Create Infinite Killer Content Ideas for Your Blog | Laurie Wang | Skillshare

Create Infinite Killer Content Ideas for Your Blog

Laurie Wang, Digital Marketing Instructor and Teacher

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9 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Introduction to This Course

      1:28
    • 2. Your Class Project

      0:33
    • 3. Welcome and Introduction

      4:11
    • 4. Who Are Your Readers?

      8:34
    • 5. Building Your Audience

      5:43
    • 6. Create Viral Content Ideas

      3:54
    • 7. Useful Tools to Find Content Ideas

      4:39
    • 8. Create Great Blog Content

      5:19
    • 9. Recap and Summary

      2:54

About This Class

For most beginner bloggers and even experienced ones, after you have created a blog, you are faced with the task of actually coming up with new ideas and creative content that you can write and post. And especially ones that your audience will want to read and share.

To create great content week after week, you need a lot of ways to come up with new content topics and posts that are more likely to go viral and get shared. In this course, you will learn how to come up with killer content ideas for your blog, and the useful tools that you need to be successful.

  • Understand more about your audience
  • Building a perfect audience for your blog
  • Create viral content ideas
  • Useful tools to find content ideas (that helped me in my blog!)
  • Anatomy of great blog content

This class is made for beginners and experienced bloggers alike, especially as I’ll be sharing awesome tools that have helped me in my blogging journey!

No software or previous knowledge is required for this course.

Let’s dive in!

Transcripts

1. Introduction to This Course: Hi guys. For most beginner bloggers and even experienced ones, after you create a blog, you'll face the task of actually coming up with new ideas and create a content that you can write and post, and especially ones that your audience will actually want to read and share. To create great content week after week, you need a lot of ways to come up with new content topics and posts that are more likely to go viral and get shared. In this course, you will learn how to come up with killer content ideas for your blog, and the useful tools that you need to be successful. This class is made for beginners and experienced bloggers alike, especially as I'll be sharing awesome tools that helped me in my blogging journey, and for those of you who are new to my classes, I'm Lori Wang, an award-winning digital marketing consultant and also a Skillshare trainer based in London. I'm also a professional blogger and I'm passionate about blogging and building audience online because I believe in helping others to create a lifestyle and business that are thriving and they love. Don't worry, no software or previous knowledge is required for this course but you've taken my blogging for beginner course before, it would definitely help you to have a great start and never run out of ideas again for your next blog post and learn how to create a great content for your audience again and again. I hope to see you in the class. 2. Your Class Project: Before we start, I want to tell you guys about your class project. Now, in this class project, I want you to use at least three of the tools in this course, and come up with a list of seven content ideas for your blog. That's basically a week worth of blog posts. Please share this list with the group to get feedback, and I will personally look at these as well as you share them. I hope that you guys will be able to share your progress long away. It would be really exciting to see what everyone else got up to. Thanks so much. 3. Welcome and Introduction: Hi everyone. Welcome to Create Infinite Killer content ideas for your blog. Now, the reason why I want to make this course, is because I was thinking back to when I first started my blog, and how difficult it was for me, to actually think about the type of content that I want to create for my audience. I remember for a while, I was running on the ideas, and I was getting this writer's block essentially, not knowing what to create. Since then, I discovered many ways to actually come up with great content ideas. So that way your audience want to come back for more and there will be attracted to your blog, and want to actually follow you along the journey. I hope that you enjoy this course, and let's get started. For those of you who don't know me, and this is your first course with me, welcome, and for those guys who are back for more since my earlier courses on Blogging for beginners, and how to make your block popular, thanks so much for joining me again. My name is Laurie Wang. I'm a digital marketing consultant based in London, and I'm also a professional blogger. You can find me on social media @iamlauriewang, on both Twitter and Instagram. I look forward to connecting with you guys there as well. Of course, the end of the course, I'll be sharing my e-mail address, that you can also reach out to me for more questions. So in this section, we're going to be going through the things that you need to think about, and consider before you actually create content for your audience. This is actually super helpful, so I hope that you guys would definitely take the time to go through this. Now, there's a famous quote from someone that I follow on Twitter, @avinash, so this credit to you, and content he said, is anything that adds value to your a readers life. So this is actually fundamental, to anything that you do online. As we all know that nowadays, we are all very busy, and we all have our own lives outside of work, school, whatever it might be, so the type of content you creating for your audience, has to add value to whatever it is that they do. Otherwise, they're going to be distracted by so many other things that are vieing for their attention online, and you would likely lose them in an instant. So this is something to think about, when actually creating content for sure. The first question that I wanted to think about: Is why did you start your blogging in the first place, and why do you start creating that blog, so what were your interests the time or even now, and what is your expertise in this area, and what do you actually want your reader to take away from your blog? Here's the most important question. Because when they're coming onto either your website, your YouTube channel, your Instagram account, whichever form of bogging that you take it to be, It could be a micro blog on Instagram caption, It could be a YouTube channel, where you share your thoughts and the daily blog, or it could be your online website, your blog, where you actually write articles, and share your thoughts and insights, but ultimately, what would you like your reader to take away from getting that piece of content in front of them? That is the most important point. So, have a think about this, reflect on this, and answer these questions very carefully, because this will form your strategies, for later on in the course, when we're going through the tools and strategies, to help you on this journey. Secondly, what are your readers interested in? Now, this is where we're actually take what answered in the first question, and combine this with the second question of your readers interest, and using the various online tools, that I will share with you, to find the best viral topics, to write about in your niche for your audience. 4. Who Are Your Readers?: So in the second section, we're going to go through doing a bit of investigative work and finding out about who are your target audiences and what are they like? Now, don't be this person where your target market equals everyone because unfortunately, as I hate to break it to you guys, your target market is only a small niche area and that's where you can serve the most in terms of what you know and what you can share with them of value. You can't just be everything to everyone because that just simply that doesn't exist. Unfortunately if you do that, you will end up being drawn out in a sea of voices online and unfortunately that would never help you become the type of blog that you want to be. So who are your audiences then if it's not everyone? Well, first of all, let's start off with demographics. So how old are they? What's their age group? Are they mainly teenagers? Are they mainly elderly or are they millennials that are currently going through a career transition? So the age definitely helps to make you that first initial separation. Where do they live? Do they live in the US? Are the mainly located in emerging countries like Indonesia, in China or are they actually living somewhere that's very remote versus cities, so perhaps there are certain geographical differences of views there as well? So these are things to think about in some geographic locations. Are they mostly men or women? Again, having a gender differential really helps you decide on what channels you need to be on for your content as well. So for instance, if it's mainly women, then we know that Pinterest is going to be attracting them a lot more than for likes of men who are mainly male-dominated on Twitter. It's just how that works relating into demographics breakdown. How educated is your audience? Are they high school graduates? Are they University graduates? Perhaps they even finished their PhD. That also determines the type of language and type of voices and tone of voice that you'll be using in your writing or in your vlog. What does your audience do for living? Occupation will help to determine the type of needs they might have professionally or maybe the things that they might do as a hobby outside of work. What other publications do they read? For instance, are they reading the New York Times or they might be reading Hello! Magazine. Again, these things will really help to determine the type of content that you want to share. Which social media platforms are they on? By using the previous information that you got from the various different demographics, gender breakdowns, that can help you determine where to concentrate more of your time on social media. That way you can choose one to three platforms that are most accurately matched to your audience and not having to spend time on every single platforms out there wasting your time when actually you'd be much better off growing three platforms that are suited to your age, group and gender. Now that we have this information, you can then create your audience avatar. So your content should be written in the right tone of voice depending on who your audience is. Use that question that we just asked to create a profile for your audience. Remember you want to speak to your audience as a one-to-one rather than one-to-many. The reason why you want to target one person is because when you're someone who's reading this content or watching your content, you want them to feel like you're speaking to them specifically and that personal level really makes that actual level difference when it comes to connecting with them. Imagine when they come to your vlog or they are watching your videos and they're thinking, "Oh my gosh, Laurie knows exactly what I'm like. This is exactly what I need right now. She just somehow speaks to me." That's exactly kind of effect that you want when it comes to sharing your content. Remember, not everyone's going to read your blog or watch your videos and that's totally okay because end of the day you're not targeting everyone. You're targeting someone that is perfect for your blog. Now that you know your ideal reader and what they're like and also what she or he looks like with hopefully specific naming that you have for them so you can actually speak to them directly in your head as you're creating your content. Now you can think about all these different other factors that you can include in your content. First of all like I mentioned in the previous slide, on social media platforms that you're going to be on. If your audience is a teenage girl who's currently spending more time online and she's currently in school finishing off her 11th grade, then you know that being on Snapchat is absolutely crucial for your blog to be seen by them. Because that's where you'll actually reach these audiences. That's just an example and that applies to many different other demographics and social media platforms as well. The posting time. Depending on where your audiences are living, then you know when the best time to post is so they will actually see it either on their [inaudible] , on their way home or maybe during lunchtime. But whichever that works best for you is really dependent on where they're living at the moment. What are their other interests? So these hobbies will help you determine the type of content that'll make it interesting and personable to them. So if you know that your audience like tennis, for example, then maybe you can create a special feature on something you did with tennis or relating to tennis in that regard and it'll guarantee that definitely resonate with them much better than just a plain piece of content. What's your post length? Do they enjoy reading long content pieces or maybe they just want a few lines and with lots of visual content in there instead like photos and videos. Again, that depends on what your audiences are like and also what kind of age group that they're in. So generally I find that elderly and older audiences enjoy reading more and therefore, if you actually write more and longer content pieces, they'll actually consume that rather than videos for instance for those who are in the younger audience spaces. What type of insider memes or jokes that can you share with your audience that you know they'd like? Lastly, the tone of voice. Are you writing in a third person, in the first person or perhaps you're writing a much more casual tone with a bit of slang. This is all depending on what type of audience that you're currently speaking to. So just to give you guys a little breakdown and also insight into how I do my analysis from my blog and audience. In terms of gender and age group is mainly female between 23 to 42 age group and she is interested in travel and it's very much a foodie like myself. She loves photography hence Instagram is where I'm hanging out a lot of times. She wants off-the-beaten path travel advice through my blog and also my Instagram microblogging where I'm sharing insights into the destinations I'm visiting. She loves restaurant tips in places that perhaps mainly tours wouldn't find them and she also enjoys motivation and encouragement to pursue a life well lived and traveled from a friend's perspective. So then I know that my tone of voice needs to be much more casual and relating to them from a friend to friend basis. So now it's your turn. Look through your existing blog posts or if you just started then what your future plans are for your current new blog and does what you want to write about resonate with your audience and what he or she is looking for? If not, then what kind of changes are you making to make sure that they'll come back for more? 5. Building Your Audience: Now that we've gone over how to find out who your audiences are and where they might be, we're going to be now looking at how to build your audience online. [inaudible] find the potential audience base for the content you'll be creating. Let's dive in. Where is your audiences currently hanging out? Now you know who they are. Let's find where your audience might be. Looking down this list of social media platforms, these are all amazing places where you might be able to start building audience for your content. Facebook being generally the place to start off first, purely because it's one of the largest social media platforms out there. From this, you have very detailed targeting options, in terms of who you want to speak to. You can specify the age range. You can specify where they live, what pages or other fans of other brands or they are, if they're liking other pages than who'd you actually reach out to according to that profile you built for your target audience earlier. The next on the list is Twitter. Again, generally a very wide range of audiences that you can target, however there's always a niche community on these platforms for you. Snapchat, as we spoke about earlier, is more looking at those who are in their early to late teens and who are more on the younger side of the audience space. Now if that's your audience, then you should definitely be on their. Next, we have Instagram, one the fastest growing social media platforms currently. I believe last when I checked it was about 800 million total users and growing. If you have visual content that you can share with your audience, then Instagram would definitely be the place for you to be. Pinterest it's a great way for audiences to search through photos. What they can do is almost like a search engine just for visual imagery, and we use it the right way and you tag it up with the right keywords, then your audience can finds you through Pinterest and go through to your website or link that you posted. Lastly for those who are in the B2B space, if you're, let's say targeting other businesses through YouTube, then LinkedIn is a great place for you. Next, we will learn how to engage and connect with your audience on these platforms. Great, so now you figured out who your audiences are and what their interests are, and also where they might be hanging out on social media platforms. Now you start to create a presence for your blog and your vlog or whatever it is that you're creating content wise, and you want to nurture and grow your audience there. The reason why I say that, is because that is the base of everything these days online. Previously, used to be quite easy where if you create a website, blog, and there weren't that many out there. If you had a website blog is stand out very easily to other readers who might be interested, and they'll find you through organic search and etc. However, nowadays as you know, given the popularity of blogs and also creating online presence, everyone has one these days if they wanted to, especially through the prevalence of these blogging websites, blogspot for example. For you to actually stand out, the keys actually built an audience for yourself, then you can use that as a way to reach out to audiences that you've already built on content that you have just created. That ensures that you will have people looking at these content and actually be able to enjoy them and for you to have your efforts paid off. When you want to grow and nurture your audience on these platforms, you want to make sure to be able to respond to them in reply, to those who are leaving comments. The reason why I say that, is you want to ensure that you, yourself is operating as a brand on its own. You want to be actually reaching out to people who are willing to connect. Also, you will think about how to move those audiences on these platforms onto your own e-mail list. The reason why I say that is because think about it. Tomorrow, Facebook or Instagram or Twitter might be gone. I'm not saying it will be, but there is a possibility, and when it does happen, what are you going to do? Because if you spend all this time building an amazing community and all this effort, and to just see that one day it just disappears out of thin air. Then obviously you want to make sure that you can have a safeguard against that. The way to do is actually build your own e-mail list by asking them to join your e-mail list through very different content, that you're creating, but also on social media by doing the ask. Lastly by using the algorithm correctly, which means regularly using live content and behind the scenes sneak peek to connect with your audience. A lot of times on social media, as we all know, we only share the best part of ourselves, but what's really amazing about live content and behind the scenes content these days, is that you get to share a bit about yourself that they wouldn't normally see. Therefore they feel intimate and they get connected to you on a personal level. There's a great tactic to do, but also when you use live content, will make you appear on top of the feed on social media across every different platform a lot better, than those who don't. Just a little trick there for you guys. 6. Create Viral Content Ideas: Now we'll look into how to create viral content ideas. Now, this is what I like to call the rework strategy. What I mean by this is that there is a way to actually dissect the popularity of other content that have done well or become viral. How to actually re-engineer that for yourself and to actually think about how you create content in a similar fashion. However, with your own twists. Let's start by example. Currently let's say I'm in the travel niche and I want to create a piece of content that might be really interesting. What I'll do is actually, I'll look at all the other popular bloggers that are currently in my niche and what they're currently writing about. I might start seeing a pattern of certain destinations being mentioned the most, or for instance, certain topics that are being raised the most engaging or low engagement. Find those existing content that have done really well. Obviously this has absolutely nothing to do with in terms of copying or doing exactly the same thing because that'll be boring, right? What we want to do is actually find out these content, understand them, read them, consume them and then think about how to apply your own twist to this to make it more interesting, to make it even better. What that does is that it gives you this amazing idea to work from as a basis and then to put your own personality on it. I always will remember this from speaking to other fantastic influencers and bloggers is that you would never influence the world by being just like it. For you to be able to put your own twist on what you're creating, is the only way for you to stand out. You might be even surprised about what you can create and share with the world as well. Now there are few qualities of viral content. We're actually going to be looking into this to understand it a bit more. That way the next time around when you're creating content, you can think about these three key aspects and how to actually incorporate them into what you do you. To start off with, we have the challenge. Now, does your blog post or blog challenge someone's existing assumptions? What that usually does to someone is make them do a double take. They will actually look at the content and think, "Oh, I never thought about that before. That's interesting." What that does is actually raise their attention level and ensuring that you will have their whole attention as you're consuming your content or watching and reading it. Secondly, does it have an emotional aspect? Does it offer a unique perspective on a topic that elicit emotions? I'm not sure you guys remember this, but whenever I watch a funny video or a deeply inspiring video, or I might be reading a piece of content that I really love an article or a blog post, I will usually send it to my best friends, family and even my partner because I want to share what I felt with them. That's the reason why emotions using in content is so powerful. Lastly is storytelling. How good is this content and telling a story? Because since the beginning of time, we as human beings love hearing stories. We just love them at bedtime when you're little. We love them when we're adults by watching them in movies, right? If your content can tell story effectively, then that will actually grab their attention from the get-go. Having these three different qualities in your content will really help to pull the attention of your audience close to you and for them to love what you do and come back for more. 7. Useful Tools to Find Content Ideas: Next, we'll look at the useful tools on how to find content ideas. First of all, I want to share a tool with you that I love the most when it comes to looking at different content ideas. This is called BuzzSumo. You literally go to buzzsumo.com as listed here on the slide. What you do, is you can actually sign up for a trial. I believe the trial itself is sufficient to start surfing around different content ideas. Obviously, if you'd like what you see and you have tried them out, I suggest that you could also go for a paid subscription as well. On this site what you can do, is literally type in the different topics that you want to write about or your niche. For instance, if you're in travel, if you're in food, if you're maybe writing about tech gadgets, whatever it might be, you type these keywords into BuzzSumo and it will return a list of different type of content that had been shared the most in the last month or whatever period you set it to be in the criteria. Once it does come up, then you can have a look at the different content, read through them, understand them and like I said earlier, find out what is it that made them so effective. This is a great tool to actually start dissecting into that. The next one I really like is a free tool, it's called Google Trends. Some of you guys might have used this before, but I'm not sure exactly in this context. You go to trends.google.com/trends. This is [inaudible] the breakdowns of the key top trends of the day by geographic area. This is actually really interesting, because the data I was looking at this, if you look at the image on the right, the top two, especially the second one, was trending the most. These are Koshy as some of you guys might already follow her. She's a huge influencer on YouTube, where she just shared her breakup news about her with her boyfriend, who is also a very influential YouTuber. You can tell that was the most trending topic. The second most trending topic on that day. I can imagine why, because their following is so massive when it comes to their online audience. Obviously people are talking about this a lot, especially in the news and medias as well. What that does, is actually give you a sense of what's most trending that day and actually how to jump on these trends for your content ideas as well. But also, you can explore the other topics if you type in your keywords and to see how that trend have migrated over time. You can actually understand how they play together with different kind of interests that your audience might have. Again, a great free tool, I think generally just a search for market research for your audience and also gauging what their interests are in different topics. This other tool called Top Charts is actually within Google Trends. It's the topmost trending item on Google Trends by category. You can get to this link by, trends.google.com/trends/topcharts. Here is a great way for you to look into different niche that you might be in and what those top trends are in the area. Very useful, right? For instance, let's say on the right hand image, if you are writing a blog about Hollywood, and then you can see what the top trending topics are within afters. If you're a animal lover, then you can see that the top trending topic of that day was rabbit, rhinos and thoroughbreds. So what do you know? But generally, these are great ways to actually look for the most trending item and see what makes sense for your niche in that area. AllTop is another one of my favorite sites that I used to do market research, but also look at the most popular content. It's a really great website where it populates the top news information in real time. The way to do it is to go to www.alltop.com. From there you can see the top news headlines from the various different publications and different genres in terms of what the most popular topics where in real time. Great for research one as well. 8. Create Great Blog Content: So now that we've looked at how to actually figure out what you're interested in talking about and how to find out about your audience and what they're like, then we went into looking at how to find them on different platforms and then also thinking about how to create viral content on the back of your research. Now, we're going to be looking at how to create great blog content on the back of that. So, we're going to dive a bit more into the anatomy of a great blog post. A lot of times when you want to create a great piece of content, it's really crucial to start planning ahead of time and what I mean by that is it will be a lot less stressful for you as a content creator to actually think about the kind of content you can create this week, next week, the week after and having the strategic plan in place means that you won't be scrambling last minute, trying to find things to talk about to ensure that you meet your weekly deadline, for instance if that's your regular posting schedule. If it's daily, then that could be even more planning involved, so on and what's important is actually choose a topic that's interesting to you because let's be honest, content creating in the beginning or for a very long period of time is actually a very thankless type of job. If you're not interested in what you're creating, then often you will lose interest and then you'll stop doing it, by the time that you know it, it's a couple years down the line and you wish that you continued. So I think that's a common story with a lot of people when they first start a project that they were quite passionate about, but actually end up losing interests midway. So make sure this is a topic that you enjoy talking about for years, even without thinking about it and whenever you're friends are talking to you, you're always talking about this topic and this is something that's so passionate in your head, in your heart that you want to keep on sharing it with the world. That's the kind of effect that you want to aim for to ensure that you can actually continue talking about this and creating content around that all the time and lastly, it's important to think about writing an outline for the structure of the content you'll be creating and this applies to a podcast, a video, article, a blog post, anything that you creating, this applies to that. So have a think about what is it that you currently trying to produce and an outline for that will help you to create it in the best possible way. Now to make that outline as easily as possible for you. Here's a great way to think about your layout and styling, especially when it applies to written content. So you want to make it as easy to read as possible for your audience especially thinking about now the majority people actually reading their content on their mobiles and you want to make sure that when actually it's on a small screen, how do you optimize what you're writing for them to read it easily, as easily as possible. To start off with, you want to make sure that you have some images to break up the heavy text. A lot times if you only write a block of text, and it's a very long article. For smaller screen that's very hard to read and people will likely give up after just a couple seconds. What you want to do is actually use some interesting imagery that's actually related to your blog post to break up the content a little bit. So that way as they're scrolling down, they can actually get some visual simulation from reading your content as well and secondly, you want to create shorter paragraphs. What I mean by that is ensuring no longer than four lines per paragraph and this my guidance. But obviously other people might prefer something in shorter but for four lines,that's actually very doable in terms of getting your content in front of people and still not making your content breakup too much, but also it's very easy to read and then you want to make sure that you're able to read it through over and over to ensure that there are no spelling mistakes or typos and making sure you do a good editing job on that piece of content because what makes a really annoying to a lot of readers is if they keep seeing typos and grammar errors as they're popping up when they're reading it and people would likely think it's not high-quality piece of content or writing and they will likely to just give up and go to another site and lastly, you want to have a call to action at the end of your blog posts, potentially a question to help encourage some engagement from your readers and actually, this piece of advice also applies to vlogs and podcasts. A lot times if you do ask the question, people will respond. It's a human connection that we're aiming for. It's also a great way to connect with your audience that way through this particular channel. 9. Recap and Summary: I hope that was very useful for you, especially for the tools I've shared with you on how to find great content topics. Let's now do a quick recap and summary of what we learned. First of all, we talked about how to understand your audience. It all comes back to the basics of knowing who your audiences are and what they look like, the demographic, their occupation, especially thinking about your audience in a single person format. That means when you're writing your content, creating your videos, or you podcast, you thinking about your audience as if you're talking to a friend. As you're writing, as you're creating your thinking with that person in mind and that really help you create the content that's very specific and speaking to one person only, which actually makes a lot more personable to everyone who's reading it or consuming that content. Next, after you understand your audience, you want to actually now build your audience online. This is to make sure you actually have an audience based to share your content with once it is actually done. It will take some time, however, by using the right thinking around it, in terms of who your audiences are and now tailoring that with the type of community that serves as audience, so you can go and find them. That's the best way to start building audience online. Then we talked about how to create viral content ideas by using the Wework strategy. What that means is actually going out into the world, looking at what's currently being talked about in your niche, by other popular bloggers or popular vloggers, etc, who are sharing that content. Thinking about how they created that viral content re-engineer it but also applying your own unique insights and also your own creativity to make it unique for your audience. Then we talked about how to create a great blog content piece. Because then we need to think about the anatomy of a great blog post or great piece of content and how to make the structure work for your audience, especially making very easy on the eye and that applies to both videos to written content, even to podcasts as well, and how to make it easy for them to digest. Especially thinking about where they might be when you're actually looking at that content or consuming it. Lastly, don't forget about the class project, look forward to seeing your blog being shared and hope to connect with you guys on the Skillshare course. Thanks so much for listening and if you have any questions, you can find me on social media, on Twitter and Instagram @iamlauriewang or you can also send me e-mail at [email protected]