On a monthly basis, we at Spring Insight have to develop many blog topics, some for our organization and some for our customers. We know that some of these topics are powered by SEO Goals (LINK), but many are not. So the question is: how do we come up with blog topics every month? I answer this question so often that I thought it was worth looking again. Plus, I’m feeling generous today, so I’m going to reveal the secret Spring Insight tool that keeps producing blog ideas whenever we need them: the content grid.
What is a content grid?
What is a content grid? The first time we work with a client, we help them create a content grid. Using a Google sheet, we sit down with the customer and find out which six to ten topics their business is focused on. In the case of Spring Insight, some issues are:
- Commissioning a web company
- Professional service websites
- Website elements / functions
- Marketing for professional services
- Write a blog (guess what? You’re here!)
- Social media for professional services
- Marketing analysis
- Website maintenance
- Local corporate marketing
These topics are listed in column A of the Google spreadsheet. Then on line 1 we list big questions that you can ask on each topic. We actually start with the same questions for each client (although we will add an additional question for some if there is something specific about their business that affects each topic).
- What you need
- The best of
- Top 5 comparison
- Our difference
Did you notice anything about the questions? Not only are they a little wide, they’re super wide! When can mean “when during the life cycle” or “at what time of the year” or “at what time of day”. The breadth of the question means that there are almost infinite ways in which you can apply the question.
Find great content ideas
Now that you’ve put your business topics in the Y-axis (A column) of the spreadsheet and the big questions in the X-axis (first row), the magic happens in the fields of the spreadsheet. Each of these boxes answers a big question about a business that you run. Each gives you an opportunity: explain your job, explain to others how you can help, and show others why you are an expert.
In Spring Insight’s case, the intersection of “Blog Writing” and “What You Need” with our content grid would lead you to a title like “What is a content grid and why you need one”.
What I love about the content grid is that we never start a conversation with “What should we write about this month?” (Seriously, has there ever been a more terrifying question?) Instead, we ask, should we take something off the grid?
Would you like to set up a grid for your company? Here is a template. Take it and create!
Author: Erika Dickstein
Erika Dickstein loves chocolate. More importantly here is that she works with small businesses on the web presence and creates websites that not only look good, but work too. She regularly lectures, leads online courses, and creates websites with the aim of teaching small businesses the basics of online strategy. You… Show complete profile >