For every content creator, there comes a time when they start to burn out and run out of ideas. No matter how interesting your topic or industry is, if you rely only on your own brain to come up with content ideas, the well is bound to run dry sooner or later.
Luckily, there’s a whole world of inspiration out there. If you’re starting to run low on content ideas, or finding you’re rehashing the same topics over and over again, try out some of these idea generation hacks to give your content a new lease of life.
1. Host a Brainstorming Session with Others
If you’re relying on only one or two people to come up with content ideas, they’re sure to start running low on inspiration after a while.
Open the process of content ideation up to your whole team – it doesn’t just have to be the writers and content marketers who come up with ideas.
If you host a regular team brainstorming session, you may be surprised with some of the content ideas that come up from people who aren’t directly involved with content production or even marketing.
2. Browse Forums and Social Media for Ideas
No matter what industry you work in, there’s a good chance that there’s a forum or group serving it. And that forum will be full of people asking questions they want answers to.
Often, people turn to forums because they haven’t been able to find the answers they need by doing research online. This means they’re just crying out for you to create the content for them.
Go where your customers and audience are, search for the native terms and phrases that relate to your products and services, note the sorts of questions people are asking and problems that you can solve, and create content that speaks to their pain points.
3. Check Out What Others Are Writing About
No, this doesn’t mean blindly following your competitors. But you can get some good ideas that might spark some unique ideas by seeing what other topics people are writing about in your industry.
BuzzSumo is a great tool for this. As well as giving you a never-ending supply of article ideas, it also shows you which ones are trending with your audience.
It’s also a good idea to subscribe to some other blogs in your industry so you can keep up with what others are writing about and take note of any ideas you can use in your own content.
4. Jump on Trends
Keeping on top of trends, news and buzz in your industry is important for any content creator. One of the best ways of creating original content is by writing about a news story or trend that nobody else has picked up on yet.
Google News is a good source for this, and you can even trigger automatic email alerts for certain keywords. You can also use news aggregators specifically for your industry.
Another (often underutilized) tool from Google is Google Trends, which can provide a wealth of data on not only which topics are trending, but also when they are likely to get the most clicks.
Don’t forget other sources of news such as email newsletters, YouTube, and other social media networks.
5. Get Offline
Inspiration comes from many different sources, and the internet is just one of them. If you feel like your ideas are growing stale, try shutting down your computer and looking for content ideas in the real world.
Your local library or bookstore will have hundreds of books relating to your niche or industry. Magazines can be another great source of inspiration – despite the move towards digital publishing, there are still plenty of niche magazines in publication.
Bonus hack: If you don’t have time to get out, you can browse books on Google Books and Amazon. You can use Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature to see the chapters of the book. You can also get digital magazine subscriptions.
6. Use Blog or YouTube Video Comments to Come Up with New Ideas
Don’t overlook using your own blog and video content as a source of content inspiration. It’s often the case that someone will find your original content by searching, but it’s not quite what they’re looking for. In this case, they might leave a comment asking you questions or to expand further.
You could (and should) reply to the comment directly. But it’s often worth using the comment as a base for a new post or video that goes into more detail.
7. Interview Your Team
Everyone has a story. And, chances are, there will be people working for your business who have fascinating stories and insights your audience would love to read.
Consider fitting an employee interview into your regular content schedule on a monthly basis or more often. This not only gives you some great fodder when you’re running low on content ideas, but it also lets your audience get to know the people behind the brand. This helps with brand trust and authenticity and is content collaboration in its truest sense.
8. Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts can be a great source of content ideas that are often underutilized. There are thousands of podcasts out there for even the most obscure industries, and you can also often get ideas from podcasts that aren’t directly related to your niche.
Podcasts do require a time commitment, but this can be a good activity to take up on your commute to work or while you’re at the gym. If you really don’t have time to listen regularly, many podcasts publish transcripts to read, or you can use transcription software at a pinch.
Now, Schedule Your Content Ideas
If you’ve gone through all the ideas on this list, you should have a substantial list of new content ideas. Now it’s time to make sure you actually do something with these ideas by scheduling them for production and publication.
If you don’t already use a content calendar that’s integrated into your content marketing platform, it might be time to review your content marketing toolbox.
Give DivvyHQ a try for a content calendar that integrates ideation into your existing workflow and gives full visibility of all your content marketing projects to your entire team. Get in touch today to schedule a quick demo.