How do some websites (perhaps your competitor’s) always seem to nail it with their content?
They have several comments and dozens of shares. Your SEO shows you the nice amount of backlinks they have.
…And it seems like this comes rather easily to other sites.
Meanwhile, you struggle along. And you don’t seem to get anywhere.
So how do you find those truly amazing, can’t-fail ideas?
First, understand how great ideas come about (usually). They don’t come from the author’s own head.
In other words, authors don’t simply sit around daydreaming, and then one magical moment they have this amazing idea, and BOOM! great content is born.
There is a bit of an exception to this. For example, some authors know their audience so well that they can accurately anticipate exactly what they will like. They’re kinda like the Steve Jobs of their niche: they know what their audience wants before their audience knows it.
…But that’s rare. And hard. It takes years of experience creating content to get that skill. And even then, authors don’t always succeed.
Remember the golden rule of content: there’s a huge difference between what your audience wants and what you think they want.
What’s a “swipe file?”
It’s simply a list of all the various content ideas you have.
As soon as you come across an idea, however you come across it, and you think your audience would like it, write it down in your “swipe file.”
Also keep a note of how you found the idea.
Typically, you’ll have dozens or hundreds of ideas, while only a few will actually turn into content.
Your audience, market, or customers, whatever you want to call them, are the most consistent source of great content ideas.
Think of ideas that come from your own mind as “home runs.” When one hits and does well, that’s awesome! But, you’re going to strike out a lot too.
When you get ideas from your audience, you’ll hit a much better average overall. More shares, links, and sales come in as a result.
To get ideas, just ask your customers what problems they have. What’s their greatest fear? What really makes them angry?
Study high-performing posts on your competitor’s blogs.
Think of the questions customers ask you over and over.
Those are solid, consistent ways to generate content ideas that hold your audience’s interest…and turn them into happy, paying customers.
You can sprinkle some of your own ideas in too to see how they work. Then, once you gather data of how well your audience likes those posts by measuring shares, links, bounce rate, and time on-page, you can begin to learn how to give them more of what they want.
As you get further into this process, you’ll find great content ideas all around you.
You won’t have nearly enough time to create them all.
But you will have a reliable, consistent system for generating posts that fascinate and drive sales.