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How to find the right topics to include in your monthly content calendar

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Woman making notes on a calendar to create content later
Topics aligned with your content strategy will boost social engagement | Photo: Karolina Grabowska

Creating a monthly content calendar aligned with your business’ marketing strategy is one valuable step towards keeping your communication and sales targets trackable. This calendar will also help you know when posts will go live, which videos are performing well, and which content you should probably avoid spending time on in the future. But how do you find interesting topics to talk about in the first place? How to find the right topics to include in your monthly content calendar?

Another reason why you need to have an efficient content calendar – not random content scattered around or created and posted based on your mood – is that it takes a lot of time. The task of creating good content doesn’t end when you add your last image to a folder containing a month’s worth of posts to start scheduling ahead of time. Nor does it end when you spend a whole day painstakingly uploading content to a social media scheduler of your choice. Those working with digital content know that, besides the hard work that goes into creating content, there will be a vast amount of time you will have to allocate to interaction with your content once it is live. This includes answering questions, replying to comments left under your posts, and being engaging while still business-oriented.

I asked influencers and professionals in charge of creating large batches of content, in Europe and in the US, how they manage to find great topics to include in their monthly content calendars. And here is how they get inspired to come up with content that is both relevant and engaging.

 

Pinterest’s business tool for search terms

“One way to find interesting topics is to utilize Pinterest’s Business tools. For instance, I use Pinterest Trends to view the top U.S. search terms on Pinterest and find when those specific terms peak. I use these insights to find interesting topics and determine when the best time of year is to post that content. I also use Pinterest Predict, which uses data to predict trends that will occur in the future.”
Kathryn Schwab – Head of Content at www.hibobbie.com

 

Have SEO in mind

“The way we find content ideas at our agency is by doing keyword research and having search engine optimization (SEO) always in mind. First, we find keywords and topics that our competitors are ranking for. We also want to choose keywords that we know we are able to rank for. Use Google autosuggest and ‘people also ask’, and www.answerthepublic.com. These tools will tell you if people are interested in that particular topic. In just two hours of this research, you can get all your years’ worth of content ideas.”

Isabel Pak – Global Digital Marketer at www.businessoneonone.com

 

Go back in time

“One way to get interesting topics is to hop in your time machine and see what people were talking about one or two years ago. If you find that there’s been sustained interest in a topic, then go with it. It’s likely that people will be talking about it again. Add your own twist to the topic and VOILA!
Stephen Anfield – Freelance writer and a non-profit consultant.

 

Keep an eye on the competition

“I think the best way to find topics that you could potentially rank for (and should bother creating) is by seeing what your competitors are ranking for. You could use a tool like Ahrefs or SemRush for this. Once you input your domain into Ahrefs, for example, you go to ‘competing domains’ – which will include all the domains that are ranking for some of the keywords you are also ranking for.
You can ignore the keywords you are both ranking for and focus on the ones that only those domains on the list are ranking for. These keywords can give you tons of topic ideas that will help you rank on the first page of Google.”

Freya Kuka – Personal finance expert at www.collectingcents.com

 

 Mailing lists can be useful to crowdsource interesting topics

“One of my favourite ways to develop content ideas is surveying my audiences. Reaching them on social media or using mailing lists to crowdsource the topics of interest is an invaluable method to align my content with the interest of the readers. When reaching out, it’s important to provoke some thoughts and direct your followers toward meaningful responses. So, you want to go deeper than just asking them what they think is a cool topic.”

Rebeca Sena – Architectural Marketing Consultant at www.getspace.digital

 

Search viral content at BuzzSumo

“One of the best ways to get content ideas is to use a tool like BuzzSumo. Enter in a keyword or topic and it will display the most viral content related to it. This includes social shares, backlinks, and other important metrics. Use this to understand what readers are interested in and create content based on that. Marketers can also spin the main topic into clusters and sub-topics for maximum efficiency.”

Carmine Mastropierro – Toronto copywriter and marketing consultant at  www.carminemastropierro.com

 

Ask around to create what people want

“My #1 hack for planning content and topic ideation is “asking the people” – what content are people looking for that’s related to your business? What questions are they asking? Using tools like AlsoAsked.com, using the ‘People Also Asked’ section of the SERPs, and joining social media groups are great ways to learn what your market actually wants to know.”

Shonavee Simpson-Anderson – SEO Strategist at www.firewiredigital.com.au

 

Reddit and Facebook are your friends

“You can create content from discussions online, such as a blog post from lifehacks that uses your product. Crowdsourcing still works for content as long as it’s curated. And if the page of the client you are developing content for has a light tone, you can create memes to share on social media.

We usually create content calendars for clients in advance, but we’re not strict about which topics should be posted on a specific date; if there’s major news that’s related to our niche or our audience’s everyday life, we do adjust.”

Clara Buenconsejo – Digital Marketing Consultant at www.theclaymedia.com

 

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What is credit invisibility and how can it affect your finances?

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A woman paying groceries with cash
Only paying in cash will make it difficult to build a credit history and may make you may be credit invisible

If you’ve never taken out a loan or owned a credit card, you may be credit invisible. This means that financial institutions have no records to show that you’ve borrowed money responsibly in the past, which lenders largely rely on to approve you for financial products.

Everybody starts off with invisible credit. However, it can affect you in more ways than one, so it’s important to seek ways to build your credit history as early as you can. Here, we look at some of the effects of credit invisibility on your finances, and offer a few tips to start becoming credit visible.

Access to financial products

Before being approved for any kind of financial product in which you borrow an amount of money, a lender will run a credit check to ensure you have a good credit history. Usually, they’ll be looking to see that you have a high credit score – this would prove that you’ve borrowed money responsibly in the past, and have been able to continuously keep up with repayment obligations.

When you have no credit history for lenders to look at, it can make it harder to qualify for financial products. Your lender will know that you have no prior experience managing borrowed money, and therefore can’t for certain know that you’ll pay any amount back that you borrow. This can be true of all kinds of borrowing options, such as credit cards and loans.

Low limits, high fees

Ultimately, everyone starts off with limited or invisible credit history. So, there will always be a restricted number of financial products available to those looking to borrow for the first time.

However, you may not be offered the best deal if you’re credit invisible. For example, you might be offered a lower limit on a credit card you apply for, or a smaller sum of money on a loan. Plus, you’re likely to face higher interest fees than those who have a visible credit history.

Stagnated progression

Most people will need to borrow money from a lender at some point or another. Usually this will be to pay for a big life expense – you may be buying a house with a mortgage, or purchasing a car on finance. Having limited access to credit options can make goals like these much harder to work towards and obtain. Unfortunately, this could have a knock on effect on your overall quality of life.

Limited access to financial products means that you’ll largely have to rely on your own savings to make any big purchases – this could set you back years when it comes to owning a property.

How can you become credit visible?

Luckily, credit invisibility impacting your quality of life in the long-term is a worst-case scenario. As long as you take a proactive approach towards your finances, you can easily remedy your credit invisibility.

There are plenty of simple steps you can take to become credit visible – you can get on the electoral roll, link your current account to a credit reference agency, or take out a monthly mobile phone contract. These tasks won’t necessarily prove that you can borrow money responsibly, but they’re a good place to start.

Next, you’ll want to look into credit options. Taking out a credit card or loan with a low limit and a high interest rate can seem like an unappealing option, but as long as you can cope with the financial responsibility, it’ll be worth it in the long run. By sticking to your limit and repayment commitments, you’ll prove to your lender that you are a responsible borrower. In turn, this will be reflected on your credit report, and your credit history will begin to take shape. Using such a product responsibly is likely to boost your credit score rather swiftly, which can qualify you for further credit options. You may even find that after a set period of time, your lender is willing to increase your limit and offer a lower rate of interest on your product.

Getting started

Keen to start building your credit history? Do plenty of research on the products available to you before making any long-term commitment. To ensure that you can keep up with the financial responsibility, create a detailed financial plan for the best results.

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Extreme tourism market to reach $91 Billion

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Extreme Tourism Market to Reach $91.0 Billion
Mountain climbing held the highest extreme tourism market share in 2022 | Photo: Connor Moynihan

A recent report published by Allied Market Research forecasts that the global extreme tourism market, valued at $24.2 billion in 2022, could reach $91.0 billion by 2032.

The growing influence of social media is a powerful force surging demand in the extreme tourism market, which attracts travellers those leaving their comfort zones to engage in activities that are considered high-risk, adventurous, or unconventional, such as skydiving, bungee jumping, and rock climbing. Thanks to platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, serving visuals and tutorials breathtaking adventures,

Travelers, inspired by visually appealing content on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, are actively seeking out thrilling experiences to share on their own social networks, driving a sense of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) among younger demographics, compelling them to actively participate in adrenaline-pumping activities to create their shareable moments.

By adventure type, the mountain climbing segment held the highest market share in 2022, accounting for more the two-fifths of the global extreme tourism market revenue and is estimated to maintain its leadership status throughout the forecast period. However, the skydiving segment is projected to manifest the highest CAGR of 15.2% from 2023 to 2032.

25 to 45 years is the age group holding the highest market share since 2022, according to the report, accounting for more than two-fifths of the global extreme tourism market revenue. The segment is estimated to maintain its leadership status throughout the forecast period. However, by 2032 it will be below 25 years segment that is projected to have the highest CAGR: 15.3%.

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Petrol up 6p a litre so far this year in the UK

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Increase in the cost of wholesale petrol has squeezed the average retailer margin which has now reduced to 8p a litre | Photo: Engin Akyurt

Petrol went up nearly 2p (1.86p) a litre in March from 144.62p to 146.48p meaning the average price at the pumps has increased almost 6p since the start of the year, data from RAC Fuel Watch reveals.

Diesel rose by more than a penny from 154.68p to 155.99p (1.31p), making for three consecutive months of rises. A full 55-litre tank of petrol now costs £80.56 – up by £1 – and diesel £85.79, up 72p.

While the increase in forecourt prices was driven by a 5% rise in the cost of a barrel of oil (from $83.55 to $87.48) in March, a surge in demand for petrol in the United States ahead of the summer has caused the wholesale price of unleaded to rise to match that of diesel. This meant that by the end of March, a litre of unleaded cost 113.3p on the wholesale market, only a penny or so less than diesel at 114.69p. If this remains the case, the gap between the two fuels at the pumps should close from its current 7p in the next few weeks.

RAC Fuel Watch data shows the increase in the cost of wholesale petrol has squeezed the average retailer margin which has now reduced to 8p a litre, in contrast to 10.5p at the beginning of the month. The average margin on diesel is 11p, up by a penny over the same period.

Looking at the big four supermarkets which dominate UK fuel retailing, Tesco had the cheapest unleaded on 31 March at an average of 142.7p across its 511 forecourts, while Asda had the most expensive at 145p. Asda, which for many years prided itself on selling the lowest-priced supermarket fuel, also had a whopping 33p price difference between its cheapest and most expensive petrol. The grocer charged 139.7p at nine forecourts, four of which are in Northern Ireland, and 172.9p at junction 29A of the M1 near Sheffield – a Shell-branded site operated by Asda. Comparatively, Tesco had the smallest difference between its lowest and highest prices at just 6p (138.9p v 144.9p).

At the end of March Sainsbury’s sold the cheapest unleaded at 136.9p at two sites – one in Wolverhampton and one at Dungannon in Northern Ireland. Tesco, however, was charging its lowest price – 138.9p – at 30 separate forecourts. Asda, on the other hand, was only charging its lowest petrol price of 139.7p at nine of its 658 forecourts.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco were tied for the lowest average diesel price across their portfolios at 151.7p and 151.8p. Asda’s gap between its cheapest and most expensive diesel was 35.2p (147.7p at Torquay and two in Northern Ireland v 182.9p at the Shell-branded site it runs near junction 29 of the M1).

Tesco had the smallest gap of just 6p between diesel at its forecourts (148.9p v 154.9p) while Morrisons was also under 10p (145.7p v 154.9p) Sainsbury’s had the cheapest diesel at 142.9p, but this was only available at Andersonstown, near Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Tesco’s lowest price of 148.9p was, however, on offer at 45 of its forecourts.

BP and Shell-operated forecourts also have very large differences between their cheapest and highest fuel prices. For unleaded BP has a gap of 27p (142.9p v 169.9p) and Shell 26p (143.9p v 169.9p) across their 287 and 536 forecourts. For diesel, it is 30p for BP (149.9p v 179.9p) and 26p for Shell (153.9p v 179.9p).

“The rising cost of oil, combined with the pound still only being worth a meagre $1.3, has led to another month of misery at the pumps with the price of petrol going up 2p a litre. Sadly, this means the average price of petrol has gone up nearly 6p so far this year,” says RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.

“The data also reveals that Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons only offer their cheapest prices at one or two stores whereas Tesco offers it at around 30 forecourts, albeit at a slightly higher cost. Its customers also have the comfort of knowing that there’s only 6p difference between its lowest and highest prices.

“Sadly, Asda appears not to be the force it once was in fuel retailing. Gone are the days when it used to announce big headline-grabbing pump price cuts when wholesale prices fell, along with a promise at the time that drivers would never pay more than a certain low price at any of its forecourts.

“On a more positive note, it’s good to see the average retailer margin on petrol come down from 10.5p a litre at the start of March to under 8p. While the cause is most likely to be the increase in the wholesale price of petrol, it could also be due to the CMA again raising concerns about higher retailer margins very publicly just last week.”

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