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Getting ideas for writing content can be tough, and many people struggle at this stage of the game. While only you can figure out what content will accomplish your search engine optimization goals, there are a few things you can do to get the creative juices flowing. First, think of your website in terms of some very broad themes, and then think of the different ways you might be able to present those themes. Content can be classified in many ways, and thinking about the style you could write in, may shake some ideas loose and start you down a path.
Here are a few broad types that you can refer back to when you need that spark. Educational pieces can be used to show your users how to do something or to teach them something that they didn't know before. You could take a statistic fact or a figure from your industry and expand upon it, offering value from the perspective of an expert opinion. You can get technical and focus on details or advanced topics that appeal to savvy users or other industry experts. Procedural content can be a step by step how-to type of article that walks a visitor through a certain process.
Informational content doesn't have to be groundbreaking or Pulitzer Prize winning. Just putting up a page of driving directions to your store or biographies of your key executive team are both content opportunities that may be missing from your pages. News is simply an informational page that references something that happened at a specific moment in time. This could be industry news that you're reporting or commenting on. Or it could be company news about who you've hired, or a recap of the conference that you just hosted.
All of these can be applied to a broad array of themes, and there are certainly many more not included in this list. It might help to have your target keywords in front of you as you run through this list. The combination of specific phrases and types of content can often be the source of a great idea. The second thing you can do as a source of inspiration is scan your competitors to see if you're missing something, or if there is a hole out there that you can fill. Do a quick search on some of your keywords and click on some of your competitors. You can spend some time on their sites and take a look at their blogs or their FAQ sections.
What kinds of things are they writing about? Are there categories that you can offer new, unique insights into? Are there hot topics that you can expand upon, or burning questions that you can answer? You can also take a look at your competition in social media. What are they tweeting and posting about? Maybe they got the industry scoop that you missed, and that might be something right for a commentary piece. Third, the people that you work with each and every day can be hidden sources of fantastic content. Customers are often happy to leave reviews and provide feedback if you ask them to, and there are lots of ways that you can ask.
Calling up or having a face-to-face conversation with your best customers can lead to a case study or a testimonial that you can put up on your site that shows real customers having good experiences. For a search engine, that can represent both good content and authority. You might ask a customer to do a thorough review of one of your products or services for posting on your website, or run a contest where customers write about their experiences for a chance to win a sweepstakes or a prize of some kind. And don't stop with your customers. As an organization, you have a network of people that you work with that could all provide some kind of content for you.
Call up your vendors and ask them to write a joint case study that you can publish on your website. If your peers give you an award or an industry partner gives you a certification, you can be creating content around it. And don't be afraid to reach out to your professional networks. Your industry contacts might just be willing to author a guest blog post if you ask them. Coming up with content ideas can be hard, but remember, that means it's hard for your competitors too. Looking at the kind of content pieces you can write, taking stock of your competitors in your industry, and leveraging the people you touch day to day can help you come up with the content that might just attract your next customer.
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