It can be difficult to think of relevant ideas for website content, particularly if you’re trying to update your page as often as possible as part of your search engine optimization efforts. If you’re struggling for new ideas, sometimes simply changing the format of your content can provide a much needed hit of inspiration. If you usually write press releases for example but have run out of newsworthy events, you can be stuck scratching your head trying to think of something to turn into news. However, if you switch to a new kind of content format, lots of ideas that weren’t relevant for a press release but would make a perfect article or how to guide are suddenly back in play.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when writing content for a website and always stick to the same tried and tested format. Not only does this limit creativity, but it can also be boring for your visitors. Why not try something new and take inspiration from the ideas below?
1. A List
Very useful for social media purposes, the list article is quick to write and can be adapted to suit almost any topic or industry. The list can be as short as a top 5 or as long as 100 points. The important thing is that the list itself is interesting and useful. Quite often they act as a reference point and spread quickly through mediums such as Twitter and blogging so the more unique, varied, and informative the list you create, the more likely you are to produce something that will help to build links and drive traffic. It’s easy to create a standard run of the mill list such as ‘Top five Thanksgiving meals’ or ‘Top 10 US cities’ but try and be creative and inject interest into the list by looking at your topic from a different angle. Changing the focus of the two ideas mentioned here could lead to lists like ‘Top five Thanksgiving meals for Vegetarians’ or ‘Top five Thanksgiving meals for pets’ or ‘Top 10 US cities after dark’, Top 10 US cities for foodies.’
2. A Review
An honest review can be difficult to come across and even more difficult to write objectively if the product or service you are reviewing is your own. However, for your article to be successful and to work as link bait or to drive traffic to your site, it must be honest and reliable. A totally biased review is no use to the uninitiated audience and will simply read like a sales pitch to website visitors.
A review should include pros and cons, but that doesn’t mean you have to be negative about your own product. If you are reviewing your new loveseat couch for example, a con could easily be turned into a positive. In this example you could honestly point out that the sofa is not really suitable for households with children as you can’t squeeze the entire family into the space. However, as an alternative, your larger full-sized model is just as stylish, but with generous proportions for larger spaces.
3. A News Piece
Factual and informative, a news item is easy to write as facts are conveyed in a standard format. The first paragraph should contain the Who, What, Where, When and Why and then background information provided in subsequent sections. News can be corporate in nature or relate relevant local, national or international events. Many businesses mistakenly believe that nothing happens worthy of a news release; however, often that is far from the case. You don’t have to wait for something ‘hold the front page’ worthy to write a release, simply be creative and look at your business from different angles. Ideas include recruiting new staff and creating jobs in the local community, implementing environmentally friendly office practices, being invited to join a trade organization, attending a conference or exhibition, carrying out staff training, a reduction in customer service waiting times, signing a new supplier agreement, donating time, expertise or resources to a charity, adopting an office pet, a company anniversary or milestone…
4. An Opinion Piece
Business never stands still and there are always changes and developments in industry and commerce, no matter how niche your specialty is. It’s a fact of life that you won’t always be in agreement about changes to how you are required to do business – even something as simple as a government mandate to switch to energy-friendly light bulbs in commercial spaces can be food for thought and make a great opinion piece.
An opinion piece must not slander or libel, but should be a carefully constructed set of thoughts and opinions about a particular subject. Particularly if you’re qualified in the area which you are discussing, this type of article can be an interesting departure from more mainstream website content. Good opinion pieces can also contribute to search engine optimization efforts by acting as link bait. The very topical or diverse also make good social media posts and can help to raise the profile of the author.
5. A How-To Guide
Much like the list article, a how-to guide can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. Time constraints and depth of knowledge will determine just how lengthy and detailed the piece is. Topics can be as simple as how to make a pancake to something as complicated as how to use a tarp to repair a roof.
By its nature this article is informative and can be a useful link building tool. A well-written how-to guide may include the use of illustrations. The article should be constructed in clear steps which make it easy for the reader to work through the process being described. An initial list of equipment required can be useful as can a photo of the finished product. Writing how-to articles based around your website subject should be easy and require relatively little time; however, care must be taken to ensure the article accomplishes its goal of walking the reader through the process as well as being accurate.
The next time you are stumped for a way to inject some new types of content into your site, give one of the above five options a try. Your visitors will enjoy the variety and it can help you in your search engine optimization efforts as well.