This post was originally published on State of Digital
Content, Content, Content. It is the most talked about subject in our industry and rightly so. However, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to create new, fresh ideas for your niche as everyone online has become a publisher.
Some create content just for the sake of it, others really go into depth and try to create the very best resource for that subject. No matter which of these two categories you fall into, the six tools I have provided below will help you to continue creating the content you need.
Content Explorer – aHrefs
The Content Explorer tool within the aHrefs suite is relatively new. Similar to BuzzSumo, you search for a topic and it will return a list of the most shared and linked-to content within the database.
The feature I really like is the advanced search. This allows you to be more specific in your search through the use of boolean operators, groupings, and even by the domain. This tool means you can easily spot content that has been successful for both your own website, but also for your competitors.
Just because it has been done before, does not necessarily mean it cannot be done better!
Commonly known as being awesome at helping with keyword research, Uber Suggest can also be used for content inspiration. By providing you with the search terms from Google Suggest, the tool throws up some great ideas.
If you can, then use multiple country locations to get the most out of the tool and enhance the topic that you have identified. Combining multiple searches will also ensure that the topic you are writing about is extremely well covered.
This tool is an obvious choice to use, but one that seems to be easily forgotten. Consumers often use Q&A sites to get answers for those questions that they need answering.
Spending just 30 minutes a day looking around these sites will provide you with enough content ideas for a month! The key here is to be broad with your original search, and then when you identified a topic get more specific. This will allow you to really drill down to the topic that you have identified.
Creating content is not always about what people have been looking for in the past, but also what they are sharing in the present. Being proactive is key, in order to understand what people are sharing right now, and to see if you can create something better.
Using tools such as Topsy, will allow you to stay on top of the different types of content that is being shared by your audience right now.
Hubspot Blog Topic Generator
Can’t think of what to write? You are in need of blog title inspiration. Hubspot have created a very simple, easy to use but useful tool that helps create blog titles for you, based on the keywords that you provide.
They openly admit that the algorithm is not highly sophisticated, and may require some amending but it will definitely give you something to work with.
Your Own Analytics – Looking at old posts.
One tool that is often overlooked when generating content ideas is your own analytics package. Although not an obvious choice, there is no better place to see how your old content performed and whether it is still performing well.
Take a look at the content that was created 12-18 months ago, did it receive much traffic? Does it still? If you answer yes to one or both of those questions, then how much social media attention did it get? If this generated a significant amount, and I do not necessarily mean thousands of shares, this piece may be worth rewriting and republishing.
If you can find 5 – 10 posts that are worth rewriting, then you save yourself a lot of time. It is a tried and tested piece of content that can be updated regularly and kept current.
These are just some of the tools that I use to help during my content idea generation process. What tools do you use? I would love to hear your thoughts on the tools I mentioned above, either in the comments or on twitter @danielbianchini.
[Flickr Credit – Michael Phillips]