As any digitally savvy business owner will tell you, content marketing is the very linchpin of the modern marketing wheel. It’s the great leveler – reaching more potential clients through the internet is no longer limited to the big boys. Through a website, blog or app, even a relatively young business can reach the vast majority of their target audience with the right content marketing execution.

Creating the right content for your audience is no easy task either – its takes several iterations of content creation and distribution to find what works best for your audience and for your business. Nevertheless, one constant struggle for those starting out on their business is to find content ideas for their business blogs. There are several ways to find topics to write about. Some easy sources of content ideas are outlined below.

1. Talk to your customers

This is a fool-proof method of generating content that your audiences will love. Talk to your customers and find out about issues that bother them. Find out what it is that they do not understand about your service, your industry or your products. Notice the kind of questions they ask. Now take those questions, and answer it through content. You could write a blog post or create a video or make an infographic, or you could choose other kinds of content that you feel more comfortable with.

2. Talk to experts

If you need more inspiration, talk to experts in your field or attend their talks. They are sure to drop nuggets of information, facts and insights that can be converted into longer content pieces for the newbies. Many experts now offer their advice and latest thinking via their websites, blogs or other publishing platforms. This not only helps with content ideas, but also provides with blogging, branding and publishing best practices.

3. Trending topics

When things get a bit boring, turn to the power of social media. Look at what topics are trending in your ecosystem and find ways to create content around it. This is not about adding to the noise already circulating on the internet, but about adding your own unique voice and opinion on the matter, esp if you can establish some connection of the trending topic to your industry.

4. Read (a lot!)

Reading is like fuel for the brain. The more you read, the more insights you gain. Keep a diary or an online notepad to record ideas that pop into your mind while you devour rich literature, blog posts and content from authoritative websites on the topics relevant to your business. While reading, remove distractions and be mindful of the topic. It is important to reflect on the matter and being attentive to details to really benefit from reading.

5. View online forums

Online forums (such as Quora, Reddit etc) are good places to look for content ideas. Observe the topics being discussed, and the questions being asked. They are all real consumers and potential clients asking for advice or opinions on things that matter to them. If it’s related to your industry, see if you can answer it better through content on your own website. Chances are that the topics and issues being discussed will appeal to a wider audience too.

6. Keyword research

This is a method that all professional marketers use – using the power of data to find topics and keywords that have been in high demand. Tools such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner, or Ubersuggest are great to find keywords in your industry. Try variations of these keywords, and come up with topics that could benefit your target audience. Work these keywords into content topics. This method gives you the added benefits of SEO as you create content around keywords that have high search volumes.

7. Get personal

By no means should you take to your business blog with the intent to write about your personal problems and pet peeves. This is about personal information which will help your consumers better connect with you on a human level – such as sharing about your work habits, how you manage your business, challenges faced while scaling up your business, or happy pictures of your office, work events or employees.

8. Share your dreams and visions

Talking about the future and all the dreams you have been nurturing about your business can be a bit unnerving, but if done right and strategically will show you in a different light to your audience and to investors. You could talk about your current business, or the industry in general. Taking a stance and betting on the future is always an interesting read.

9. Interviews

When all else fails, get some interviews in! Interviews are personal, and informative and shareable. The more relevant and respectable your interviewee is, the more eyeballs you will be able to grab. This also leverages on the interviewee’s networks to spread the word.

10. Let your users show you the way

Yup, we’re talking about User Generated Content. Hold a simple contest, asking for submissions in the form of written words, or photos, or videos. Or simply invite people to guest post for you, with adequate credit to them of course.

This article was contributed by Influenshine, a company which helps businesses build brand awareness, increase website traffic, increase app downloads, convert leads to customers, manage their online reputation and build brand loyalty through digital marketing, PR and growth hacking techniques.