Recently, I came across a post by Susan Moeller, How To Find Endless Content Ideas; Real-world Advice, Lazy Day Hacks, and Bonus Tips From Savvy Marketers. It was the first expert round-up post I’ve seen where the writer (i.e. Susan) implemented the tips provided by the experts.
Curating expert tips is an effective content marketing tactic.
But Susan took it to another level.
I was impressed, so I reached out to Susan to ask her some questions. What follows is an interview conducted via email.
Follow Susan on Twitter.
Tell me about BuzzSumo and your role there?
BuzzSumo helps content marketers provide better resources for their customers by providing insight into the content that gets the most shares and how it is amplified. My role has two main parts: customer training and marketing.
On the customer side, I am the keeper of many little known tricks about using BuzzSumo and a friendly face at the door for new subscribers.
On the marketing side, I work with our team to manage our blog, write content, and develop collaborative relationships with others in the industry.
Related news: BuzzSumo was recently acquired by Brandwatch.
How did you get the idea to write the blog post on finding endless content ideas?
Other writers fascinate me! I am constantly amazed at the sheer volume of written material available today, and I wanted to know more about how peers developed their own ideas.
But, there are many posts about finding content ideas. I wanted my post to go beyond pat answers, and help people operationalize the tips provided by the experts.
How long did the post take to research and write?
It’s hard to say how long the post took. The short answer: A long time. The longer answer: About 12 hours of work spread over 6 weeks. Here’s how I spent the time:
I have a group for women in content marketing on Facebook, and I tossed out the original question to the 200 members. Answers came in very quickly. Then I reached out to a couple of other people, giving them a week or two to respond.
That was the easiest part! BuzzSumo recently published a piece by Ann Smarty collaborating on content, and she mentioned how often round-up posts lack a cohesive structure. My first draft imposed an outline on the expert ideas, and did not include a “see how it works” section for every tip.
I consulted with our founder, Steve Rayson, who said the structure seemed artificial (it was!) and suggested I rewrite it as a series of tips. At that point, I had gotten familiar enough with the material, and I was very concerned that I not suggest things that were unrealistic or overly cumbersome.
So, I decided to test the ideas. There were a couple of glitches. One of the tips suggests analyzing survey data, so I had to find something equivalent. Once I had completed the research, the writing and editing went much more quickly.
Which sites do you visit for insights on content marketing?
I tend to jump around from site to site, as I often use a tool called Anders Pink that aggregates news from the industry.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
Fabulous — entertaining and thought provoking.
I got the book recommendation from the Content Marketing Institute blog.
And, as a non-video gamer, it gave me a nice look at what draws people to gaming.