11 Places To Find Content Your Community Will +1

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I talk to clients everyday about content. Where is it coming from? Who will write it? Where should we post it? I used to think that public speaking was the average person’s greatest fear. I am now convinced that they fear content!

What’s to fear? It’s just words right?

Well, yes and no. Content, especially in today’s marketing world, is very important. Some say it is King. And the quality of that content could mean the difference between marketing success and a marketing FAIL.

But don’t worry. Good content is easy to find. You just gotta know where to look for it. In this post I will share with you 3 sources of good content available to you everyday and how you can put it to use…

1 – Your Inbox

Email inboxes are perfect places to look for content. Yes, that beast you wrestle with everyday could actually be the answer to your content woes. Content inspiration from email can happen a few ways:

  1. Questions or comments from clients
    These are fantastic sources of content because they are coming right from the source, the target you are aiming for. These are the folks you are trying to reach in the first place. If they ask you a question, use your answer as the foundation for a blog post. It might even make sense to feature the question in the post to give it a real world feel.
  2. Articles, newsletters, feeds
    I subscribe to lots of newsletters and feeds. I love them. But, I don’t read all of them. I don’t have time. Who does? What I do is scan them for something topical, relevant, interesting, whatever. I’ll read those and sometimes I’ll write a blog post about what I’ve read, citing the article in the blog post. This is great content for my site as well as exposure for the site where I read the article.
  3. Requests for proposals
    I don’t know about you, but I get lots of these — potential clients asking for job quotes. They can come in many shapes and sizes, some formal and some informal. What you want to pay attention to is which ones grab your attention. Which requests get you excited? Which ones do you really want to turn into a sale? Read these carefully.Pay attention to the words they use. Pay attention to how they ask questions and how they position the “need”. This is how these clients think about what it is that you do. Use this as a guide for writing your site’s content. Write your services page or your about us page with these people in mind, using language and words that they would use.

2 – Social Media

Lots of great content comes from lots of great content. This post is a combination of some of my own ideas, some things I’ve read and lots of information I’ve gathered through the use of social media. Here are a few of the ways I use social media to find good content…
  1. Twitter
    I love Twitter. I follow lots of people in my industry. They post links to articles on what I do. They talk about issues in my world. They talk about new trends, tools, etc. They inspire me to write blog posts, to post my own stuff on Twitter and often times I find great new ways of thinking about old ideas. And this can be a catalyst for change, changing my site, my message, etc.
  2. Facebook
    A lot of the same from Twitter applies. One thing I think is interesting to look at is what gets attention. What pages not only have tons of likes but also have fans that are engaged? What are they saying and how can I borrow from their success. Using the same type of sticky content on your website or blog could be very effective, as long as it makes sense in relation to your other content.
  3. Quora
    If you are not on Quora, get on it! This is an awesome resource for content. It is essentially a question and answer site but it goes much deeper. Here you can search topics, ask questions, answer questions, vote on answers, etc. Use this as your own personal research tool. Want to know what a bunch of people think about a topic? Ask them. The answers they give will undoubtedly inspire you to write some really powerful stuff for your website, blog or social channels.
  4. Google+
    If you are one of the cool people on Google+ already you will know that it is a combination of all of these things in many ways. There are some great conversations going on here that can be good fuel for your content creation. Give it some time and I think this will become a top source for great content.

3 – Life

No, I’m not getting new age or hippie on you. But, think about it. We walk around with blinders on so much of the time. Inspiration is everywhere. If you bury your head in your work, you are missing the big picture. Here are some everyday sources of content inspiration right under your nose…
  1. Children
    They say the darndest things. And sometimes they say things that can really inspire, if you listen. They offer a fresh perspective on things that we’ve missed for quite some time. Reconnect. Try asking them what they think about something if your profession. The ideas they share will at the very least be entertaining but could also inspire some fresh content ideas for you.
  2. Advertising
    It’s everywhere, some of it is good, some is really bad. All of it can help you think about your approach to messaging. What grabs your attention? What drives you completely insane?How are these things working or not working. Sometimes I will see an ad for something totally unrelated to my profession but something about the pitch gets me thinking. Try looking at advertising with a filter – how could I use this? You might be surprised what ideas are out there and how you can use those ideas in your own content.
  3. Television, Books, Art, Music, Etc.
    Inspiration can come from lots of places. The trick to finding it is knowing how to look at things. The worst content is the boring kind. The kind that exists in a vacuum with no obvious inspiration, just boring copy from boring people. Expand your influences.Cultural experiences can be a great source of inspiration for your content. The phrasing of a song, the exchange between two characters on your favorite show, the way a piece of art grabs and holds your attention. Pay attention to these things and use them in your writing.
  4. Family and friends
    Especially the ones that have no idea what it is you do. They will show you so much. Think about it, you spend your days in your world, they do not.What you take for granted as basic knowledge, they may have no earthly clue about. When you discuss “what you do” with them, pay attention to their reactions and their questions. They might point out something to you that you never thought of, bam, a blog post is born!
What are your sources of inspiration? What gets your juices flowing? Let me know with a comment below.
Image source: Shutterstock.com

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