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10 Topic Starters for Your Content

 In Blogging, Content Creation, Content Marketing, Idea Generation

You are committed to putting out content consistently (or you should be!). Your followers and prospects need to hear from you on a regular basis to build the trust and relationship that leads to deeper engagement.

That means you need to write something… again.

But you just aren’t sure what to write about.

First of all, you should never be in this situation. Staring at a blank screen is a drain on your energy and productivity, and it’s not an effective way to invite creative inspiration.

Ideas usually come, not when you need them to, but when you least expect it. Your job is to start expecting it, and capture them when they show up.

Create a Topic List

Generating topics is an ongoing job. Always be on the lookout for topics! They are everywhere!!

Your Topic List is a living document that you continually draw from and add to on a regular basis. When I create a Topic List, I include a “working title” as well as a few sentences to capture the thoughts I had about it. Make a habit of writing down topics when you think of them.

Here are some of the most common situations to keep an eye out for topic ideas.

#1. Talking to clients – What questions do your clients ask? What stories do they share? What “Ah Ha’s” do they have? Client conversations are a treasure trove of topic ideas you can share.

#2. Creating content – When you are writing or recording content, it’s common to get into the flow and go off on tangents or spark other, related ideas. Take a second to capture those ideas on your Topic List for another day. Then go back to the topic at hand and keep it focused.

#3. Reading/watching other people’s content – I’m not suggesting that you copy other people’s ideas. But sometimes listening to a podcast or watching a video or reading an article can spark your own ideas. What did they fail to say about something? How would you explain it differently? 

#4. Free time – Oftentimes ideas will come when your mind finally has a little space to work its magic. It might be while you are driving in the car, lying in bed, or in the shower. (I know I’m not the only one who gets my best ideas in the shower!) In those situations, do whatever you can to capture the ideas. Leave yourself a voice message. Write it down on a sticky note or scrap of paper. Trust me, by the time you get back to your computer to open your Topic List, it will be gone.

You’re Business Is The Context Of Your Content

It’s tempting, when you start brainstorming topics for your content, to focus on what you do in your business and the world you work in every day. Isn’t that what you are trying to spread the word about?

Yes and no.

Creating content about your own business and industry is a trap that many companies fall into. It’s easy to share what you know best. But what happens is this…

The people who are searching for specific topics in your industry are often other people in your industry!  You end up attracting your competition rather than your ideal customers.

So what should you be talking about? 

Your content is actually about your customers. It’s a conversation in which you want to address their issues, solve their problems, and answer their questions. 

Your business isn’t the topic of the conversation, it’s the context of the conversation.

The fact that you are a subject-matter expert in your own area will come out in how you look at these things. But always remember that the purpose of content is to build trust and create a connection to your readers, customers, and prospects. 

Ten Topic Ideas

To get you started, here are ten starting points for topics you can talk about in your content.

They are intended to get you thinking and spark some ideas in your own situation.

(For even more ideas download my 40 Topic Starters ebook here!)

Can you turn an every-day experience into a metaphor for something in your business? How does cooking, or baseball, or carpooling (or whatever!) relate to the work you do? Get creative! Bonus points if you can share something you have personal experience with.

Do you have some favorite quotes? Use one to kick off an article and let the rest flow from there.

Share a failure or mistake. We all make them. Nobody’s perfect! This can feel vulnerable, but readers will respect your honesty. Demonstrate what you learned and how you recovered.

What does it REALLY take to get the results you promise? Don’t just give them the steps, but dig deep into what separates those who succeed from those who don’t.

Expose common mistakes that your readers have likely made and show how you can help avoid those mistakes.

Highlight some of the tools you use to do your work. How can they help your readers?

What obstacles do your people face that they must overcome? Have you overcome them?

What problems do your prospects have and why do they have them? What is causing them to be where they are? 

Tell a memorable story from your life. How can you relate it to your work and to your audience? What is the moral of the story?

Are there things that happen in your clients’ world at certain times of year? At that time, explore the recurring themes. How can they make it different this time?

Never stare at a blank screen again! Pull up your topic list and follow the inspiration. 

Generating topics is one of my favorite things to do when helping clients with a content strategy. If you could use some help with topics, strategy, or implementation of your content, schedule a call and let’s talk!

 

 

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