How to generate 25 content marketing ideas FAST!

I’m a big advocate of content marketing to fuel SEO and build an audience around your brand. But I am often asked, “How do you come up with ideas for each week?” and “Where do you find the time to produce the content?” The answer to the second question is easy, but takes dedication. I schedule it. I try to reserve Friday morning for writing, and guard it in my schedule. Occasionally I need to break from that for client or travel commitments, in which case I block off another time. But I commit to it like a meeting with a very important client. Except it is just me in the room, wearing earplugs with all distractions and notifications turned off or removed. The answer to the first question is a little more complex, regarding where I get my ideas. I like to be fluid and open to responding to current marketing conversations – like the analysis of Westjet’s discount airline SWOOP and their media launch. It was in the moment, of interest and I could curate content discussion on something that I knew would be shared. I also keep written notes throughout the week, either on paper or on my phone as a written or voice memo when ideas hit. And other times, I will go to a content matrix for inspiration.

The content matrix is a simple concept that can be applied to any business or industry. Typically down the left column you will place generic ideas for how to explore a topic, in this case; how to, trends, mistakes to avoid, case study and opinion. Across the top is where you put various elements that relate to your business or industry. This matrix example could work for a personal coach.

Family Work Health Finance Personal growth
How to
Mistakes to avoid
Case study

You can easily see how selecting any of these boxes could lead to the following topics:

  • How to and Health: How to stay healthy when there are toddlers in the house
  • Trends and Finance: TFSA or RRSP? Mutual fund or ETF? Considering you needs not just the trends.
  • Case study and Work: Strategies for the home office with a busy family

You get the idea.

But the same concept could just as easily be applied to someone blogging about skateboarding. Yes, I borrowed the example from my son, but he actually asked me to send a photo of the wipe board example I used in the Facebook live video, so I take it as an endorsement from a 19 year old. Here’s how it could play out for him…

Wheels Trucks Boards Racing Safety
How to
Mistakes to avoid
Case study

We can combos like:

  • How to and Safety: How to skate safe with friends using spotters and flags
  • Opinion and Boards: Shapes, sizes, forms and modifications – what works best for your style of riding
  • Mistakes and Racing: Tactics when leading, overtaking, or drafting

As you can see the concept is pretty simple and applicable in almost any business depending on how you switch up the variables. For those who perhaps missed the Facebook live video, here is the wipe board example I used for my own business. You can link to that video HERE.

A 5 x 5 content matrix provides potentially 25 basic topics. That’s enough for half a year or weekly posts! But since each box has the potential of multiple posts within it, you could likely stretch this into a year of content quite easily.

And why stop with blog posts? Content creation can extend to e-newsletters, columns, contributor article content, videos, Facebook lives, Slideshare decks, and podcasts. Who says you also can’t repurpose something that you did as a blog one week into a video or podcast the next? Honestly, the options are literally endless if you are motivated to create and take ownership of being a thought leader in your chosen area.

That’s it for this week. Let me know if this was useful! I’m looking forward to reconnecting with a bunch of folks down in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World at the end of the month. It always offers up great learning, networking and the promise of a few brief days of relaxation and reflection afterwards at Laguna Beach. I’ve got a great little place that I’m returning to this year. Can’t wait to get some sand between my toes too! But until then, go Canada go at the Olympics. This coming week promises some great hockey, skiing and bobsledding finals. For now the sand will have to wait.

Did you find this post useful? Do you have any tips to share about how you generate content marketing topic ideas? Please post a comment and share below!

BONUS!!!! Are you curious to learn more about marketing with media? I’ve got an online Do-it-yourself course built specifically for this purpose. You can learn more about it HERE. Check out the intro video and scroll the landing page. One of the major bonuses is the closed Facebook Group where you can get ongoing support while you learn, plus live video chats. And if you’re not quite ready for a full on course immersion, but would still like some guidance in this area, you can start with my 5 Step Cheat Sheet for growing your audience, using social and earned media as part of that strategy. Lnk HERE and we’ll get it to you ASAP. As always, thanks to those who like, share, post and comment to these posts both on the blog as well as when they’re shared out on social. As you know I’m always looking to build my audience, so please encourage others to “follow” this blog, or subscribe to my 5-Minute Marketing enewsletter Sunday morning updates. You can subscribe directly on this website, or simply HIT THIS LINK and we’ll get you on the list.


Mary Charleson

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