30 Sure-Fire Content Creation Tips from Gini Dietrich

Despite a tornado in our area, over forty RVA Content Strategy folks gathered to hear content creation tips from Gini Dietrich, the founder of Spin Sucks (and author of the book by the same name.)

Gini flew through thirty slides with tips on how to get more content up on your blog. I was seriously impressed with her ideas and plan to implement them right away.

  1. Subscribe up for SmartBrief for content ideas delivered to your inbox daily.
  2. Set aside a sacred time during the day to write. For Gini, this is before 6am.
  3. Google Alerts is going away. Sign up for TalkWalker Alerts instead. Big plus: it gives better results than Google.
  4. Use blog comments to scan for content ideas.
  5. Google News helps you tie current events to your industry.
  6. Look at your sent mail. Pull emails that you're sending to your customers and turn it into a post. Gini gives Andy Crestodina for this gem.
  7. Pull together a trends post, especially at the end of the year. Sure, everyone does it. But the social stats on these types of posts make it worth it. Internet catnip.
  8. Tie in some pop culture examples. Gini put together a PR case study with Miley Cyrus and it sparked tremendous conversation. Again, don't overdo this tactic.
  9. Find someone with an opposing viewpoint and put together a debate style post. Cross-link to each other's blogs and use a polling plugin to find out who wins.
  10. Write about the good things people are doing. Write up case studies about your industry where companies are doing it well.
  11. Shine a light on places where companies can improve. "Bad" posts tend to get much more social shares and traffic. Be careful to not take a side politically and only share what's relevant about your industry.
  12. Don't forget about the "ugly" posts. Ragan.com uses the "most hated" message frequently and it drives conversation.
  13. List posts (like this one) work. Gini fought them for years. But once she tried it, she was sold.
  14. Give away freebies. Give back to "competimates" (love that term!) by giving away their content.
  15. Highlight the up-and-comers in your industry.
  16. "(Blank) of the year!" It works for People. It will work for you, too.
  17. Book reviews. Especially great if you love to read.
  18. Conduct a live Q&A with an author and the readers get to ask the questions.
  19. Interview authors. Get them to provide you with a list of questions.
  20. Rant. It gets folks riled up and gives them something to rally behind. Get on your soapbox when you're passionate about a topic.
  21. Use a templated short questionnaire like the Spin Sucks Inquisition. Ask different folks the same 5 questions and post their varied responses.
  22. Get people to submit questions on social media and you answer them on video.
  23. Create education posts and write about questions that you're asked frequently in new business meetings.
  24. Read the Paris Review interview with Stephen King. The way he thinks about the skill you have to develop around writing is fascinating. Read the Paris review once a quarter for their author reviews.
  25. Peer into your crystal ball and make a prediction for your industry.
  26. Learn how Marcus Sheridan wrote 100 blog articles in under five hours by getting his team's help.
  27. Aggregate experts and do a roundup of voices. Heidi Cohen does this really well.
  28. Read this post -> Eleven Words Guaranteed to Generate Killer Search Engine Traffic and Clicks

It was an absolute pleasure hosting Gini. She's crazy smart and was a pleasure to learn from. If you want to watch the whole video, it's here. Also, I'd highly suggest getting Gini's book, Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age. If you're interested in making your communications more authentic (which if you read this blog, I know you are) you won't regret it!

Try them out and let me know how they're working for you. And if you want to go even more in-depth into content planning, you can check out my class on Skillshare, Become a Better Blogger: Content Planning.