On a monthly basis, we at Spring Insight need to come up with a lot of blog topics, some for our organization and some for our clients. We know that some of those topics are driven by SEO goals (LINK) but many aren’t. So, the question is: how do we come up with blog topics every month? It is a question I answer so often, I thought it was worth taking another look. Plus, I am feeling generous today, so I am going to actually disclose the secret Spring Insight tool that never fails to produce blog ideas whenever we need them: the content grid.
What Is A Content Grid?
What is a content grid? When we first start working with any client, we help them create a content grid. Using a Google Sheet, we sit down with the client and figure out what six to ten topics their business is focused on. So, in the case of Spring Insight, some topics are:
- Hiring a web firm
- Professional services websites
- Website elements/features
- Marketing for professional services
- Blog writing (Guess what? You are here!)
- Social media for professional services
- Marketing analytics
- Website maintenance
- Local business marketing
Those topics would be listed down column A on the Google spreadsheet. Then, along row 1 we list big picture questions that you can ask about any topic. We actually start with the same questions for every client (though for some, we add an extra question if there is something special about their way of doing business that hits every topic.) Our questions are:
- What you need
- Best of
- Top 5 Comparison
- Our difference
Notice something about the questions? They are not just a little broad, they are super broad! When can mean “when during the life cycle” or it can mean “what season” or it could mean “what time of the day.” The broadness of the question means that there are nearly infinite possibilities for how you apply the question.
Finding Great Content Ideas
Now that you are done putting your business topics into the Y axis (A column) of the spreadsheet and the big questions into the X axis (first row), the magic happens in the spreadsheet’s boxes. Each of those boxes answers a big question about a business you perform. Each one is an opportunity for you to: explain the work you do, get others to understand how you can help, and show people why you are an expert.
In Spring Insight’s case, using our content grid, the intersection of “Blog Writing” and “What you Need” 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 pick something from the grid?
Want to set up a grid for your business? Here is a template. (OPEN LINK IN NEW TAB) Take it and create!
Now, there is one easier way to produce consistent, quality, actionable, and SEO-friendly content. Hire the Spring Insight team to produce it for you! Interested? Let’s talk about your organization and how we can help.