Search engine optimisation is the way to get your website noticed. You know that. But how do you generate the constant stream of high-quality content you need to attract links?
Notice what I did there?
I said that it is the content that must generate links. If you go out and (God forbid) buy links, Google will come down on you like a tonne of bricks, if it hasn’t already done so through its Penguin and Panda updates.
SEO today is all about providing great content that’s relevant to your reader and written specifically for them – i.e. not stuffed to the rafters with keywords.
I doesn’t matter what industry you’re in; you should be blogging and writing articles to boost your reputation and reach.
What should you write about?
The usual excuse for not getting involved with content marketing is not knowing what to write about. But generating ideas should be easy.
Take me for example. As a copywriter, I write about marketing tips, using social media and ideas for improving your sales writing.
Think about your own business and what you do. What information would be useful to your customers? Perhaps some top tips, reviews of new products, industry updates, how to guides, etc.
How to get ideas
A great source of ideas is your customers. What are the questions you get asked over and over? These are the things your customers want to know and so make great blog posts and articles.
Here are a further eight tips to help you generate a constant stream of ideas.
- Fresh air
Getting out of the office and going for a walk is an excellent way to release your creativity. As ideas come to you, record them on your phone. In fact, record any ideas whether they come to you on the way to work, while cooking, bathing the kids or even in the early hours of the morning.
- Write about stuff you like
The chances are you like what you do for a living, so it makes sense to write about it. Plus, it will help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, and that’s a good thing. The more articles and blogs that get read that have been written by you, the more likely it is you’ll become the ‘go to’ person in your field.
- Read around
When you’re reading industry magazines and blogs, think about what other people are saying. This could spark ideas for your posts. Perhaps you can see a different viewpoint, or want to expand on someone else’s work. Just remember, if you do, always acknowledge the source.
If you’re sat at your desk and start to get a few ideas, jot them down. Even if it’s just a cluster of bullet points, they can be turned into a blog post once your idea has fully formed.
- Put it aside
Sometimes, even though you have a list of bullet points, the idea won’t quite gel. When this happens, don’t chuck them in the bin, put them away for a few days. When you come back to them with a fresh pair of eyes you may be able to turn them into an interesting post.
Don’t ever feel guilty for taking time out to browse through a magazine or newspaper. These are always a great source of inspiration. News items can frequently trigger your creativity by applying what’s happening in the wider world with your industry.
- Coffee time
Relaxing helps free up your mind. A coffee and a natter can bring surprising results. General conversations can throw up all sorts of ideas that can be developed into interesting articles. But even if you don’t have an epiphany mid latte, taking time out to recharge your batteries will help you be more productive when you get back to your desk.
- Swipe file
Not plagiarism, a swipe file is a great place to keep things you find interesting. It could be articles, mail shots, headlines, etc. Anything that made you stop and read. Take a look through them when you’re looking for inspiration, think about what it was that you found so interesting. If you can replicate that, the chances are your readers will read your posts too.
Blogging and article marketing (i.e. content marketing) are great business tools that shouldn’t be ignored. Everyone can write, but if you struggle for time, you can always use the services of a professional writer. So there’s no excuse – if you want to build your reputation and the visibility of your website, get writing.
Sally Ormond is a copywriter based in the UK. Through her business, Briar Copywriting Ltd, she works with a vast range of companies, from SMEs to blue chip companies around the world to create eye-catching, compelling copy, which boosts their sales and market visibility. Connect on Google+