Blog posts, YouTube videos, Instagram Reels, Idea Pins, and content galore! How in the world do you keep the content ideas flowing? Not every content stream may be a part of your business and that’s ok. Actually, I hope you are not on all the platforms because FOCUS. But you likely have a stream or two or more that you need regular content. How do you keep coming up with fresh ideas?
It can be hard. Let me just say that. I have been creating content for clients for years in the same topic areas and I know if I’m bored with the content my readers are going to feel bored too. So it’s important to keep things as fresh as you can. But how?
In this post, I will be sharing some tips that I have implemented and will implement to have creative content ideas ready whenever I sit down to work. I hope they will inspire you to get your own content flow systems in place.
Be More Observant
Being observant takes practice. We are so glued to filling every minute, spending the minutes that we wait in between the moments of our lives, with our faces glued to our smart phones. But being a better content creator requires creativity. Looking up and around and seeing the world.
Next time you are waiting in line or in an office, put your phone down and observe. I know it’s tempting to fit in some texts or emails but pay attention to the potential stories around you. Even small incidences and daily happenings can breath life into your illustrations. The stories do not have to be epic. Content ideas for small businesses are found in the workings of every day life. Even sharing small things that happen during daily life can make your content relatable and relevant.
Thomas Frank had some good advice about being an active participant in your life and being present. I know this is definitely something I need to work on more.
All the multitasking we do can be bad for our brains but it also causes us to miss so much. For more check out the post Is monotasking the New Multitasking
And as you observe you need to have a way to track your ideas. Which brings us to the little black book.
Always Have A Story aka The Little Black Book
Stories make content more engaging and applicable and easier to digest and understand.
‘The more simple and predictable the communication, the easier it is for the brain to digest. Story helps because it is a sense-making mechanism. Essentially, story formulas put everything in order so the brain doesn’t have to work to understand what’s going on.Donald Miller, Building a StoryBrand
But maybe you are like, my life is boring I don’t have any stories! The truth is there are stories all around us if we pay attention. We need to learn to not only pay attention but to be ready to capture them. This can be with one of those small $1 notebooks or you can use an app on your phone but carry something with you everywhere that will allow you to take notes about ideas, illustrations, and stories.
You think you will remember but you won’t. Document the ideas. I just created a page for this in notion so I have stories for my content ideas on my computer and phone.
Watch Who You Watch for Content Ideas
What does that even mean? Be careful who you are following and what type of content you consume. Make sure it is quality content and then pay attention. There is content we are more attracted to and content that we just scroll past. Start paying attention to why. Not to copy but to implement the same principles when it comes to your own content.
If there is a post that makes you stop the scroll ask yourself why.
- What principles did they use?
- Did it have a catchy headline?
- Was it relatable and shareable?
- Was it the image or video that captured my attention?
Think about what captures you.
Listen To Your Audience and Community for New Content Ideas
If you already have a good following you can review analytics and comments to see what is popular, what your audience is searching for, and what questions they are asking. If you have little to no audience or they are currently not that engaged you can go to the pages of a similar brand and see what questions their audience are asking.
People will tell us what they want to see and learn about if we listen.
Check Online Search Engines and Social Media
When all else fails you can also do an online search. You can use the ever so popular Google but also you can see what people are searching for on social media channels like Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok. You can also search for the questions that are being asked around the topic. A good place for ideas especially social media content ideas for small business is Answer The Public.
You can also check popular content within your topic and see what is missing or how you can make it better and create content around that. I hope you get some good content ideas from the tips in this post. Keep your own content ideas generator of sorts in a file on your computer or your project management system. You can use a headline generator tool to get ideas too.
Title-generator allows you to put in a keyword and then get a bunch of suggested headlines for content ideas.
As you keep your eye out for content ideas, know your audience and your content pillars so you know what you are looking for. A list of B2B social media content ideas, for instance, will be quite different from a list of content ideas for B2C blog posts.
Know your content pillars, keep your notebook or notetaking app with your always, start observing, and see how many content ideas you can generate every week!
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