One of the biggest challenges I hear from my clients and people I talk with is coming up with topics and content for their newsletters, ezines, and blog posts. This is also the number one reason people tell me they don’t communicate with their tribe or community consistently – if at all. Can you relate?
You may feel like it’s a huge challenge to know what your people want to read or what they want to know about you and your business or what aspects of your expertise they’re interested in.
It can be overwhelming to begin creating content your audience wants. If this is true for you, please know that you aren’t alone; I get asked about this a lot!
Coming up with content ideas to share with your tribe is actually not all that difficult. In fact, most of the time you’re probably overcomplicating it. So let’s simplify it, shall we?
Here are some ways to create content your audience actually wants (and is asking for!)
Hang out with your audience.
Attend networking meetings, events, conferences, etc., where your ideal client are. Of course, for this to work you need to be clear on who your audience is and where they are hanging out. Join the same groups as your target market on Facebook and LinkedIn, pay attention when you talk with your current clients, and reflect on what things you’ve done for current and past clients. Take note of what they talk about and are struggling with as it relates to the products and services you provide. Make a list of those common topics, questions, and themes. You’ve now got some valuable and relevant ideas to create content from – given to you by your ideal clients!
By the book.
Another approach is to visit Amazon and search for books about your area of expertise. Look at the titles of the top-selling or newest books and then look inside at the chapter titles. Amazon is a great place for research because these are books your ideal clients are buying. Don’t copy but use this to spark your own ideas for the kinds of subjects your target market is looking for – and willing to pay for. Then begin listing those subjects and writing content based on that – with your own perspective added.
Keep a running list of ideas.
Make a list of the topics you hear and see people talking about or researching and then use this list as a starting point for articles. Not only will you have a never-ending supply of content ideas, but when you create content your audience wants on a consistent basis, your ezine (or newsletter or blog) will get higher open and click-through rates. Plus it will be shared more often, your website will get more visitors, and more of them will stay on your site longer to look around. And when that happens, you increase your chances of those ideal potential clients becoming paying clients.
A quick exercise to help you brainstorm a list of topics to use in your newsletters and blog posts:
- Make a list of 12 broad topics in your area(s) of expertise. For example, a health coach might list exercise, nutrition, eating habits, mindset, self-care, etc.
- Now break those 12 topics into either two or four sub-topics each. Continuing with our health coach example: break the ‘Exercise’ topic into sub-topics like: exercising while travelling, exercising with a busy schedule, how to plan an exercise routine, exercises for a person with disabilities, etc. You get the idea. Break those 12 main topics into as many sub-topics as you possibly can.
- Take a look at those 12 topics one more time. This time look for ways to break each of them into sub-topics related to the seasons, holidays, or some other natural cycle during the year that pertains to your business. For example, New Year’s resolutions, mid-winter blahs, spring break or spring fever, end of the school year or beginning of the school year. The seasonal aspect is endless, really. So dive into it and create an extensive list of ways you can tie in a given topic to different times of the year.
Once finished, you will have a list of topics ideas ready to go for the next few months at least!
Now it’s time to write. One final tip to help you get started:
Each time you sit down to compose a piece of content – whether for your newsletter, blog, or some other form of communication – be sure to choose one single topic. Just one. Write on one topic each time. Don’t try to blend too many different things together. It’s confusing.
Keep it simple and concise. Don’t overload your audience with information. Give your best tips and advice. Be sure to provide them with one or two practical suggestions for that particular topic – something they can take away and apply or act on.
Remember, you don’t have to write a book and shorter is often better. 400 – 600 words is a good length to aim for when writing your article (yes, this article is longer than that – and that’s okay, too). And if you’re doing video or audio articles, aim for 3-5 minutes, maximum.
Now you’re ready to share your expertise with your ideal audience. So get to it! They’re waiting to hear from you.