What To Do When You Get Stuck For Content Ideas

By June 7, 2013June 28th, 2015Writing & Content Marketing
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?