Here are some ideas for finding fresh Content Inspiration…
- Find out what others are talking about. Open up the Internet and go to an aggregation site where you can get the latest news. Choices: any news site, Twitter, any social site, or your news feed reader to look at your favorite blogs. I use Alltop.com, and in particular my own Alltop page where I can aggregate my favorite blogs on a variety of topics.
- Look outside your field. You may find something inspiring in your field of expertise. But I often find an inspiration in an outside topic, then find a creative way to apply it to my own particular niche.
- Find relevancy to your audience. After spending some time reading other people's blog posts, come up with your own unique spin, and write it on your own blog post. Save as a draft and re-read it and edit it after letting it rest for a while. Ask yourself this question: "So what?" Answer for your readers, explain why this is important.
- Edit twice, once for relevancy to your readers, and once for entertainment value. Re-write your post with fresh eyes, usually later in the day. This will ensure that your writing is sharper, removing excess words, adding brilliant metaphors, finding ways to make it more relevant and entertaining to your readers. This will also give you additional ideas for other posts.
This last tip can be hard to do, but here's how to make it simple:
The last step, adding entertainment value, is actually misleading. Here's why. Like a guy telling a story at a party, you don't have to be Jerry Seinfeld to capture people's rapt attention. You do have to be real, while keeping it simple.
Tell a client's story to illustrate your point. Real people's actions and experiences are captivating because we're hard wired to communicate through stories. Our attention spans are limited, we don't pay attention to boring things. Stories grab our attention, because we want to know what someone else did.
As a content writer, your task is to arouse readers' attention. After a few minutes, their minds are going to wander unless you keep their brains aroused by telling narratives rich in emotions.
Marketing professionals have known for years that novel stimuli — that is, the unusual, unpredictable, or distinctive — are powerful ways to harness attention in the service of interest.
Adding entertainment value to your content isn't difficult in this sense, but it requires you to go through your blog posts to improve them by adding your own and your client stories. This is how you add value to your posts.
It's also a way to recycle old posts, and turn them into new ones. A previous blog post becomes a new fresh post by changing out stories and finding unusual, unpredictable, and distinctive examples to illustrate your point.
If you can't come up with a case study that you've dealt with in your own work, try using examples from books. Books are a wealth of stories, because publishers of books know stories sell.
To recap, finding fresh content ideas requires stepping back and reviewing other people's stuff, and other people's stories.
- Look at what others are writing about
- Look outside your field for interesting ideas
- Edit your content for relevancy to your audience, drill down to find the important applications for your readers
- Edit for entertainment value, add your own or client stories, find attentional hooks to make an impact
Where else do you go for finding fresh ideas?