Creating good quality content is often the easy part. For most of us, the problem is usually finding the right idea, coming up with compelling titles and headlines and determining the right hook that will set your content apart from the millions of other pieces put out all over the web every day. As Stephen King said about writing, “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
It’s a little bit like composing music—once you have the melody in your head, you can start to work on the arrangement—but that first thought has to be inspired by something or someone or some special moment. Just as it is difficult for a musician to write a piece of music on demand, coming up with an idea to fit into your content marketing calendar can also be tough. Moreover, while a musician doesn’t have to write tons of music every day, a content marketer has to keep up a steady flow of high quality content daily. How do you accomplish that?
Light Bulb Moments—“Aha, Now There’s A Great Idea!”
Unfortunately we can’t just sit around waiting for that light bulb moment, but what we can do is jumpstart it. Mentally prepare to give ourselves the best chance of that productive ‘ping’. Put some electricity in the system to bring that content light bulb to life.
So what can you do to help yourself come up with great content ideas?
- Magic of the morning – Have you noticed that your best ideas usually come to you when you are least expecting them? How often has a spark lit up in your head when you are in the shower or brushing your teeth or on the bus to work? A good time to welcome an idea is after a period of mental relaxation, such as sleep, or after doing something equally mentally distracting. The trick is to stop actively looking for the idea and it will come to you. A simple game of Scrabble may get you started. Or pulling weeds in your backyard could set you thinking.
- Brainstorm – The problem with allowing ideas to flow freely is that your brain can quickly get filled up with ideas that don’t work. Write down the issue that you are trying to solve (for your audience) and empty your brain of ideas. While you may reject the majority, there is likely to be a little gem hidden in there somewhere which can be developed into a big idea. As Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” So accept that and keep going!
- Several bad ideas = 1 great idea – Sometimes it’s easier to know what we don’t want, often more than what we do. By writing down your bad ideas and answers, the mist will gradually clear about what you DO want. As the parameters narrow, that new, great idea will begin to form perfectly inside your head.
The key to continually coming up with great content ideas is finding a way to release your creativity. While it isn’t always possible on demand, by nurturing your creativity and finding a way to jumpstart that light bulb, you can feed your content marketing calendar with ideas that have the highest potential for sparking content your audience will love. Here is a wonderful presentation with lots of useful tips on how to produce good content ideas.
Is your content marketing strategy at a point where ideas are getting stale? Does your content marketing calendar look dull and uninteresting? Talk to us at MintCopy. Call us at 888-646-8003 or send us an email.