10 Content Writing Ideas to Inspire You
A white screen and a flashing cursor can be intimidating sights. There’s so much space to fill, and yet the well of inspiration seems to have run dry. However, never fear, the chance of truly running out of things to say about your business or industry is remote. Let us help you to reignite your creative spark with these 10 content writing ideas.
- Answer Your Audience’s Questions
Your target customers are online looking for answers. They are asking questions on Quora and Reddit. They are discussing those questions in Facebook groups and forums. Each of those questions is a potential topic for a blog post, podcast episode, webinar, and so on. What you need to do is provide answers that are more thoughtful, better researched, and perhaps even from a different angle than the ones they are receiving.
- Keep Current with Industry Developments
A great source for content writing ideas is the latest and greatest happenings in your industry. Chances are, you know what’s new and exciting, but your audience doesn’t. Thus, your role can be likened to a reporter or newscaster. You bring your customers key information, and they in turn will begin to rely on you for that information.
Top Tip: To ensure you don’t miss any important developments, set up a Google Alert and get them delivered to your inbox.
- Take Your Customers Along for the Ride
Are you going to a conference? Buying products for next season? Give your audience a backstage pass to the event. This is where images and video will be key to maximizing the impact of any written content. Also, take advantage of social media features like Instagram Stories. Your customers will get a sense of what it was like for you to be there and will be more likely to read any follow-up content you produce.
- Set up a Weekly Feature
Monday Motivation, Tuesday Thoughts, Wednesday Wisdom, etc. These are the kind of weekly features that your audience will start to look forward to and follow. Often paired with an image on sites like Instagram and Pinterest, a quotation from a famous person or influencer in your industry can work well. You can also offer a tip or key piece of advice. For more fun or whimsical content, hitch your wagon to Throwback Thursday. For example, travel expert Rick Steves gives his audience a weekly chuckle with posts like these.
- Invite Guests Over
Look for prominent bloggers, published authors, popular speakers, and others who are well-known in your industry. Ask them if they’d be willing to do an interview with you. The information you gather in that interview can spawn all kinds of content. For instance, you can write a blog post based on the interview. You could include a link to the audio, video, and/or transcript of the interview in your next eNewsletter. Also, you might even explore a longer-term collaboration with the expert and produce your own eBook.
- Update Your Existing Content
For many industries, change is happening all the time. As a result, content you wrote last year could do with an update. Read through any existing text you have. Revise it. Add to it. Then, rerelease it with some fanfare. “This time last year we told you about x. Since then, a lot has happened, so here’s the latest.”
- Make the Case for Case Studies
Everyone loves a good story, and people tend to remember narrative content. Thus, it’s a good idea to create case studies. Again, this is also an opportunity to include images to support your text. For example, suppose you are a professional organizer. Tell your customers what your client struggled with. Explain how you came up with solutions to relieve your client’s pain points. Include before and after pictures, demonstrating how you made that client’s life better.
- Conduct a Survey
Ask your audience questions. What have they always wanted to know about your industry? Are there any products or services they wish you offered? You can ask questions like these via social media, include them in your eNewsletter, or send out an email with a SurveyMonkey link. Then, start building content based on the answers you received. For instance, in your next eNewsletter say:
“You asked, we listened. Jane from Washington wants to know why our company is called x? Thanks for the question, Jane. This is the story of how we got our name…”
Top Tip: For more complex questions like, “How do you make ‘x’?” Producing an infographic can be an effective, visual way to explain something complex. In addition, infographics are frequently saved on sites like Pinterest.
- Design a Checklist
People love free stuff. Therefore, you need to create some content that your audience can download at no charge. Checklists are a great giveaway that also enable you to share your expertise. For example, suppose you run a cleaning service. Why not create a spring cleaning checklist for your customers? They can download it after reading your blog post on spring cleaning. Or, you could use it as a lead magnet in which they get the checklist after they sign up for your newsletter.
- Go Offline
Sometimes, when you feel bereft of ideas, it’s time to turn the computer off and venture outside:
- Have conversations with coworkers, suppliers, and customers. Find out what’s on their minds. What would they like to read about? Are there any topics you haven’t covered that they think you should?
- Also, depending on your business, take a walk around your community. Is there a way you can incorporate a local angle into your content?
- Make your way to the library. If your industry and/or company has a long history, do some research and write about its evolution.