How to Develop the Best Content Ideas for Your Content Calendar

It’s almost 2021 (or maybe it already is 2021) and you need a content calendar fast. After all, a content calendar can get you more buy-in and support, save you time and money—and of course, it can help you develop better content for your brand.

When I create content calendars for clients, I use this eight-step process:

  1. Audit the client’s content.
  2. Evaluate their competitors’ content.
  3. Look over publications that are relevant to the client’s audience and industry, including the websites’ or magazines’ media kits and editorial calendars.
  4. Develop a theme for each month.
  5. Brainstorm “big rock” content ideas informed by the previous four steps.
  6. Create a repurposing plan—in short, ways the client chunk down, combine, or reformat the “big rock” ideas to get the most out of their content.
  7. Add all of this to a calendar template.
  8. Create a slideshow and PDF “showing my work” that the client can share with key stakeholders to get buy-in.

infographic with content idea promptsFor many content marketers, the most daunting of these steps is #5: brainstorming content ideas. So I pulled together this list of 18 prompts you can use to kickstart the idea generation process. You can get an infographic of the list here…there’s no form to fill out so you can just click and download!

18 Content Idea Prompts

  1. The holidays coming up over the next three months are: (Don’t forget “National Days” like National Hot Dog Day!)
  2. I would never tell a customer this about our business/industry: (Maybe you should!)
  3. These customers have been killing it with our products/services:
  4. These are the biggest news stories from the past several weeks:
  5. These employees in our company are doing something interesting:
  6. This is what our customers wish someone had told them before they started searching for a product like ours:
  7. One of my coworkers or customers told me this weird story:
  8. This is the biggest reason customers should use our product…that they don’t already know:
  9. These are our customers’ or prospects’ most frequently asked questions:
  10. These businesses in our space are doing better than us, and here’s why:
  11. These businesses in our space are doing worse than us, and here’s why:
  12. In our industry right now, I’m angry about these things:
  13. In our industry right now, I’m grateful for these things:
  14. I have these predictions for our industry for the next six months:
  15. The least-understood benefits our customers have gotten/can get from our product or service are:
  16. I have these predictions for our customers’ industry for the next six months:
  17. Here are the biggest reasons prospects don’t purchase our product/service:
  18. These are the biggest challenges we’ve had as a company in the last three months:

Ready to Create a Content Calendar?

Check out The Bootstrapping Content Marketer’s CONTENT CALENDAR PLAYBOOK. It’s a step-by-step rundown of how I develop content calendars that streamline content production for clients—plus helpful worksheets, scripts, templates, and videos to make the process as easy as possible.

Linda created an excellent content calendar for us that exceeded all expectations. She provided the rationale behind every recommendation. Each piece of content is also well researched and communicated in a clear and interesting manner. Would highly recommend working with Linda—it is a pleasure personally and professionally.
—Dana Miller, VP of Marketing, Crisp