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Article

Four Fallback Tactics When Content Inspiration Dries Up

The amount of content that a business has to create on a regular basis is ballooning

The amount of content that a business has to create on a regular basis is ballooning. You need to keep up with social media posts, YouTube videos, blog posts, articles for content marketing and SEO landing pages. So when you run out of ideas it can feel as if you have hit a pretty indestructable brick wall.

Here are four tricks to quickly keep the content creation wheels turning when inspiration has fled the building.

Revamp Old Content
If you have been in business for a while the chances are that you have a pretty substantial archive of blog posts. Just because they aren't recent doesn't mean that they aren't still relevant.

There are several great reasons to dust off old content and bring it back into the spotlight:

  • New visitors may not have read it when it was originally published
  • The post may still be attracting visits from organic searches
  • The topic may contain useful and valid information that is good re-share

Look at your website analytics to find older blog posts that still have some good traffic, or research old reports to identify content that performed well when first shared.

Next, reread your content carefully to see if it can be improved on, or needs to be edited to bring the information up to date and current.

Be sure to also review that keyword usage and internal links are still in line with your most recent SEO strategy.

Create a Follow Up
Similar to the idea above, this is a way to repurpose content that you have already written, by using the topic as a jumping off point for an additional article.

Typical follow up style blog posts are:

  • Deeper dives into a specific aspect of the original post.  An article about setting up a great Facebook page could spin off into posts offering advice on how to create an excellent header, or how to best promote an event on your Facebook page.
  • An expansion of the original topic. A list of the Top 10 Resources could grow into a new Top 20 Resources post, or a beginners guide could be augmented with a "next steps" advice section.
  • An article highlighting any significant changes that have happened since the original blog post. Do you have a blog post that contains information about a time-sensitive topic?  Perhaps there is scope to write a follow up article that discusses the effects over time, or how things have changed?

Spin Out Fast Visuals
If you are really up against the clock, and need content to share fast then visuals are a great way to quickly produce something that will not only fill your editorial gap but likely be well received by your audience.

Some ideas for quick-to-create visuals include:

  • Infographics. If you can come up with a list of 5 - 10 facts or statistics on a theme then you have everything you need to create an infographic!  Try tools such as Venngage or Piktochart, or look for a freelancer on Upwork.
  • Slide shows. Can you bundle some product images to create an interactive "catalogue" or "style book"?  Do you have some good photos from a recent project?
  • Quotes. Add an inspirational quote, significant fact or customer testimonial to an image to create a quick visual that is ideal for social sharing.

Write a News Summary
Look to headlines from your industry for content ideas. Writing a commentary or summary of a recent news story helps to contribute to your image as an expert and shows you have your finger on the pulse.

Try to add as much unique content to the news summary as possible, adding in your thoughts about why the story is significant and what it means to your business and/or your customers.

Try any of the above to generate content when all other sources of ideas fail.

More Stories By Ian Mills

Over the last 8 years Ian Mills has founded two companies and helped thousands of business owners start theirs. He is currently the Managing Director of Magicdust Web Development, an Australian company that has created over 7000 websites for small businesses since 2006 and in 2011 was the 76th fastest growing business in Australia.

He has a passion for fair, ethical and win-win business practices for all concerned – self, staff, clients and the community and believes that great solutions should be tailored for each specific organization's goals, budget and needs.

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