Save time creating the content you need for personal branding success using the following 7 content themes, or timeless content categories.

The best way to build your personal brand is to consistently provide helpful, relevant content to others in your field. This approach attracts search engine traffic as well as both the experts and newcomers in your field.

Consistent branding visibility is necessary because you never know when a prospective client or buyer is going to be ready to buy.

But, where do you get the ideas for creating a constant stream of content-filled articles, blog posts, podcasts, teleseminars, and videos?

That’s where categories of content ideas come in.

The power of content categories

You don’t have to start writing with a blank screen if you think in terms of content categories that you can frequently return to and address from different perspectives.

Let’s face it; the hardest part of writing is coming up with a topic, or basic idea, for content marketing articles, blog posts, podcasts, SlideShare presentations, white papers, or videos.

Once you come up with the basic idea, however, it’s usually easy to identify the key ideas and start planning and writing your project.

That’s why the 7 content ideas, listed below, are so useful. They eliminate the “empty screen” syndrome. They reflect universal content themes common to every field and every type of product or service.

Use the following content ideas to provide a broad context you can address over and over again from different perspectives, in different media, with varying amounts of detail.

7 key content ideas

  1. Buying information. Your prospects are risk adverse. At every step, they’re concerned about making an expensive mistake. As a result, they’re hungry for information that will help them make an informed, “safe,” buying decision. The more “How to Buy Right” content you share, the better.
  2. Questions to ask. One of the best ways to create helpful buying content is to empower prospects by sharing questions. There are two categories of questions; questions for prospective buyers to ask themselves and questions to ask while shopping the competition. These questions help prospects pre-qualify themselves and permit you to emphasize the benefits of buying from you.
  3. Mistakes to avoid. Another content category that empowers prospects while emphasizing the importance of buying from a trust brand is to describe the mistakes that you’ve seen clients and customers make in the past. Often, of course, these mistakes were the result of putting short-term savings ahead of shopping for long-term value. Sharing these mistakes emphasizes your expertise and experience.
  4. Trends. What’s happening in your field? What are the trends affecting your clients, customers, and prospects? Often, changes take place so slowly they’re barely noticeable. Providing content that alerts your market to the changes taking place enhances your brand as a source of information. Your content can be as simple as “7 Trends Affecting Your Future Profits.”
  5. Concerns and challenges. Trends, of course, describe change, and change often requires interpretation. Interpreting the significances of recent trends offers an opportunity for you to alert prospects to the consequences of the changes. This adds urgency, encouraging prospects to prepare for the future by taking preventative action now.
  6. Terms. One of the biggest challenges your prospects are dealing with is mastering the vocabularies associated with rapid technological change and advancement. You can build your brand by introducing the vocabulary your prospects need to know to confidently discuss their goals and objectives. Content options can range from a simple word of the day to a list of the Top 10 or 20 terms in your field, with short definitions emphasizing their relevance.
  7. Resources. Another important category of content ideas involves curating, or sharing, content created by others. Filtering and selectively sharing the most important ideas in around your topic reinforces your expert personal brand. The more resources you share, the more you’re viewed as an expert. Information can range from published books to online links to articles, blog posts, and upcoming events.

Putting the 7 content ideas to work

Here’s a simple 3-step approach to putting the 7 content ideas to work building your personal brand:

  1. Make a list of the 7 key content ideas. Place each idea at the top of a different page in your idea notebook, or a different sheet of yellow lined paper. You can also create a 7-column table in a Word.doc, or create a mind map.
  2. Brainstorm possible titles for each content idea. Expand your list of the 7 key by coming up with titles and different ways to approach each category of information. One way to do this is to approach each content idea from the perspective of a different market segment.
  3. Add deadlines for each content idea. The best way to take full advantage of these 7 content ideas is to create a deadline for creating content based on each idea. Adding a deadline converts an intention into action. Committing to write a “How to Hire a Personal Branding Coach” blog post by November 15, for example, increases the likelihood that you’ll successfully take action.

Content tips

Here are some final tips for working with list of the 7 basic content ideas:

  • Work as quickly as you can. Don’t analyze or self-censor your work when expanding your list of 7 content ideas. Come up with as many different ideas as you can for each topic as you can. There will be time to evaluate them later.
  • Think back on your previous clients. Think of the different stages they went through before buying and selling your product or service. Think in terms of how you can apply the 7 content ideas to different personas, or target markets.
  • Don’t focus your content exclusively on first-time buyers. Consider applying the 7 content ideas to prospects at different experience levels. Think in terms of writing to advanced users or dissatisfied users who aren’t getting full value from their current investment.