Editorial calendar: how to find content ideas? [5 tips]

Finding content ideas to fill your editorial calendar can be a painful ordeal.

However, regularity is the first factor in the success of a content strategy.

This article will be useful if :

  • you don’t know if the topics you have planned will be useful to your readers**** you don’t know if the topics you have planned will be useful for your readers

  • you have difficulty generating new ideas you have difficulty generating new ideas **you have difficulty generating new ideas

  • you are sometimes lost in your organisation


Be careful, for the method and the tips that follow to work, there is one pre-requisite: you must know your target at your fingertips!

To do this, you must determine one or more personas, that is to say, a fictitious representation, but based on real data, of your target(s) :

  • Sociological data: age, sex, profession …

  • Problems encountered

  • The needs

  • The media used

  • The purchasing process etc…

The more information you have about your targets, the easier it will be to come up with content ideas.

Find and organise your ideas thanks to Topics Clusters

A Topic Cluster is a group of topics linked to a main theme.

For example, you are a company that offers online vocational training. Here are the steps to follow:

1) Starting from your field of expertise (the main subject): online training

2) List sub-topics related to the main topic :.

  • Vocational retraining

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Financing a training course

  • Available training courses

  • etc…

3) List the questions that your targets have in relation to these sub-topics. You can also include sub-subtopics that are not necessarily questions

Define as many sub-topics and sub-sub-topics as necessary. You can use mind-mapping tools to organise your list.

The Topics Clusters method makes it easy to find sub-topics related to your area of expertise.

On the other hand, it can be more complex to know the questions your targets are asking. To find them, you will need to go through a research step.

Producing useful content for your readers

The content you create makes it easier for the people you target to find you, provided they know how they search.

To find out more about your targets' questions, there are several tips.

Let’s take the example of vocational training: we will look for questions related to the financing of vocational training.

Here are a few tips to help you.

Tip n°1: Answer the Public

Answer The Public](https://answerthepublic.com/) is a tool that extracts queries from Bing and Google and displays them as a “question cloud”.

Let’s see what happens if I type “training funding”.

The questions obtained represent a working basis for your future content.

Please note: the free version is limited to three searches per day. Furthermore, it is not possible to obtain statistics on keywords.

You can complete your searches in different ways: by searching on Youtube, by consulting forums, by subscribing to Facebook groups, etc… This is what we will see right away.

Tip #2: Find ideas on Youtube

More and more people are turning to video platforms to get answers to their questions.

To find ideas for content to be produced through Youtube, you will therefore have several possibilities:

  • try out different keywords, and compare the number of results and views of the videos

  • read the comments below the videos: very often there are questions asked by people who are interested in the subject of the video.

Let’s go and have a look at Youtube. I type “finance training”. I filter the results to keep only videos less than a year old (not mandatory).

Among the comments of the first video, this question was asked:

“I’m a self-entrepreneur, how can I get my training financed by the URSSAF?”.

This is a first example. A few minutes are enough to identify other redundant questions, which can be added to your list of content ideas, and thus fill your editorial calendar.

Tip n°3: The forums

Depending on your field of activity, you may find one or more specialised forums. The main advantage of this type of forum is that they are veritable mines of information on your targets.

On the other hand, specialised forums are less and less numerous, and not necessarily active. They have given way to groups within social networks (we will see this in the following tip).

While specialised forums have lost popularity, this is not the case for general fforums such as Reddit or Quora.

Just type in your keyword, here “finance training”, to get examples of related questions.

It is possible to subscribe to certain topics in order to receive notification when a new question is asked.

Bonus Tip: answering in detail to questions related to your professional activity will allow you to get “upvotes” (other members feel that your answer helps the community). Your answers, and therefore your profile (which obviously contains a link to your site), will thus be highlighted.

Tip #4: Social media groups

The case of groups is slightly different: you will probably find it difficult to find a group that only deals with one of your sub-topics.

For example, on Facebook, you won’t look for a “training funding” group, but rather a group dedicated to vocational training.

You will then have to search within these groups using the keyword “funding”.

Be careful, in this particular case, you will be more likely to find yourself with other training professionals than with people who match your targets.

However, this allows you to carry out an indispensable competitive intelligence.

The same applies to Linkedin groups:

Tip #5: Doing daily standby

Keeping track of what your targets are looking for on the one hand, and what your competitors are doing on the other, can be time consuming.

One trick is to do a bit of wakefulness every day, rather than spending a whole day there from time to time.

For Linkedin and Facebook groups, you can simply monitor notifications previously configured.

You can also use a ** RSS feed aggregator,** which allows you to see at a glance what’s happening on the **blogs, forums and other sites you follow.**

When you spot a topic for which you feel it is necessary to produce content, note it in your list.

With Pilot, you have the possibility to add content with an “Idea “** status, to remember it. You can then decide to produce this content or not.

If you decide to write about a topic you have noted on Pilot, set it to “Draft” status and assign a tentative publication date for it to appear in the editorial calendar.

🙌 Ready to go? Start your trial today

App screenshot