Section 2: Planning and building your content strategy
2.2 Improve your content topics list
There is a whole world out there of tried and tested content that has resonated with your audiences before. Harness its power and elevate your content topics to an entirely new level.
You probably have a pretty nice list of topics all based on your ideal client challenges, and it’s very likely more inspiration will come to you as you do regular brainstorming exercises.
We could stop there, of course. But the name of this course is Unstoppable Content Machine. So let’s bring it up a notch, shall we?
Here are four more strategies to improve that list of topics.
This step is not about some technical stuff around Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but about researching what’s already popular in your field of expertise. You can explore some of the top content about your domain using a tool like Buzzsumo
Go to Buzzsumo.com and type the terms or topics you want to research. Let’s use the example of my field of expertise, content marketing. I want to see more specific results based on some longer search terms, so I will use “How to build successful content strategy.”
You’ll see a list of the top content around that particular topic. Because I used a very specific search term, I’m not getting a lot of very high traffic stuff (if I go on content strategy alone, the results will be massive!). But the point of this is to get inspiration.
Bear in mind, Buzzsumo is a premium service, so the insights you’ll get on the free version will be limited. But that might be enough to enhance your content topics list!
Now here’s an important note: the web is a vast place, and chances are high someone may have already written something about that topic you had in mind. Don’t use this as an excuse to dismiss the subject. If anything, it means there’s a market for that idea! And looking at the content may give you insight into some of the gaps no one else is talking about.
Along the lines of your keyword search, you can explore the top questions around a particular topic. Quora is a great online questions-and-answers platform (I’d say the best Q&A platform out there).
Type your term in the search box. You may start getting some immediate suggestions as you type, but it’s best to stick to your specific term to keep results as broad as possible.
Continuing with my example, I went to Quora to search for “easy content strategy” (based on my ideal client challenges, one of my topics was “How to build an easy content strategy”).
Must-read / watch
Think about all the books you’ve read or experts you’ve listened to on your particular subject matter. What do they have to say about your topic? What sort of knowledge do they share? Do they have interesting, insightful quotes?
These expert works will provide you with excellent insights for your content. Some of it will be in the form of quotes, facts, and figures. But one crucial element of using this material as part of your content strategy is that it gives your subject matter extra authority.
For my subject matter expertise, I turn to one of the top voices in marketing, Mr. Seth Godin. This particular quote comes from Seth’s daily newsletter, and I feel it’s one that will resonate with my ideal client, Alice.
My ideal client profile is quite achievement-oriented, but all this digital marketing stuff makes her feel overwhelmed and confused, which tends to stop her in her tracks. Perhaps this “food for thought” might make her reflect on those things really holding her back.
At this point, you probably have a pretty hefty list of topics to build your content strategy. Now we’ll now move on to the part where you sort out and prioritize all the material into a concrete, actionable plan!
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