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18 My Top 10 Sources of Content Inspiration

blog inspirationI’m often talking about producing high quality, education based content as way to draw leads to know, like and trust you. So, for example, I always advise small business owners to create and populate a blog because I happen to think it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to both create and optimize content.

Some of the questions I still receive frequently however, are one like – how do know I what to write about, where do I get all those good ideas or how do I uncover trends, tools and tips that might appeal to my audience?

So, for today’s post I thought I would share the tools I use to get my brain thinking about what to write about. My favorite strategy is to mine these tools and sites for seemingly unrelated ideas. I can’t tell you how often I’ve uncovered the seed of an idea from something totally unrelated to marketing that I could twist to apply it in a totally new and relevant way.

  • Customer feedback – I love to turn customer and prospect questions into blog posts and more. You should be keeping track of those FAQs and answer every single one and some that don’t get asked as content.
  • delicious – this old school bookmarking site is still my favorite place to go and see what other folks are finding and saving.
  • Bing/xRank – I have to admit this is a new one as Bing, the Microsoft relaunched search engine is new, but for now, xRanks seems to be turning up trend faster than Google Trends
  • Blogs I subscribe to – I use Google Reader RSS reader and anytime I can I check in with some of the 100 blogs I subscribe to
  • OneRiot – another fairly new real time search engine that I use to find the links that people on twitter are discovering and retweeting
  • Keyword Phrases – Google’s free keyword search tools can give you phrases that people are actually using to find your products and services and offer some tips for what to call your blog posts
  • SmartBriefs – subscribe to a daily briefing on a variety of topics and see what some pretty smart editors are turning up
  • Business Week’s BX – Business Week’s social network allows anyone to submit content to a large group of subjects
  • Twitter follows – I follow some folks that are always finding and tweeting good stuff. By setting a select group up in TweetDeck I can always stay on top of these important tweets.
  • Magazine pile – I subscribe to Wired, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Week, and Fast Company and while I sometimes get behind on the pile, I love to go there for inspiration.

Image credit: USMarine0311

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30 3 Ways to Deep Slice Twitter Conversations

deep sliceOK, so you’ve got your twitter account up and cooking, you’re using 3rd party apps to filter and aggregate search and you’ve got a tweeting routing down pat, now what?

Now it’s time to take a much deeper look into the social web and start slicing conversation themes, discovering who’s influencing what, who’s saying what and how often, and what’s trending around a topic. There is a new breed of search engine forming around the “now search” that is plugging into social sites like twitter and backtype as well as blogs and social networks.

Below are three newish real-time search engines that allow you to take a deep look as what’s going right now.

  • Keyhole – this is essentially a bookmarking site for twitter. Users share tweets that contain URLs to web pages and this site keeps track and returns search results based on topics. This is a really great way to discover some new sites related to subjects and you can interact with the twitter shares right from the site by replying to or retweeting good stuff you find.
  • Topsy – @topsy – lots of stats when you search including a collection of authors by volume for each topic you are trending. Really like this to find people who are very active around a topic or who are your best retweeters.
  • crowdeye@crowdeye – currently a twitter only search engine it gives you results from tweets and retweets including graphs and charts.

Image credit: theilr

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