How on earth do we come up with content ideas?! I mean, we have our email newsletter, weekly podcast episodes, blogs, all the different social media platforms… How do we keep up with it all? Well it’s simple… we have trained our minds to always be on the look out for content. And of course there are a few tools that we absolutely love to leverage when the well comes up dry. Those tools are exactly what we want to share with you today!
First, we have a little tip for you. We think about content holistically for our business. We don’t think of our podcast, Instagram, blog, and email as separate entities. Content is content and should be spread out across all platforms. The second you start bucketing your content into different platforms, you are creating ten times more work. So let’s work simpler, not harder.
Blogging is one of the first content vessels we think of because it’s the longest form of content before we start repurposing it on other platforms. So today, let’s chat about the best platform for blogging, creating content pillars, and tools to inspire new blog ideas.
The Best Platform for Blogging (trick question)
WordPress has always been known as one of the best platforms for blogging. But honestly, it doesn’t matter what platform you’re on as long as you can optimize your blogs for SEO. That means editing:
- SEO title and meta description
- Creating blog categories or tags
If you can do all that in the website platform you’re already on, you’ll be just fine! Please don’t feel the need to switch website platforms— just start creating valuable content.
The Magic Of Content Pillars
Before you even get started in ideating, make sure you have content pillars. They are game changers for ideating your content. At the basic level, content pillars are buckets. Understanding these buckets before looking for content ideas will give your content more structure. Not to mention, make the entire process just a little easier!
Your content pillars can, and should, be broad. We want to make sure there are endless ideas under each bucket. Here are some of ours as examples:
- Organic Marketing Tips
- Partnerships (or business duos!)
- Local Community
Your content pillars don’t need to be tied to only the things you offer. Create what you want to create and stay true to your brand.
Our Favorite Tools for Blogging Ideas
Alright, let’s get into the good stuff! These are the tools we use to come up with blog ideas, which we then repurpose on other platforms like our podcast, the ‘gram, and in videos.
Yoast Plugin (WordPress + Shopify only)
We always recommend Yoast to those of our clients who use Showit, WordPress or Shopify. There’s a free and paid version, but even the free version is great. And remember, this blogging tool is a guide as you create your blog content. It’s not perfect, but it gives you great recommendations on how to create more optimized content. The more you use it, the better your writing will get! Soon enough you won’t even need it!
Exploding Topics is a great tool for finding trending topics. It helps you understand what topics and keywords are being talked about more now than they ever had been before. We are on their email list, and when they send hot topics, we cruise through it to see if anything sparks interest. We then add it to our topic ideas Asana board for the next time we are creating content.
We use ChatGPT to create blog outlines and come up with blog ideas. However, you have to be specific when asking the tool to do this for you. For example, you can’t say “give me some blog topics for a realtor.” It’s way too broad and will lead you to create mediocre content. Instead, try “Can you give me some blog ideas for a Real Estate Team in Chicago around “buying a new home” that will resonate with families who are looking to find their forever home?” Much better!
You can even search by keyword. Here’s an example: Can you give me some blog ideas for the keyword “signature wedding drink” for a wedding and event planner based in Seattle?
AI tools are a game changer when it comes to creating content, as long as you dedicate time to using them the right way.
Keyword Research Tools
There are so many keyword research tools out there for you to explore. We use a mix of Semrush and Ubersuggest when we are uncovering content and topics worth writing about. Using these tools can feel intimidating, but the key is to just get started. Choose one and dig in!
Google Analytics + Search Console
We are constantly measuring the performance of our content and see what’s working with our favorite google tools. From there, we dig deeper and create more content around those topics that are driving traffic. It’s a great way to see what resonates.
Answer The Public
Answer the Public is a great tool for content writing. I find that this tool works much better once you already have your keywords and blog topic chosen. From there this tool can help you uncover key questions and topics you need to dig into as you outline and write your blog. You can find questions people are asking and create key sections of your blog post to answer those questions.
Your Brilliant Brain
Do you often find that ideas just flood into your head when you aren’t working? Middle of the night thoughts or ideas mid-work out— we get so many content ideas when our brains aren’t even in work-mode. Don’t lose those ideas! Use your notes app and brainstorm some topic ideas. Pull inspiration from books, podcasts, and big players in your industry.
Blogging doesn’t have to be complicated! You can pull inspiration from so many places. The main goal is to just get started!
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Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to www.duocollective.com.
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