As with many things, the idea is often the hardest part, but without a great idea, it’s impossible to create something amazing. Treating content as a corporate checkbox is the wrong way to approach it. Instead, you should be aiming to create something truly awesome.
Take the time to brainstorm ideas and be willing to throw them all in the garbage if none of them is a great fit. With content, you have to be patient, because even the greatest writers can go through periods of only coming up with terrible ideas.
The first trait of an awesome content idea is that it’s relevant. This means that it must be relevant to your business, it must be relevant to your audience and it must be relevant to the current events are the time of publication.
Journalists live and die by relevancy, nobody wants to read a story about something that happened last year, and that has already been covered. People like things current, fresh and relevant.
Don’t make the mistake of sacrificing relevancy because you think the story is good. If you’re a car salesman then your audience want to read about cars, they might also be interested in birds, but they don’t want to hear about it from you.
First and foremost, ensure that all of your content ideas are relevant to the people that will be reading them.
Expanding on from relevancy, it’s critical that your content ideas are timely. This means that they must be current and if they are about a recent event, then they must be created quickly.
It’s no use writing an article about the event that you went to last weekend if your competitors have already covered it 6-days ago. People are looking for breaking stories, so you need to be willing to do quick write-ups of events that are relevant to your business.
The third trait of an awesome content idea is that it must provide some value to the people that are going to read it. Value can come in many different forms, you could be aiming to make them laugh, or you could be trying to teach them something useful.
However, you must remember that value is subjective to the reader. This means that your content is only valuable if it’s something that the reader wanted to consume.
Let’s go back to our previous example; if you’re a car salesman and you start telling your audience about how they need to take notes to study better, they’re probably going to unsubscribe from your mailing list.
Sure, that’s valuable information, but then you’re sacrificing the relevancy. The key is for your content to have all 6 of the traits of an awesome content idea.
So, instead, you might decide to tell your audience about how they can reduce the premium on their car insurance to help them save money. This is valuable to them because anybody who is listening to a car salesman but hasn’t purchased yet is considering the cost of the purchase.
Some of us love to read, but that doesn’t mean that you need to make your content long. In fact, it should be as concise as possible. That doesn’t mean that it needs to be short, it means that your content should be as short as possible while still getting the message across to your readers.
In most cases, you should be able to do this in under 1000-words. Not only is this going to make it more manageable for your audience to read, but it also saves you valuable time. This is going to give you the hours that you need to write another piece of awesome content.
Of course, your content can only be excellent if it’s unique. This means that it should be specific to your website, but also to the internet.
There is no need to write about the same topic multiple times, this provides no extra value to your audience and could look suspicious to search engines like Google.
Similarly, by simply replicating another businesses content you’re providing no additional value to your industry, and therefore it’s unlikely that you’ll receive any social shares or backlinks. Instead, try and find gaps in the market where you can use your expert knowledge to help consumers.
The best content marketing campaigns are those where you can provide massive amounts of unique value to your customers.
Finally, don’t worry about creating something that will appeal to everybody. In fact, it’s often better to choose a content idea that is debatable; this will make it more likely that people will disagree with you, posting it to other websites and creating discussion.
The phrase ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ isn’t entirely accurate, but in this case, it’s not a bad idea to pick a topic that gets people riled up and gets the conversation started.