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They say that content is king, and it’s not any less true on the web.  Without good content, your company’s website will have very little success, if any at all.

When facing the daunting task of writing content for a website, everyone wonders, “What do I write about?” When it comes to generating web page ideas, they ask, “Where do I start?”

At GHI, we have over 12 years of experience writing content for the web and have helped hundreds of companies write sales-driving content.  Here’s a list of helpful ways to generate ideas:

Brainstorm – what questions would you ask?

You know your product or service. After all, it’s yours; you own it.  The best place to start when generating content is to take a peak inside. Try to place yourself on the outside and look in.

How would you describe your product or service?  What questions would you ask?  What details should you include? What problem does it solve?  Why would potential customers want to purchase what you offer?

Customers – what questions do your actual customers ask?

Your existing clients have already bought into your product or service; leverage their knowledge to your advantage. Most likely, they know why they purchased from you.

This is especially helpful for companies that already have satisfied clients. Spend time on the phone or email with them, and find out what they enjoyed about their transaction with your company.  (Note: If you are having trouble getting existing clients to do this for you, offer a discount on a new product or a free month of something.)

Why did they need your product?  What problem did it address for them?  What did they enjoy about working with your company, specifically?

On a side note, customer testimonials are also very valuable for a website. When done properly, it provides credibility to your company and your products or services.

Competitors – what are they writing about?

There is really nothing new under the sun; everything you want to say about your product or service has already been said … probably better than you can say it.

What are your competitors writing about? How are they presenting their information, layout, and sales pitch? If you know who your competitors are, spend some time on their website, and take notes. (What do you think we did when posting this blog?)

Obviously, do not steal content from your competitors’ sites word-for-word, but think about incorporating some of their ideas into your page.

Online Resources – what are market professionals saying?

Can’t think of any questions a customer would ask about your product or service? Running out of ideas for new content-driven pages to attract the search engines? Search for forums and blogs to understand what people are talking and asking about.

Forums are websites in which users can post comments, questions, or concerns about virtually any topic in the world. For most industries, there are dozens of forums with hundreds of threads to choose from.

Start at forum search engines like boardreader.com. Once you find a forum that fits your industry, simply browse the topics.

Periodicals – what articles are being written by people in the vertical space?

Every industry has its experts. What are they saying? What do they recommend? What issue(s) is the industry facing?

By reading up on what the sages of field have to say, you are not only educating yourself, you are accumulating valuable content to post later.

News – what are the trends?

What is happening around the world or in your background in your market? What new products were launched recently? How will that affect your market? How will that affect your customers?

Get Google news alerts or search news.google.com using keywords to find ideas.

 

Google Search – search the keyword and read up.

You should find some content that can trigger ideas for your own content.

Google is huge, not to mention rich. To be honest, when writing content for your own site, their opinion counts. Plus, their are hundreds of other search engines that web-browsers use every day. If you want to be found by the search engines, it’s helpful to research what the want and who is doing it correctly. In short, knowing how to write SEO-driven content is a huge benefit for websites.

For now, start with searching for your product or service.  What websites are at the top?  What do those pages say?  What key phrases are they using? What on the page really “pops out” to you. Sometimes, searching for your own product or service can trigger additional content ideas.

Keyword Tools – do a search on the keyword and find related synonyms.

Google’s free keyword tool that actually tells you how many times searchers used a specific phrase in the past month. Spend time generating a keyword list and incorporate those keywords into your text.

Unfortunately, there is no set-in-stone formula for generating content on the internet. It takes time.

Start at the top of the list, and work your way down. We would recommend putting aside a few hours a month or even a few hours a week.

Happy writing!

Written by: Daniel Griffith on January 3, 2011

Daniel is an Author, Designer, and Entrepreneur. With over 10 years of industry experience, Daniel utilizes his unique blend of mathematics and poetry, engineering and creative thinking to solve both technical and business challenges.

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