Finding and Creating Content for Information Marketers
I’m always amazed when people tell me that they can’t find content to use in their blogs or other resources. I have the opposite problem!
I have to figure out what NOT to use. To select that which is most relevant and helpful to those who follow my advice.
This starts by having a large “basket” of content to choose from. How does that happen? Here is my list of where I get my content:
1. Google Alerts
2. Randomly Surfing the Web
3. Specific Sites I Visit Daily
4. Emails from Friends and Colleagues
5. Movies I See
6. TV Shows I Watch
7. People I Meet
8. Phone Calls I Have with Friends/Colleagues
9. Events That I Attend
10. Books I Read
11. Magazines I Read
12. Etc., Etc., Etc.
Let me take each of these one at a time. BUT, before doing any of these make sure that you have a document open to capture your thoughts. Some people use an audio recording device, but for me, I just use a text file where I throw all of my “insights” into.
Google Alerts – I have Google Alerts set up for some of my main keywords AND my own name. I suggest that you do the same. Pick out no more than 5 keyword or keyword strings and have Google send you notice when these words appear online.
I don’t spend time going through EVERY link that Google provides me, but when something looks interesting, I click through to read more about it. More most people, this will provide more than enough information for you to ponder and comment on.
Randomly Surfing the Web – When I have an interest in a topic, I just start clicking around. Whether it’s on personal “stuff” or business material, I inevitably find things I can use in my blogs and ezine musings.
I don’t JUST surf for business material. It’s amazing how often I find valuable information to share with other information marketers when I’m just surfing for my personal pleasure.
Specific Sites I Visit Daily – In each of the browsers I use, I have some favorites marked. Every day I visit each of them at LEAST once. For me they include: Yahoo, The New York Times, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Charlie Rose, TechCrunch, The Financial Times, Fidelity, Apple and of course, Facebook.
Again, when visiting each of these sites I have a text file open and ready to record any thoughts I have about what I read. I suggest you do something similar. It makes it EASY to come up with things to write about for your blog or ezine.
Given my circle of friends and business associates, emails will sometimes trigger tinges that I feel compelled to write about. This is a great source of material for me and again, the text file is always open on my desktop to record my thoughts, both PRO and CON when people write to me.
I’m a movie freak, so I get some great ideas from all of the movies I watch. I recently got a sideline gig reviewing movies for a local publication in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Movies often deal with themes that can and should be discussed with members of your market and people on your list.
In addition to watching movies, I try to read a fair amount. Both fiction and non-fiction. Both business and non-business related. Don’t spend your time JUST reading business books. Read a variety of things and you’ll always have a large variety of sources for generating ideas.
A lot of the time when I’m working I have the TV on. Anything from Jeopardy, to the Today Show to TMZ or O’Reilly will give me ideas for things to include in my posts and ezines. Yes, some of it is pure MIND CANDY, but shows like TMZ deal in pop culture themes that generate lots of great ideas for me.
When I meet people throughout the day, I try and take some notes after the meeting. Not everyone stimulates ideas, but many of them do. I don’t try and MAKE myself come up with something. If it happens, great, if not, I keep moving.
If you’re like me, you probably spend some time each day YAKKING on the phone. Some of these calls are business and others are personal. ALL of them have the potential to create some content for you in your niche. All you have to do is PAY ATTENTION! Whether it’s phone calls or any of the other items, that’s key to making this content creation “machine” work.
I go to a lot of seminars and events. Sometimes as a speaker and sometimes “just” as an attendee. Most of the time I’m disappointed. Some of the time I’m impressed. Either way, I’ll find things of value to my niche to write about.
I get a lot of periodicals each month. The include: The Economist, Entertainment Weekly, Time, GQ, Esquire, Wired, Bloomberg’s Business Week and a couple of others. I don’t try to read EVERYTHING in these publications. I look through the table of contents for something that interests me. If it does, I read it. When I read them, I usually find a GEM or two to write about.
The best way is still to live your life with your EYES WIDE OPEN (no offense to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman)! Do this and you’ll find MORE than enough to fill volumes. That is unless you don’t have opinions and thoughts about things. In which case, information marketing is probably NOT the field for you.
Comments or Ideas??