75 Content Starters for Any Industry

This post originally appeared on Moz.com by  Amanda Gallucci

Suffering from blank-page anxiety? Before you go on the hunt for inspiration all over the Internet and elsewhere, turn to the resources around you and realize that you can create exceptional content with what you already have at hand.

Thinking of content topics doesn’t have to be such a long and grueling undertaking. Use the following starting points the next time you need an idea.

Individual achievement

  1. Talk about a transition to a new role and how you had to adapt your skills to succeed.
  2. Think of lessons you learned the hard way and share with those who are just starting out.
  3. Describe your thought process for approaching different tasks in a way that will help others be better organized or prepared.
  4. Write about a mentor figure or a brand you admire. Explain why this person or company has excelled, and how others may be able to follow a similar path.
  5. Share your action plan for the future. Give people a sneak peak of what’s to come and talk through the steps you’ll take to accomplish your goals.

Shining example: Rand’s announcement of his changing role at Moz

Tools

  1. Create a video tutorial that walks people through how to use a tool for a specific task.
  2. Review a new or lesser-known tool that you believe more people should use.
  3. Present creative, alternate ways of using a tool, including plugins and combinations that make using multiple tools together advantageous.
  4. If there’s an in-house tool that you use, put together a case study of why it’s better than some of the commercial tools that other brands use.
  5. Perform the same task with a few different tools. Note which one is most cost effective, easiest to use, saved you the most time, etc.

Lists

  1. Compile resources for different subjects and skill levels.
  2. Gather content that shows the best examples of what people should be striving for.
  3. Rank your favorite tools, blogs, ads, etc.
  4. Give reasons why someone should or should not follow a certain tactic or strategy.
  5. Curate useful content and put together “best of” lists.

Shining example: Point Blank SEO’s Complete List of Link Building Strategies

Internal resources

  1. Ask the sales team what their most common roadblocks are. What content can you put together that will aid them in illustrating the solution?
  2. Sit in on meetings in different departments. Take what you’ve observed about their communication styles and workflow and turn it into content about processes such as effective ways to brainstorm or overcoming internal objections.
  3. Find out what questions your account managers get asked most frequently. Put together a blog post or other resource that lays out the answers.
  4. Request that every department share their biggest accomplishments on a monthly or quarterly basis. Select at least one to develop a case study.
  5. Get to know your coworkers. Find out more about their backgrounds, their daily routines, and future aspirations. You can highlight employees in a video or blog series introducing your team, or better yet, you can learn a new way of thinking or working that you can write about.

Industry

  1. Find an opinion piece that people in your space are discussing. Back it up with new research or make a case for the other side of the argument.
  2. Explain the steps that your company is taking in response to a new policy affecting your industry.
  3. Introduce a new technique or strategy you’re using. Detail why this could work better than industry techniques that are becoming stale.
  4. Comment on a trend you see emerging and why or why not it should continue.
  5. Share tips and best practices.

Shining example: Copyblogger’s How to Write the In-Depth Articles that Google Loves

How-to

  1. Have each person on your team write down a five step process that takes them through a daily task start to finish. This can be used for an email campaign or a blog or video series.
  2. Ask your leadership team for pointers on how they’ve developed the business and how they keep it running smoothly.
  3. What skills would be helpful for your customers to have so that they could better understand your product/service or use it more easily? Teach them.
  4. Write down the steps you took in a successful campaign. Layout this process so that it can be repeated.
  5. Interview several experts on the same topic, asking each how he or she accomplishes a certain goal.

Company culture

  1. Get involved in your community and volunteer. Talk about what you’re doing and why it’s important to you.
  2. Ask coworkers to each share one benefit of working at the company that they’ve never experienced at another job.
  3. Have someone from the leadership team discuss the company’s core values and why they are integral to the brand.
  4. Congratulate new hires and talk about why they’re great fits for the team.
  5. Let interns shadow an employee for a day and write about what a day in the life of someone in this role entails.

Shining example: Buffer’s transparent look at their salary formula

Educational series

  1. Teach a skill or illustrate how to use a tool or software.
  2. Put together a set of lessons that will take someone through an entire plan or strategy.
  3. Summarize long articles or eBooks into short snippets, highlighting the actionable takeaways.
  4. Create quizzes and interactive lessons and then post a walkthrough of how to arrive at the correct answer.
  5. Host a workshop or lunch and learn for your team internally, and film it or have someone create a summary.

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