What To Do When You Get Stuck For Content Ideas

What To Do When You Get Stuck For Content Ideas

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re afflicted with B.S.O.S. (Bright Shiny Object Syndrome). You can’t focus long enough implementing one fabulous idea before three more show up to claim your attention.

Unfortunately, if you’ve never considered yourself a writer (or even if you have), you’ll find that BSOS doesn’t often extend itself to your blog or your marketing content.

In fact, if you haven’t spent a lifetime practicing the writing thing, it can feel damn near impossible to put together a coherent blog post, let alone one that people would want to read.

But don’t fret, my friend. Others have gone before us and have come back with many tried and true tips on how to find inspiration when it eludes you.

Here are five you can use. Just be sure to approach them from a playful point of view…

5 ways to creatively jump start your next blog post idea – and that you can use to inspire your other marketing content, too.

1. Interview Someone Famous

Preferably someone fictional or no longer in the land of living. This does two things: it helps keep your reader from being confused about whether or not you’re joking (hint: these kind of things should be funny, not serious). AND it helps you have more fun with the content. What would Julia Child say about your new book? What would Tinker Bell tell us about your business? Step inside their shoes and talk from their point of view. If they’re dead, you might have to hold a seance, but hey — that could add to the fun of the whole thing, right?

2. Be Random

Open a book and put your finger on the page without looking. Turn on the TV and flip to a random channel. Use a Random Word Generator. Have a friend or family member pick a word, phrase or idea for you. Then? Noodle these around until you’ve got metaphors that tell your story or explain your topic.

3. Debate The Other Side

If you’re like most people, you notice after a while that most folks blog about the same things — give the same advice. Listen to what others are saying and then turn it around. Ask questions like, “What if the opposite of this were true?” You might find that you agree with that opposing viewpoint and can then stand behind it 100%. But if not? Then perhaps you’ve found a new way to approach the topic: by stating the opposite and then refuting that.

4. Use Deadlines

Give yourself a limited amount of time to take an idea and run with it. Some people just work better under pressure — maybe that’s you? If you had to say something about your topic right now, what would you say? Set the timer for 30 minutes and crank out an outline. Don’t worry about polishing or fleshing it out. Just start writing and don’t stop until the buzzer rings. What did you create?

5. Use A Particular Genre To Tell Your Story

Are you a scifi nut? A fan of CSI type stories? Maybe you love the Food Network? Whatever channel or genre you’re most drawn to can be a great source of inspiration for your own series of blog posts. I’ve written more than a few blog posts based on television dramas. There was this one for Doctor Who, and this one for Downton Abbey. Even the reality show, “Chopped” helped me talk about branding in a new way.

In fact, that last blog post got me thinking about ways I could extend the “Chopped” format. And what I came up with was a competition called “Creamed!” (The Ultimate Marketing Content Showdown). If you’ve ever seen the Food Network show, you know that the competitors have to work with some of the same elements I’ve listed above: randomness (ingredients), genre (styles of cooking), and compressed timing (deadlines).

They’re judged on three areas: creativity, presentation and taste. Pretty much the same things we judge content on, right?  (Taste being a mixture of things like texture, depth of flavor and whether or not there was enough on the plate to satisfy an appetite.)

I thought we could do the same thing with marketing content, so I created “Creamed!” And yes, Carol Lynn Rivera (your host here on Web.Search.Social) is one of our esteemed judges. If you think you’ve got what it takes to create content under pressure, I’m sure she’d love to have you apply to be a “chef.” But hurry, the deadline is June 15th. Learn more about all the ways you can be involved at Creamteam.tv.

What about you? How do you jump start things when you’re not feeling creative?

Tea Silvestre
As a marketing coach and consultant, Tea Silvestre (aka The Word Chef) excels at helping her clients find and share their Secret Sauce with the world. She's also the the author of "Attract and Feed a Hungry Crowd," and the producer of the new reality web series/competition, "Creamed! Ultimate Marketing Content Showdown." If you think you’ve got what it takes to compete, be sure to throw your hat into the ring before June 15th!
Tea Silvestre
Tea Silvestre

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  • Love all of these. My favorite is the interview idea. I think next time I’ll get stuck I’ll have an imaginary interview with Kermit the Frog. The scene would be backstage at The Muppet Show, with all the random characters interrupting. LOVE IT! Thanks Tea.

  • Small Footprints

    I really like the idea of opening a book. I’ve done the same thing with newspapers and current magazines and it works well. The advantage to using something current is that the piece will be timely and something that readers can probably relate to or at least have seen “in the news”. Thank you for some great ideas and tips!

    • You’re welcome! And yes, current events can help make more attractive headlines. The challenge tho, is that once the event is no longer “top of mind” the blog post you wrote doesn’t stand up either. So I always choose current events very carefully. Never just for the sake of floating along in the draft of what people are talking about. But you’re right. It CAN be very helpful.

  • When I get stuck for ideas, my favorite thing to do is read my email. What are people asking me and how can I answer their questions in an article? Even if it’s something I’ve kind of covered before, if I’m getting questions, I need to talk about it again.

    • Yes! Or just hang out in a group (e.g., on Facebook or Linkedin) and see what questions people are asking. Questions are the BEST.

      • Good idea on the Linkedin Group. Also, Twitter can be useful tool. Just open a call for questions in your area.

  • Interesting question! I seem to get my post ideas from one of two ways. I either do a Google search for news that is relevant to what I usually write about or I answer a question that someone has asked me about my business or a product that I sell.

    • Carol Lynn Rivera

      I do something similar – Google alerts related to my topic. Inevitably I’ll read something weird and it will trigger and idea or a complaint 🙂 Then I have something to write about!

  • CharlesSink1

    My colleagues needed a form a few days ago and were made aware of a great service with lots of fillable forms . If people are requiring it too , here’s http://goo.gl/WFDIby