5 Ways to Get Your Writers to Deliver Better Topic Ideas
There isn’t a scribe alive who hasn’t encountered writer’s block at least once. Caffeine stops working its magic and all we’re left with is a dull buzzing noise in our brain and a glaringly empty Word doc on our laptop screen. Ultimately, it’s our job to conquer the linguistic insufficiency and come up with a quality blog, but sometimes dreaming up an unforgettable topic idea requires a little help from a friend – or a client.
Offer Up Feedback
Client satisfaction is the fuel that fires freelancers’ careers, but it’s difficult to make you happy when we have no idea how we’re doing. You may think you’re being kind by abstaining from constructive criticism. In reality, though, we’re craving anything other than silence. Love that piece on the return of Art Deco chic? Let us know. Can’t quell that nagging feeling that the recent blog on hipster beard accessories didn’t quite mesh with your site’s overall vibe? Speak up. The more notes you contribute the more familiar your writer becomes with how you think, what you like, and what you want your content to communicate.
Share Your Editorial Calendar
Not only is a comprehensive editorial calendar an essential part of any great content strategy, it also helps boost brand authority and stimulates creativity (there’s a reason writers love a good prompt and a fun theme is the best prompt of all). You might dedicate July to all things patriotic; pass that info on to your writer and they know to aim for topics that would make Betsy Ross proud. Bonus perk: A web of related content allows you to develop backlinks which may well translate into more traffic and higher conversion rates.
Let Data Do the Driving
GoDaddy content guru Andy Mcilwain is a big fan of data-driven topics, and for good reason. Using customer-generated insights, social media comments and questions, and even your competition as source material are phenomenal ways to crowdsource inspiration. Share this methodology with your writing team or do the legwork yourself and summarize what you find into a quick list of bullet points.
Encourage Outside-the-Box Thinking
The more rigid you are in your requirements the more austere your content is going to be. Style guides are wonderful for establishing and maintaining brand voice, but sometimes demanding AP style or banning the passive voice entirely kills that special something that makes the written word come alive. It can be hard to relinquish control, but giving your writer the gift of creative freedom might be just what he or she needs to turn a dry newsletter into a witty masterpiece.
Expand Your Idea of What Constitutes Relevant Content
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then requesting eight articles per month about affordable dog toys and anticipating an avalanche of creativity is insane indeed. Great writers know that relevant content comes in all shapes and sizes. You might be selling squeaky squirrel plushies, but your potential buyer could be drawn in by content about any of the following:
- Dog training tricks
- Pet-friendly hotel chains
- Saving money at the vet
- DIY grooming tips
Content marketing is a team effort. Help your writer stretch their creative muscles and you quickly discover that everybody wins.
Alana L enjoys finding inspiration in the unlikeliest places. When she’ s not dreaming up quirky content ideas, Alana’s busy studying up on the latest trends in digital marketing, event planning, wine education, and baby wrangling.