I don’t believe in writer’s block. This is a bold statement, but I hold true to that belief. There’s always an idea in your head, sometimes you just have to find it. Here are several methods I use to generate ideas.
Let’s start with the obvious one. The internet contains a vast number of resources that help generate ideas. The key is to target websites that have the highest chance of inspiring you. The following are some websites that I frequent:
- StumbleUpon.com – This website has a great filtering feature, with hundreds of categories to use as filters.
- Wikipedia.org – Try the Random Article feature, which provides several ideas that may inspire you.
- AllTop.com – Think of AllTop as a giant catalog of current content. It does have some filtering capabilities as well.
- AnswerThePublic.com – Two words come to mind when describing this website: bizarre and interesting. Take a look to see what I mean. You can also select reports that others have generated to see what is trending.
- IFTTT.com – The acronym of this website stands for If This Than That. You set up rules that get triggered when certain conditions occur, such as a new article published on a website, etc. You can set up the rules (called recipes) to send to the channel chosen, such as email, etc. It does have a slight learning curve but the power of this website makes it worth the effort.
People waste a tremendous amount of time on social media. Yet, it can be quite useful for inspiration, when used in a proper manner. It’s important to direct the focus on subjects you are interested in knowing more about. Join groups related to your subject of choice. Use categories to filter these results further.
Television is a great medium for idea generation. I am not suggesting spending hours watching it. I suggest paying close attention to some of your favorite shows for a couple of minutes or so. Find out what interests you might help you figure out what sort of content might excite your readers. Also, try watching channels you wouldn’t typically watch. For instance, take a look at some of the DIY channels (if you don’t watch them). These can be great channels to come up with ideas.
The local library contains several magazines that are available to peruse or even download. Sometimes, all it takes to inspire is the article headings. Read magazines you wouldn’t read on a normal basis. Even if you don’t agree with the perspective, it gets your creative juices flowing.
When you enter a keyword in many of the search engines, they return both organic and paid results. Paid results guide you on what keywords advertisers feel are important enough to spend money. Search engines include related keywords at the bottom of the results page. Use these for more ideas.
Don’t rule out your competition when coming up with ideas. The goal is not to copy your competition but to draw inspiration from them. You will get an almost limitless supply of concepts to use.
Blog Posts in Draft Mode
If you are a blogger (and who isn’t these days) I challenge you to refer to previous posts that you have created. There is a high chance that several are still in draft mode. If this is the case, finish these posts, as the idea is already there. Or look at common threads in your old posts. They may help you realize the sort of content you love to write.
These sources help me generate ideas for content. Of course, when writing content marketing pieces sometimes the idea is given to you, but these are still great resources when you can’t find your muse. While some of these resources may change or even disappear, others will come onto the scene. This is good news for fresh ideas.
Is your company struggling to come up with content marketing ideas? Let Media Shower help with our free trial.
Media Shower writer James Cochrane is well-known for his work in business, marketing, and finance. You can follow his work here.