People and search engines alike love fresh content. For a website or blog to stay competitive, it is essential to keep it updated with the new and unique material. Otherwise, the site could drive away visitors and lose its place in search engine rankings. Luckily, the inspiration for new articles is not that hard to find. Try the following tips and it will surely be a long time before you get hit with writer’s block again.
There isn’t a day that goes by that people have no problems. No matter what your website is about, there are people out there who are into that very same thing and need help. Use this fact as an opportunity to connect with your readers and demonstrate your knowledge. Search forums to get ideas. Talk with people around you. Draw upon your own experiences. Each time you identify a problem, ask yourself, “How can I help solve this? What skills do I have that can be applied toward a solution?
When you have chosen a subject to tackle, write it in a way your audience will understand. Give clear, step-by-step instructions. Suggest multiple solutions if possible, add helpful links, videos and/or pictures. If the article is for a blog, invite people to comment. You may be surprised by how much readers can contribute to the article.
Your own personal struggles can be a rich source of ideas. Because no two people have the same experiences, this is a great way to brainstorm unique ideas. Review the day’s events. Look back on the highlights of the year. Almost anything you encounter in your niche has the potential to become your next article.
One reminder here: When you write content based on your own experiences, make sure it is written in a way that engages readers. They do not want to know about your life story, so cut back on the drama and go straight to the point. Share personal details only when it is truly helpful in explaining the subject. What people need is information that applies to their own situation, not yours.
These are an inexhaustible source of new ideas. Browse message boards to see what people are talking about, what questions need answers, and what goods sell well in your niche. Yahoo! Answers and similar “answer” sites are also useful.
You can crank out new content for your site by taking what others have done a step or two further. Have you stumbled upon a popular “Top 10” article by someone else? Don’t get intimidated by it. Instead, take the concept to the next level. Write a “Top 25 ” and cover the topic as thoroughly as you can. Touch on points the competition may have missed. Add pictures or videos. Offer alternative solutions to problems. There are many ways you can improve on what is already out there. Just make sure you do not copy anyone in the article.
Return to old content you have published. Expand on it or write a follow-up article. For example, say you wrote a review about a kitchen appliance you bought several months ago. Write now about what you have been doing with it. In the process, you may come up with more ideas, such as best kitchen appliances under $200, cooking tips, etc.
Books are a gold mine of inspiration for resourceful minds. Scan the table contents first, and then read those chapters that interest you. Ask yourself if you can approach the topic from a different angle, or if you can cover it in greater depth. Refer to the index or chapter titles to brainstorm keyword ideas.
Point your browser to Google, Bing or any other search engine with an auto-complete feature. Now slowly type keywords in the search box. As you do, the auto-complete feature will attempt to fill in your query with popular search terms. If you change a letter, you may get more suggestions. Use these suggestions as a basis for new article titles.
Whenever a holiday or change of season comes around the corner, people search for them online. Seize this opportunity by writing holiday-themed posts. But keep in mind where your visitors come from. If most of your readers are based in the United Kingdom, an article about the Fourth of July holiday would be largely irrelevant to them.
Every website should have a traffic analyzer like Google Analytics. Use the collected data as inspiration for new content. Which are your most popular pages or posts? What keywords do people use to find your site? Which articles generate the most ad clicks or purchases? Armed with this information, you can craft just the type of articles that people want.
Find experts in your niche and ask if you can interview them. While it’s unlikely you will land a one-on-one session with big names when you are just starting out, you can probably convince fellow bloggers, small business owners and others in your niche to give of their time. For them, it means more exposure and recognition. For you, it means a great new article.
If your website or blog exists in a highly competitive environment, it may help you to go local. You face smaller competition and your content will be more narrowly targeted. For instance, if you like to blog about food, try writing about the local supermarkets and restaurants. If you are fond of animals, write about the local dog shows. This might not work well on all topics, so analyze your first and experiment.
Reader comments are yet another valuable source of inspiration. Look over your email and blog comments. What questions do visitors ask? What do they look for on your site? Which of your articles do they respond to the most? Take these comments, inquiries, and suggestions and address them in new articles.
Posts or articles that are made up of lists are very popular. People love lists because they offer something very specific such as “Ten Best Places to Retire” or “Five Worst Degrees to Get.” Lists also tend to be composed of short paragraphs, which makes scanning them easy. Create a list type of article on a subject you are very knowledgeable about. Make it as comprehensive as you can so that people have reason to bookmark, share or link to it. The extra effort you put into such an article will be worth it, as a well-written list can get a lot of traffic.
If you want to become established as an expert in your niche, writing quality reviews can help. But for your reviews to stand out from the crowd you need to make them extra special. Choose products that you have personally used, and then write the most detailed reviews you possibly can. Add pictures, diagrams, videos, links and whatever you think may help. That product you want to review may already have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of reviews on Amazon, so make your article stand out.
There are many ways to find inspiration for new content. If it seems you are running out of ideas, relax and look around you. The seeds of your next masterpiece could be lying buried in a book or an email. Or it could be in a keyword phrase stored in your weblogs. Or it could be in what other people are talking about in either the physical or virtual world. Just take the time and look.