Your Editorial Calendar: 8 Quick Tricks for Generating Content Ideas

Posted on Feb 13, 2014
By Rhonda Hurwitz

It’s that time again: your editorial calendar needs filling in. You need content that’s fresh. There needs to be energy and enthusiasm in your topics, and you have to plan them out months in advance.

Even when you’ve done it a hundred times, it can seem like a daunting task. Even the best of us can use a little boost to help our creative brainstorming process from time to time.

So put away your spreadsheet, clear your head, grab some dry erase markers … it’s time to take control of your editorial calendar, and start generating content ideas.

8 Tips To Start Generating Content:

  1. Refresh an Older, Popular Topic
    Return to one of your highest-ranking articles and take another look at it. Could you update the information or add to it in some meaningful way? If it resonated with readers once, chances are it will again.
  2. The Human Perspective
    Feature a reader, a charity, or a newsmaker in your field. Find someone who isn’t afraid to be open and honest, and let readers walk a mile in that person’s shoes. Tell an authentic story, and watch how your readers connect with it.
  3. National Editor Appreciation Day
    We don’t think that day really exists, but there’s a nearly infinite list of holidays and theme days, weeks and months. The calendar is an old standby -- because it works. Review a comprehensive list of holidays and special days/weeks/months, such as Chase’s List published by McGraw-Hill and take note of those most relevant for your audience.
  4. Two’s a Theme, Three’s a Trend
    Generating content about trends months in advance can be challenging. However, by creating a trend placeholder in your post editor, you can regularly scan reader emails, comments on recent articles, and social media trending topics to make note of themes that keep reoccurring. Trust your gut and delve into new territory. You could be the first to identify a new trend.
  5. Industry Conferences / Events
    When all of the key players in your field gather together, there is content to be harvested.
  6. Interactive Content
    Generating content doesn’t need to be a one-way street. Issue a survey to ask readers what they want to read about, partner with an advertiser on a contest or giveaway, or invite guest contributors from a relevant industry organization.
  7. 1,000 Words
    Use imagery to tell a story. Run a photo series, create a regular infographic, include an artist spotlight, or produce short videos for your site, Vine or Facebook.
  8. Just the Facts
    Research findings take time to review and summarize. But that’s time that your readers aren’t likely to spend, so doing it for them could be a valuable service. Once you identify a credible research report for your field, skim one for surprising statistics or industry advancements to write about.

Republishing: A Great Option for Generating Content

Once your editorial calendar is complete (for the moment, at least), the real work begins.

Who's going to write all of it?

While the majority will likely be original content, republishing is a great option. Consider incorporating republished third-party content into your editorial mix.

By adding a unique headline and original introduction or summary text, you can offer your readers even more relevant, quality content than you currently have time to provide.

Expand Your Content Capabilities: Try repubHub:

The repubHub content network offers third-party content from recognized leaders such as Newsweek, Investor’s Business Daily, the Washington Times, and many more. Setting up repubHub topics in advance and anticipating noteworthy events will alert you when fresh content matching your topics is available for republishing.

Learn how a content network like repubHub can help support your editorial goals.

Learn More About repubHub

Free eBook: Need more content in less time?

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Content Strategy Q & A: Is Third Party Content Right for Your Website?