Your clients want more content. You’re exhausted, coming up with a constant stream of article ideas. It helps to have a process.
No content ideas? Here are five easy ways to find ideas for blog articles – and for other content too.
Tip: when you get an idea, write more than a sentence. Write a paragraph or two. This kickstarts your creativity. I create these little draft posts directly in the WordPress post editor, if the idea is for a blog article.
Here are ten ideas for creating more content.
1. Create more draft posts: they’re your “idea bank”
I love draft posts. They eliminate that horrible: “what will I write about?” feeling. Here are my favorite content drafting tools in WordPress.
Most Sunday afternoons I spend an hour creating draft posts. Depending on the blog, I’ll have anywhere from ten to 30 or more draft posts lined up. Most of these drafts are just three paragraphs.
Ideas can curdle. I scan the list of draft posts, and delete posts I’m no longer excited about.
(To create a draft post, just write the article as you normally do, but don’t hit the Publish button; hit Save.)
2. Keep a list of draft posts to research
Many of your draft articles need additional research. Perhaps you need to look something up, or call someone. Keep a list of these posts, with the next action.
I keep the titles of these articles in a spreadsheet. Columns on this spreadsheet include: Research/ Look Up and Call. When I’m in a researching mood, or at the library, I can sort on the the Research/ Look Up column, and get the info I need for those articles. Ditto with the Calls column; I sort on that column and make the calls when I’ve scheduled half an hour for phone calls..
(Keep your article research spreadsheet in Google Docs. Then you can access it wherever you happen to be.)
3. Write one more article or blog post a day than you think you can
The beauty of draft posts is that you can write faster, and write more. Write one more article a day than you’re writing now.
4. Add more content to Pinterest: publicize your articles
Pinterest content is… content. Create boards for your clients. You can publicize articles you’ve already written by posting them to a board.
You can also create boards instead of articles. Let’s say you’re writing content for a local real estate developer. Create a board: “50 Fun Things You Can Do In ______ (wherever).” Add a couple of pins to the board each week.
Every city has places and events for locals as well as tourists, so you’ll be able to find lots of things to pin.
5. Be confident – just write
Most writers over-think what they’re doing. If you feel your mind spinning, wondering whether an article or piece of content is “good”, give yourself a mental slap. I’ve written about using your brain’s operating system. Do it. You’ll get more content created.
6. Collect “content starters” as you go through your day
You’ve always got your phone with you, right? Use it. Snap ideas. Maybe you walk past a store and see something in the window you could one day write about. Snap the image.
Did you just hear a conversation while you were having coffee which sparked an idea? Make a note of it.
Ideas are everywhere. They’re content starters. Scroll through the images on your phone when you’re creating draft posts.
7. Write SHORT – posts can be snippets
Sometimes an article needs to be 1200 words. Sometimes a content snippet: a sentence, or an image, or a link is all you need.
8. Have FUN
Anxiety and boredom kill your creativity. When you’re having fun, you’ll be inspired. Julia Cameron talks about artist dates:
The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play.
Take yourself on a date.
9. Update older articles and blog posts; use them to kickstart ideas
Your writing sparks writing. Look through your archives. Use the material to kickstart fresh ideas.
10. Get involved with Quora
Discover Quora. People ask questions about the oddest things. Spend a few minutes reading, and answer questions. It’s fun, and it will help you to create more content.
In a nutshell: create. Don’t over-think your content.
You’ll find article-writing guides here.
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