Gothic Study - The Private Library of William Randolph Hearst

Whether or not you believe content is king online, the fact still remains that content can go a long way in getting your site to rank. Whether you are using content to expand your site as a means of ranking for new keywords, or you're exchanging content for inbound links from other websites, you're going to run into the same problem: what should you write about?

There have been so many client meetings where I explain to them that we need to work on developing new content on their site that isn't a straight services/PR push. And each time that I explain that, I get the same response: how do we write content like that for our site?

No matter what your industry is, there is an opportunity for you to create content.

So where should you look for inspiration? There are a variety of sources, but here are some of my favorites:

Conference Agendas

Look up conferences and workshops in your industry and pull up their agenda. This is a list of topics that people in your industry care about and want to learn more about. Go through the topic list and write your opinion on it. This content will be great for both your own site and for using as guest blog/article posts.

Internal Site Search

This is a great way to build out content on your website. Pull up your site search analytics and take a look at what people are searching for. If you have the content, it might indicate that people are having a hard time finding it. If they are looking for something that you don't have much information about (maybe only a paragraph) or don't have any information about, you should consider building out content on this topic.

Top Content

Another area within your analytics to pull new content ideas from is from your top analytics to
new content
ideas from
content. Take a look at what blog posts are sending you the most traffic. Is there an opportunity to do a follow-up article, to update the post or maybe to flush out an answer to one of the comments you've had on the post? A great example of this was over at the Raven Tools blog where Nate Griffin wanted to respond to a comment someone left on his Google Instant post, but opted to create an entirely new piece of content around his answer.

Popular Forum Threads

Using a site like Omgili or your favorite social media monitoring tool, look for high engagement forum threads around a topic in your industry. Take some time to read through the discussion and instead of just responding to the thread (which you should do), write a post around the topic!

Your Keyword Research List

Remember when you spent all of that time profiling keywords to target on your website? There were a lot of keywords that just didn't make the cut. Now is your opportunity to revisit that list and start creating new pages on your site/blog posts on each of the keywords you know would send you traffic and hopefully some conversions, as well.

Social Networks

Social networking and bookmarking sites are a fantastic place to get inspired for new content. Look at trends in your industry on Twitter - what are people talking about the most right now? What conversations are taking place on that piece of content that just hit the front page of a relevant social bookmarking site? Is there an opportunity for you to provide your own viewpoint on the subject?

Atocha Railway Station, Madrid

These are just a few examples of ways you can get inspired for new content. Don't think that just because you run a niche/dry website that there isn't inspiration out there. You just have to look for it in places you wouldn't normally think to.

What unique places are you finding new content ideas?