In the world of SEO, content marketing remains a hugely important aspect of your digital marketing strategy. High-quality content continues to increase your brand’s reputation, improve conversion rates and dominate the SERPs.
But being a writer can be both a gift and a curse. Sometimes, the words flow naturally and you know for certain that this work of genius you are composing will be the next viral masterpiece. However, the bane of our existence is those nightmarish moments when we sit in front of a blank screen – a swirl of jumbled letters cascading off the inside of our skull in an incoherent vortex – wondering how on earth we thought we could be a writer in the first place.
If you’ve ever suffered from the latter, you’re not alone. Writer’s block infects us all at some point or another. When it does strike, the temptation is to call it a day and come back to your writing another time, but this can cause problems further down the line. Be honest, how many times have you had a fantastic idea, kept putting it off, and never actually wrote about it? Some people say that the seed of an idea only stays in your mind for four days. If you don’t nurture that seed, it’ll never grow and will soon disappear. You’ve got to write when the idea is fresh, otherwise the passion for it will fizzle out.
We’re here to tell you to never give up. It’s highly likely that your writer’s block can be cured with a little inspiration. Luckily for us, the internet is packed with resources to fuel our creativity and help us place our digital marketing campaign back on the tracks. Here are some of the places we go to when we want to cure our writer’s block and create content that Google (and our readers) love!
Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a search data query tool that gives you access to common queries related to your chosen keywords. Imagine an Italian restaurant called ‘Mario’s’ has just launched a new dessert menu. As part of their digital marketing strategy, they decide to write a blog post about Italian desserts but don’t know where to start.
Mario’s could visit Answer The Public and type in ‘Italian desserts’. They’d be greeted with an infographic depicting the most popular Google searches related to Italian desserts. Answer The Public provides data for 8 common question types:
For example, Mario’s might find that a popular search query is ‘what are some classic Italian desserts’. With that information, they could write a blog post titled ‘5 Classic Italian Desserts We Recommend You Try’. Mario’s could use their blog post to provide useful information to the reader while also advertising some of the desserts on their new menu! Two birds with one stone.
One drawback of Answer The Public that’s worth mentioning is the limited number of searches you can perform each day (unless you pay for the pro version). That being said, it’s an incredibly useful tool that we at Active Internet Marketing often use if we’re struggling for ideas. By understanding what people are searching for, you can tailor your content to be useful and relevant.
TIP:If you aren’t a fan of the infographic format, you can set the data to appear in a list instead, categorised into the 8 different question types.
Reddit is one of the internet’s most popular forums. According to Social Media Today, Reddit now has as many active users as Twitter, and significantly higher engagement rates. Users can post questions, photos, videos (and basically any other content you can think of) to stimulate a discussion. For users, Reddit is the place to go to be entertained, to debate an issue or get in a keyboard fight. For digital marketers, it’s a goldmine for content ideas that are current and trending in real time.
Let’s imagine Mario’s has used up their searches on Answer The Public, or perhaps they want to have a deeper insight into what exactly people are talking about. If either of these are the case, Mario’s could visit Reddit to see what the folks over there are discussing about Italian Desserts.
One unique feature of Reddit is ‘subreddits’. Subreddits are individual forums on the website that focus specifically on a certain topic. For example, there’s a subreddit for ‘Game of Thrones’ and a subreddit for ‘Knitting’. In those subreddits, users post content related exclusively to those topics.
We couldn’t find a subreddit related directly to Italian desserts, but there are subreddits titled ‘Baking’, ‘Italy’ and ‘AskCulinary’. Mario’s could go into one of those subreddits and type in ‘Italian desserts’ to see what’s popular. There’s a variety of ways to sort results, but we recommend sorting by ‘top’. These show the posts with the most engagement. If there’s a relatively new post with a lot of engagement, that could be something to base your content on.
But perhaps Mario’s don’t want to write about something as specific as Italian desserts. Maybe they haven’t decided on a specific topic yet. They’re an Italian restaurant, so it’s likely they’re going to be writing about Italian Food. Luckily for Mario’s, there’s a subreddit for that. If you’re producing content on a wide subject (like cats, children’s toys or sport), it’s really, really likely that there will be a subreddit designated to it.
If Mario’s were to enter the homepage for the Italian Food subreddit, they’d be able to sort the entire subreddit in useful ways. For example, they could search for the highest rated Italian Food posts of all time. Or, they could search for ‘hot’ posts, which is Reddit’s version of ‘trending’. There are other sorting options, but basing content around what is ‘hot’ would be Mario’s best bet.
TIP: Subscribe to a subreddit related to your blog to get a steady flow of content ideas!
Scout Out Your Competitors
Let’s pretend that Mario’s isn’t the only Italian restaurant in the area. Luigi’s down the road is popular, as is Bowser’s in the outskirts of town. Mario knows that both his rival restaurants have blogs. He visits Bowser’s blog and sees a tonne of blog posts about different types of Italian cuisine. Mario sees that Bowser has written posts about unusual pizza toppings and unique pasta shapes – something that Mario had never considered.
There’s no shame in researching the content your competitors are writing, just to get some inspiration for topics you could cover. As long as you put your own spin on the topic and completely avoid plagiarising them, there’s nothing wrong with clicking around a few different sites to get a feel for what they’re talking about.
It’s good practice to browse your competitor’s blogs for inspiration. Your goal should be to write a better version of that piece of content in order to outrank them on the SERP! Google will always rank what it deems to be the most relevant type of blog for a user’s query. For example, if someone searches for ‘different types of pasta’, Google will rank images and lists at the top of the SERP. If Mario saw that Bowser had written a post about different types of pasta, but the post didn’t have a list or images, Mario could include them in his own and potentially outrank Bowser.
TIP: It’s always good to know what your competitors are up to, and not just in terms of content. Are they offering a wider range of services than you? Are they constantly updating their Facebook Page? How’s their Google My Business looking?
Active Internet Marketing (UK)
Here at Active Internet Marketing, we’re passionate about creating high-quality content for our clients. No matter what field of business you’re in, we’re confident in our ability to write content that people want to read. We write everything with your website’s performance in mind, too, giving your content the best possible chance of being seen by a tonne of people.
If you’d like to have a chat with us about how our content marketing strategies could help your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01604765796. Alternatively, you can fill in one of our contact forms and a member of our friendly team will be in touch.