I read a lot of blogs and forums and one subject that seems to be recurring is that people have a lot of trouble coming up with content ideas for their websites. I think the big problem is that many people just don’t know where to start. Maybe you’re thinking too hard, but haven’t laid down the foundation yet for proper brainstorming. Don’t burn out your brain, and let a few online tools do the work for you.
Keyword Discovery is always one of my favorite tools, especially because it usually one of the first tools I use when I start working on a new client. I have to do keyword research anyway, but pulling out some of the long tail keywords can give you great ideas on coming up with content. For example, If you’re searching for keywords for PostNet, a company who can create custom business cards or stationary, you might come across some keywords such as “Free Business Card Templates” or “Stationary Design Contests.” Now you can brainstorm ideas on what you can do with these keywords.
Create a page with some free business card templates and try to build some links in to your page. People love free stuff and a page like that is sure to bring in links. Or you can set up a quick design contest asking everyone to come up with an original stationary design and the winner gets a prize of whatever you choose it to be. You can submit your contest to design forums, contest forums, and other related websites. Getting links to these pages will eventually help you rank highly for those keywords and drive more traffic and hopefully customers.
RSS Feeds can be a goldmine of information, but can also waste a lot of your time if you don’t manage it properly. Set aside an hour or so a day and you should be fine.
To gather your feeds there are a variety of great sources you can mine for articles. Start by searching for your main keyword on Google News and Twitter Search. You can also check to see if you’re favorite industry related websites have feeds that you can also use. This should give you a fair amount of content ideas for your own site.
A new tool that has recently entered my arsenal is the free Wordtracker Keywords Questions tool. You can enter your keyword or phrase and it’ll return a list of questions from their database that people have searched for. For example, a search for “salsa dance” returns questions such as “how to salsa dance” and “how to dance the reunda and salsa.” Now you know what people want, so create those pages and start marketing the hell out of ’em.
If your site is bit more random, about current events or you have a lot of time on your hands, you can also check out Google Hot Trends. This will just list whatever hot topics people are searching for recently. It updates several times a day and also has an RSS feed if you want to add it to your reader. If you’re looking for something even more random, check out the Rants and Raves section of your local Craigslist, which also has an RSS feed. You can find lots of crazy stuff in there.
Hopefully these tools will help you get over your writers block and get you back on the computer writing up some great stories for your website!