Have you ever had to create content for a client in a niche industry that you know nothing about? If so, you’re not alone. It can be tough at times to come up with ideas that are relevant and interesting to the target audience when their knowledge runs deeper than yours in a highly specific topical area. If you’re having trouble thinking outside the box, try some of these helpful approaches.

Research and Repurpose

If you’re having a tough time thinking of ideas for a subject you’re not proficient in, start by building off of an article written by an industry expert. Was that particular article published several months ago? Search for news that may have developed since then and write an “update” or “follow up” to the idea. Once you get your creative juices flowing, it’ll be easier to make it your own.

Research can be the most tedious part of the process if no information is readily available (online or offline) about the keyword or topic. If you’re coming up blank after doing a quick search, dive a little deeper. Go to the client’s website and look for reviews or industry announcements. If worse comes to worst, don’t be afraid to look at competitors’ sites for ideas.

Collaboration

Join forces with co-workers and make a list of every past piece of content that is similar to the subject you’re writing about and then apply the “research and repurpose” method described above. Google Docs is an easy and convenient way to share these ideas with others.

You aren’t confined to the walls of your office, either. Can you get in touch with a representative from your client’s company to discuss your questions about their products? Can you call an industry expert or someone who lives in your city who is knowledgeable on the subject? Don’t be afraid to set up a lunch date or ask them to coffee to discuss industry trends. If you can only find someone who’s long distance, ask them to Skype. This face-to-face interaction will help build up your trove of ideas and hopefully provide some inspiration.

Twitter, Quora, Reddit

For Twitter, look for hashtags that have to do with the industry subject matter, or participate in Twitter chats. Using hashtags in this manner will eventually lead you to influencers. Reach out to them and use some of the collaborative ideas mentioned above. Look for trending topics to see what people are talking about and find a way to make your client’s products or services timely and relevant to those topics.

Quora is a really great resource because there are thousands of people, just like us, asking all kinds of questions about any subject imaginable. It is also a great way to find influencers because they are usually the people answering the questions.

Reddit provides a ton of idea gems to get the creative process started and offers many categories to browse.

Finally, this content idea generator is a helpful tool to quickly find recent news stories that pertain to your topic. It also pulls data from social websites.

These are just a few ways that you can generate ideas for those articles that are tough to pin down. Share in the comments below some tips and tricks of your own!