Your client wants a piece of content and they want it to generate links. A lot of links. The word ‘viral’ has been thrown in there.

The reality is that users produce 64.3 million new posts, each month, on WordPress alone.

Talk about a crowded workspace.

And, how do we have a unique, fresh and engaging idea in a world where everything has been said and done before?

Feel the pressure.

I have to generate ideas, every month, for clients. To create engaging pieces of content that get audiences to interact with and link to. It’s a tough job.

The following is my process of how I generate ideas.

Let me introduce you to our (fictional) client
A car rental company that operates nationwide throughout the UK.
Turnover of 2-5 million and the website currently has 900k unique hits a month.

They want to make sure their main competitor,, who is snapping at their heels, doesn’t take the number one position.

So, we need good solid links from hard to replicate sites to strengthen their position.

Why are you producing content at all?

Start a project by asking why? Unless you can answer this question, you are producing content for content’s sake and wasting money for your client (or yourself).

You might also want to read, Why content campaigns fail? for more insights.

In our client example, we want to gain links from media sites to strengthen the link profile of the website and get more traffic. Your objective might be to get more traffic and a content audit combined with keyword research, will offer insight into where you can increase traffic through search results.

Once we have an objective and know why we are doing this and what we want to achieve, then we can start to put a plan together.

Who do we need to target to achieve this?

The next stage is to consider who the target audience will be for the content. We want to achieve links, so our target is to find a high domain authority site that we can pitch our concept and story to, and achieve the link back to the client site.

Our direct audience is the target site but they also have an audience and readership that we will need to consider as an indirect audience.

Start out by drafting out the niches related to your site:

To find our audience, we consider topics relevant to the brand. Relevancy is now an important factor for link building, so we want links from sites aligned with our niche. For example, links from a recipe blog to a car site offer no relevancy (in Google terms) and should be avoided.

Possible niches with relevancy to car hire are:

  • Driving/cars
  • Travel
  • Corporate/business

Drafting out themes

Starting with our niche of driving, we can start to look for ideas of themes. This is where keeping up-to-date with trends and what is popular within content pays off and it really helps to work within a specific niche consistently (but it’s not essential).

When I was an illustrator I used to keep huge scrapbooks of magazine cuttings, cards and pictures – anything that visually attracted me or was representative of a popular trend went into the scrapbook. When creating a new illustration, this was always my starting point to review what style, colour palette and compositions I wanted to include. In much the same way, I now have countless Pinterest boards and bookmarks of content that appeals and which can be referred back to as inspiration.

Valuable sources to start researching themes are:

If you are a content producer, this site should be one of your regular haunts…

…to continue reading the full idea generation process download the complete ebook…

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