Website Content Ideas: There’s Always Something to Write About

It’s one of the biggest struggles for content marketers – what to write about. Coming up with website content ideas isn’t always easy, but once you have your system down, it becomes easier and easier. Some sources of content ideas:

* Asking your readers what they want to learn.
* Keyword Research.
* Expanding on previous content.
* Looking at other websites reaching similar markets
* Your own experiences and experiences of your own clients/customers.

This section of our website includes plenty of ways to generate content ideas.

8 Easy Ways to Get Content on Your Site When You’re Too Busy Having Fun This Summer

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summer funAh summertime.

Long hot days out by the pool, the beach or the lake, reading a good book on your Kindle, kids playing and having fun, no worries about time. It feels great not to worry about alarm clocks, being a glorified taxi cab driver, or worries about normal life. That’s summer, right? (Sound of breaks squealing)

But, wait, you have a business to run that relies on you to get regular content on your site no matter what. If you don’t do it, the traffic will fall, your income will drop, and you won’t be lounging around by the pool any longer. Instead, you’ll be wondering if this work at home thing is even workable and start job hunting (More squealing breaks).

Thankfully, there is a way that you can have the first example of summer life. You can have fun and keep your website full of interesting, informative and fabulous traffic generating content. You don’t have to go find a J.O.B. (thank goodness). But, balancing all that summer fun does take a little work. Even if you’re just now thinking about it, it’s not too late. You can get great content on your site any time of year using these eight ideas.

Prepare in Advance

You knew I was going to say this, didn’t you? It’s never too late; you still have summer left to get yourself in gear and prepared for the rest of summer. Heck you can even stretch summer into fall if you play your cards right.

  • Create an Editorial Calendar – It’s very simple if you use a good editorial calendar plugin for your WordPress, or simply an old fashioned spreadsheet. Write down everything you want to write about and talk about in advance. 
  • Choose Topics 3 Months Out — Just plan in advance the subject matter, the products you want to promote, and your calls to action. Three months is a good starting point, but you can do four if you prefer. 
  • Write & Schedule Posts in Advance – Before summer starts, write (or have written) all the content you want to schedule for summertime. Write, edit, schedule and go shopping for a new swimsuit. Everything else is simply automatic. 

Advance preparation is the key to most of the success you’ll experience during the summer or any holiday. In fact, preparing in advance for all seasons is the biggest key factor in having a successful, money making website.

Recruit Guest Bloggers

Getting guest bloggers is a great way to keep the content going while you take time off, or slow down. You probably have a circle of friends in mastermind groups, or those with whom you cross promote. Finding and choosing guest bloggers is almost as simple as asking.

  • Offer to Pay Them – If you know someone who writes elsewhere and you like their writing, offer to pay them a reasonable amount for a specific number of posts, about your specific topics, and allow them to keep their byline. Most bloggers will jump at a chance like that, especially if your audience relates to theirs. 
  • Give Them Their Own Logon – If you ask them to post, trust them to do so by giving them the keys to your blog as an Author. They can fill out their own bio, post on their own and your editor can review (or you can review and post too). 
  • Ask Them to Keep it Original – Huge tip here, don’t let guest bloggers post the same blog post elsewhere. Their post needs to be unique to your blog, forever. If you let them post it someplace else, it will go down in value to you and to them. 

Include an automatic call to action (CTA) at the end of each guest blog post for something related to the topic.

Hire a Ghostwriter

A really tried and true way to get content on your blog while you’re having fun this summer is to pay someone to do it for you. The best way to do this is to ask around among the people you know who is a good ghostwriter. You want someone you can trust who will be on time and doesn’t need a sitter or reminders. Alice and Annette’s team can help you out here.

Like the guest blogger, you want to ideally give them the keys, or have them send their writing to your virtual assistant to edit, format and schedule. This takes work off you, and puts your blog on autopilot.

Compile Oldies but Goodies

Before summer starts, go through all your posts from the year and compile a list of popular blog posts, case studies, and so forth that would be great for another look by your audience. Double check to see if any updates are needed on the older blog posts, sometimes new information comes to light that makes things different.

You can create more than one set of oldies but goodies. You can do one for case studies, one for blogs that have been updated, and so forth. It’s up to you, but do create a small intro for each link to the blog posts you want your audience to revisit. Schedule and add the announcement to your autoresponder. Don’t forget revised calls to action, where needed.

Curate Other People’s Content

Take a look around at what other people are writing about, and where relevant, point your audience to that content. You always want to create a blurb about the content, then introduce the content, then link to the content. Don’t just link without a purpose and try to find bloggers to link to who offer complementary services to yours who are not direct competition. If they have affiliate programs, that’s even better.

Interview Someone

Create a form using Google Docs, or another form creator that you like using, write up questions for a specific group that your audience would like to know more about. Some ideas for interview subjects are the same people you would ask to guest blog, creators of content you’d like to curate, or other movers and shakers within your niche.

Email them a nice personal letter, with a link to your form. Have your VA collect, format and compile the information into separate blog posts for each person interviewed. It will depend on how many you ask, how far this technique will go. But, this is also a good time to ask them for a separate guest blog post about a particular topic as mentioned above.

Do Quick Video Blogs

Your readers would love to know what you’re doing this summer. Even if it’s not directly related to your blog, people love doing business with people they feel close to. Selectively share a little bit about yourself and what you’re up to this summer in a quick video blog. A video blog doesn’t have to be perfect to get results.

  • Let Your VA Do It – Take the video then immediately send it over to your VA and let her schedule it, write the blurb about it, and include appropriate links to your CTA. 
  • Ask Your Customers to Create Videos – Summer is a great time to have a contest, have all videos sent directly to your VA to look through and schedule the best ones with a transcript, picture of the customer, and CTA. 

Don’t allow perfection to stop you from producing videos. You can even use your iPhone 5 to produce excellent videos for your blog, no fancy equipment needed.

Ask Your Readers to Contribute

No matter what kind of website you have, you can let your audience contribute content. Content can be in multiple forms, like the videos mentioned above, memes, info-graphics or blog posts. Offer discounts to anyone who submits a blog post, and a grand prize to winning posts that get published.

Don’t forget to use your VA to help you organize, plan and implement these ideas. You should not have to do much to get your blog full of content for the summer. If you play your cards right, you’ll actually increase your income during the summer while also cutting your work time exponentially.

Why People Like Infographics and
Why They’re Good for Business

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Why Planning Infographics is Beneficial

We’re all about words at All Custom Content, that’s for sure, but we also know how powerful images can be. And when you can combine words with images, you get content that really packs a punch.

For quite some time now, you’ve probably seen more and more infographics popping up around the web. While some infographics are definitely better than others, it’s worth taking the time to figure out why people like them and why that’s actually a good thing for you as a business owner.

Here are just a few thoughts on that subject…

Increased Brand Recognition

According to studies, 90% of the information that we remember is based on visual impact. Infographics provide you with the ability to position yourself as provider of valuable and relevant content and to brand that content with your signature voice and image.

Improved Awareness

One of the reasons visual content has grown so quickly is that it is easily shared. Consumers can simply click and share your infographic on social sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Bloggers and other business owners can embed them on their site and share your information with their audience. Due to the viral nature of visual content and infographics, it’s a fast way to expand your audience and improve awareness of your company.

Amplified Traffic

In addition to increasing awareness for your business, infographics also generate an increase in website traffic. As your graphic is shared, it will naturally boost your inbound traffic. You’ll also enjoy inbound links when others share and embed your graphic on their site. Don’t be surprised if you also see an increase in your email subscribers as your traffic grows.

Added Variety and Interest

Finally, infographics give you the opportunity to create a variety of content. You’ll capture your audience’s attention and create renewed interest in your organization.

We’ve actually teamed up with a graphic designer and we’ve been working on creating infographics for our clients. It’s quite an involved process because it involves delivering the best and most concise information to your readers in a visual manner. In short, it takes quite a bit of work to put together an effective infographic.

We’ll be opening up this service more widely next week, so if you need help with your visual content…we’ll be here to serve. More details soon.

UPDATE: Our service is now available. Learn more about it here.

And if you’ve been making your own infographics, we’d love to see them. Tell us about them below.

Profit-Driven Ways to Plan Your Content for the New Year

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Have a content marketing plan

Without a plan, it’s tough to get the results you want.

Have you ever noticed that the more you plan in your business, the more successful you become?

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff, but when we take the time to step back and create a road map, we ALWAYS do much better.

Planning your content is no different than any other aspect of your business. The better you plan, the more synergy you can create with other aspects of your business and marketing.

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you plan your content for 2014…

#1: Establish Brainstorming Time:

Set aside time to brainstorm topic ideas each month. For example, for June’s content you would brainstorm topics in April or May. If you’re working with a ghostwriter then brainstorming topics in advance will allow them the time to create your content.

#2: Identify Inspiration

Keep a notebook or digital recorder handy so that you can record any ideas that come to mind when you’re away from your desk. Also keep a list of topic inspiration resources. For example, you might find that a particular industry magazine or blog often gives you great content ideas, and you could turn to that resource during your content planning sessions.

#3: Align Your Content with New Product/Service Launches

Your content serves as a tool that can generate interest and anticipation for new launches. Outline when you want to launch your new items and then align your content to lead up to the launch day.

#4: Create a Content Calendar

A Content Calendar is also often called an Editorial Calendar. It identifies when each piece of content would be published and where you’ll publish it. For example, is your next piece of content something to be published on a blog or in your monthly newsletter? WordPress has an editorial calendar plugin that can help you plan your blog content.

#5: Know What Works and What Doesn’t

Ideally, you’re using analytics and tracking your past content results. Review the content successes you’ve had in the past six months to a year. Use those successes to help you brainstorm future content ideas. You might revisit the topics of your most successful blog posts.

If we can help you with your content planning, we can brainstorm topic ideas, do research and help in a number of ways. Learn more about our services here and give us a shout.

We look forward to helping you plan a stellar 2014!

Great Examples of Online Slide Shows

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We’ve been talking about slide shows for the past few weeks and we know that when we’re trying to wrap our brains around using a new marketing method, it helps to have examples.

Well, we’ve rounded up some great slide show examples for you. Check these out:

Example #1: Gary Vaynerchuk

“Retweet Abuse: Birdy Bragging and the Importance of Being Human on Twitter”

Gary’s slide show is excellent on many levels. First and foremost, the title of the slide show is both attention grabbing and provides apparent benefit.

If you take a look at the slides you’ll also notice that there is one simple idea on each slide. The material builds, step-by-step, until a satisfying conclusion. There is no call to action on Gary’s slide show. He doesn’t ask you to visit his site or buy one of his many books. He does ask that you do your part to stop Birdy Bragging. He also includes his website address and his name on every slide, and the show is well branded without being over the top or distracting. It’s delivered and marketed as a public service announcement, but it’s really just a nice glimpse into who Gary Vaynerchuk is and what he is about – it’s great content marketing.

Example #2: Wishpond

“50 Inspirational Marketing Quotes”

Wishpond pulled together a nice list of marketing quotes. The design and delivery are simple and clean and the benefit is immediate. It’s the type of slide show that’s relatively easy to pull together. Wishpond creates and sells applications that make social media marketing easier. They know that their audience is researching and studying marketing tactics and would naturally be drawn to a list of quotes from some of the top marketers around the globe. They wrap it all up nicely with an opt-in opportunity to download a free eBook, an invitation to connect on social media with links to their various profiles, and a quick tagline so viewers learn a bit about Wishpond and what they have to offer.

Example #3: Salesforce

“20 Game Changing Mobile Stats”

This one takes a similar approach to Wishpond, however instead of offering quotes they provide statistics in a visually interesting manner. While there’s no call to action, the branding is well done. By providing relevant and useful information they’re able to continue to position themselves as experts in sales and marketing technology.

Plenty of examples for inspiration. And remember, we can help you put your slide shows together.  Here are the services we offer.

And if you enter coupon code: SLIDESHOW you’ll save $10 on your service. The coupon expires December 31, 2013, so let’s get started soon.

10 Creative Ideas for Using Slide Shows

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Slide Show IdeasLast week, we talked about why slide shows make great marketing materials. If you missed that, we posted it for you here.

Now let’s get into some creative ideas for using slide shows.

1. The Countdown:

Countdown slide shows motivate your reader to complete the entire show. Curiosity pulls them through so they can see what your top item is. A good example of this is the “Top 10” concept which can be applied to just about any topic. For example, “The Top 10 Reasons to Travel During the Holidays.” This format is easy to enjoy and understand for readers and it’s easy for you to organize and present.

2. Lists:

Another popular content format that transfers nicely to slide shows is the list format. Many people enjoy lists because the value is immediately accessible. For example, “The Complete Guide to Holiday Travel,” or “101 Holiday Travel Ideas.”

3. Tips:

Tips are another simple format that’s easy to compile. Tips are also quite valuable to your audience. Each slide can be presented as a relevant and valuable tip along with a supporting graphic. The key to compelling slide shows is to make them streamlined, benefit driven, and visually interesting.

4. Photos:

Photo slide shows work well for visually oriented business like graphic designers, fashion bloggers and photographers. However, you can also use them in some of the other formats already discussed. For example, the “Top Ten Friendliest Places to Travel During the Holidays” could be a slide show of pictures from the places on your list. Little to no written content is needed.

5. Interview Clips:

Interviews that you’ve conducted or been a part of can be used to create slide shows. Organize the most relevant information from the interview into short clips and present it in a logical order. You can also embed audio or video snippets if the interview was recorded. If you’re using the interview as a lead generation tool or list building tool then be sure to include a link to the full interview in the body of your slide show.

6. Book Teaser:

Have you recently published a book or report? Consider using that material to create a slide show – provide value and promote your book at the same time. Use key pieces of information to create your slide show. For example, if your book is titled “How To Travel During The Holidays and Stay Sane,” then you might highlight one of your key chapters in your slide show.

7. Demonstrations:

Product demonstrations are always useful. You can embed short video clips into your slide shows if they help provide clarity. This is a great customer service tool, particularly if your customers often have questions about how to use your product or service.

8. How To Content:

How to content can work for a slide show if the concept that you’re discussing is focused. For example, “How To Travel During The Holidays,” may be too broad. “How To Keep Toddlers Happy During Holiday Travel” is a bit more focused and therefore easier to create and enjoy.

9. Product Use Examples and Pictures:

If you sell a product, consider creating a slide show with examples of how people can and are using it. You can turn the creation process into a contest as well. For example, someone who sells coffee mugs might ask customers to send in interesting photos of themselves using their cup. Each submission might earn an entry into a drawing for a prize.

10. Case Study:

Coaches and service professionals can make use of this approach by sharing “before and after” type case studies. Present the customer’s situation, how the problem was solved, and how they succeeded. These slide shows are both motivating and inspiring.

Plenty of ideas to get you started. And remember, we can help you put your slide shows together. Here are the services we offer.

And if you enter coupon code: SLIDESHOW you’ll save $10 on your service. The coupon expires December 31, 2013, so let’s get started soon.

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