In 2016, Julia Cameron celebrated the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking book The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I remember being totally absorbed with this book, fascinated by her techniques for tapping into your creativity.
At the time, if you asked me if I was creative, I would have screamed “No!” And I was very sad about that. I wanted to be creative. I believed I wasn’t creative. Today, I laugh at who I used to be. I have written a book, thousands of personal development and business articles, and dozens of online courses. I don’t tell you this to brag, but rather to emphasize the point that we are all creative beings.
Your creativity may not come in the form of writing. You might be creative in the kitchen, on the canvas, with an instrument, in the garden, at fixing things, with business ideas, problem-solving, or with anything else that requires you to think and behave creatively.
But today we are talking about being creative with content – blogs, social media, courses, videos, podcasts, workshops, or anything else that helps share your personality and your message of expertise with your ideal clients. If you want an online presence for your business, you will need to continually share fresh content with your tribe.
Frankly, generating fresh content can be hard work.
There will be times that you sit down in front of your computer screen and you begin typing frantically. Your fingers can’t keep up with your ideas. Then there will be times when you stare at the screen, your mind completely blank. You will question your creativity, your knowledge, your expertise, and your ability to influence or connect with your ideal client. Trust me, I speak from experience.
So when the well is dry and you need to tap into your creativity again, here are some of the best ways I have found to come up with new ideas to share.
Look at Your Own Life for Fresh Content Ideas
Your own life has a plethora of lessons, stories, and ideas to draw from. This is the technique I used this week. I was struggling with coming up with a topic to write/speak about. Duh! Talk about that. If I am having a challenge coming up with new ideas, then others are too. This topic may not apply to everyone, but it certainly applies to many. Ask yourself these questions:
- What am I struggling with?
- What lessons have I learned lately?
- What new knowledge do I have to share?
- What good things have happened that I am excited about?
Your Clients are a Wealth of Fresh Content Ideas
Sorry, clients, but you are my playground for new ideas. We are all here to learn from one another in business. If one of my clients has a particular issue or celebration, then why not allow others to learn from that? Why do you think so many businesses highlight Q&A sessions with clients? To learn more about their clients and be in a position to better serve them. If you want to know what kind of content to share, ask your clients.
- What is their number one problem they are facing right now?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What are their dreams?
- What do they wish they had more of?
- What questions are your clients asking you?
Keep Up with the News for Current Events and Ideas
I admit. I am the world’s worst when it comes to watching the news. When I turn on a news channel, I am bombarded with negativity. For me personally, I am too sensitive to absorb this kind of energy. However, there is news everywhere. And lots of good news too! Pick four or five of your favorite news sources to draw ideas from. You can take a current event and put your spin on it. Relate it back to what you talk about. It’s great to reference other sources as well because Google rewards backlinks.
Never Stop Reading and Learning
Your creative brain needs stimulation to keep it fresh. When you read books, take courses, or attend learning conferences, you are taking in a lot of new information. Every time I am learning something new, I start generating fresh ideas for content. For instance, our team recently used a new software (new for us) called Upviral to host a giveaway and generate leads for one of our clients. One day I will write about our experience with this software. Think about how you feel when you are learning. Ever notice how it spurs new inspiration? So pick up a new book and start reading.
Research Other People’s Content for Fresh Ideas
In no way whatsoever am I suggesting that you copy someone else’s content ideas. However, when you see what other people in your space are writing about, it will give you ideas for your own content. If you think about it, there really are no new ideas. This is the information age. Pretty much everything you could possibly want to know can be found on Google. This does not mean that you can’t add your perspective, your personality and your tips on an “old” idea.
Keep a Recorder or Notebook with You at All Times
You never know when creativity will strike. I remember one time waking up in the middle of the night and a genius idea was delivered to me. It was most certainly a concept that was divinely given to me. I could not believe how the creativity just flowed from me. Immediately, I grabbed a notebook and pen to write it all down so I didn’t forget it in the morning. You could be driving, standing in the shower, lying in bed, or folding the laundry and suddenly you get a great idea. Stop what you’re doing and record your ideas. Keep an idea bank that you can draw from at any time. You can add quotes you run across, highlights from books, concepts that catch your attention, or even your own genius ideas.
Practice Self-Care to Keep Your Connection with Yourself and the Universe
There is definitely a spiritual component to producing creative ideas. The Universe is one big creative mind! Creativity is energy and energy must keep flowing. So when you lose your creativity, you have no doubt lost connection with your highest self and the collective mind around you. The only way to get reconnected is to practice self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone. You can meditate, take a walk to get moving, engage in your favorite hobby, have lunch with a friend, or sit by the water with a cup of tea. Whatever you decide to do, it must nourish your soul. When your soul is full, you will begin to generate new ideas. But I can assure you that the fastest way to blocking your creativity is to live a frantic and frenzied lifestyle that never allows time for YOU.
Stay in Your Content Sweet Spot
You might be great at making videos but horrible at writing blogs. You might love hosting a podcast but will hide under the covers if you have to generate social media content. If you are trying to force a content medium that doesn’t feel authentic, you will get stuck. This happened to me with videos. Writing is my content sweet spot and for the longest time, I could not get into a rhythm with producing videos. I dreaded the moment I had to try and record a video. That was until I landed on a way to integrate my writing with my videos. I simply could not come up with fresh video ideas. I had a mental block that was difficult for me to overcome because my technique was not aligned with my natural style. By finding your content sweet spot, you will notice it is much easier to stay in the flow.
Use Topic Generator Platforms for Fresh Content Ideas
Personally, I have never used one of these platforms but they are certainly out there. Hubspot, for instance, has a blog idea generator. So I decided to test it out. I typed in three nouns: grief, trauma, and healing and then hit submit. It generated five blog ideas using these words. I’m not going to tell you that I liked all their ideas but you can unlock 250 more ideas, for a price I’m sure. Not satisfied with this tool, I dug a little deeper and noticed there is another tool that I liked better. It’s called SEO Review Tools. I typed in “grief” again and this time I got 100 ideas for free! I think I will bookmark this site. :0)
Hire a Team to Generate Fresh Content for You
Let’s talk about your genius zone. What comes so natural to you that it almost feels effortless? If creating content is your zone of genius and you have time, then you don’t need a team. But if your plate is full or generating ongoing and fresh content is not your cup of tea, then it’s probably time to hire someone to do it for you. You may be the type of person that can generate ideas but don’t know how to translate those ideas into content. This is great because a good content writing team can take your ideas and turn it into blogs, social media content, a presentation, or whatever you need.
Let me ask you. Did this article help you generate your next great content idea?
Lori Young is the CEO and chief marketing specialist at Amazing OBM. If you’re stuck, too busy, or don’t enjoy generating content, Amazing OBM is here to rescue you. Let us be the team that spreads your message of expertise and transformation in the world.
10 Ways to Generate a Fountain of Fresh Content Ideas
February 25, 2020