With our continued love affair with the importance of content as part of your marketing mix. We thought it would be a good idea to give you thirty (yes thirty!!) content sources that you can use to help get that greymatter thinking and those fingers typing.

I make no apology for the last 10 of this list being Google centric, after all most of you will be wanting to get on the front page of this search engine giant so you might as well use them to do it! So without further ado lets start

  1. Use your own website: Take a look at blog comments and have a question and answer page for users to interact with. Here you will find out what your audience wants
  2. Content curation Sites: Our favourite is Scoopit – but there are plenty of others out there for you. Another cracker is Smartbrief – you may or may not find your topic listed on here but if you do its a belter!
  3. Graphics – Images quite often tell a story or promote a question, logon to your favourite image sites (if you don’t have one try pinterest, Instagram or flickr) search using some keywords and see what images appear.
  4. Question and Answer Sites – These are a gold mine for information as users are asking questions. Take the question as your blog post title and answer it – bingo you’ll hit the jackpot!. There are a number of listed sites on Wikipedia, but our favourite is Quora
  5. Your own staff and colleagues – They will get asked on a regular basis questions about your company, products and services. Ask them what the top 5 most asked questions are and you’ve got 5 easy blog posts to write.
  6. Customer Success Stories – Write case studies about your customers successes, case stories really add trust to your sales pitch, try and get as many as possible.
  7. Overcoming problems – If your business has overcome some challenges, either with clients or processes or even complaints, then write about it, say what you learned and how you are going to improve.
  8. YouTube – In the search put in a keyword and see what instant results you get. Click through to the most relevant one and take a look. This could inspire you to create some video for your website.
  9. Yearly events – can you wrap your content around events that happen monthly or every year. As an example this post was inspired by the Wimbledon Tennis score as was this one here love – fifteen, can you guess what the next blog post will be called?
  10. Seminars or events you attend. If someone has invested money into an event or seminar then you can bet your bottom dollar they think the return on investment is worth it. Can you write about a similar thing?
  11. Tailored Newsletters We all subscribe to newsletters that are useful in some way shape or form to our business. Take a look through and see what inspiration you get from it
  12. Printed Material Similar to numbers 9 and 10 if someone has spent money on print, either in a magazine or newspaper, they’ve got to think the return is worth it. Have a look and see what inspires you to write a blog post at a much reduced cost!
  13. Industry Associations These tend to be at the cutting edge of your industry, keep abreast of whats new and let your customers know about it first!
  14. Twitter – Use the operators in the advanced search section on Twitter to really drill down to some good content ideas
  15. Facebook I find the easiest way to find stuff is not actually through the search functionality but  by using the new hashtag (#) functionality – I particularly like Facebooks use of this, I find it really easy to use and have found some great stuff already!
  16. LinkedIn Latest News – We talk about this a lot but it is a great resource for finding whats hot in your topic, if you don’t do anything else on LinkedIn then at least use this.
  17. Your local news – local business is important to you, so make sure you get an RSS feed from your local newspaper so that you can keep abreast of what is happening in your area. It may spark some content ideas, but also other marketing opportunities that you might miss.
  18. Breaking News – This is more on a national level, but similar to the event idea you can probably hang your content off a piece of breaking news
  19. Presentations – Use slideshare to harvest presentations in your area of expertise. Typically businesses do not put presentations together unless there is a very good reason – use these to spark ideas for your company
  20. Your Competition – put a keyword into Google and see who appears at the top of the list. Have  a look on there website and see if they are doing anything clever that you can put your own personality on. If you look further afield (America or Australia) you might find some new information that hasn’t hit here in the UK. Use it!
  21. Google Instant- Start typing in your keyword and watch as the instant kicks in. You’ll get a list of phrases you know have already been typed into Google – use them
  22. Google Search List (at the bottom) – For a lot of searches (not all) you will get a suggestion list at the bottom of the first page of results. These are invaluable as content topics and are the easiest to quickly find and use.
  23. Google Alerts – Get Google alerts on any keyword of your choice emailed to you – great to keep up-to-date
  24. Google Adwords – In adwords under the keyword tab you can click on all the keyword phrases that have triggered your ads. Take a look in here for inspiration for new content
  25. Google Analytics – In Google Analytics under your traffic sources and overview. If you click on the keyword tab, put in the search field these words, how, why, what,where, which, who, when, see what comes back ( make sure you are not just searching one days traffic!!)
  26. Google FinanceGoogle finance is not for everybody but the latest and greatest news in finance
  27. Google Trends Trends is the hottest news on the internet, OK it might be a bit ‘celebrity centric’ but it might get some sparks flying
  28. Google ScholarScholar can be really useful for research as it provides a search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles.
  29. Google Product – Again not for every business, looking at products that are available to sell online can trigger ideas for you. Can you match something you do to a product?
  30. Google Blog – Another favorite, take a look at the blogs that are already out there and see what is being written about, an easy way to find new information and content ideas

Give some of these suggestions ago and you won’t be serving a double fault, more like your very first Ace!