Searching for new content ideas for your blog, podcast or videos? I just listened to a great podcast from Jason Van Orden and here are my notes and personal comments.
First, set up a capture system to catch ideas when they happen.
- MindMap – I use http://bubbl.us/ which is a great free online tool for collaborative mind maps.
- Notebook – I use my Pulse Livescribe, which also captures audio. Voted one of the best new products in 2009.
- Mobile Recorder – I use my iPhone Recorder app to either capture ideas or create podcasts on the fly
- Google Docs – this is great especially if you are working with a team. I use Apple Works (Pages, KeyNote, or Numbers).
- or whatever other system works for you
Categorize your ideas. For me these include video, audio, stories, blog post, etc. Don’t get stuck trying to figure out what to write when it’s actually time to sit down and type it out.
9 Ways to Find New Content Ideas for Your Blog …
- 5 x 5 – what are the 5 questions people always ask me within my niche? What are the 5 questions people should ask me? Create content that answers these ten questions. Better yet, make this 10×10 or more …
- Keyword research tools - goal is to create content that people want, especially when searching on search engines. A good tool, for example, is the Google search-based keyword tool. Find out which terms are being searched most often, but have little competition.
- Fill your feed reader – sign up for a free Google Reader account and start subscribing to popular bloggers or podcasters in your niche. Use the information you find to generate new ideas and create new content either in response to or in addition to relevant discussions you run across.
- Ethically borrow – see what content is popular on other blogs and adapt that approach to your niche. Do not copy their content, but seek to understand what it is about that content that’s engaging and borrow what works. If you can, give credit to the author with a link back to their site.
- Technorati – this is a great RSS aggregator that has a vast collection of blog posts in one place – all categorized and searchable.
- Google Alerts - this allows you to save a search from Google and receive an email whenever your search returns new results. The frequency can be as it happens, daily, weeekly basis. Check out Google Alerts.
- Pre-filtered content - find what’s hot, what is most popular. Check delicious for example. If something has been bookmarked frequently then it might be content to consider. What’s trending in your niche and what do you have to say about it? Another choice might be Digg.
- Re-purpose content – do you have old content that can be reformatted or repackaged and redistributed? Maybe an old blog post you can turn into a podcast episode or a few slides for a video on Youtube? Find your oldest, most popular content and post an update or reflection on what’s changed since the original post.
- Ask your audience – ask on Twitter, Linkedin Answers, etc. Put together a quick survey on Survey Monkey and ask customers what they want. Send a simple email – “hey, I’m thinking about such and such … please reply and let me know your thoughts.”
Based on my experience this looks like a very good list. Pick one or two and see if you can come up with a list of 20 content ideas right now. I bet it’s easier than you think.
What do you think? Are these ideas you can use? How do you come up with ideas for new content?