We all understand the importance of content marketing. But producing a consistent stream of quality content can be challenging.

In addition to mastering some content marketing best practices, you can keep the process flowing more smoothly if you make sure you always have a bank of solid content ideas to draw from. That way, when you sit down to write, you aren’t wasting time trying to think up something to write about. You can just get down to the business of writing.

When you’re laying out your initial content marketing strategy, it can be difficult to come up with a wealth of content ideas to help you attract traffic to your website and grow your business. But the challenge doesn’t end there.

In fact, it may actually be worse when you’ve been producing content pieces for the same brand for a long time and you feel like you’ve exhausted all possible angles. I’ve been there.

My goal, with this (mammoth) post or its free PDF version, is to give you (and me!) a single place to go the next time you’re stuck trying to think of something to write about. It’s chock full of tips, tricks and tools to help you break out of your slump and develop hundreds of new topic ideas.

Featured download: Grab your free copy of the Content Idea Cheat Sheet. You’ll also receive free marketing tips in your inbox a few times a month. [click to download]

Brainstorm a List of “Seed” Content Ideas

1Break down your business by business unit and product or service

The very first thing you should do when you’re mapping out your content strategy is to identify your major content categories by business objective. For example, if you are a health and fitness company that sells health supplements, fitness product and meal plans, brainstorm as many content ideas as you can for each area.

2Focus on the problems you solve and objectives you meet

Instead of only focusing on your products or services, look at things from your customer’s perspective. Think of blog ideas around the problems they face or the business goals they are trying to meet. Staying with our example of a health and fitness company, seed topic ideas may include weight loss, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, how to get a bikini body, etc.

3Highlight your differentiators

Spend some time analyzing your strengths relative to your competitors and produce content around those areas.

That doesn’t mean you have to write about your specific product or service. Instead, you can focus on the benefits that only your product delivers and why they’re so important.

For example, if you produce payroll software with many unique efficiency features, you could write blog posts about the time pressures of the payroll department, or what they could do if they had more time on their hands, and then link to a page that details how the software can help them save time.

Expand Your Content Ideas to Related Topics

Once you’ve come up with a list of seed topics, don’t stop there. Using each of your seed topics, use the following techniques to expand, expand, expand and come up with more blog post ideas!

4Use Google’s AutoSuggest

Search for your main term, for example, “fitness plans”. As you do, Google automatically supplies suggestions for what you might be searching for. Note the suggestions, which are often chock full of content ideas.

content-ideas-google-auto-suggest

5Use Google’s “Searches related to” feature

Search for your main term on Google and then scroll down to the bottom of search results to see related search terms that people Google.

6Use the Google Ads Keyword Planner

Conduct some keyword research. If you have a Google Ads account, you can use the Google Ads Keyword Planner to propose related keyword ideas, as well as to supply metrics for each keyword, including the average number of monthly searches for each term.

This approach can help you generate content ideas that reflect the interest of your ideal customer and generate organic traffic at the same time. Find out how to conduct keyword research like a pro, by aligning your keyword research to the buyer journey.