There are two rules you should follow while coming up with topics for your content. The topic should:
- Be of interest to your audience, and
- Be related to your business.
Looks easy, but how do you actually do this?
Consider you sell organic brown rice in a not-so-big city, say, Portland, Oregon or Pune, India. What is it that your audience is going to be interested in? Some examples might be:
- Healthy eating
- Environment-friendly living
- Food: specifically, brown-rice-based recipes
- Organic stores or farmers’ markets in or near the city
Don’t take my word for it: ask your customers.
But once you have pinned down the broad topics you’re going to cover, you can figure out specific topics for each piece of content. For example, suppose your form of content is a weekly email newsletter, and you decide to cover a mix of the four topics above. Each newsletter can contain:
- A recipe for using brown rice, along with a mouth-watering picture of the dish
- One health tip of the week
- One interview with a customer focusing on her environment-friendly efforts at home
- A feature on an organic market or store that sells organic food
Once you figure out the intersection between your business and your audience’s interests, you have a range of content topics to choose from! And this is true regardless of what your business is. As Lisa Barone says:
The opportunity to create high-quality content is there, regardless of what industry you serve. High-quality content doesn’t mean creating something that is laugh-out-loud funny or something Oatmeal worthy. It means designing content to bring value to your consumer. That interactive comparison chart on different toilet models may not be sexy to you, but you can bet it’s pretty sexy to someone in the middle of a remodel and unsure of what to buy, what the difference is between products, and why one model is priced differently than another.
It’s also worth noting that just because your topic is toilets (or insurance, or telecom, or stained glass windows) doesn’t mean your content has to be 100-percent toilet focused. Find those interesting periphery topics or the topics that your customers are passionate about and create content around them.
And yet, once you start blogging (or podcasting or newsletter-writing), you get days when you are stuck and can’t think of a new topic to write about. This is when you use the tips I outline in my blog post at Search Engine People: 10 Easy Ways to Find Blog Post Topics.
Now go on: start creating!