Here’s a dilemma that we all will face, but routinely blame on writer’s block: a lack of content ideas. In reality, writer’s block is a lame excuse especially with easy access to news, data and other information online. Spend just 15 minutes on the web and you’ll come up with a wealth of story ideas.
Even so, not all story ideas are equal. Indeed, when carefully scrutinizing titles, content and keywords, some information shines while other articles fall apart. Here are key tips on how to acquire solid content to strengthen your website optimization. Keep in mind that you won’t steal content — rather, you’ll survey what is out there and write something better.
The granddaddy of all content websites is Wikipedia. There are approximately 4.5 million English articles on Wikipedia with approximately 33 million pages overall. By far, it is the largest repository of encyclopedic material available.
Because of its massive size, Wikipedia is visited frequently and is a Top 10 website. That means the topics you cover are also on Wikipedia.
Visit Wikipedia, using its search bar to pump in various keywords related to your site. Review what turns up, taking note of titles, material provided, and links included. You’ll find a wealth of ideas in many articles — just don’t source Wikipedia for what you write as editing is usually done anonymously. That means some of the information you read may not be reliable although the page may still receive a lot of traffic.
You know not to publish press releases verbatim to your website, right? The news may be spot on, but you should only use press releases for story ideas, particularly as a springboard for your news.
There are several press release sites worth exploring to cull your information. These include: PR Newswire, Business Wire, Market Wire, PRWeb.com and PR.com. You can search for topics related to your keywords and cull that information. If you are presenting news, contact the source to arrange for an interview. You can also use key quotes in your article.
Have you ever heard of Demand Media? It is a content generation site that owns Cracked.com, LiveStrong.com, Trails.com and Ehow.com to name a few. Before Google cracked down on content generation sites, Ehow amassed a huge database of articles, written by professional journalists and other contributors.
The Ehow.com model served to help the company achieve key placement for important and insignificant topics across the Internet. Most of these articles offer basic information, something you can improve upon immensely. Look for the weak spots in each article and build a better one based on the same topic.
Your own website may already have the makings of a great article idea. This is especially so if you have an article that has received a lot of traffic and comments.
You have a choice here: either update the article to include new information or create a new version. If you choose the latter, you’ll want to provide internal links to both articles.
You should also keep tabs on the subjects your competitors are writing about. But avoid repeating their news. Instead, take an idea and expound upon it or bring in a different perspective. For instance, if a competitor is ripping apart fracking, you might examine the positive benefits such as job creation.
Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.