does take some patience but when used correctly it can be a valuable tool in creating your content.

4. Use Current Events

In my opinion current events is one of the most underutilized source of coming up with content ideas. But, when you think about it everybody stays in touch with what going on in the world. Those events do have an impact on your customers either directly or indirectly.

Is there something in the news that effects your industry? Is there a story happening in the public eye that you can relate to your business? Or, maybe there’s valuable advice you can give based on a current events story? Maybe there’s a funny meme or video you can create based on something from the news.

The fact is there are numerous ways to get content from current events. Even if you can’t directly get ideas from the particular story it will get your creative brain thinking & undoubtedly come up with a new piece of content.

5. Combine Topics

The single most creative way, and hardest way, is to combine two completely different topics that on the outside seem unrelated & find the connection. The key here is to make sure one of the topics is within your area of expertise. The other can be really anything & the more different it is the better.

Another great way this works is by thinking about your dream client’s industry & combining one of the biggest issues they have within the industry with one of the major topics you write about. Find the relation between them both & write about that.

Information today is everywhere which is why finding creative ways to come up with content ideas is important to stay ahead of your competition. The best way to approach this problem is to have a checklist of sorts that acts as your foundation for the creative mind to jump off of.

Or, you can sit in front of a blank screen not knowing what to write, your choice!

What are your thoughts? Do you have any other interesting ways to come up with content? Comment below & let me know.