If you face the daunting task of coming up with fresh content for your business site, blog site, fan site or hobby/life passion site, you know how difficult that task can be — and how easy it is to reach a point where you just “run out” of content writing ideas.
Here’s a little secret, something we’ve learned over the years: the more in-depth your knowledge of your customers (or site visitors if you have a non-commercial site) the easier it will be to come up with ideas for more content.
Coming Up With Content For A Year’s Worth of Blog Posts
Does the title above scare you? “How can you come up with that many topics to write about at a single setting?” Yet it can be done. Let’s outline the overall process.
Firstly, what is your publishing frequency? Do you need content published weekly? Daily? Hourly? Monthly? Quarterly?
Let’s suppose it’s weekly – one new post or page per week. So to generate ideas for the entire year you will need to come up with 52 of them.
Secondly, you need to begin thinking deeply about your customers/site visitors. Just how much do you know about them?
Make a list of things they are interested in. Write down the easy ones first – things you know they are interested in simply because they visit your site.
Suppose you operate a business installing chimney covers – covers, made out of various materials, that cover chimneys in such a way that they keep out birds and animals, but still allow your chimney to function effectively.
Applying the “What Else” Strategy
Now it’s time to employ the “what else” content strategy to inform your brainstorming.
Given these interest areas, “what else” might interest them also?
For our chimney cover business, visitors to such a site might also be interested in:
- Brickwork – Masonry
- Tree, bush and grass landscaping
- Installing gutters and downspouts
- Roof and gutter cleaning
- Window washing
Let’s go out a bit further:
- Outdoor gardens
But we could jump out just a bit further and also include:
- Real estate services
- Home financing
- Rental property
- Homeowners insurance
I think you get the idea. Using this method, coming up with even 52 ideas (one for each week that covers you for an entire year) would not be that difficult at all!
But How Do I Implement This Strategy?
Now that you have these “what else” content topics, the big question is: how do you use it?
You might be thinking, “We sell chimney covers on our site, how could I possibly use content on window washing, outdoor gardens, or home financing?”
You have several options here:
You could create some small related-content hubs. For example, you could develop a mini-site presenting solid content on real estate services (finding a good agent, how to negotiate with owners or buyers) home financing (finding the best rates, saving on closing costs) rental property (including the legal aspects of being a landlord) and homeowners insurance (highest-rated companies, different types of policies).
These all work together to cover various aspects of something home-related, which is why we call this a related-content hub. You can then embed links back to your main business site within the content. People interested in the related-content hub content may also be interested in the business services you offer. This is called website crossover traffic and it is insanely valuable because it converts at a much higher rate than just targeting the general population.
You could develop internal pages on your main business page. You can call it “related resources” to encourage people to look through it when they visit. You can use various SEO tactics to get those individual internal pages ranked for their own subject-matter. Make sure there are links in the content/header/footer for the real “business” pages of your site, and you may get some crossover traffic from here as well!
Finally – consider your advertising:
- These related topics may give you some ideas of what types of sites you want your ads to appear on.
- As well, if you accept advertising from other sites on your website, these “what else” content ideas might give you good guidance as to what types of advertising will work best on your site (i.e., what advertising “partnership” proposals to accept), and what potential advertisers you might want to secure (via direct outreach to them).
Sometimes developing ideas for content is as simple as looking for the overlap — asking the question “What else?…”