When it comes to writer’s block, none of us are immune. It can strike at the worst of times and leave even the best content creators stuck for ideas.

We all know that creating content is so much more than writing an original article. Although creating authentic content is primordial, you also need to consider how the content will build your brand’s reputation, increase user engagement and, most importantly, add your authentic point of view to the online conversation. And don’t even get me started on keyword research and ranking.

It’s a lot to think about and, as a writer, I feel your pain. If you want to generate content ideas that your audience will love, but find yourself stuck in a rut, look no further. Your content creation fairy godmother is here to help. Read on to find six great ways to come up with fresh content ideas.

1. Ask your Readers

Don’t sit there twiddling your thumbs trying to predict what your audience wants. None of us are mindreaders, why not just ask them?

This one is a no-brainer. Reaching out and asking your customers directly is the most efficient way to determine what kind of content they want to see.

There are a couple of ways you can find out what your readers want to see. Consider asking with a Twitter or Instagram story poll, during a live stream, or even release a  survey via email.

Read More: How to Create a Marketing Outreach Strategy that Really Gets Responses

If you want precise answers, a poll will suffice. However, you should take this opportunity to gather a few ideas that you can add to a database. This will make sure that you can turn here if you find yourself stuck for ideas and know that they will please your audience. Just make sure to update it every once in a while to keep things current.

The feedback will help you to know what direction you should take your content and you might even get a smashing idea out of it. Another major bonus of asking your audience is that it gives you the opportunity to build up your customer relationship and show that you are listening to their needs.

2. Learn from Industry Leaders

Picasso once said “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” Now don’t get too carried away, I am not condoning plagiarism. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to look to industry leaders who you admire for content inspiration.

Your target audience is probably following some of the key players in your industry. Look at their content and see what is doing well. Try to find patterns in the top performing articles or content they create or share.

Once you find an idea that you know would do well, don’t be afraid to use it. You will have your own insights and experiences to add to the conversation. Even your writing style will put another spin on it. Just make sure that if you do decide to quote something directly, always credit the original creator.

There is so much you can learn from your industry peers. Take the opportunity so you can learn from their mistakes and take inspiration from what is working to your own content.

It’s not just content ideas that you can get from the top players in your industry. You can also look to them for ideas that you can use in your marketing campaigns, to grow your traffic, and to establish your brand. Research widely and only borrow ideas that you can adapt to your brand in a unique way.

Read More: How and why you Should Only Create Authentic Content

3. Use Research Tools

Useful tools like HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator and Answer The Public make generating content ideas a breeze. Get ahead of the curve by coming up with ideas before anyone else has thought of them.

For more ideas on what tools to use to get the most out of your content, take a look at our article linked below.

Read More: 7 Tools to Help you Generate Content Ideas

4. Use Trends

Identifying trends can help you to come up with great content ideas. You should keep up to date with general trends on social media. This will help you to determine what kind of content will do well. Although it won’t be industry-specific, it is still very helpful.

For example, in the last two years, live streams and influencer marketing have gone through the roof. Maybe your content should relate back to this?

Another trend is video. Video is currently the most engaging form of content. In addition, with mobile-first indexing, video is set to become even more important. Maybe you should consider creating video content or content that can incorporate video.

Read More: 7 Websites to Get Free Stock Videos for Your Content

You should also take a look at marketing trends in 2018:

5. Capitalize on Seasonality

If you’re stuck for content ideas, look no further than your calendar. Seasonal trends and events can provide some much-needed inspiration.

Think beyond the obvious ones like Christmas or summer and figure out what events or celebrations will speak to your audience.

For example, at Edgylabs we celebrated 420 with an article about weed inventions. We also celebrated May the Fourth with an article for all our Star Wars fans. We also published an article to celebrate Super Mario Day. Every day is a national day of something, so find the ones that suit your brand and market.

The possibilities are endless, you just need to know your niche and what your audience will be interested in reading. Aligning your content plan with the social conversation can make your user engagement skyrocket.

Learn how Starbucks struck gold with their seasonal pumpkin spice latte marketing campaign and how you can too in this article:

Read More: How to be an Amazing Content Creator by Capitalizing on Seasonality

6. Identify FAQs Your Target Audience is Asking

What does your audience want? What information are they searching for on a regular basis?

Once you establish your audience’s frequently asked questions, you can provide valuable answers with your content.

Keyword research can help you to find out what kind of search terms your audience is typing into search engines.

Another great tool for this is Buzzsumo’s Question Analyzer.

On Buzzsumo, you can search for relevant keywords. Then, Buzzsumo will show you the most popular content that is ranking for that keyword. Take a look at the results to identify which topics are most popular for that specific keyword. This will help you to figure out what direction you should take when creating your content.

Read More: How to use Keywords and Backlinks to Create a Solid Link-Building Strategy

Don’t get caught facing deadlines without an idea in sight. Use these effective ways to come up with great content ideas ahead of time. You could even do a monthly content idea round-up using this guide.

How do you find great content ideas to keep your readers happy? 

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