If you’re struggling to come up with fresh content for your articles, there are several things you can do to brainstorm new ideas.
Article marketing brainstorming idea #1: Ask your target what they want to know
Get on Twitter, Facebook, or online networking forums you belong to and ask people what questions they’d like answered (that apply to your area of expertise, of course). You can also ask your email list, if you have one. For the most part, if you ask for suggestions and make it clear that you’re trying to provide them with information that they’re looking for, they will take the time to answer!
Article marketing brainstorming idea #2: Use case studies
Ask your current clients if you can turn your work with them (on a specific project, maybe) into a case study that proves your expertise. Or, if you’d prefer, you can get inspiration from your social networking groups by asking people for specific instances of things they’ve struggled with recently, in terms of a very specific topic. For example, if you help people organize their workspaces, ask people if there was a time recently when they wasted a lot of time or got frustrated because they couldn’t find a document they were looking for. In an article or blog post, you can talk about their situation (with their permission, of course) and how you would suggest they make changes for better results.
Article marketing brainstorming idea #3: Research other popular article titles
Now, I would never suggest that you copy other article titles, but you can find out what people are searching for and use that info to create your own article on a similar topic. One idea is to see what people are reading on EzineArticles, one of the top article directories out there. To do that, go to Google and type in a keyword that you’re interested in writing about. Enter a space and then add the following code:
site:ezinearticles.com “This article has been viewed 2000..199999” “Article Submitted On: * *, 2009”
You’ll see articles that that have been looked at more than 2000 times at EzineArticles, which can help you find hot topics people are looking for. You can change the “2000” in the code to alter the minimum amount of views returned, and you can also change the year from 2009 to get the returns for articles published in previous years (or future, once we get into 2010). This can help you pick popular titles so you can focus on what people are reading most on EzineArticles.
Action step: Be sure to record all of the potential article topics (whether you think you’ll use them now or not – they still might come in handy when your idea well is dry a few months down the road) in one easy-to-find spot. Where you put them is up to you; you can dedicate one notebook (that you keep nearby at all times) to topic ideas or have a Word doc on your computer that holds all of your topic ideas. Every month or two, grab the top few topics and put them into an editorial calendar to schedule out your marketing for the month.
So, there are a few of my suggestions to picking article topics. What do you do to come up with new ideas?