Monday, December 19, 2011

Seven Ways to Find Content Ideas

As resume writers, you wouldn't think that we would have any issues coming up with content ... but some of my most popular blog posts recently have had to do with content! From planning your content to monetizing your content to writing better content to finding time to write content, readers of this blog like tips about content. I'm happy to oblige with today's blog post, which focuses on inspiration for your content.

Like with most writing, the hardest part is getting started. (In my special report on "Write Great Resumes Faster," I even had a special section to help tackle the "facing the blank page" obstacle to writing resumes. Getting started is sometimes the major obstacle -- once you know what you want to write about, you can create the structure of the document -- whether that's a resume, blog post, ezine article, or whatever -- and get going from there!)

So here you go -- seven ways to find content ideas.

1. Grab a magazine, any magazine you have in your home and look at the cover. Convert each of the teaser headlines into headlines for your blog or website. You'll likely have things like:
* The top ten ways to___
* Five secrets of__
* Easy ways to ____

And so on. It's a great way to come up with quick and easy content ideas (a headline for a blog post, for example).

2. Visit your favorite blog and expand on their latest blog post. Or better yet, comment on the latest blog post and then write or blog about your comment. You can use it to generate traffic to your site and provide new and valuable information to your audience.

3. Watch the national news for 10 minutes. Chances are youĂ­ll see something that relates to you. You can use this news story to generate ideas for your content. For example, a news story about the job market might lead you to write a tips-oriented article for job seekers. The news, while sometimes depressing, can also inspire great, and timely, content ideas.

4. Pirate. Use comments and feedback you've received from others to create content for your blog or website. For example, you might use a question comment from a reader to start a new blog post on the same topic. Your readers are actually great sources of inspiration. You can also use your response to the commenter to generate a new blog post or article. (That's what I did with this blog post; the positive feedback I've received on previous blog posts about content-related topics inspired this one!)

5. Celebrity Watch/Pop Culture. Celebrities provide an abundance of entertainment for society. We watch what they do, who they do it with, what they wear, what they eat and where they live. You can also find inspiration from pop culture -- music, movies, television.

6. Find a quote that you love and expand on it. Share why you love it and what it means to you. Tie it to resumes or the job search process and ask readers to provide their favorite quote on the subject. (Perseverance quotes are always popular for jobseekers!)

7. Review a book, product, or service. If you're stumped for content, reviews are always appreciated by readers. Review resume writing books (use your Amazon affiliate link); review resume distribution services (ResumeSpider has an affiliate program); review reference checking services (Allison Taylor has an affiliate program). Reviews provide valuable information and they give you an opportunity to earn an affiliate income.

Writer's block -- or content idea block -- will happen to you at some point. Don't let it derail you! Look around you for insight and inspiration. And to prevent it from happening, keep a notebook with you to jot down ideas as they come to you (or write yourself a note on your smartphone)!


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