Sometimes coming up with content ideas is the most difficult part of creating content. Ideally, you want to create content that performs well in search and on social media. In reality both are tied to each other to some degree.
When someone finds a great piece of content through search they will often share on social media. The more social shares a piece of content receives the more likely it is that the content will be linked to and cited on other websites. To assist you in generating some great content ideas I’ve came up with the following 10 steps. I’ve had good results when using these steps to generate content ideas. Of course you don’t want to only post similar content as your competition but if it’s of interest to your competitor’s readers then it will likely be of interest to your readers as well.
Step 1) Create a list of 5 – 10 websites in your vertical that create great content.
Step 2) Use Open Site Explorer to see which content earns the most links and social shares. To do this, export the Top Pages report and delete the “HTTP Status,” “Total Links,” & “Facebook Likes” columns.
Step 3) Remove any pages that include a shop or other pages not-relevant to the task at hand.
Step 4) Sort by Number of Linking Root Domains & select the top 20 pages. Copy & paste these to a new area in your spreadsheet.
Steps 5-7) Repeat Step 4 for Facebook, Twitter & Google Plus. Paste these underneath the top 20 Linking Root Domains pages.
Step 8) Create a table with the top 20 pages from each and sort by URL. Any pages that appear twice did well on at least two social media channels OR one social media channel and earned a high number of links. I highlight each URL that appears three times and then sort based on cell color to get my finished list. Which looks something like the one below in which I evaluated one of my favorite sites, www.gentlemansgazette.com.
Focusing your effort on creating better content or content around the same topic area will likely provide you with a better ROI on time spent creating content. Here’s the finished list:
Step 9) Nope, you’re not done yet. Now it’s time to evaluate the content. Were their certain elements (i.e. interactive design) to the URLs that showed up in all four top 20 results? If so, try creating a piece of content using the same types of elements.
Step 10) Start creating content, earning links & getting social shares!
This simple exercise which took me around half an hour generated 15 great content ideas. Do this for 5 competitors and you’ll have enough content ideas for 3 months!
Thanks for reading,