One of the biggest challenges with keeping your website fresh and relevant is the production of new content. It doesn’t matter if you post new articles and blogs every day, every week, or every month, at some stage you’ll run out of ideas and really have to start thinking about what you want or need to say.
When the well runs dry, here are some suggestions to keep you going.
1.Have a plan
Know what you want to write before you even get started. If your site is about roof maintenance, think of all a particular task that needs to be performed, for example clearing out guttering. Plan to write articles on the equipment needed (ladders etc), safety requirements and laws, the pros and cons of doing it yourself vs hiring a company to do it for you, and so on. That gives you material for at least three articles, and whilst putting them together you may well come up with more ideas.
In a related idea, brainstorm everything you can about your specific topic or niche. Get a piece of paper and a pen, and write down everything you can think of that is remotely related – you can edit it and make things a priority later. Once you have a long list, go through it and find the ones you think are most suitable for writing about, and develop a plan as in suggestion 1.
3.Use current events
Every day you can turn on the TV news and find something else to discuss, debate, ponder, or worry about. Maybe a new regulation is being created that affects your industry – that’s easy. But what about using a calendar too? Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas, even seasons like spring or winter, can prompt you to create new content. Let your audience know your best recommendations for certain times of the year and you’ll provide them with great value.
4.Look at your competition
There will most likely be other websites like yours on the internet, so do a little research and see what they are writing about. Don’t steal content, but do be inspired by others – if this is the time that everyone is writing about pointy hats and all your content is about flat hats, you might need to change your direction.
5.Solve a problem
What’s the big problem facing your audience today? Maybe you sell baking equipment. Are people having a problem getting their cakes to rise? Write an article about baking the perfect cake, and position yourself as the expert in this field. You’ll provide value and become more authoritative in your marketplace.
There are numerous sites where people can go to ask questions or complain about something. By searching for your particular industry or market on sites like Quora or Facebook, you’ll find out what people have to say, what their problems are, what they are looking for, and sometimes even what works well for them. All of these provide options for creating content, whether it is solving problems, making recommendations for particular products, or giving ideas for new ways to use old items. Forums are often niche-specific, and can be a goldmine to find out what people are truly thinking, so visit them often to get a full picture.
A simple option – review what you have written before, see what has been the most popular post, and write more content around that topic. You can do this by looking at social media sharing, the number of comments, or if you want to really get deeply into it, look at your…
Your analytics will show you the most popular pages and posts on your site by the number of visitors to that page. You should also be able to see how people moved through your site – maybe they started off looking at shoes, but moved on to socks quite quickly. So shoes get them in, but socks keep them interested – write more about both!
Additionally, your analytics may show you how the visitor found the site in the first place, hopefully with a keyword or phrase. If a lot of people arrive having searched for the same kind of thing, you know what your next piece of content will need to be about.
On the flip side to this, head over to the Google search page. Type in something related to your industry – slowly. You’ll see that suggested searches appear below the box as you are typing. These suggestions are based on what people have searched for before – they more common the search is, the more likely it is to appear in the list. If you type, for example, “How to fix a” the suggestions might be “zipper” or “leaking tap” or a number of other things. You’ll know what to search for relating to your particular industry, but this will help you discover what other people are searching for too.
10.Tell a story
When all else fails, just make it interesting. Tell a story. Recall a time when something went well (or really badly) in your industry and give your perspective on it. Describe a day in the life of a whatever-you-focus-on. Talk about the process of manufacturing the widgets you sell. Speak around the forests that the wood comes from to build your bespoke furniture. Look for new angles on old ideas, and just let your imagination run riot. If you can make it interesting, keep it relevant, and tell a story, not only will it provide value to your readers but they may also be open to sharing it with others, increasing the impact and reach of your content even further.