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June 15, 2020

11 Ways to Keep the Content Stream Running

Writer John Roberts once said, “You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” And if you’re a blogger, freelance writer, or content creator, you know exactly how true that is. 

This isn’t an industry where you can sit and wait for inspiration to show up. Content comes first, and failing to deliver on quality content can cost you opportunities, customers, and dollars. So how do you keep the content coming when you feel your creative juices drying up? Fear not! Help is around the corner with these tricks:

1. Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics offers powerful tools for content creators. You can use Google Analytics to see how you’re ranking and which keywords are popular when. 

Analytics can help keep you up-to-date on which terms are being searched for, which are being skipped over, and who is doing the searching from where. Although there is some danger in planning your marketing strategy around hypes and trends, they can also give you insight into what is popular right now. 

2. Check your competition

There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition right? Google analytics and other keyword research tools can tell you which keywords are popular across your industry. And researching into other strategies can offer insight on where there are gaps that might need to be filled. Remember that the more precisely you target a demographic, the more likely you will reach your intended audience. Rather than competing directly with industry competitors, set yourself apart by doing what they’re not.

3. Follow your calendar

Holidays are always a great time for sharing stories. Most companies choose three or four major events throughout the year to curate their content around. For example, mommy bloggers often choose back to school, summer vacations, and Christmas holidays. But you may also choose mother’s day or father’s day, Valentine’s Day and date night, and even provide content for things like Earth Day, or the 4th of July. Content calendars make it easy to plan your articles months in advance. And pairing it with a seasonal calendar you know will keep your content relevant all year long.

4. Ask your audience

If you’re not sure how to reach a wider audience, who better to ask than your audience? Newsletter sign-ups, surveys on social media, and even giveaways and specials can provide valuable data to help you determine what your audience wants from you. If you’re a blogger, make sure to leave open-ended questions that lead to comments and conversations you can mine later for future posts.

5. Mix up your media

Research shows if you want to rank higher on Google, a great way to do it is with videos and images. Sometimes, if you find yourself in a creative slump, challenging yourself to engage in new ways can lead to some great new ideas.

Video is becoming more popular across social media platforms and even in blogs. Podcasts have also never been hotter. If you’re struggling to come up with new blog content, turn on the camera. Turn an older post into a video blog or how to. Try an interview-style podcast or video and add it to your site instead of the traditional blog. Not only are these fun new ways to interact with your audience, but they’re great at attracting new readers, who may not have time to sit and scroll but definitely have time to listen to a video or audio clip.

6. Cultivate Some Fresh New Talent

If you’re struggling with new ideas, the problem might not be you. Consider adding fresh talent to your marketing team with a freelance content creator. It’s the job of a talented freelance writer to know what’s new and fresh online, and how to keep your content relevant. Adding fresh eyes to your work is an easy way to get a new perspective, and it doesn’t have to break the bank!

7. Reach out to industry peers

As well as offering to guest post, it’s a good idea to keep up-to-date with what your peers in the industry are doing. Cultivate relationships with others in your industry and pay special attention to what is up and coming. Stay up-to-date on current events in your industry through newsletters. When appropriate, offer partnerships to improve your reach.

8. Choose your trends wisely

Trends can come and go, but some are obviously here to stay. The entire world is currently dealing with a stay-at-home lifestyle thanks to COVID-19, which makes it a pretty safe search item for the time being.

If it’s in the news, chances are it’s a hot enough topic to mine for content. For example, if there’s a local (or national) festival or event in or around your area that you know is coming up, you can curate content around that event sponsorship or its causes. 

Be careful when you choose trends that you pick the one you are actually interested in and could generate several pieces of content for. Trends happen fast, and they burn out quickly. If you base your brand on chasing the next big thing, you will always be behind.

9. Celebrate your company and your audience

A great topic of content is your team or your own successes. If you are a small business it’s a great way to build a community around your team. Turn your company successes into thanks to your community, which includes consumers and audience members in your success. Celebrate members of your team, and invite your audience to celebrate your successes with you. Not only is it a great way to generate new content, but it’s also perfect to strengthen your community.

10. Create an event

Another great community building option for content is a giveaway, sale, or event. Live-streaming special events are especially popular right now. So is asking customers or audience members to participate through social media, to generate the content you don’t have to create yourself. It also opens space for communication, which creates new opportunities for storytelling.

11. Recycle popular content

There’s no better place to look for winning content than your own winners. This isn’t about plagiarism or repetition. Use Google Analytics to learn which of your existing content are among the most popular.  Then see if you can mine that for new ideas. Is there space for a listicle? Can you create a how-to video or go more in-depth in a particular element of this post? What about your underperforming content? Check-in with your content management team or freelance content creators to see if there is a way to update and upgrade existing content in new and exciting ways.

Creating valuable content isn’t about sitting around and waiting for inspiration to strike. It’s great when you can hit a seasonal or current popular trend. But you need a content strategy that covers the times when the obvious choices run out. Keep your content calendar full of ideas by creating events, relying on your community, and updating old favorites. And remember, it’s not always about what’s viral and exciting. Sometimes, the best content is to stick with what you do best, and know you’ll ride out any trends.

Above anything else, Elise loves playing with words. She spends her working hours guiding writers to run a successful freelance business, while occasionally blogging over at HireWriters.


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Above anything else, Elise loves playing with words. She spends her working hours guiding writers to run a successful freelance business, while occasionally blogging over at HireWriters.

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