Last week, I posted an article about how I fill a 3 month content calendar and a plan for getting content out to your audience each week. This week, I want to share one of my recent Facebook Live’s on how to pick the best primary content topic ideas to fill that content calendar. Again, your primary content is basically the core content pieces where you are delivering the most value to and really showcasing your expertise. It’s some of the best content you are creating. Blog posts, videos, or podcast episodes are typically the most common examples of primary content. Enjoy!
Ideas for Picking the Best Content Topics for Your Audience
First of all, I want you to be thinking about what your content goals are. Whether you are a blogger, podcaster, youtuber, or social media influencer, it’s important to have some goals established that will help guide your content decisions. Are you trying to entertain your audience? Do you want to create brand awareness? Maybe increase traffic to your website, or get more leads? Are you trying to create hype around an issue? Are you educating your audience on something? Whatever it is, think about it as we go through these together. Think about whether or not the topics that pop into your head would actually be aimed at achieving those goals.
Enter your email below to follow along with the content topic brainstorming list that will guide you in picking the best topics:
Decide on your topic areas
First, you want to decide what topic areas you are going to talk about. If you are new to content creation, begin by choosing 1-3 areas. You don’t want to confuse your audience or overwhelm yourself with too much content. Remember, quality over quantity, and less is more. Pick topics that are going to attract and serve an audience. You’ll want topics that are relevant to your business, and that serve yourself, otherwise you will get burnt out quickly! I want you to be passionate about the topics you choose, so let’s stick to a few favorite topics at a time!
Now, you might be thinking, “but wait, I want to be talking about motherhood and marriage and health and everything else I am passionate about even if it has nothing to do with my business.”
All of that is great! However, you can find ways to intertwine those other topics into your primary content. You can utilize social media, email, and all the promotional/broadcasting channels to deliver on those topics. But, if you are eagerly trying to grow your business and audience, you need to establish some credibility in a few focus areas first. Next, you’ll use the promotional/broadcasting channels (and maybe a blog post here and there) as a way to build relationships on more of a personal level with your audience, which is where those other sub-topics come in. Does that make sense?
Personally, my areas of focus (and what I talk about in my primary content) are content strategy, branding, and time management and productivity. I still talk about my life and my hobbies, but I stick to a 80/20 rule. 80% of my content is foundational to my business, and 20% of the content is taking a glimpse of my life in ways that my audience would find relatable.
Once you’ve determined you topic areas, write them down!
What does your audience want to be hearing/learning about from you?
Think for a minute about who your content is for and what they want to know or learn about. Hint: your audience is NOT everyone. Instead, you should be creating content for a very specific audience of people. There are many people out there that need your message and expertise, but it isn’t everyone.
So, is your audience single mothers who want to be financially stable? Maybe your audience is furry dog owners that schedule regular groomings for their pups. Are they young musicians, or dancers? Or maybe they’re fishermen or hunters?
Once you’ve identified who you are creating content for, then you need to know their specific needs as it relates to your business. For example, a dog groomer’s audience would likely want to know the importance for getting their dog groomed, how to keep up with nail clippings and ear cleanings, maybe the best dog parks around; however, they probably don’t need to know how to groom their dogs themselves, because the audience that the dog groomer is targeting are people who want to bring their dog to get groomed the right way.
So, how do you actually know what your audience wants to learn about or consume?
The easiest and best way is to consider the most common questions you get asked all the time. Those questions are a perfect indicator of content you could be writing about.
Another option would be to ask your audience what they want to know more about. Post the question on your socials, email them, or ask in person if you are brick and mortar. If you don’t have an audience, you still have options. Join some online communities or groups where your ideal audience is likely hanging out. Ask some questions in there and see what kind of feedback you get.
Search the web
You can search forums, other websites or even YouTube where your audience would likely be hanging out on and commenting. Find these places and read through the comments. Based on the questions people ask and are talking about, you can find some real GOLD here.
Pro Tip: write down the URLs or locations where you find certain questions. Then, after you write the content about it, come back and post a link to your content piece telling them you just wrote an article to answer their question. Value! You are providing value!
What’s currently trending?
Next, find out what’s trending in the online world and what people are talking about. You can go to Google Trends, check out the left sidebar on Twitter, or check your local news to find out some trending topics that might be relevant for you to write about.
Pro Tip: Think about how you can approach the topic from a slightly new angle so it is attention grabbing to your audience and doesn’t get lost in the noise since it is a trending topic.
What will have good SEO?
Think about what topics might perform well on search engines. This is a big topic that I’ll elaborate on another time, but here’s what I do. I downloaded Keywords Everywhere Keyword Tool by Keyword Keg, which is a google chrome extension. So, when I go to search for something in Google, this tool will show me how many people are searching for that topic each month, what the competition is for that topic, and then alternative topics that are ranking better or worse. I really like this tool!
Replicate and repurpose what is already doing well and working
Next, think about what’s already working in your content strategy. What could you replicate in a different form of media or approach from a different angle? For example, let’s say you wrote a blog post on “How to clip your dog’s toenails” and it is performing really well. You could create a video on the same topic, or you could do a different (but similar) topic on “How to clip your dog’s toenails when they won’t sit still”. Catch what I am saying? If something is working well, that is a great indicator of what your audience is looking for. Keep creating content around that in a similar way.
Create binge-worthy content
If it’s tough to think about specific one-off topics that you think your audience would enjoy consuming, think about it on a larger scale. What kind of binge-worthy content can you create that is released in perhaps a series or sequence form. This type of content does really well- just think about your favorite TV show. For a far less exciting example than your favorite show, I could create a series on how to get started with video, and each week release a piece that would bring my audience through the process of using video to grow your business.
Use others as inspiration
If you are truly stuck on content topic ideas, consider getting inspiration from what others (in your niche or not) are doing. While you shouldn’t copy them, use them as inspiration as you dream up topics and how to put your own voice, message and spin behind it.
Perfect Your List
Ok, so those are my content topic brainstorming tips. Go through them, make a master list of ideas, and then ask yourself the following three questions for each topic. If your answer isn’t yes to all three questions, cross it off! Seriously, don’t even waste your time on them right now!
Ask yourself these 3 questions:
1.Will creating content on this topic move me closer to my business goals and content specific goals?
2. Will this topic serve my ideal audience and provide them real value?
3. Does this topic serve me and my purpose?
Time to Get Creating
Now that you have a great list put together of topic ideas, it’s time to begin filling your content calendar! Enter your email below for the Content Topic Brainstorming sheet, or click here for the full 3 month content calendar and implementation checklist.