Content writing and content marketing is essential to generating new organic traffic and establishing credibility, but it's not easy. When you start off, the ideas may flow like water, but after a few months, it can get harder to actually come up with good ideas.
So take a break from reading up on all the latest content marketing strategies. Let's focus on the most important one that will help you tie all the others together: Generating New Ideas.
Novelists discover their favourite types of stories by reading, and content writers can do the same. When you're at a loss for ideas, start searching for blogs or websites similar to your own and see what type of posts they're publishing. You can assess which ones are the highest ranked by their readers and use these as a springboard of inspiration for your own articles. Make sure whatever spin you put on it is unique; avoid plagiarism as this is literally just regurgitating information that's already available, also duplicate content is not good for your website and terrible for search engine optimisation (SEO).
If you already have a clearly-defined audience, you can ask them what information they want to see or read more about. Create an online survey or use social media to poll different ideas that your audience want to know about and use the response as a means of guiding you when coming up with a better content. By asking your customers directly what they want or need will show you’re listening to them and considering their opinions, it may even open up a new opportunity for you and to write something useful for them.
One problem you may have is that you’ve lost focus, not really sure who to target your writing toward. When you don't have a clearly-defined audience or ideas you wind up trying to please everyone and posting a mishmash of content, it's exhausting and doesn't pay off. Try narrowing your blog's focus down to two to four niches and tailor your marketing approach to people who frequently search for those topics.
You won't become an expert on content marketing overnight, but I bet you're already pretty knowledgeable about other things. Use subjects you're comfortable with to come up with new content marketing ideas. If you're a foodie but run a tech start-up, think of a way that cooking could be mixed with technology, use your imagination. The content you write when you merge your interests with your job won't just be infectiously passionate, but they'll also be much more focused and have a better chance at evoking profitable customer action.
It's important to stay relevant and consistent with new posts, but sometimes the best way to figure out which direction to go when writing content is to revisit your previous work. Many companies will revise existing content in order to make it more useful for today's consumers. This could mean updating mentions of software, fixing links or rewriting entire articles to republish.
Ultimately, writing content is all about experimentation. Some posts that you put barely any effort into will produce the most profitable customer action, while others you sweat and toiled over for days will only garner a few likes on Facebook or be viewed in Google. It's a bummer, but its all part of the game. Both your successes and failures can help point you in the best direction when trying to figure out what to write, and in the meantime, you can always listen to your customers by reviewing past comments, research similar sites, conduct a poll or just revise existing posts until inspiration strikes.
Just remember that everyone who runs a website or blog goes through dry spells, and persistence is key. Keep trying to shake those pesky creative cobwebs and you'll soon wind up with a nice, fat list of content ideas to keep your site well fed.