“What am I going to write about?” That’s the content marketer’s constant challenge. In fact, the number of sources is endless. You just have to have the right mindset.
Let’s remember what content marketing is. While there are any number of definitions out there, I think of it very simply: Content marketing is sharing something useful or interesting that will attract traffic to your site.
That might be as complicated as a video that takes weeks to produce, or as simple as a movie review.
But the content marketers I work with complain about what I call “content marketer’s block” — they don’t know what to write about. I’m coaching two brilliant people like this right now; they hired me to help edit their blog posts, they’ve developed a plan and a point of view, and yet they don’t seem to able to produce much in the way of content.
Of course, at the other end of the spectrum are daily bloggers, like me. Unless you are brimming with ideas and time, I don’t recommend that you do this. But surely you can produce more.
The content marketer’s mindset: mining your experience
Your job as a content marketer is develop insights and perspectives that are useful or interesting to your audience and to write about them. Those insights and perspectives should be new. If someone else has already written a nice post about the five-step process for securing a business loan, then we don’t need yours.
Luckily, there is an endless source of new material: your life. You just need to change your mindset. You need to recognize that the things that you think are new, or unusual, or funny are likely to be interesting to others as well.
Specifically, any of these ideas could be blog posts, podcasts, or sharable videos:
Notice that none of these say “Look how great our company is.” Nobody wants to read that. But they do say “Our company has a useful and interesting point of view.”
How to do newsjacking properly
David Meerman Scott has written a whole book on the topic of newsjacking — using news events as a hook for your opinions. It’s easy to do this clumsily; just because the Republicans passed a tax plan, that doesn’t mean you need to write about it. But if, in the course of your daily keeping up with news, you have a differentiated perspective on what you read, newsjacking is effective. Here’s how to do it:
“But what if I don’t have any ideas?”
If you can’t do any of these things that I’ve described, you’re no content marketer. Get a different job.
If these ideas intrigue you but you don’t know what to say about them, you’re not a content marketer, either. Content marketers need a point of view, and the ability to express it.
But if you’re a decent writer who’s got a healthy curiosity, I just gave you seven good strategies on how to create useful content. What’s stopping you?
This article originally appeared on Josh Bernoff’s blog withoutbullshit.com