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How to generate content ideas quickly

This week I’m charting out content and stories to write up from my recent 4-week business/pleasure trip to Australia for both fiveminutemarketing.com and my travel writing site, carryonqueen.com. In the spirit of maximizing content angles, I thought I’d share with you a tool I use called the “content matrix” to help you make the most of your stories and insights to share. The content matrix is a simple, but powerful concept that allows you to literally multiply your story ideas, simply by applying a couple different repeatable angles down one side.

On the flight home to Canada I was brainstorming story areas for upcoming CarryOnQueen.com posts and media articles to submit. I came up with an initial list of 20 ideas. But by applying the matrix concept with 4 additional story angles, I was able to expand the content ideas into 80 possible pieces! Of course I have no intention of writing 80 posts or articles, but the additional ideas will make terrific content for other ways to promote content out on social media and bringing traffic back to my site. I can definitely see some of these as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts, videos, or guest podcasts, as well as tied to images and direct links from Pinterest. That’s the beauty of the content matrix; it not only helps in coming up with original content ideas, it also helps in making social media content fun, engaging and strategically purposeful in driving traffic to your owned platforms.  The content matrix is perhaps best explained visually below with a couple examples. You can see by this sample how 4 topic areas have been expanded into 16 possible content ideas for carryonqueen.com

  Kite surf camp safari in Queensland Brisbane to Sydney road trip Melbourne in 48 hours
Rottnest by bike
How to        
Must see        
Top tips        
Reflections        

The matrix concept can be widely applied by simply switching up the topic areas across the top and then adjusting approaches down the side to best fit your industry. Below is an example for Fiveminutemarketing.com

  publicity LinkedIn Disruption Distribution Price
Mistakes to avoid          
Trends          
How to          
Case study          
Opinion          

To take it one step further, I would suggest that the side filters you apply be well aligned with the type of answers your ideal target audience is seeking. That will turn the content matrix into your secret weapon!

I’ve written about the matrix concept before, but I thought it worthy of showing how it applies so easily across different industries. As we search for ways to be relevant and engaging with social media posts, the matrix is a great way to keep your online content fresh and shareable.

Mary Charleson

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