There you are, all ready to create great content. Except for one teensy, weensy problem: You’re all out of ideas.
Is this your go-to catch phrase?
> I don’t have anything else to say!
Or maybe this one?
> All my ideas suck.
Well, speaking of sucking, great content ideas don’t come from a vacuum.
I see a lot of business owners put this pressure on themselves to create out of nothing. No one creates out of nothing. We create out of the material on hand.
To be creative means to take raw things, combine them, and shape them into something useful, beautiful—or often both.
Maybe your creativity is starved for raw ingredients with no idea what to blog about. Think of this blog post like a delivery from Sun Basket.
We’ll give your creativity some fresh, delicious, responsibly-sourced raw ingredients so she can go to town with great content ideas that your audience will want to devour.
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when it comes to creating content is waiting around for inspiration.
Your creativity is ready to jump into high hear. But she needs YOU to turn the key in the ignition to get the process started. Once the engine’s revving, you’re going to get ideas that surprise and delight you. But to get things going, it pays to be systematic.
A systematic process is fuel for your creativity: It reliably gets your wheels turning, no inspiration required.
Here’s how to turn on your creativity one small, doable step at a time.
Think of the topics you’ve been toying with. What have you been considering writing about? Choose one. A word or phrase. Doesn’t have to be really specific or defined. Maybe it’s one of the several themes you’ve mapped out for yourself in your writing calendar.
Decide how you will brainstorm. Brainstorming is an active process. It’s how you prompt your subconscious mind to tell you all its thoughts.
How you choose to brainstorm often makes all the difference.
- Do you think your best while walking or pacing? Walk around and record yourself on your phone.
- Maybe you love enticing visuals. Grab those new gel pens and some paper from the printer and go to town with a multi-colored mindmap.
- Prefer linear thinking? Open a new Google Doc and create a bullet point list, letting one idea lead you to the next.
Actively invite your creativity to show up for the party by pairing your topic with some specific questions/prompts. This is where the work happens. This is the step that separates the brainstormers from the giver-uppers. Because if you commit to doing this step, you will ALWAYS come up with an idea. Generally more than one. But always at least one.
Keep it Simple
Simple is best when it comes to great content ideas. Use those questions they taught you in elementary school. You know, those 5 W’s and one H:
For example, let’s say you’re a health coach. You’ve been toying with the idea of writing something for your blog about coconut oil. After all, it’s everywhere and everyone is talking about it. But what do you want to say about this ubiquitous health aid popping up in kitchens and medicine cabinets across the land?
Here’s what your brainstorm might look like as you start asking yourself these questions about coconut oil:
- Who should use it?
- Who shouldn’t use it?
- What does it do for your health? (If anything)
- Where can you get the best/most potent/safest coconut oil?
- Where is coconut oil sourced from?
- Where on your body should you use/not use coconut oil?
- When (time of day/season) is the best time to use coconut oil?
- When (age/time of life) is the best time to use coconut oil?
- Why does/doesn’t coconut oil help you?
- Why is coconut oil safer/less safe than other oils for cooking?
- How can you use coconut oil in the kitchen?
- How can you use coconut oil as a beauty product?
Out of just 6 question words, I came up with 12 ideas—and I’m not a health coach! I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. (Although I did mix up a batch of coconut oil toothpaste over the weekend. My teeth feel amazing. ?)
Why It Works
Don’t expect your little idea maker to create in a vacuum. She needs your help. These simple question words are enough to get your noggin chugging away with ideas.
We’re naturally curious, we humans. So these question words are a bit irresistible to us. When you pose them to yourself, it’s like shaking that container of cat treats: Even the most stand-offish creative brain can’t help but stretch languidly, look up, and head on over—albeit slowly and casually.
BONUS: Not only will you generate an idea, you’ll generate a bunch of ideas on a single theme. You’ll see how it’s possible to approach a topic from several angles.
If you’re blogging, this is like hitting the mother lode. You’ll be able to create a variety of helpful content about the categories your customers are interested in. You’ll get to show off more of your expertise and help more people by answering more questions.
So go forth and brainstorm. Stay curious, my friend. Ask these simple questions. And watch great content ideas find their way to your outstretched hands.