12 Most Ingenious Ways to Generate Online Content
If it’s your job to update your organization’s website, issue the e-newsletters, write the blog, and keep the Facebook page going, you need content, and you need it now. The internet chews up a lot of copy, and feeding it is hard sometimes. Here are 12 ways you can round up ideas, copy and images for online content that your readers — and the search engines — will love.
1. Make a plan
Write down five or six types of topics that will engage people and help them connect with your brand… technical, how-to, gossip, social action, self-improvement… whatever your audience is interested in.
2. Ask questions
In your blog posts and social media circles, throw out topics for discussion.
3. Listen to your audience
They will tell you what they’d like to hear more about by how they respond to what you’ve already put out there.
4. Set up Google Alerts
This is the easiest content-generation thing you’ll ever do. It’s free, and you can get Google to serve up everything that has recently appeared on the internet on any subject you’re researching.
4. Subscribe to blogs
Read what’s going on in your industry and related activities. See what people are concerned with.
5. Repost, and add some value
Don’t just grab articles and regurgitate them; think about what the other author said and expand on it. Always cite sources, with links.
6. Use guest authors
They obviously like to write and will appreciate the search engine love that comes their way.
7. Do surveys
In your next e-newsletter, poll your readers on a topic, then write about what you learn.
8. Give lessons
You are an expert at something, so help others learn about that. Do tutorials, screencasts, e-books, and videos.
9. Get worked up
Find something you’re passionate about that relates to your subject, and do a little sermon about it. A bit of righteous indignation can be interesting.
10. Do reviews
New products, recent brand makeovers, books, other websites — these are all good subjects for critiques. Be thoughtful, respectful, helpful and fair.
11. Use image searches
If you have a vague idea for something you’d like to write about, go to your favorite stock photo site. Start searching on any words that relate to the concept you’re trying to flesh out. The images that pop up will give you ideas. The good stock photo sites are well-indexed for concepts and metaphors. Window-shopping is free.
12. Create mini-versions
If you have a long article, blog post, or website copy, break it down into bite-size chunks and feed it to the audience a little at a time. The snacks can lead them to the main meal.
What are your favorite idea-starters?
Featured image courtesy of ralphbijker licensed via creative commons.