The date for your next newsletter or blog post is looming, but the problem is you have ZERO content ideas! That all too common feeling of dread and panic is similar to the one that washes over us at 4:55 p.m. when we have no clue regarding what to cook for dinner. We could reach for the frozen TV dinners and call it a day…or turn on the Food Network for quick inspiration.
An effective way to discover ideas for fresh content is very similar. We could rehash the same tired topic or slightly rework a past post and hope no one notices; but neither is an effective way to keep your readers engaged and coming back for more. The alternative is to get creative. When you are at a loss for what to write, look to others for content creation inspiration. This doesn’t mean copy something you’ve just read, but it does mean you can take the same topic, put your own voice, thoughts or spin to it and create something unique for your readers to enjoy.
Example: If you’ve begun to notice a new trend taking up space in your Twitter or Facebook feed, chances are it’s a topic-of-interest. From mobile apps to the latest brainstorming community, business people are always interested in what other fellow entrepreneurs are up to. Other sources of inspiration are the blog posts or newsletter articles of other business owners whose ideal client might be similar to yours. What are they talking about? What’s on their minds? If they are sharing their “top tools for social media sharing,” share your top tools (yours will likely be different than theirs) or share a list of the ones you don’t recommend using.
If you enjoyed reading an article about how successful business professionals start their day, share your personal process or put a new spin on the topic by sharing your success habits regarding how you end your day (and prepare for the next). Putting your personal slant or opinion on any particular topic instantly makes it unique to you, and can often result in some pretty impressive and useful information for your readers.
How to Organize your Ideas:
Create a Swipe File: Creating a swipe file of ideas is similar to making a grocery list of what you need for the month, but with greater change-ability. As you navigate the Internet, keep an eye out for topics that seem to resonate with readers as well as topics that catch your eye. Start a list of links and headlines you can use to inspire yourself during those times when writer’s block hits. Again, don’t copy or plagiarize content, simply use it as an idea-base to create your own original works. Oftentimes a Word Doc works just fine for curating ideas, but tools like Evernote or OneNote are great systems to house and organize your ideas.Create a swipe file of content ideas and keep it in a system like Evernote for easy access!Click To Tweet
Categorize and Tag: Once you have a swipe file of awesome ideas, it needs to be accessible. There’s nothing worse than having a handful of great content ideas (that could potentially fill up a month of blogging or newsletters) and forgetting how or where you filed it. Categorize your ideas with easy to remember tags (this is where tools like Evernote or OneNote really excel) that might include month, topic or even area of business (marketing, social media, list-building) for quick and easy access.
Final Thought: Consider taking two or three of the inspiring ideas you’ve discovered and combine them to create one really great piece of content. Example; use the topic of how your industry is different now than it was 10 years ago and merge it with new and effective tools that make you a better business owner in the current business culture. This can potentially create a great engagement-garnering article that will strike a chord with your readers.
If you still struggle with content creation, maybe our copywriting services might be the solution to your problem. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 20 minute consult to see how we can help!