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How to Find a New Content Angle on an Old Topic

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July 9,2013

By Jon Henshaw, Raven Internet Marketing Tools

We've all been there. Your jumping into blog writing and you come across the same subject you've written about time after time. You need content marketing ideas to propel your business forward and want to make sure your content is appealing and helpful. When it comes to content marketing for small business, it can be tough to string along a variety of quality blog writing material.  Whenever I get stuck, I pull out my secret internet marketing tool/weapon. This weapon is able to discover content ideas I could have never found on my own. It's actually quite the magical content marketing service. That weapon is called OpenCalais, a semantic search engine that analyzes content and finds relationships between people, places and things.

Discovering new ideas with OpenCalais

Open Calais is a great content marketing tool that uses your existing content to make the kind of connections that help you discover new ideas.

To get started, find some of the articles you’ve written about the subject you’re stuck on. Next, copy the text of one or more of them and paste it into the OpenCalais Viewer. (Even easier: If the article is already online, just paste the URL into Raven’s Research Central and then click on the Semantic tab.) In a matter of seconds, OpenCalais will analyze the copy using its semantic engine and provide a list of related data. From there, some quick brainstorming on some of the related terms should be enough to get you thinking creatively again – with a fresh, new angle on your old, stale topic.

Mining ideas from competing sites

You can also take it a step further and analyze content from other sites that are similar to yours or even competitors. For example, if I wrote for a parenting site that focused on breast feeding, I could analyze the content from this article about the benefits of breast feeding on CBS News with OpenCalais. In the case of this article, OpenCalais provided several new ideas I could write about that relate to breast feeding.

The related terms listed medical conditions – like asthma, diabetes and postpartum depression – that breast feeding can help minimize the risk for. So that’s three new ideas right there.

It also gave me the idea of antibodies as a scientific topic I could pursue, and a list of organizations like the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control and University of College of London, where I could find additional information or research to look into for future articles.

OpenCalais has an uncanny ability to discover the kind of connections that get your mind thinking creatively again when you’re stuck. It’s my secret weapon when I run out of ideas – and it can be yours too.


Jon Henshaw is the co-founder of Raven Tools, the all-in-one Internet marketing software for small businesses and agencies. Follow Jon @RavenJon


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