Hi, this is Patrick from SpyFu.com.
If you can’t tell, we do a lot of content creation here, and we frequently get asked, “How do you come up with content ideas?”
In this video I’m going to explain a variety of techniques you can use to come up with different content ideas for your site.
Realizing now that this might get a tad meta.
Let’s get this out of the way real quick: creating fresh content for your site is very important. It improves your SEO which helps people find your site. It also helps people understand who you are and what you do. People and Google alike reward fresh content with clicks and ranks.
But sometimes ya git the writers block. This happens to everyone - people who have a ton of existing content, or hardly any at all. Including us here.
An easy way to start breaking that block is simply by talking to your customer service team. The people who are on the front lines, helping customers and hearing their questions. They will know which ones are asked the most, and usually the most practical way to solve it.
I recently did a video called, “How to find the right competitor.” I had no clue this was an issue that you guys faced until I talked to our sales team. By creating content directly addressing that issue, I was able to help both you, and the people here who run support. Everyone wins in that scenario.
Another example is this video! Which was requested by our sales and support team, and several techniques in here come directly from them.
As long as we’re getting meta, let’s talk about trying different formats. Sidra wrote an article on this very subject in 2017, but the subject is still relevant, and some people prefer video.
It doesn’t hurt to double down on content subjects, especially if it’s been awhile since you’ve addressed them. An easy way of doing that is simply changing format, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be an article or video. Think of infographics, tweets, even a webinar can help keep the content fresh and potentially reach a new audience.
Along those lines, see if you can double down on an idea. If you have a large piece of content in mind, ask yourself if you can split your idea into different sub categories, each with their own focused article.
You can also find these ideas from the outside. Check different subreddits in your niche, see what people are asking and posting. If you’re B2B you can even scour LinkedIn for top posts.
Now let me tell you some of the practical ways SpyFu.com can help you find new content ideas.
Enter your competitor’s domain into SpyFu, hover over the SEO Research tab and click on SEO Keywords.
Keep it on the default sort, titled “Most Valuable keywords.” And then have the secondary sort be by “rank.” Here are some of their highest ranking keywords, and the URLs that are helping them rank on those keywords.
Don’t look for ones that seem like a homepage, instead try and find URLs that look like a subdomain or a something that could be an article. Click on the ‘go to’ button and voila, there is a new article that is helping this domain get high ranks.
Here, you have the opportunity to gain inspiration from it. You can even copy it and tweak it a bit so it fits your brand, but is essentially the same article.
This is sometimes called the Skyscraper technique. Where you find an existing piece of content in your niche that is attracting a lot of links. Making it better, either by being more thorough, more visually appealing, or just updating it with current examples and techniques.
Then simply reaching out to people in the industry through good ol’ e-mails or DMs. Hoping to gather some of the same links the original article had. I’ll include a link below to a different video which talks more about how to use SpyFu for outreach, and also include it right here.
Another way to use SpyFu is by entering a keyword into our backlinks tool, and then sort it by domain strength. Domain strength being how authoritative that domain is in that niche.
Then use the same technique as you did before, by clicking on the “go to” icon and see what people are writing, about the keywords you want.
You’ll probably notice that most of the articles that will appear have more prominent outbound links than when you check through the SEO portion of our site. You can also use this to your advantage by reaching out to this site and trying to get a link to a related article that you created
Not only do you have the option to simply gank this article, like with the SEO search. But you could instead write a brand new article and then reach out to this domain and try and get them to link to it.
Since you already know they are a strong domain in the niche, a link from them will help boost your site’s authority.
Another way to find content ideas inside of SpyFu is by checking out where you have gaps in your content. First head to SpyFu Kombat, type in your domain, and your two biggest competitors.
Then click on the section that your competitors are overlapping on, but you are not. We call this section “Weaknesses” because they’re the keywords both competitors are ranking or buying and you aren’t.
Take a look at the keywords in this section, are there any you see that would be good for content on your site? This helps fill in those keyword gaps, with the added bonus of fresh content from you!
For even better searching in Kombat, I generally scroll to the bottom, and choose to show 1,000 rows.
Then I sort by Search Volume, which is also sometimes known as monthly searches. If I can find some keywords that have a high search volume, but a relatively low ranking difficulty, that’s the kind of low hanging fruit I’m after.
A couple more places to look would be the SEO keyword groups. Dig through some of your top groups and subgroups to see where you might be lacking in content. Or go through your competitors, to see what keywords their leveraging and where you might be falling short.
With any of these SpyFu tools you have the freedom to export these keywords to a csv, or add them to a MySpyFu project, or just scribble them down on a sticky note.
I’m guessing at this point in the video, you’re ready to sink your teeth into this. But I’m not done yet.
A few final tips for you.
Digging into your Google Adwords can reveal what people are actually searching for to find your site. By leveraging the keywords and phrases that people already click on, you can begin to corner that market.
A few quick grabs for articles are finding out what’s buzzing in your industry. Things like insider perspectives and what’s happening right now. For example, planning seasonal events & conventions. Or what a thought leader in your industry meant by what they tweeted yesterday.
Insider perspectives make for an enticing read, and lend themselves to almost, but not quite clickbait-y headlines. Things like:
A professional photographer offers the worst things to wear for your family pics
5 things (that aren’t flossing) your dentist wishes you’d do
How to come up with content ideas from a dude who couldn’t think of anything to make a video on this week. - I’m not the best at making titles.
This method helps pull the reader in, we all want an inside scoop, there’s something in our gut that wants to open that mystery box. A unique perspective can spice up even a mundane topic.
Finally, here’s a tip that I’m personally using right now.
I have a series of videos called SpyFew. They’re generally under 3 minutes and provide small tips and tricks for SpyFu and internet marketing in general.
Since they’re so short, they’re relatively quick and cheap to make. As such, they’re not only a fun way to get info to you guys, but they also can be used as a testing ground for larger content.
Notice how my video on Negative Match keywords has decimated the other SpyFew videos in terms of views and engagement. For whatever reason, people really wanted more information on how to handle Negative Match.
That piece of content didn’t take long to make but it let me know, in no uncertain terms, what the people want.
So a longer video on this topic is in the queue. Creating bite sized pieces of content is a cheap way to put real life feelers out there.
I love content creation. To me, there’s something so rewarding about creating something that is helpful and lasting. But holy butts, that feeling is undermined when you get stumped about where to go next.
Hopefully these tips will help spark your imagination, so you can get back to writing. ...or videoing.
Videoing? Is that what it’s called? “Mike!! What’s my job called???!”