Where to Find Content Inspiration When You’ve Run Out of Ideas

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It happens to the best and most experienced writers. You sit down to write, but you have no idea how or where to start. Content inspiration doesn’t come easily, and yet you have a deadline to meet. 

According to a Marketing Insider Group report, the content marketing industry was worth $300 Billion in 2020. And it’s expected to keep growing as marketers and businesses continue to value content creation, especially for search engine optimization. 

11 Ideas for Content Inspiration

Speaker and author Ann Handley writes, “Everything the light touches is content,” in her book, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Unfortunately, when writer’s block hits, it doesn’t feel that way. 

Content writers face a variety of marketing challenges, with developing content that delivers quality leads being at the top of the list. 

How can you write when you have no idea what to write about? And it’s not just a matter of churning words onto paper—you need to come up with content ideas that are relevant and that offer value to your target audience. And the fact that content comes in a variety of forms—articles, video, social media, infographics, ad copy, and so on—adds to the task’s difficulty. 

Here, we’ll discover some ways you can come up with fresh content inspiration when the well is running dry.

1) Send Surveys to Your Customers

Surveys are one of the best ways to get a pulse on your audience. They’re a great source of inspiring ideas for interesting content since they provide insight into the challenges, needs, and issues your audience experiences.

There are several free online survey tools available, such as SurveyMonkey or Typeform. Or you can leverage the polls that are available on social media. Here are a few ideas you can use for creating Instagram polls from Vimeo. 

2) Listen to Podcasts in Your Niche

When you’re out of ideas, you can also turn to other content creators in your niche for content inspiration. Podcasts are one of the most popular platforms these days. You can leverage their popularity to get an idea of the type of content your audience would want.

When taking inspiration from podcasts for topic ideas, consider the demographic of the podcast’s audience. Is it aligned with yours? If yes, then it’s an excellent tool for building your content marketing strategy

3) Look for Questions on Forums

Forums are another go-to source for fresh content ideas when you’re stuck in a rut. These sites offer a wealth of ideas that you can explore for content generation. Websites like Quora and AnswerThePublic are popular and easy to start with.

To generate content inspiration, you can do a quick search on these forums using a specific keyword or topic. It will generate a wide range of questions that are relevant to that topic.

List the questions and topic ideas that you think have the potential to create new content. This is also an effective technique for optimizing your content since you can answer real questions from your target audience.

4) Use a Tool Like BuzzSumo

A writer looks at content inspiration in the form of letters flying out of a writer’s typewriter.

Learn to flex your writing muscles when you employ tools such as BuzzSumo to generate new content ideas. This tool gives us content inspiration. Plus, it shows us what posts are getting the most traffic.

It’s an excellent tool for content marketers to brainstorm content ideas that people are already searching for or talking about online.

HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator is another invaluable tool for content inspiration. When you input a search term, it gives you up to 5 blog ideas to explore. 

5) Track News through Feedly

The use of a news aggregator site like Feedly is another great way to generate ideas for your next content piece. It compiles news from various sources online, so it saves you time when doing your research or brainstorming.

Google Trends and Twitter are two other useful sites. Use them to see the trending topics online, especially if you want to produce buzz-worthy content. 

6) Take a Different Angle on Past Content

The world is constantly changing. So, when you’re out of ideas or blog topics, why not look at your past and existing content?

There are two ways you can go about this: 

  1. Explore a different angle of a topic about which you’ve previously written. 
  2. Supplement it with new and additional information that wasn’t available when you first wrote it.

Google loves fresh and updated content. So, using either of these approaches in your content marketing strategy is beneficial for your website’s SEO efforts. It’s also valuable to your audience as they have access to the most relevant information on a given topic, adding to your authority.

You might even want to use this opportunity to fix underperforming content and optimize it. According to a survey by Semrush, 61% of content marketers considered updated and repurposed existing content as the most efficient tactic of their content marketing strategy in 2020. This tactic often ranks higher than creating more video or visual content.

7) Use a Blog Aggregator

Just like news aggregator sites, you can also use a similar service for generating blog ideas. AllTop and BizSugar are just a few of these sites that can be a potential goldmine of ideas.

You can use blog aggregator sites to generate one-off topic ideas or to produce a steady stream of content inspiration for future blog posts. 

8) Follow Your Competition

Competitor analysis is a crucial aspect of a successful marketing strategy, but you can also use this same approach when generating blog or topic ideas. 

You can use inspiration from your competitors’ blogs and other content to target the same people when competing for a matching audience.

Just remember, producing cookie-cutter content doesn’t offer value, and it certainly won’t make you stand out. So, when sourcing ideas from competitors, add value by approaching the topic from another angle and a new perspective.

9) Use Your Analytics

When you run out of ideas, it’s easy to be desperate. Your first instinct may be to look outwards for content inspiration. But did you know that your marketing analytics can provide significant data for fresh ideas?

Take a moment to dissect your conversion results. What type of content does your audience enjoy the most? Which content has generated the highest conversion rates? 

Based on the data from your analytics, you can optimize your content marketing calendar to focus on topics that appeal to your audience the most. 

10) Get Active on Social Media

Social media is where most people spend the majority of their time online. And when used wisely, it can help with generating and planning new content ideas.

Look into what type of content your target demographic engages in on social media. What are their questions and concerns? If you can identify these, you will be able to formulate tons of content ideas. 

Focus your attention on content that gets the most interaction and shares. After all, the primary goal with content creation is to generate a response from your audience. If you’re not doing that, why waste your time and effort? 

11) Do Keyword Research

Keyword research is an essential step in writing content for your blog or website. But it’s also a gold mine when it comes to generating fresh content ideas.

Just type in a general keyword into your keyword research tool, and you’ll get a list of specific results that people are searching for. It’s that easy.

Bonus Tip: You can also turn to Google keyword suggestions for content ideas. Just start typing a keyword in the navigation field of your browser, and Google will suggest relevant topics. You can gain insight into the top trending keyword searches this way. 

Final Thoughts

We all enter a creative rut at some point. It usually happens when you have to produce content on a regular basis. Eventually, you feel like there are no more original topics to write about. 

By using the sources and tips above, though, you can find enough content inspiration to unleash your creativity and keep the content flowing for months and years to come. 

 


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Filed Under: Content Marketing

About Shannon Kegerries

Shannon’s deep desire to help others is a trait that was developed early on, as she has always enjoyed seeing people, groups, organizations, companies, and families thrive and make positive changes that encourage growth in all areas. That combined with her love of learning is what drove her to earn her master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. For more than 15 years, Shannon worked in a variety of settings as a behavioral, family, young adult, and group therapist. As a behavioral therapist and case manager who has worked with people from nearly all walks of life, Shannon has a knack for helping others reach their desired outcomes, which she applies to her work at Viral Solutions as a content marketer. In addition to possessing keen insight into what drives human behavior, Shannon strives to find various ways in which she can relay each client’s message and vision to their prospect so that it hits every angle and sinks into the prospect’s mind. Likening her role to that of a detective, Shannon enjoys gathering information about each client’s prospect and competitor, then fitting it all together with the client’s product/service as the answer to the problem. She is a StoryBrand Certified Guide.

When she’s not working, Shannon enjoys reading, skiing, painting, and spending time with her family.