When it comes to content marketing, a question I’m often asked is “where can I come up with good ideas?” It’s an important question.
I think everyone who creates anything has had the experience of staring at a blank screen, knowing they need to create but not able to get started.
One of the easiest ways to create content is on your computer right now. Or in your pocket, smartphone or possibly (If you are old school like me) in a planner on your desk.
It’s your calendar!
You can literally use your calendar to create content quickly and easily.
It’s true, your calendar can be a great source of things to write about, or curate.
In a moment I’ll share eight specific ideas for using this method of creating content. Ideas on which you can take action today.
But first, three concepts that are important.
- Use humor where you can. People love to smile. If you can bring them a smile today (even a little one) you will have done a good thing.
- Use odd holidays to surprise readers. One of my more popular articles is about Groundhog day and follows this “surprise readers” model. No one expected me to write about Groundhog day. You can read that article here.
- These calendar-based articles make great social media content. They are easy to write and easy to share. Take short excerpts and share them on Twitter, Facebook and more.
Now, on to the list of ideas. I hope you find them helpful.
The major holidays are a time of sharing. Sometimes, over sharing. So avoid using the tired approaches and go for something more original.
Personal insights, or sharing from your own history, are particularly effective writing techniques at major holiday times.
Major holidays (Christmas, New Year’s, 4th of July in the U.S.) are often very emotional. So share openly, be transparent and look for readers to respond more during these times.
People love lists and “insider” tips. If you can provide these as seasons start your articles will be popular. Sharing will increase because your article (written by you or curated) will have staying power.
By writing about seasons that are just starting (write about fall in September) you help people look ahead, prepare and plan.
And those are the feelings you want from readers – that you are thoughtful and helpful.
What To Do Now
Speaking of helping people plan ahead, sharing what is coming next in your local area or industry is very helpful to most readers.
People are pressed for time. The more you become a clearinghouse for what’s coming next the more happy readers you will attract.
History of Holidays
Digging into the history of major holidays can be very effective and interesting.
More than just saying “Happy New Year” sharing some background about how the holiday came to be, different ways it is celebrated around the world and more can be both entertaining and fun for you to write.
One word of caution – avoid controversy by taking the fun out of beloved holidays with too many “facts”.
Staying positive and fun is always a good choice.
Lessons from History
One of the most interesting types of articles to write is the “did you know” article.
Many holidays have been turning points in history. Readers love to read little tidbits of what happened in history, especially if it relates to their lives or industry.
In the publishing world, one of the most durable models is the “this day in history” approach. You can use the same approach.
Speaking of industries, did you know that most industries have trade associations that keep up with the history of their trade?
This can be a wonderful place to find the material you need for your calendar-based content marketing.
Writing articles that feature upcoming events can be fun and profitable. People love to know what’s coming next.
The more you can share about what’s happening next in your world the better.
Invite readers of your blog to share what they know about what’s coming next in your business or area of interest, and then curate that content into an article.
Be sure to give your visitors credit inside the article (and a link) and you will make a friend for life.
Week in Review
If you have an email list and are not sure what to send them, consider a “week in review” article once a week.
This is very popular with readers, and positions you as a voice of authority. After all, you see the big picture!
Writing this article is easy. Subscribe to the top ezines or lists in your industry and recap what you are sent once a week.
Don’t copy from their emails, just write the recap in your own words.
Better yet, make a list of the top 20 blogs in your field and visit them once a week, gathering information to curate into one powerful and helpful article.
I hope these ideas make creating, or curating, content easier than ever.
Content marketing is the #1 method of marketing online, and leads to all sorts of wonderful things like building your own list, finding loyal customers and more.
Now you know that something as simple as your calendar can not only keep you on track, but provide boundless content ideas too!
And having boundless ideas is a beautiful thing indeed!