Are you struggling to find new content ideas to publish on your company’s blog or website, or maybe something even worse in which you’re tired of creating content that never gets read or never seems to draw the attention of your customers.
Then stick with me until the end of this article, because I’m about to go over three reasons why having content ideas is so important for your business along with three key methods that you can use to find content ideas for free.
Be sure to stick until the end for the third method, because that’s where I’m going to share with you, how you find content that is highly likely to go viral. If you follow along with the methods outlined in this article, you’re going to have at least 10 ideas that are going to get your customer’s attention and get you more leads.
3 Reasons Why Content Backlogs are Important
There are three reasons why having content backlogged is so important for your business:
- Content is King. The first reason why is because consumers today, like to be self-educated. What that means is that if you don’t give them the educational content to learn more about their problems, then they’re going to leave your store pretty soon and go to somebody that can.
- The second reason why is because good content builds trust. When we can give a ton of value to our customers upfront, we make them more and more inclined to purchase from us. If you can consistently give your reader valuable content over time, you are building up your authority in your space. And as a result, the next time they think about the problem that you solve, they’ll probably reach out to you versus your competitor.
- The final reason why having a backlog of content is so important is because content is often one of the first things that falls by the wayside for small businesses. By having a backlog of content, you’re ensuring that your customers will continuously get valuable content delivered to them in a timely manner, on a consistent schedule.
This makes sure that your customers or your prospective customers are always hearing from you, which will help grow your sales opportunities. What I’ll typically do is I’ll use some form of a Google sheet with Zapier integration or with some combination of Trello. And what this allows me to do is it allows me to stay organized in terms of all the potential ideas that we could tackle in the future.
So now that we understand the three reasons why having a content backlogged is so important, let’s dig into the three methods for how to find content ideas for free.
Method 1: People often ask: Answerthepublic.com and keywordsheeter.com
The first method for finding content ideas for free is to use one of two resources, either Answerthepublic.com or keywordsheeter.com. What these sites do is they break down intent based search queries. And what I mean by that is these are the questions that people are frequently asking in your respective space.
Let’s first dig into Answerthepublic.com. Aside from the super creepy dude that is always staring at you as you put in your search term, it’s a super valuable site and their free account will give you a few free searches every single day.
So what I’m going to do here is I’m going to put in a search term and I’m going to see what similarly related search queries often are associated with the search term that I’m looking for.
Typically when I go through the results, I like to look at things in the list view. What this will do is it’ll provide me with a breakdown based off of the alphabet. And this allows me to quickly sift through the different search results.
As I’m sifting through these results, what I’m trying to think about is where topics potentially overlap with one another. How can I connect three or four of these topics into one central theme? If the idea of a hub and spoke model in which you have a core topic idea, which might be your niche, and then you have five or six spokes or satellites that essentially relate to your core topic, but essentially are more like sub-headers.
So when you can put these sorts of related topics together, it can create a really evergreen piece of content.
The second site that you can use is keywordsheeter.com. What this does is it’ll essentially use all the autocomplete responses for the search term that you are looking for and it’ll keep on skewing them out until pretty much infinity.
And so I’ve personally rarely found that it runs out of search terms. One of the harder things with this sort of, of idea is that you do have to filter through some bad results when you are going through these respective results.
So as you can see on the screen here, what I’m doing is I am putting in a search term into keywordsheeter.com and then it is essentially just spitting out all the rest of related keywords to that particular term.
The reason why this method is so much better than Google autocomplete is because this method is way more comprehensive. If you use the old Google autocomplete method, you’re going to have to go through every single Google search result for your search phrase A, your search phrase B C, D, and so on. This saves a ton of time for you.
Method 2: People also ask / Quora / Reddit
The second method for finding content ideas super fast is to use a combination of People Also Ask, Quora and Reddit. Now that we know what people are asking us, what we want to do is you want to dig into the layers of the onion and figure out what the nuances to that overarching question is so that we can create the best possible resource on the planet.
So, what I’m going to do here is I’m going to look at an example in which I searched the phrase, acro yoga, into Answerthepublic. And what I’m going to dig into is I’m going to see what sort of things come up in People Also Ask from the Google results. And when I look for one of the long tail questions that came out of Answerthepublic, such as how to learn acro yoga.
This is what I see on my search results page. I see things that go along the lines of, how can I practice acro yoga alone? What is the point of acro yoga? Is accurate yoga intimate? What is two person yoga called and so on. So you can see that these are similarly related questions to the core phrase of how to learn acro yoga that somebody might have if they were curious about acro yoga.
One of the super cool things you can do with People Also Ask is the extension results pretty much are endless. And so what you can do is you can simply expand and collapse one of the results and it’ll keep spinning up new results below that. So this is a great way for you to get a quick pulse check on some of the commonly asked questions that are related to the first search term that you were looking up.
And then from there, what I personally use is I like to use the free Scraper Chrome extension to scrape all of these questions and then put them into a spreadsheet. I’m going to take out the diff, which will then allow me to pull all of the core questions that are being asked in my People Also Asked section.
This is a great way for you to save a ton of time with your keyword research and overall SEO prep. From here, what I’m going to do is I’m going to put all of these People Also Ask queries into a spreadsheet, and then I’m going to do a quick search on Quora as well as Reddit for the same phrase that I started with how to start learning acro yoga, or how to learn acro yoga, and see what results come up.
In order to do this, you’re going to want to put in the search parameter of site, colon, quora.com or reddit.com. And then you’re going to want to use one of the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions along with your key keyword.
So in this case, I might start with something along the lines of when acro yoga or how acro yoga and see what the results come out with.
So let’s go ahead and do that. So as I search site: quora.com how acro yoga, you can see some of the results that come up. And these are commonly asked questions that are being asked by real people on these social websites. So you can see here in the results, we have things such as, how to learn acro yoga, what is accurate yoga, what are some cool acro yoga poses. So as you can tell, there are more and more. The questions that are being asked by people that get views because on Quora, you can actually see how many views each question has. And then from there, you can start to prioritize your different content ideas.
After you’ve gone through all of the People Also Ask, Quora and Reddit results, you can start to group things together and see what could fall into an evergreen piece of content.
The purpose of the second method is to dig even deeper to what you found in the first method and validate what you found in the first method as something that would be valuable to your audience.
If these search engine tips are making sense to hit the like button or say “I’m following” in the comments below so that I know that you’re tracking with me.
Method 3: BuzzSumo / Most Popular
Now let’s jump into the third method for finding free content ideas. The third method for finding content for free is to use Buzzsumo. Buzzsumo has a most popular tool that is super helpful for finding ideas that have already been validated in the past.
The thing is success leaves trails. So oftentimes you can follow past successes to figure out what might stick in your space. Previously viral content is a way more likely to go viral again than something that you, you came up with in your head.
And so what you can use is you can use Buzzsumo as a content analyzer for your space. Their free account offers a seven day trial or 1oo free researches whichever one comes first. So what you can do is you can, what in your industry or niche into Buzzsumo and it’ll output all of the most popular pieces of content that have been produced recently.
I typically filter by these social media channel that I find most successful for getting new leads into my businesses. So in that case, it’s more so Twitter than it is something like Facebook. But it really depends based off of your business.
All right. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to go into Buzzsumo, go to the content tab and then click content analyzer. I’m going to continue building off of my idea of how to learn acro yoga. So I put that in for the search. And when I come out with is this particular post that got some engagement on Facebook in the past year for how acro yogis learn to fly by opening up to new things.
So what I do from here is I could open up this yogajournal.com post and then start to look at what potentially works in this particular piece of content.
So as I go through this piece of content, what I’m noticing is, there’s a few different key principles that seem to be important to acro yogis in their success. And the other thing that I can do is I can click this domain in Buzzsumo, and it’ll actually output all of their top pieces of content that they have produced.
So here you can see, I see that they’ve created things like why isn’t yoga covered by health insurance, how yoga is helping kids with cancer, this yoga sequence that reduces stress and boost immunity. And you can see all of the shares and engagement that have come up in the past from this particular site. So this gives me a ton of content ideas that I can start to think about that I could produce for my own yoga studio to try to compliment or supplement these particular posts.
I’ll go more into depth as to how to identify weaknesses in existing content and build even stronger content in a future article.
Aside from just playing around with the phrases in Buzzsumo, make sure that you are also playing around with the filtering tools that Buzzsumo offers you. You can actually take things more specifically through a wider range of time or a more narrow range of time, as well as a ton of different features. So be sure to check that out.
So from this experience of using Buzzsumo combined with the other two prior methods, you can have a ton of new content ideas. The cool thing is once you’ve got through all the main queries, as well as, core domains that talk about your niche or industry, you’ll start to have a ton of new ideas.
And from there, if you were to just make 20 to 25 content posts that were based on the foundation of previously viral posts, you’re going to be greatly increasing the probability that you’re going to make a viral post, as opposed to just creating content that you have no idea as to whether or not it’s going to get eyeballs.
Another cool thing about Buzzsumo is that you can do this beyond just a normal Google search. You can actually filter through for things that were posted on Facebook, Pinterest, as well as YouTube.
There are two things I want you to keep in mind as you find it and more and more content ideas.
- The first one is don’t feel the pressure to have to be original. People don’t always necessarily want original. What they want is your unique perspective or thoughts on an already popular topic.
- The second thing to keep in mind is I want you to always be thinking about how you can potentially stretch your content further as you start to curate your ideas. And that means thinking about how you’re going to repurpose your content in the future so that you get a bigger bang for your buck for your time.
In my next article, I’ll go over easy keyword research search for SEO.
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