Before I talk about how to find content ideas I’m first going to tell you the story of a robbery.
Hopefully, by telling this story I do not have to serve jail time.
As with any robbery, this all stemmed from my thrist for Legos.
I Wanted Some Legos
I stole my first Legos at the age of 6. I remember it clearly. My dad was a delivery man for a dairy and sometimes I would have to go on rides with him. He delivered to the Piggly Wiggly grocery stores.
While he was busy unloading the truck I always had to find something to do. This usually meant walking around the store being bored.
However, this store had a decent toy section and there was a small box of Legos that allowed you to build a spaceship. I wanted it so I took it. Just walked right out the door with it.
I’m not telling you this story to brag, I’m telling you this story so you understand that I steal and you should to.
Oh and I should say that my parents didn’t raise me to be a thief. I knew the act of stealing was wrong and they didn’t hear this story until 32 years later.
My mom wanted to whoop my ass.
Everything Is a Remix
I talk to a lot of people that have business ideas that they are thinking about pursuing. When we talk I usually give them suggestions and a lot of these suggestions are based around existing businesses.
When they hear these suggestions the reply is usually something along the lines of how blah blah is already doing that so they don’t want to do it.
They want to be unique.
Well, guess what, buddy? Your idea isn’t unique.
The person your worship that is making big money online doesn’t have unique ideas either. In fact, there is no such thing as a unique business idea.
I’m going to say something that when I learned about it completely changed how I approached business.
Every idea is a remix of another one and there is nothing wrong with that.
If you have a dream to run your own business what are the criteria for that dream to be successful? Does it have to be unique or does it simply have to guide you towards the lifestyle you want?
Stop worrying about taking someone else’s idea. The idea is not original, but your take on it is.
The idea behind Obstacle.co isn’t original.
You’ve probably come across 100s of sites like this already.
That doesn’t bother me.
What would bother me is if you told me that my writing, my voice, is exactly like the rest. If how I present my knowledge and share information is exactly like everyone else that would bother me.
In fact, that would bug the hell out of me so much that I’d probably only write content after I had 5 shots of tequila just so I could at least FEEL different when I’m writing.
You see, I take ideas and I throw them into my mind blender and usually, something different comes out of it. It shares some of the ingredients of the original idea, but I throw in some of my own as well and now I have something I can call my own.
What does this have to do with ideas for new content? Everything.
Content Ideas Are All Around Us
If you’re reading this site then you are probably reading others just like it. If you run a site similar to this one or plan on starting one then you already have a laundry list of content ideas at your disposal.
You could very well take this post you are reading right now, throw it in your mental blender, and come up with a better version of it for your own site. And guess what? Props to you for doing so.
My post on blog niches used to rank #1 for a lot of keywords. Then everyone saw how well it was doing and wrote their own versions.
Now there are so many copycats (you can easily find them on Pinterest) that I’ve lost count.
And I’m okay with that because it’s not like telling people what blog niches do well is an original idea. I just happened to do a better job of explaining the ideas than others did at the time.
Now I’m sure that the people that took inspiration from my post have done a better job than me so if I want to get back to the top I’ll have to do better than them.
That’s just the nature of the game and when you accept it, blogging becomes much less stressful.
What you don’t want to do is take an idea from another site and make it worse. That’s just bad.
It’s like your archrival stealing your outfit, but instead of a leather jacket they are wearing a trash bag.
You also don’t want to steal content.
I’m not telling you to do that so if you do and get caught, don’t tell them Scrivs sent you. I’m telling you to steal content ideas and then produce your own original content with that idea.
Seriously, you better not tell people I told you to steal their content.
How to Hunt for Content Ideas
When you go hunting for content ideas you want to have some type of strategy. You don’t want to just come upon a post and then proceed to take that idea. What if that post didn’t resonate with the site’s audience? Then it probably won’t resonate with yours either.
Instead, you want to find the good posts on a site. Good in this sense means finding ones that helped move the needle for the site. This could be traffic, social media shares, or getting people to purchase something.
How do you find these posts?
Here are three of the easiest ways:
- Find the most popular posts section of a site
- Google something
- Use Pinterest and YouTube
Most Popular Posts
Some sites have a section in their sidebar that is usually labeled “More Popular Posts”. They’ve done all the hard work for you. From there you can find the posts that got the site the most traffic.
Now this doesn’t mean the post will do well on your site because you still have to do a great job of promoting the content, but at least you have a starting point.
If you’ve ever seen Pat Flynn’s Income Reports you know that he makes the majority of his money from the Bluehost affiliate program. How does he make so much money from one affiliate program? He created a nice video showing you how easy it is to create a WordPress site on Bluehost. People see that, love the content, and want to start a blog on their own so they click on his link.
I bring this up because everybody has a post detailing how they can start a blog with Bluehost. Well, not me, but you know, almost everyone else.
Of course just doing a post wasn’t good enough for me so I wrote a whole damn guide on blogging.
When trying to build an online business it is important that you know your audience. If you know your audience you can start to understand the problems they come across and the questions they might ask. These questions usually get asked in Google so there is no better place to find content ideas that pertain to specific questions.
I talk a lot about starting a blog as part of your online business strategy so my audience might start off with How to start a blog?
I typed that question in Google and here were the results (with AdBlock enabled):
(Please note: Chances are what you’ll see is different from what I’ll see as these results change often.)
Looking at the results you can see that Amy Lynn Andrews is kicking some major ass by getting the custom Google box at the top and claiming the #2 search result. If you go through and click on the top 3 search results you will find that one is spectacular content (Amy Lynn Andrews), while the other two are meh. You and I could definitely do better than the other two results and it’s why I decided to create a massive guide on blogging.
Now, because I created a better piece of content on blogging does that mean it will rank at the top of Google?
Not necessarily since there are a lot of other factors involved in search engine rankings. However, I do know that people love to share great content so at the very least with the right content promotion I should see a nice uptick in traffic from the post.