Finding new content to publish every week can become complicated and somewhat time-consuming. Whether you’re the person who comes up with the topics for the editorial calendar, or you’re the one writing the issues yourself, there’s always a need for new ideas.
Fortunately, many resources exist to inspire you and ensure you’re always motivated to share new content.
Resource #1: Twitter Lists
A Twitter list is a list used to keep track of influential contacts, other businesses, customers, or even your competition (or whatever else you like). It cuts through the noise of Twitter’s home feed because only you can add or remove individuals/brands to your Twitter list.
When you’re low on inspiration, browse through your Twitter lists and see what your industry is talking about. I have done this on multiple occasions and always come away with a spark of an idea, or an opposite point of view, that I can write about.
If you’re new to Twitter lists and how to use them to your advantage, check out this complete guide from Mashable.
Resource #2: Email Inbox
What’s the number one question that lands in your inbox? Are there several topics that you discuss over and over?
It’s likely there are specific subjects your industry hasn’t adequately addressed, or there are particular questions that continue to pop up. The answers to these, along with the solutions to them, make for excellent content ideas.
Take a few minutes to browse through your inbox and look for a pattern. Make a list of replies and comments that your customers share over the next few weeks. It will only take a short time to gather up enough “content fodder” for you to have a host of content to write about.
Resource #3: Websites With Viral Content
Have you ever been reading through Facebook and noticed the same article popping up in your feed?; this is because the content is being shared over and over again until it’s viral. You can take a cue from websites like the following:
These websites cover a variety of topics — many of which are related to entertainment — bu,t the point is that they focus on subjects that are making waves in the industry, and provide their commentary. They’re also not afraid to tackle touchy subjects or ones that hit home with a lot of readers.
This isn’t to say you only want to write about topics that could cause some controversy, but you can take a cue from their articles to find new ideas. Additionally, viewing how they structure headlines can help you create more click-worthy titles.
Resource #4: Reddit
There is no shortage of threads on Reddit. In fact, there’s so much content that there are sub-Reddits for most topics and conversations.
Browse through their “hot” or “new” tabs to see what people are buzzing about. You’re sure to find a massive source of fresh ideas for new content, many of which can stem from questions other Reddit users ask.
One thing I’ve noticed is that, while Reddit users are quite intelligent, they don’t always have the correct answers to other user questions. You can address this “common misconception” issue within your next blog post, and help clear up any confusion that might be something your industry doesn’t fully understand either.
Resource #5: Quora
If you’re on the hunt for the goldmine of user-generated content, questions, and topics, then Quora is a treasure chest full of ideas. Aside from Quora being an excellent way to boost your brand’s online reputation as an industry leader, while providing valuable answers to users, it’s an excellent source of fresh ideas.
Once you’re logged in, click on “Top Stories” and you’ll find hundreds of questions that you can provide answers to via a blog post on your website. It’s likely there’s a question, and connecting thread, to just about any topic you can imagine. I wasn’t lying when I said it’s a goldmine of ideas.
You can even ask a question on Quora yourself and see the comments that other users provide. Sometimes those answers or opinions can spark a different point of view or another idea along the same thought process.
And, You Can Let Fresh Ideas Come to You
Aside from seeking out fresh ideas for upcoming articles, it’s a smart idea to set up a system where the ideas come to you instead. Sign up for industry newsletters so their emails land right in your inbox; this is a great way to keep track of your market’s announcements, news, stats and other interesting facts.
Additionally, find a way to capture current articles you come across throughout the day. For example, when you’re browsing online while waiting in a queue and come across an interesting article, you can save it to a site like Pocket, or to a list in Evernote.
You can refer back to both to your newsletters and these lists when you’re ready to write up the content that needs to be published. That way you aren’t wasting time trying to find inspiration and can focus on producing quality content instead.
The bottom line is that there’s plenty of new content and fresh ideas to go around. You just have to know where to look and how to capture it when you find it.