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  • Pogs. Nintendo. Capture the Flag. And Pizza Pockets…

    Those are just SOME of the best parts of my childhood.

    But one of the best memories… Best moments.. Best weeks…
  • Was when the book fair came to town.

    Show of hands? How many of you remember the book fair at your school? Nice…. I loved it. I loved it more than I love getting away from a snow storm and being here in San Diego.... If you’re not familiar with the book fair it was when this company would take over the local school library and turn it into Disney land for books. It was amazing. There was nothing better than finding a great Goosebump book by RL Stine… Or finding a poster all about the Power Rangers…

    I can remember the feeling I would get when I knew the Book Fair was in town. I'd do all the chores around the house to get allowance for book fair money.

    I could spend HOURS… in the book fair looking around for books. But not all books...
  • These books. The Magic Eye Books... Yea we had a love-hate.
    I couldn't figure out how to cross my eyes just perfectly to see the hidden image in the background. I never got it. Still to this day I can’t do it…

    BUT... I still loved the book fair. Mainly because of this guy...
  • Yup. I loved waldo.

    I had an entire COLLECTION of where’s WALDO books as a kid and I’d spend hours looking for him.

    I can remember losing hours and hours of sleep looking for Waldo. It wasn't always easy but it was always sooooo rewarding when I did. But here's the wild thing... I'm a new dad. And I'm kinda upset because my kid might never have that same experience thanks to tech..
  • An idea worth chasing feels just like that feeling when you find waldo. It's very difficult to find a content idea worth chasing. It's very challenging to find a content piece worth creating. And it can be a real struggle to bring a great idea to life.
    We all want content that is linkable... Shareable.. Book markable.. And Findable... We want this content because we all can agree that there's no better feeling than...
  • There's no better feeling than seeing your content result in more links...
  • There's no better feeling than knowing your content is driving sales...
  • And there's no better feeling that seeing people subscribe to your content time and time again.
  • So today - I'm going to help you uncover that feeling.

    I'm going to share with you some unique and underrated techniques for uncovering content opportunities worth chasing. And I'll also be sharing a framework that you can use to consistently uncover these ideas and create a content marketing engine that runs as smooth as butter....

    But to do that... I need to kill this idea:
  • This isn't what it looks like to find great ideas.

    Not at all.

    It's typically like this...
  • Ok. Kidding.

    Kind of...

    Well... Some people will resonate with this..

    But really...
  • It doesn't have to be.

    There’s a blend between both an art and a science that goes into coming up with content ideas worth chasing. At Foundation; we've started embracing a three step process to uncover ideas and reduce the levels of stress when planning...
  • The process is simple:


  • It starts with research.

    But this isn't just keyword research. I'm talking about understanding the audience by studying the channels they visit and the way in which they consume content. It’s here where you gain deep insight into what makes up the: User-Channel Fit. You learn exactly what type of content they want and where that content should be placed.
  • Then it’s time to rethink the content that has already been successful or the content you notice trending amongst a certain group of people.

    Can you rethink the format?
    Can you rethink the title?
    Can you rethink the way in which your audience would resonate with something that a company in an entirely different industry was able to use and succeed with?

    This is the second step in the process. Again -- We often make the mistake of only looking at competitors who are going after similar keywords as us without spending time thinking about the other types of content our audience wants that our competition hasn't even touched yet...

  • Finally, it’s time to remix it…

    I like to say that Content Marketing is like the music industry. You need to think about every content asset you give away for free as a mixtape and not be afraid to remix the content you've created or take inspiration from other content, make it better and turn it into your own…


    Did he just say copy other peoples content?

    Not at all.
  • Look…

    My company Hustle & Grind; we sold this poster.. And it went massively viral.

    The graphic was shared by millions. Made the front page of Reddit, Imgur, 9Gag and has been shared by celebs around the world....
  • Or take this Slideshare deck I made a couple years back… It reached hundreds of thousands of people…

    And again…
  • Since launch...

    Our logo has been removed.
    Other logos have been added.

    People have truly stolen the work...

    This isn't what a remix is.
  • I repeat:


    A remix is when you take inspiration from an asset and come up with something new.

    For example - You notice someone wrote a blog post titled: 6 Great Ways To Sleep Better In 2019 -- You remix that post by creating an entire guide that includes reviews of products, images, video snippets and take it to an entirely new level....
  • The process is simple:


  • RESEARCH. RETHINK. REMIX. It’s the model you can use to better understand exactly how to uncover content assets worth creating.

    What I like about this model is that it’s not limited to keyword research…
  • More times than not… This is a trap marketers… Mostly content marketers fall into.

    They believe that keyword research is the ONLY way to uncover content ideas worth chasing.

    TRUST ME… I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s good. But it isn’t the only way…
  • If you’re running a food blog – and you uncover the fact that: Mediterranean Diet is a powerful keyword and come up with the idea that you should blog about it… That’s no problem! But what I want to challenge you to do today is go deeper.
  • I want you to investigate whether or not there’s potential to turn this blog post into an infographic… or maybe a visual made directly for Pinterest… Or maybe you uncover an opportunity related to this topic that the keyword research doesn’t show you…

    That’s what I want to talk about today.

    Because I think Keyword Research is often times used a crutch for coming up with ideas.
  • This approach is one that forces you to get out of your SEO tool kit and really connect with the people who you’re trying to serve. It’s a formula I’ve used to uncover ideas that have helped generate thousands of leads. And it’s a formula that I’ve used with everything from large to small brands to come up with great content. And while the model works using keyword research EXTREMELY well…
  • Communities cannot be ignored.

    Communities are that place where you can uncover ideas that keyword research wont uncover. Communities are the place where you can uncover a content idea that will leave you feeling like you just found waldo. Let’s jump right in.

    Let’s say you’re targeting developers. You run a site like Stripe. Or maybe you run a site like Twilio… Something very technical. Where do you go to come up with content ideas? How about a community like Hacker News.

  • It’s a site filled with Hackers. Developers. Engineers. You can sort the best posts in Hacker News and gain insight into what type of content they want.

    This is RESEARCH & RETHINK gold.

  • Let’s say you’re targeting growth marketers…

    You can go into a site like Growth Hackers and sort their top posts of all time…

    The goal here is to identify trends and content opportunities that you can rethink & remix…

    Again... This is RESEARCH & RETHINK gold.

    You can do this in pretty much every and any forum. But it’s not the only place to go… A lot of sites have Forums dedicated to Q&A… Or dedicated to customer support… Whether you’re working with an automotive company and you look through their customer support forum… Or a video game forum… Or a forum dedicated to one of your partners… You can go into these communities, sort the content by top posts and uncover content gold.

    Let’s say you want to connect with SEOs.
  • Go into the Moz Q&A forum… Sort content by the “most responses” and see what topics are REALLY interesting to the SEO community or cause them pain.

    We can see here that one of the most popular posts back in 2011 was a post where someone asked “What’s your best hidden SEO secret?” – This is an old post… But it got tons of love.


    Is this something that people in the SEO community want? Clearly. What channels can we use to recreate this? Maybe Reddit? Maybe a blog post? Maybe a YouTube video? Maybe a podcast? Using the Research / Rethink / Remix approach it becomes easy… You could reach out to 20 SEOs, ask them for their #1 secret and then publish that…

    In fact…
  • I put this exact question up in /r/BigSEO a few weeks back just to see what would happen and it got 65 comments and 30 upvotes… Not massive. But it shows me that in a small community like BigSEO that this concept resonates STILL… More than 8 years after the original post.
  • But it’s not just communities like this… Quora is another great place to find RESEARCH & RETHINK GOLD.

    Quora recently announced their own ad platform which IMO is a content marketing gold mine. You can go into this tool and uncover exactly what topics and questions people are interested in learning more about. It’s funny… Similar to the “secret” post – The second question here with 40,000 weekly views is “Dirty business tactics” – That’s kinda interesting because it demonstrates that there’s a REAL appetite in human nature to uncover secrets or less conventional ideas…

    Again… You can start to use these ideas to uncover new ideas and new opportunities.
  • One of the first times I ever used this model was on Reddit. I’m a huge Reddit fan if you haven’t been able to tell…

    But I will warn you – Reddit bans people quickly. I’ve been there. But that’s a different topic.

    You can use Reddit to gain AMAZING insight. How?

  • Sort the content by the top posts.

    Once you do this… Take the time to research and rethink the content that floated to the top. For example; I quickly realized through research that people wanted transparent how-to content to help them achieve marketing goals… They also appreciated screenshots and clear examples to support recommendations… So, I started to rethink the approach and began remixing… The result:
  • Multiple front page visits.

    Whether it was a post about how to grow your Instagram account or a comment breaking down how to monetize an Instagram account.
    All of this content was built from the idea of research / rethink / remix…

    It’s pretty much a guarantee every time.
  • And the more time you spend on Reddit the easier it gets to uncover trends you can utilize.

    For example; we can see in /r/Entrepreneur that people LOVE posts that actually include revenue numbers in their headline.

    People want to know exactly how much you make per month, how much you saved and how much your project is generating. So if you’re going to be successful here you should think about ways to incorporate that into your content….
  • On the subreddit Futurology - I can quickly see that the vast majority of the posts are about Elon Musk. And that these posts are generating 10s of thousands of upvotes.

    This means there’s a clear opportunity for connecting with people interested in future science.

    This is the research method…
  • The next step is to simply rethink the content.

    You can start rethinking the content by analyzing keywords related to Elon Musk… You can rethink the content by analyzing the most popular YouTube videos about Elon Musk. You can start to rethink the content by looking at the hashtag ElonMusk on Instagram and seeing what happens.
  • The next step is to simply rethink the content.

    You can start rethinking the content by analyzing keywords related to Elon Musk… You can rethink the content by analyzing the most popular YouTube videos about Elon Musk. You can start to rethink the content by looking at the hashtag ElonMusk on Instagram and seeing what happens.
  • And if you're in Canada or the state of California - You can rethink titles by taking a little puff puff...


    Kind of....

    All of this info will help guide you to the Remix part of the process. And when it’s time to remix…

    It’s time to create.
  • Here’s a post I created for my ecomm site Hustle & Grind. We placed Elon in an Iron Man outfit and then shared it in a Subreddit called /r/GetMotivated…

    The post got over 630 comments, 28k upvotes and again… It made the front page.

    It also went viral on Instagram. And resulted in a blog post titled The Real Life Iron Man: How Elon Musk Did It… The idea here is simple…

    Research. Rethink. Remix.
  • The Reddit API is open for analysis. You can gather data from the various subreddits, analyze their engagement levels and gain insight into trends that are driving engagement in the various communities. Using Tri-Grams you can see trends like the fact that in this bodybuilding Subreddit – People are looking for cheap and health recipes… They’re also looking for ideas.. They’re looking for people’s favorites.. So. You could create these headlines and more all based on what you see these people want. Tri-Grams on Reddit are a massive opportunity.
  • Ok… Last Reddit tip.

    I’m talking a lot about Reddit because I think the channel is the most underrated in the marketing toolkit. I mean, they just raised $30M from Tencent… And there's a reason this site is called the front page of the internet.

    Redditors LOVE LINKS.

    They love sharing them. The team and I at Foundation did a study of 15,000 of the top posts across a handful of subreddits and time and time again we found that links were the most upvoted posts. People love them. Which is why it can actually be a great source for traffic.

    Which takes me to my next point…
  • Search for sites in Reddit using: – It will give you a glimpse into the content that other sites have created that have actually generated a lot of traffic from Reddit.

    For example; we can see here that a post about Vitamin C not actually having the ability to prevent or treat the common cold got 4.1k upvotes.

    That’s massive.

    It’s also a year old.

    Could you take this insight and turn it into an analysis of vitamin c supplements claiming to help the cold? Could you create an infographic about the real benefits of vitamin C?

    Can you conduct a survey of people asking if they think vitamin C helps them and then debunk the myth? All of these are ways to rethink the concept before remixing it into something great…
  • Let’s say you do the same for a site like Investopedia.

    You can quickly see that one article was featured TWICE and generated tons of engagement. That’s a huge indicator of potential success.

    The idea that banks have wealth psychologists for the 1% got lots of love here and is an idea you could rethink for your own content. Do you create a YouTube video on the topic? Do you interview these wealth psychologists? Do you publish psychology advice for the 1% as a post? I mean...

    That's actually a great idea. So humble I know.

  • Here's an unorthodox way to find content ideas.

    Product Hunt.

    Product Hunt is a site where people talk about new products on the market. Sometimes they’re new websites, sometimes they’re new guides, sometimes they’re new apps and sometimes they’re new ecommerce experiences.

    At the end of the day – It’s a site where products are uploaded by users and then given upvotes depending on how much people like it…
  • Some great products got their start on Product Hunt. Meerkat… Periscope… Ship Your Enemies Glitter.

    Did anyone ever hear of that site? It’s exactly how it sounds. You send people glitter and when they open the package they have glitter everywhere lol…
  • A lot of the "products" launched were just information products... Content assets... Resources... Collections of blog posts...

    For example – “First Users” was the #1 most popular product of the week back in 2017 -- It was a collection of 240 character snippets on how Etsy, Dropbox, Uber, etc… got their first users. It had more than 2200 upvotes... That's huge.

    And “Front End List” was simply a collection of resources around the web to help people learn front end development… It was the second most popular product of the week back in 2015.

    Both of these products had tons of engagement and tons of love in the Product Hunt community.

    But they eventually went to the Product Graveyard....
  • Which happens to be an actual product.

    The Product Graveyard. A place dedicated to products that eventually die…

    Got so much love that it even got press.
  • You heard me right.

    Product Haunt...

    A site that lists all of the products that have died over the last few years and lists the amount of upvotes and comments the product generated.

    This is a great resource to research content ideas that your audience may find interesting and then rethink how you can repurpose it for your own use.
  • Facebook groups are another great place to find content inspiration.

    I have a mixed relationship with Facebook Groups. On one hand I love the fact that they offer us as marketers the ability to gain amazing insight into what type of content people will resonate with but on the other hand I hate the fact that it’s a cease pool for convincing people that vaccinating your kid is bad.

    Vaccinate your kids folks.

    Anyways… There’s BILLIONS... Yes, BILLIONS… Of people using Fcebook groups every year. And inside of these groups you can uncover content gold.
  • Let’s say you’re trying to connect with Coffee Roasters.

    Go into ta Facebook Group for Coffee Roasters and look for the posts that generated the most engagement.

    You can quickly see that roasters are curious about whether they should put tasting notes on their packages – So that’s an idea… You can see that roasters are looking for coffee quotes to place on their wall… That’s an idea.

    Take these ideas, research search volume, research engagement on other channels and if you can validate the actual idea – Start remixing it!
  • But it’s not just Coffee and Anti-vaccination groups.

    There’s groups on bots, software, sports, real estate, google ads, you name it… There’s groups galore!

    And once you’re in these groups – You can start to identify exactly what posts your audience resonates with. But doing it all by hand can be a challenge…
  • Type in a keyword that you know is relevant to your buyers at some point in the buying process.

    Research the content in the SERP and then rethink how they got there….

    You can notice immediately here that there’s a reference to “dates” in both 3 4 and 5… You can look closer at the actual posts and realize that list posts are 1 2 and 4.

    So… How can we rethink this approach for ourselves.
  • Well one of the best sites for lists is Wirecutter.

    Can we rethink the way Wirecutter creates content and go deeper on our CRM reviews? Would that help us rank? Would that be something that our audience would find interesting or relevant? Could we create in-depth videos? Can we invest in creating a bunch of content that is simply covering the best CRM for different industries and going in deep on every single asset?

  • Maybe.

    This “List & Review” strategy is something the folks at Zapier have done well.

    You’ll find tons of blog posts on Zapier’s site that list the best apps and software products…

    Let’s say I’m not in the CRM space at all but these were some of the things I discovered during the Research phase for my coffee company.
  • Could I apply this to creating a list and review for the best coffee press? Best coffee beans? Best coffee grinder? Etc…?

    Let’s go deeper!
  • Let’s say you’re conducting research for a relatively new industry like esports or crypto…

    In these new industries; people often are throwing around language that aren’t exactly the common vernacular.

    So how can you uncover content ideas for them?

    Look at brands that had a role in creating categories or becoming the known authority in a space.

    A quick look at Investopedia will show you their brilliant keyword glossary strategy… An approach where they created definitions for tons of phrases.
  • Another site that implemented the Keyword Glossary strategy is the SEO software company Moz.

    In the site’s SEO Learning Center, you can find phrases that are popular in SEO circles.

    For example, there’s a section dedicated to on-site SEO with questions like “What are domains?” 
  • The multibillion-dollar sales software company Salesforce leverages the Keyword Glossary strategy in its Learning Centre, where customers can find answers to questions like “What is CRM?” and “What is cloud computing?”
  • And as a result – These definition pages have become some of their most visited pages!

    As you think about your own industry, consider how a glossary could help your customers. Do you sell a product in a relatively new market like esports or cryptocurrency? If so, there are plenty of new words and phrases that could make up your glossary. Is your industry full of jargon and industry-speak that most customers wouldn’t understand? If so, there’s an opportunity to give clarity to people looking for answers.

    Once you’ve created these definition pages on your site, be sure to link back to them in your own content. There’s no need to link out to Wikipedia or in your blog posts—instead, you can build a network of internal links by referencing your own definition landing pages.
  • This one is all about the fact that we live in a world where people are building content sites + flipping them with ease.

    I came to this conclusion as a content opportunity when I was looking at the latest Mary Meeker report about the success of the Shopify Storefront Exchange.

    It’s a site where ecommerce site owners can list their shops and sell them to others. But you have to be open about your success…
  • And this is where you can research some interesting opportunities.

    You can dive into the site traffic that these sites are generating and then plug them into one of the many tools out there to uncover what keywords they’re ranking for and how they’re acquiring visits. You can also see how much revenue they’re generating to see if the market is actually worth chasing.

    But it’s not just Shopify.
  • Flippa & Empire Flippers are two other great sites for this.

    Empire Flippers might be my favorite because once someone lists their site and it’s for sale at a pricepoint over say $20k – they do an interview with the site owner and you can pretty quickly uncover content ideas from that interview. In this one interview, the site owner shared that they have Virtual Assistance writing 700 word posts to go with YouTube videos that gamers are putting up on their own channels. They then publish these on their blog and the money comes pouring in…

    If you’re in the video game / app space – that’s an idea for content that could potentially be worth pursuing.

    And while Empire Flipper isn’t as transparent as Spotify showing the name of the site…
  • You can pay to get more access and really begin to...
  • The process is simple:


  • Here’s the process one more time.
  • And here’s a list of all the ideas we’ve talked about today.

    I know.

    That’s a lot. Take a photo if you wish.

    But realistically… You’re not going to create all of these assets. So how do you determine which ones are actually worth investing in?
  • Maslow’s hierarcy of content needs. And go through this line by line…

    How would this content translate into ROI?
    Is the content we’re discussing as an opportunity within our circle of competence? What’s the cost (or time) required to create this content? And is the content shareable? Linkable? Able to rank? And will it separate you from the competition?
    =- Once you ask these questions – It’s time to figure out what ideas are worth chasing and what ideas are worth walking away from….

    Take the time to actually rank them. And then….
  • Do the things that have the path of least resistance but give you a chance to win.
  • And if even after all of that…

    After you cross ideas off your list…
    After you identify some ideas as being trash…
    And some ideas as simply being to much work…

    You’re met with a list of WAY too many ideas.

  • Because you’ve just found the Scholastic Book Fair for Content Ideas.

  • I’m Ross Simmonds – Really hope you enjoyed this!