101 Content Ideas to Grow Your Audience

You want content ideas

I get it.

I’ve put together 101 for you.

But first

Wait…

Here’s the back story…

I dropped Seth Godin an email last week. At first, I was disappointed he didn’t have time for an interview, but after exchanging a few emails, what I got was gold.

I was hoping to get his input on something I’ve struggled with since reading his latest book ‘What to do when it’s your turn’  which urges us all to put our best work out into the world.

When it comes to content marketing, consistency is key to visibility and therefore often we have to live by the principle “better done than perfect” in order to execute our strategies within a reasonable time.

Any piece of work can be improved over and over again. The process could go on forever. However in an oversaturated market, quality matters more than ever, being average is a sure recipe for failure.

Seth asked us all to step up our game in his new book. This opens up the difficult choice of good enough versus putting your best work out there. How do we bring our best self to be at peace with not being our best all the time so we can still achieve our true potential? I asked him.

(a mouthful of a question I know – nothing Seth can’t handle gracefully)

Seth’s reply went … I quote.. “there’s no conflict here. “important” and “perfect” are in totally different spaces, like walking to school and taking your lunch. Sure, it’s nice for it to be more polished, but better still to be important, to be missed if it doesn’t happen”

There is no contradiction in his words. You will be missed if you give value and are consistent with it. I can never get enough of Seth’s simple yet smart approach. In our quest for consistently putting value out there, we want to make sure that we vary our content and find efficient ways of producing good quality interesting stuff in less time.

Seth Godin quote on content marketing

Here are 101 content ideas that will help you show up consistently as your best self and grow your audience.

Content Idea 1: Shoot a 1-minute video

Not good at writing? Switch on your camera and get talking. You can talk directly into the camera if you’re comfortable or use slides if you’re just starting out. Share 1 tip in 1 minute or answer a question your clients often ask you. You can use canva.com for the slides and include a professional ident to open and close the video from fiverr.com. Your video may need a little editing. If you’re just starting out try to record in one shot and then just edit out the mistakes using iMovie on a mac or Movavi on a PC, both are very simple to use and under $50. When it’s ready export as a .mov or .avi and upload your video to youtube. Make sure you insert keyword tags on your video. Leave a comment using keywords linking back to your site and also embed the video on your blog, this creates keyword relevance for Google. Take it one step further by creating a Playlist. Add videos you want your content to be associated with, to the playlist, and make sure you name it and add a keyword rich description, it will help your video get found. Use the sub-title option and make sure it contains your keywords too. Youtube checks your sub-titles for relevance.

How to Add Keywords on Youtube
Above: Screenshot of Youtube Keyword Settings

 

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Content Idea 2: Get a Transcript.

Transcribe your videos and turn them into articles. Writing may not come naturally to all, but talking does. We all talk. With some practice, you can record yourself explaining something your audience values and then turn it into an article. There are many options to transcribe your audio or video depending on your budget. If you own a mac you may try to use the dictation tool this works surprisingly well but performance will vary depending on your accent. When using a PC you can use the Windows Speech recognition Tool to transcribe directly while you speak. You can also transcribe after you have recorded the video or sound file you can either use the Youtube sub-title feature and download the .srt file after youtube creates it. (you will need to correct this, in fact, you may want to upload the corrected version for improved sub-titles).

If you have a budget you have 2 options. You can have it transcribed by a professional service company such as scribie.com and rev.com. This will give you a precise transcription of what you said.

However, it is not recommended to use the transcript as a blog post. You will need to insert keywords and format it in a way that your audience can read. So you’ll need to make it more easily legible by adding ‘speed-bumps’ or sub-titles and breaking it up into logical chunks or lists to make it easier to read through. You may also opt to add a famous quote, an introduction with a short story, and a call to action to format it all into a blog post that works.

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Content Idea 3: Call to Action Buttons

You always need a call to action. Attracting an audience to your content takes hard work, you don’t want to waste the opportunity to ask them to take action. If you don’t have one then it means the people who engage with your content will not know what to do next. It’s also a good indicator that your strategy is missing some key elements.

You need to make sure you reverse engineer it all. First, decide what you want your content to achieve, then create the content that the right audience wants to read and at the end add the call-to-action to ask them to take the next step.

For example: My target is to build my list -> My target audience consists of webpreneurs who are already blogging -> I want them to download my free eBook and register for my mailing list -> I create a blog post called “How to Improve your Blog’s reach using these 3 WordPress Plugins” at the end I provide a link to my eBook “100 WordPress plug-ins that will help you make money from your blog”. Notice how everything is connected and I have started from my goal which easily provides me with a clear decision on the Call-to-Action to use.

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Content Idea 4: Square Imagery with and without text

Produce a set of square images for every piece of content you create. Your imagery may contain blog titles, quotes, numerical information, important lines from your post and metaphorical images.

Throw an unusual image into the mix. A joke, different colours, a pun, a famous book or film title change it to fit your content. Take a risk. Add one image that stands out and monitor its performance.

Vary the image types using illustrations and photography to find out which ones appeal to your audience most. You can create these yourself using canva.com or resize/crop existing imagery using pixlr.com’s free tool Pixlr Express.

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Content Idea 5: Book Reviews

Read any good books lately? Make sure it’s relevant for your audience and share the best lessons you learnt in your book review. Make sure you connect it to what you do.

Here’s an example of one I wrote some time ago:

http://www.stephaniefiteni.com/blog/index.php/82/

In this post, I do 3 things. I review the book by starting with what the Author wanted to achieve with this book, I then delve into the bits that delivered a strong message and finally I connect his message to what I do – which is content marketing.

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Content Idea 6: Rectangular imagery with and without text

Always create a set of rectangular imagery for the headers of your social media account profiles. These images can help more people get interested in your content and help you market it. Ideally, make them different and more subtle than the square ones to be shed on social platforms. Avoid image repetition – people get very bored of this. You can, however, stick to style and colour scheme that people recognize. It will also help you speed things up when you are creating the images.

So create a set of templates for the various types of headers scubas Blog Posts, Webinar Launch, Course Launch, Quote, Event etc and just update the imagery and copy every time leaving the main layout and colours intact.

Here’s a good layout for a header image that will allow you to change the content whilst keeping the same colour and layout easily:

https://designschool.canva.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/03/30.SampleColours.png

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Content Idea 7. Work on your subtitles.

No matter what type of content you’re creating, never underestimate the value of subtitles. These are great to tell your audience exactly whether they are a good fit for your content. In other words whether they are part of your target audience. Use it in social posts too not only articles!

For example:

Title: Love What You Do!

Subtitle: Actionable tips for passionate women looking for a new job. [notice the Ideal Client description here – underlined]

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Content Idea 8. ‘How To’ Article

Write an instructional article. Teach something simple and, why not, accompany it with a video as part of a content set. Even if your article contains video, use screenshots to explain the process.

A How-To article should contain a step by step process that teaches the reader to achieve a desired outcome. It is not advisable to use paragraphs to explain a process as it often does not really convey the process properly.

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Content Idea 9. Bullet List Post

Create a bullet list article. List useful items for your audience. Whether its websites where they can find resources. Online tools they can use etc, anything that saves your readers time makes a good list.

A good example is the post you’re reading right now.

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Content Idea 10. Online Calculator

Create an online calculator or share how to calculate something. Find the numbers in your game and help your audience get insight using a simple calculation.

For Example: If you’re a business consultant you could ask people to enter some stats like:

Their Turnover

Number of Employees

Profits and calculate their profitability per employee.

You could indicate which brackets are low/high or in serious need of improvement.

This can be a good tool to introduce a service like Creating Lean Processes, Training or Induction Systems for Small Business the outcome of which is to help each employee become more profitable.

Content Ideas: Online Mortgage Calculator to attract real estate buyers
Above: Online Mortgage Calculator to attract real estate buyers

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Content Idea 11. Email Mini course

An Email Mini-Course makes the perfect freebie especially for coaches, speakers and consultants. It gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and establish yourself as knowledgeable in your subject of choice, it helps you develop a relationship with your readers by popping into their inbox daily for a number of days, it gives you the opportunity to invite them to engage with you more effectively or get them interested in something you sell.

Use automated drip email software like Convertkit or Drip to create the course. Both tools give you the option to send the mini-course automatically when someone opts-in by filling a form collecting name and email address. The course can be placed under related posts on your blog or proposed as a freebie on your website.

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Content Idea 12. Pdf Cheatsheet

Create a Downloadable Pdf Cheatsheet as a follow-up to a blog post. For example: if your post is about Facebook marketing then your cheatsheet could be about setting up Facebook ads. It’s a natural next step that your reader will want to learn about. Once you have created the Cheatsheet you will want to turn it into a freebie and make it downloadable from your website or blog.

The easiest way to set-up the download process and email harvesting form is by using Mailchimp (for the free option) or Convertkit if you need drip email. A WordPress plug-in exists for both. The plug-ins enable you to create forms and use them across your WordPress site or blog easily. When people register the details will be inserted directly into Mailchimp or Convertkit and the download link delivered to them according to your settings, the most common one being through a welcome email.

WordPress Freebie Download Plugin for Mailchimp:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/yikes-inc-easy-mailchimp-extender/screenshots/

WordPress Freebie Download for Convertkit:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/convertkit/

If you did not have your site developed in WordPress, there’s a solution for you too. You can use either Leadpages or Convertkit. Both allow you to create a lading page with a form and features to deliver the downloadable freebie with the welcome email. However Leadpages is approximately $300 per year and Convertkit starts at $49 per month.

Content Idea 13. eBook

Write an eBook about your area of expertise. An eBook is usually around 20 to 50 pages long (even longer if you want) it can touch on any topic of expertise and can be sold or given away as a freebie. Here’s a good template to use: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/free-ebook-templates

The great thing about free eBooks is that they can also be sold for free on Amazon and get plenty of exposure for you. Make sure you enter your details at the beginning and back of the book and send your readers to your site to download a reader-only Freebie so you can collect leads from your free Amazon downloads.

http://socialmouths.com/get-your-ebook-on-the-amazon-kindle-store/

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Content Idea 14. White Paper

A white paper is a document which is usually of a technical nature and contains specific information based on actual research. It can help position your expertise in any given topic and is often considered a high value downloadable for which you can a use longer opt-in form.

You will very likely require third party information from research and surveys to create a strong Whitepaper. Make sure all your sources are credited but not back-linked.

Here’s a good article about how to write one:

https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/6496/How-to-Write-a-Whitepaper-That-Will-Capture-Leads.aspx#sm.001wod8t4181qdwvu462pfkbgwezh

Content Idea 15. Free Chapter (even someone else’s)

If you have written an ebook or a book you can offer the first chapter for free and then sell the full book.

Giving a way a free Chapter is a win-win situation. You’re collecting emails of people who are interested in the topic you sell and you’re tempting readers into buying your new book. You’re also positioning yourself as an expert because you’re a published author.

Content Idea 16. Interview

Interview an influencer or rising-influencer who has a similar target market to yours but is not a competitor. Turn it into an article or video content and accompany it with an article for SEO optimization. Interviews make great podcasts too so repurpose it by all means.

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Content Idea 17. Ask Experts a Question

Find a relevant question. You can use Quora.com to find a good question related to your industry. Choose a question that has generated a lot of engagement on quota to make sure you’re making the right choice. Ask that question to a number of influencers. Then create a post quoting their answers.

Accompany it with plenty of imagery carrying mugshots of their popular faces and share to your heart’s delight.

Make sure you get permission to their images and why not make this an opportunity to get to know them better.

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Content Idea 18. Podcast

Create a podcast. Get your best interviews, articles, challenges, video blogs, talks or any other content and repurpose into a podcast. Many influencers started off this way. Make sure you have a tight plan to keep the content regular. Lack of consistency means podcasts don’t get followed and get the proverbial crickets instead. Consistency is important for everything but even more so for podcasts.

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Content Idea 19. Sound Files

Not comfortable with webinars or video just yet? Record your thoughts as a sound file and make them available on your website, product or a mini audio book. You can also couple them with slides for extra impact especially if your topic is complex.

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Content Idea 20. Templates.

No matter what your expertise is, you can create a Template or Checklist to help others do something more quickly. Everyone want to save time and pick an expert’s brain. Share your templates to build your list. 

I’ve created a set of checklists to accompany this article to help my readers action what they read and create consistent systems for creating content. Download it below…

Content Marketing Checklist

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Content Idea 21. Step by Step Process pdf

Teach them how to do something. Pick something like a small tip you’d like to share or something your clients ask about often. Break it down into simple steps and turning it into a 5 step process. Couple it with an infographic for more impact and share profusely.

This kind of document would look more like a detailed manual. It makes a good follow-up freebie to a step-by-step blog post y going into more detail.

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Content Idea 22. Blueprints

Analyse what you do best. Break it down into a process and create a blueprint. Do not give it all away to your competitors but give away enough for your audience to see the value and try some of it for themselves. This will help people understand your strengths and how you work. A Blueprint is a process that has the same )or very similar) outcome for everyone.

This is great for coaches or trainers. You can turn your coaching programmes or processes into a blueprint. As long as it’s unique to you and it’s simple enough to understand and DIY, it will have the impact desired as long as you make sure that your readers can achieve a small tangible outcome in each phase of the Blueprint.

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Content Idea 23. Slideshare

Have a good post or brochure? Turn it into a presentation and upload it to slideshare. You can also repurpose video and sound files this way with a bit of creativity.

Since Slideshare was bought by LinkedIn it also added some new features like links. Make sure you also add a call-to-action and links to your website.

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Content Idea 24. Animation

Create a simple animation of a step by step process instead of a blog post, or even better couple it with a blog post and extract screenshots for an eye-catching content set.

Animation is very simple to achieve in Powerpoint and Keynote. You can export as a move in both. Alternatively you can sure an animator from a website like eLance.com , upwork.com or peopleperhour.com. For simple jobs fiverr.com will do. Make sure you start off with little jobs so that you can test how timely the service is and the level of skill you’re sourcing.

You can also use a simple new tool that hit the market recently called Animoto.

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Content Idea 25. Webinar replay

Do you run webinars? Share a replay as a content throwback. It can help you gauge interest on the topic at hand. You could even ask your audience questions to understand what content they want following this webinar.

You can share your webinar replay on Facebook Pages and Group and also using simple landing page in LeadPages.

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Content Idea 26. 3 second video

If you’ve created video before, all you need to do is edit out a good line into a free standing 3 – 10 second video. Make sure you pick a goo aline that keep your audience wanting more. You can create it by simply recording it through your phone or editing it in iMovie or Movavi for PC.

Create a 3-second video to share on Instagram, Facebook and any platform that will take it.

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Content Idea 27. Quotes

Find a great quote and turn it into an image with your url at the bottom. Of course give credit to whoever the credit is due, but own the design and the url. A good source for quotes is brainyquote.com.

You can create quote imagery in seconds using this simple free tool: http://recite.com/

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Content Idea 28. Go Live!

Go live on Facebook, Instagram or Periscope. It may seem like you need a lot of practice to get good and in fact, you do. That is why you need to start today. Your race to online video confidence starts today. Go live. Cringe. Practice. Improve. Go Live again and Repeat often.

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Content Idea 29. Title-Ride

Use article names that evoke famous book titles or films. For example, I wrote an article once called 50 shades of blue (referring to the blue skies and seas of Malta) it got lots of hits although the content was pretty average and corporate.

Good titles work. Use them. People seek familiarity and they can’t help clicking.

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Content Idea 30. Crack a Joke, Play a Little

Everyone likes a laugh. Cheer up your audience with some humour and watch them come back for more. Keep it light and Playful. Use puns and play on words. Make it short and easily repeatable and let the smiles spread.

Above: Content Marketing Joke
Above: Content Marketing Joke

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Content Idea 31. Live event

Create a live event. Run a webinar with various experts that target the same audience and watch your list grow. Your influence grows by association, be seen with the best people you can collaborate with. Organise a short chat about a topic, an interview. Whatever you have time for make it work by choosing the right topic.

You will have plenty of video snippets and transcription material to create content.

32. Challenge

Run a challenge. Create a challenge whether it’s a 4, 5,10 or 30 day challenge what matters is that your audience has daily wins to keep them coming back. Challenges can be a lot of work so start small and build-in a strong outcome. This will make sure people attend your next challenge.

You should not attempt a challenge until you have a strong understanding of your Ideal Client. So if you’re not totally old on your ICA analysis check out this article: http://www.stephaniefiteni.com/blog/index.php/how-to-clearly-identify-your-ideal-client-for-online-success-in-2017/

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Content Idea 33. Free training

Offer free training. Create a video tutorial or a step by step article. People love to learn new stuff.

If you wan to list-build con;t give it all away. Turn the introduction into a blog post and the meaty step by step part of your webinar into a downloadable video so you can harvest people’s emails.

If you have a budget you can use Wistia Turnstile which is a tool that harvests email directly from your video. Learn more here https://wistia.com/doc/turnstile

 

Content Idea 34. Twitter images

Create easily shareable twitter images. Text doesn’t always cut it. Make sure your scheduling software doesn’t only post links to your twitter  feed but the actual images themselves.

Hootsuite, MeetEdgar, and Postplanner all have the option of loading an image specifically for Twitter.

Great Content Marketing ideasContent Marketing Checklist

Content Idea 35. Pinterest board

Create a Pinterest board that provides inspiration or value to your audience and share to your heart’s content and theirs. Use the same principle as the Youtube Playlist mentioned earlier.

Use keywords when naming and entering description in the boards. Choose relevant and consistent keywords and add pins from influencers and content you want to be associated with.

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Content Idea 36. Allow them to download articles as a pdf

Create a printable version of your article and make it downloadable as a pdf. You can use a longer more detailed version or if your article is very long simply the same version because its easier to read when printed.

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Content Idea 37. Infographics

The human brain is wired to love data. Dig for interesting data in your niche, and turn it into a beautiful visual. You can use static or animated infographics. What matters is that the data is of value and easy to understand. You can get the visuals created by a freelancer on fiverr.com or peopleperhour.com. It’s pretty easy but what matters is that the data is of real value. Infographics get more shares when they’re actionable.

There are also some good tools you can use to create your own infographics:

The best ones are certainly canva.com and piktochart.com

If you want to push the envelope and really impress try an animated infographic using Biteable. A little bit of a steeper learning curve but worth the results. https://biteable.com/

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Content Idea 38. Timeline

Create a historical timeline of something interesting that happened in your industry. For example: if you’re a health coach you could create a timeline of the use of Ginger over the ages.

Credit: Canadianbusiness.com

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Content Idea 39. Website Copy

Don’t forget your web copy. When SEO-ed this can become a window into your website. If you base your website structure on keyword research then you’re much more likely to be found. Research keywords that already have traffic in your industry, then make sure you create pages (and blog content too) that target the keywords that have traffic.

Do not forget to check your keywords’ difficult score. You can do this using Hubspot, SEO MOZ or SEM Rush. There’s also a free tool but I cannot assure you this is effective as I’ve always used paid tools for this. http://www.webseoanalytics.com/free/seo-tools/keyword-difficulty.php

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Content Idea 40. About Us Page

Never underestimate your About page. I have worked in web departments for the last 15 years and I can confirm what 9 out of 10 site owners will tell you, the most clicked page in any website is the ‘about’ page.

You should weave your website’s mission into this page. If it needs to sell then make sure it does. If it needs to position you as an expert then make sure it does just that. Whatever you do use it wisely.

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Content Idea  41. FAQs

Add some FAQs to your website. Especially if your content is technical in nature you can use FAQs to cover the same content in a simpler way, which is often the way people search. It’s also useful if your product or service actually require this. You can also pepper this information with suggestions on why they should be looking to use your products or services.

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Content Idea 42. LI Profile copy

Make sure your linkedIn profile copy is up to date. If you’re applying for a job or pitching for new clients make sure it’s not a copy of your CV or your About page. Keep it different but highly relevant. Always start with the most recent and important information because most people will only read the first sentence or two.

State your intentions in the first sentence. If you’re looking for a new job or a particular type of client, make sure you put that in your first sentence. Also make sure you keep it up to date. People who know you and know what you do will notice gaps in your profile and this will not work in your favour.

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Content Idea 43. LI Publications

Make sure you add your published content on LinkedIn. Whether it’s a press release to promote a new product release or an article in the Huffington Post make sure you feature it. Use your content smartly to convey what you want your reader to perceive about you and your company.

In fact make sure you keep it relevant. You don;t need to add every publication and project you contributed to, just the ones that can help you get the kind of work or business you’re looking for. LinkedIn can be overwhelming if you add too much information, make sure that what matters can be found and easily spotted while scrolling.

In fact use strong imagery to attract attention to key sections you want your audience to read.

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Content Idea 44. Testimonials

These are the holy gail of online trust. It is one of the Key elements mentioned by Daniel Priestly in Key Person of Influence. Social Proof is key to developing trust online so whenever you can get a testimonial and once you get a few work them hard.

Add them to your website, request them on LinkedIn, Add them to your case studies and why not, add a great quote from a client to your email signature. Include names and logos, trust can be ‘borrowed’ long enough to make a first sale, then your next job is to impress them.

Great Content Marketing ideasContent Marketing Checklist

Content Idea 45. FB Profile Content

Your Facebook Profile is often the first impression people get of you. Make sure you fill in all the information especially your social links your website and your side images. Use every feature to make sure people can see everything you offer. If you have a freebie or a Facebook Group add those too.

If you have relevant work experience that positions you as a valuable source of knowledge indoor field make sure you add it too. Although Facebook is technically not for business actually it works wonders to win you work so don’t be tempted to devalue it.

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Content Idea 46. FB Competitions

Create a Facebook competition to harvest leads. Use a third party Facebook competition app like guavabox.com to create a competition with a price. They’re very good at boosting your page’s engagement.

Make sure you choose a prize that is directly relevant to your product. Don’t give away iPads if you sell make-up you’ll get a totally irrelevant audience. By all means do give away iPads if you sell them in your online store and perhaps offer a discount to all the participants that didn’t win.

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Content Idea 47. Illustrations

Create original illustrations. In a world where templates are the rule original artworks still kill it. Make sure you hire a professional to create your illustrations. I’ve been disappointed when trying to go cheap a whole range of suppliers and skillets are available out there find a good price/skill balance and make sure you give a good clear description of the expected outcome.

Above: Illustration by Nabhan Abdullatif
Above: Illustration by Nabhan Abdullatif

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Content Idea 48. Case Studies

Create a case study about a client’s story. Choose well, make sure the message is largely relatable to your target audience and couple it with a testimonial. Use video or articles with imagery for authenticity.

As is the case with all of your online efforts, think first of what you want to sell and how you want to sell it then you can get clear on what case studies you need. The fist step is to identify what you want to sell and to who. Then pick the best case study from your portfolio to persuade them.

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Content Idea 49. News Jacking

News Jacking is when you use current news and connect it to what you do or sell or do) to catch current interest and boost short term traffic.

Check out the book it can work wonders for your business https://www.amazon.com/Newsjacking-Inject-Breaking-Generate-Coverage-ebook/dp/B0065MKMMS

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Content Idea 50. Guest Posting

Guest posting is an obvious one. You might think I am already producing so much content! How do I keep up with guest posting as well. You can start off with blogs or online magazines that do not request original content. Alternatively you can look at some old post and repurpose them and re-write them in a style and tone that fits the online platform you want to be a guest blogger on.

You may also want to pitch first without actually creating new content. it will save you plenty of time and you will get lucky at some point. The secret is to keep trying, keep improving your pitching skills.

Here’s a good article to start you off on the path to writing the perfect pitch.

https://www.writingrevolt.com/how-to-pitch-a-guest-post/

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Content Idea 51. An image of you!

Use images of yourself. You may say but no-one knows me. How are people supposed to get to know you if you don’t use pictures of yourself? Get some professional photos taken and use them online.

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Content Idea 52. Image Tips

Use an image to give tips. Top Tip Tuesdays, or Tippy Fridays is just an example. Share a tip using an easy to understand image. Make sure your images are all consistent. Same layout, same colours, same font and add your blog url at the bottom.

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Content Idea 53. Learn how to hashtag

Hashtag but please do it properly. There is nothing worse than people who hashtag without having any idea how to do it. Not sure if you’re doing it right? Check this out http://mashable.com/2013/10/08/what-is-hashtag/#HvL_SZLQrPqx

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Content Idea 54. Snapchat video

Create a short Snapchat video. This new and up and coming platform will be very useful to businesses in the short term. It’s already happening jump in now!

Check out this article about how businesses are using Snapchat: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-ways-to-use-snapchat-for-business/

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Content Idea 55. Edit a famous image or video

Are there any viral videos out there related to your product or perhaps a famous image. Edit them to give them a twist that connects them to your product. A good example is the Mona Lisa or the Scream they have been used and reused so many times yet it’s still very effective because everyone knows them

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Content Idea 56. Industry Benchmarks

Make sure you get your data from a reliable source and get creative with visuals and interpretations. Data is like honey for your audience, people just love it. Benchmarks garner interest because people want to understand how they measure up.

You can also couple this with a survey and give people a comparative result with the benchmark.

Above: Image and Research by Marketinprofs
Above: Image and Research by Marketing profs

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Content Idea 57. Collect data and report on recent surveys from good sources

Not sure you can find data related to your industry? Create a survey and get your own data. Its easy and simple and it’s a great idea to make your audience and prospects think about your product or service the way you do.

It’s also an easy way to segment your list and collect more information about people registering for the first time. You can also create a leads funnel that eventually turn s these survey takers into customers. Read The Ask Method by Ryan Levesque. It’s a great book that explains step-by-step how to survey and segment your audience to increase sales.

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Content Idea 58. Take a picture with someone famous (someone your audience cares about)

Go to a conference and find a celebrity your audience love. Get a picture with them and make sure you share it lots and tell the story. If you can get to know them a bit better and have a story to tell your audience even better.

 

Content Idea 59. Create an Instagram story

Create an Instagram story about your brand or a problem you resolve it only takes 3 seconds literally. The most effective way of generating engagement with Stories is by creating a sequence that keeps unfolding in the various videos.

This could also be a series of tips or series of testimonials.

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Content Idea 60. Facebook articles

You’ve probably heard about the new Facebook articles. It’ s a mobile publishing format that enables news publishers to distribute articles to Facebook’s app this mean they load and display 10 times faster than the standard mobile web. Say hello to more readers.

https://instantarticles.fb.com/

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Content Idea 61. LinkedIn pulse

LinkedIn Pulse is the content publishing platform on LinkedIn. Available only to personal profiles this platform is an amazing way to connect and share your content. LinkedIn enthusiasts will tell you its better to publish your entire article on linked, however I disagree. You need your call to action, link to the full length article or a link to a downloadable to take people to your website. Content is futile if it doesn’t provide you with new leads. Make sure you’re getting people’s emails you don’t own linked it could be gone (or change) tomorrow.

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Content Idea 62. Add seasonal material

Of course, it might seem like you’re jumping on the bandwagon but if you’re on time (meaning you start before everyone else) then it will work just fine. Make sure you show appreciation and give more generously for special times of the year. You may also want to check your typical client and see what is the predominant religion of your audience, this often means different celebrations although around the same times of year.

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Content Idea 63. Curate some content

Busy? Curate some content. Find good content out there from a non-competitive source and share it. Use the RSS feed option available in most scheduling software to post directly to you social media platforms once you identify a good source. My favourite tool for this is Hootsuite. Here’s a tutorial on how to set them up: https://blog.hootsuite.com/hoottip-how-to-set-up-your-rss-feed-in-hootsuite/

If a feed does not exist for the blog you want to repost through RSS you can use feed burner to create one for free. It’s free service offered by Google https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/myfeeds?gsessionid=hrIkqfD_jdb_rhCtHuBafPvcRSODkvch

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Content Idea 64. Crowdsource

Want to sell more products. Crowdsource your content. Find similar businesses that would love to tap into your audience. Write some guidelines for posting on your blog and make sure you make it as easy as possible for people to guest post on your blog.

Make sure you spread the word to your list, on your social media channels and also at live events and networking opportunities. It’s important that you create a blog mission statement and a process for guest bloggers to follow.

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Content Idea 65. Email a celebrity

Email a celebrity and ask them a question. Use the quote for an article. For an example checkout the introduction to this article 😉

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Content Idea 66. Stroll down memory lane

Find something interesting. History is a big resource (and so is Wikipedia) it’s a wealth of interesting stories and facts you can share with your audience. Create an article on how past influencers in your sphere (or theirs) did it. For example if you’re a designer you could create post about the history of the Coca-Cola or the Apple Brand.

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Content Idea 67. Look to the future

Find out what’s coming in your industry what’s gonna be the next big thing and make sure you learn and write about it as much as you can. If you don’t know much take a course, it will pay off in engagement and thank you’s from your audience.

Nobody can foretell the future but certain industries like marketing and tech always have the next big thing to talk about. If your industry doesn’t have the next-big-thing connect to that of another industry and speculate to create some buzz.

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Content Idea 68. Events – before, during and after

Promote events and cover what is happening before, during and after. Make sure you use lots of real life imagery and live video. People like to be the fly on the wall at events. It doesn’t have to be your own. If it’s of interest to your audience then it’s worth sharing.

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Content Idea 69. Online Summit

Create a full blown online seminar with multiple speakers. Make it engaging and interactive and make sure you repurpose all the videos as blog posts for SEO as explained in point 1. Why not also get help to create content and get it shared by the other speakers.

Credit: Online Summit at www.miguelruiz.com
Credit: Online Summit at www.miguelruiz.com

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Content Idea 70. Blog Post sequences

Create a blog post series to keep your audience coming back. Make sure you create a series of images that clearly show this is a series of posts and provide clear instructions on where they can follow you or register so that they get notified when the next one from the series is out.

Good series topics are tutorials or step by step processes that help you learn about connected topics for example if you’re all about improving people’s lives you may want to have a series of posts covering all the different aspects such as personal relationships, wellbeing, health and career.

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Content Idea 71. 4-Part video course

Create a 4 part video course to keep people coming back to your blog. This is similar to 70. However it’s done with video, by keeping them waiting for the next one in the series you can build repeat traffic.

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Content Idea 72. Storytelling

Tell some great stories. If you’re a solopreneur dig deep into your personal stories and find stories that excite you. Like the first time you sold a VIP package, or when you won the tennis championship. You can connect anything if you put your mind to it. Focus on the story first and connect it to your work later.

If you run a small business look at the people in your team and find the stories that hold the emotions and passions in your business. People love stories they can relate to, make sure they are relatable to your target audience. Often it’s about a different angle not a different story.

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Content Idea 72. Controversy

Fold in some controversy. Make statements that divide people into two sides like “SEO is dead.” Keep to one side but state your reasons clearly. Makes sure you let others comment too, the idea is to get engagement, this kind of content is ideal for that. You might get some hot-headed comments but it’s a risk that pays off. Be prepared to answer clearly so make sure you feel strongly about your position before you attempt this.

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Content Idea 73. Planners

Create a planner or calendar that your audience might find useful. It could also be a food diary or something similar for products. You can do this very easily. Start off but downloading a free calendar template. Go to www.timeanddate.com, choose your country and the type of format you want and download the free template for that calendar. Then open the calendar in Numbers or Excel and edit it accordingly. Once you’re happy with the result print it to pdf (on a PC you can do this using Primo Pdf free) on a mac this is one of the save as features.

Once you have your calendar ready as a pdf use pdfEscape.com to turn the calendar into an interactive pdf that your readers can fill in with their information by simply typing in the pdf and saving it. Make sure you remind them to open it on their computer, not in the browser because otherwise, they will lose all the information they type in it.

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Content Idea 74. Roundup post – best of…

Re-use old posts in a new post by creating an inventory of links and descriptions of the best posts of 2016. I’m sure we can all remember receiving one of these.

This usually starts with ‘Here are our most clicked posts of 2016’ or our most clicked of the month would work too.

Here’s a good example of such a post:

https://www.trustfuel.com/best-customer-success-posts-2016/

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Content Idea 75. Talk about new trends

Talk about new trends, mention them often, hashtag them and make sure you learn as much as you can about them. New trends will fast become current technology so make sure you’re up to scratch. I believe it was Michael Porter in The Hard Thing About Hard Things who said ‘I’m not Techy enough is the a business makes when it’s about to die’

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Content Idea 76. Write a post on Medium.com

Medium is an online publishing platform developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, it launched in August 2012 and is not connected to Twitter.

Medium can help you get followed on social media you use their platform to distribute your content. It is also a place where you can engage with publications in your industry.

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Content Idea 77. Youtube weekly Programme

Create a weekly video will keep your audience coming back for more. This, however requires a lot of work so you need to make sure you can work it into your schedule.

You can make it feasible by keeping it short but pack lots of value in it. So choose your topics wisely and make sure you have asked peers and ideal clients for their feedback so you focus your efforts on popular topics.

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Content Idea 78. Relevant links and keywords

Do your SEO research and make sure you have a series of evergreen posts that are highly SEO-ed to target your main keywords. Make sure your blog has a lot of relevant links and keywords.

You may also want to start a link-building campaign. An easy way to build links is by going to

site you would like to link to you and run a link check using http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/ once you find the list of broken links go through them and pinpoint the ones that could point to your content. Then you write to the editor saying you noticed the link was broken and mention that you have the perfect piece to link to instead. Most people will take you up on this offer and it all free.

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Content Idea 79. Visualise Data Comparisons in pretty Graphs

Learn some simple excel tools and visualise some data in pretty graphs. People love comparison graphs make sure you  find relevant data that looks awesome when you compare. If you want to really look pro you can use https://infogr.am/ it makes your data come to life and you can even connect to a live data feed. Infogram also give you the option to take this to a fully fledged infographic, but the bit you have to check out is the data visualisation. It’s practically the only tool out there that does it so beautifully.

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Content Idea 80. Moving Still Image

There are some snazzy new tools out there to create animated images. Create a compelling message through imagery or slide by slide text in animated gifs or use a cool image tools. They’re great to show step by step processes or explain a quick concept in 3 or 4 frames.

A great way to use gifs is to create a very fast slideshow and propose the readers ask themselves a question and then answer it by taking a screenshot of the fast infographic which  results in an answer. For example:

You can make the craziest gifs at https://giphy.com or upload you own images to create a gif animation on http://gifcreator.me/

They’re great for turning data visuals into animations or emphasising emotions by using a movie snippet. Do not go overboard with these though they can make you look silly.

Caption: Content is hard work! especially when you're a cat.
Caption: Content is hard work! especially when you’re a cat. – from giphy.com

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Content Idea 81. Create a charity campaign

Don’t want to spend a lot of money on PPC. Allocate your budget to a charity campaign. I’ve used this many times and it really works if you know where to find the right target market. Just give a small donation for each page like. Make sure your audience can follow the story of where the charity money is going to be used and ask people to share.

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Content Idea 82. Use typography well

Use typography creatively to stand out. With so many self-taught designers the pros still stand out through their knowledge of typography. Find yourself a good designer and ask him to create your message in a great typographic style.

See some typographic imagery for inspiration here: https://designshack.net/articles/inspiration/typographic-posters-100-stunning-examples/

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Content Idea 83. Coin a word or expression

Invent a new word or expression to describe something you do. It doesn’t have to be unique it can just be a simpler way of describing something that already has many names. During one of my webinars I once coined a word which I still use now. I call it UPP. My Client’s Unique Personal Proposition. It means your unique traits that are a good fit for your ideal prospects. Now try finding yours.

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Content Idea 84. Brand your personality

Make your personality your brand. Exaggerate certain elements of your personality and let them come out in your day to day writing. Make sure you aim for consistency and quality.

Great Content Marketing ideasContent Marketing Checklist

Content Idea 85. Share a Google doc (or dropbox)

Share something valuable. You don t need to subscribe to an expensive service you can do it simply through Google or dropbox.

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Content Idea 86. Build Skyscraper Content

Find link-worthy content, Make something even better and reach out to the right people to make it known.  Check out this case study to learn more about it: http://backlinko.com/skyscraper-technique

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Content Idea 87. Do something wild and document it.

Thinking of doing a skydive. Live stream it. Connect it to your business. Say something deep or funny and make it visually entertaining, anything out of the norm will get you some attention and make you stand out. The world needs more exciting content!

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Content Idea 88. Run an experiment

Do you have an idea you haven’t validated? Run an experiment Keep a diary and turn that into an article. I did this after interviewing an engineer about the Facebook algorithm. I was so intrigued I wanted to see how it would work so I ran a test for 12 weeks. Here’s the article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-fiteni/my-12-week-online-visibil_b_10173710.html

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Content Idea 89. Praise someone.

There are many people worthy of praise even in your own industry. If you notice someone doing something great write about it, appreciation stories are loved by many.

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Content Idea 90. Stop being so serious and share some feel good.

I love the way Lana Schlafer will just record herself dancing and just put it online to share her joy. What do you do that’s fun? Share some of that.

Lana Schlafer
Above: Lana Schlafer

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Content Idea 91. Measure and give them more of what they like.

Make sure you watch your stats and write more content that people want. Take it to the next level but only for topics you’re getting good feedback on. The ration is usually 1 in 10.

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Content Idea 92. Interactive pdfs

Use interactive pdfs to help people follow processes. Make this the follow-up to your blog post or article. Use pdfescape.com to make your pdfs fillable.

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Content Idea 93. Write A letter.

Simply because it’s rare, it’s impact has returned. Write a real letter and post it, the traditional way with a stamp. If you want to impact someone specifically then send them a letter. If you sell a business to business product, then you can actually reach many this way just by dipping into your local business directory and making some calls to get the decision-makers’ name.

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Content Idea 94. Use Snapchat

Create a sweet/cool or scary video on snapchat, and share to your delight. Some magazine companies and media channels are actually using this channel to distribute their articles, paired with video. It’s a fantastic platform. Checkout how businesses are using it here http://digiday.com/media/publishers-approaching-snapchat-discover/

Learn how to create your own story here.

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-create-a-snapchat-story#sm.001wod8t4181qdwvu462pfkbgwezh

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Content Idea 95.Quote Yourself

Do you repeat the same stuff all the time to your clients or prospects? Turn that into an original quote signed by you and share it with people who love quotes.

Find two or three things you always say to your clients and make them your quotes. The ones that will set you apart and attract the kind of people you want to work with.

You can create quote images in seconds using this simple free tool: http://recite.com/

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Content Idea 96. Create Stories

Create an Instagram or Facebook story that continues from video to video to keep them coming back for more.

Explain a process or a hack.

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Content Idea 97. Pepper your logo with seasoning.

Change your logo based on the season add a Christmas hat or creepy spiders for Halloween to it.

Apple Logo with Christmas Hat
Apple Logo with Christmas Hat

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Content Idea 98. Organise a raffle.

Want to get some buzz on your Facebook page. Raffle some prizes and ask people to like, share or engage with you to participate. Or even better ask them to give you their email for the draw.

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Content Idea 99. Do an industry round-up.

Find out what the best in your industry are doing right now and write a post about it. Find out what they’re saying about the topic you’re covering and create a series of quotes to go with your article.

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Content Idea 100. Create a Shortlist

Make a short list as a pdf or blog post of the best free resources your ideal client can find. Create a shortlist of tools used for a specific outcome. For example a set of tools to create online funnels or a set of tools to cite really hot graphics.

Make sure the outcome of these tools is closely matched to what your ideal client avatar wants to achieve.

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Content Idea 101. Merge and Recycle.

Find your best content whether it’s video, imagery or articles and merge them into new content. Edit videos and perhaps add a new voice, et voila, you have fresh content in half the time.

No matter how many of these tips you decide to use and how often you create content, consistency is the key to growing your following. Make sure you keep it regular and relevant and have fun with it.

But before you go ahead and start creating content profusely, you need to nail your Unique Personal Proposition. You need to nail your UPP so you know what makes you different and stay relevant. Make sure you know your target audience well and that you write your strategy down.

That’s how you make sure you stand out and grow your audience!

So there you have it. 101 tips for you to dive into when it’s online marketing time. 

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