As a writer, you sometimes reach an impasse: of not getting content ideas and landing into an empty Word document with just the cursor blinking at the empty white space.
So either you keep staring at the Word document until your light bulb [aka your brain] suddenly lightens up with power content ideas or you resort to other creative blocks to ignite your creative side to come up with something that is ‘write-able’.
And when personal branding hinges upon producing great content, you know you have to come up with stellar content topics to get some visibility – and not sounding canned or repetitive in some cases.
So, here are a few ways via which you can cure the non-creativity-titis bug that has bitten you – and train your mind to think more creatively.
- Read magazines and subscribe to e-mails that entrepreneurs and bloggers send. Okay, I will reveal this: some of my best ideas to write a post has come from some e-mails that reach my inbox on scheduled dates. From catchy subject lines to e-mail body text – there is something definitely educative about how these folks sell their content (without sounding ‘salesy’). For example, subscribe to Jon Morrow’s A Cheat Sheet For Writing Blog Posts That Go Viral’, you will get an idea of what kind of headlines hacks work – and then you will start thinking along the lines of those hacks [that work] only. Another great goldmine to come up with content ideas is via reading magazines that are light and peppy like ‘Cosmopolitan’ or reading something weighty like ‘Harvard Business Review’. Either way, you can alternate between light and weighty content topics depending on the field you are in.
- It’s official (at least for me): Read New York Times. Business, Politics, Culture – the list can be endless – anything that the NYT writers write become something you can learn from. Some of my favorite authors are NYT writers who capture the essence of the post so beautifully in the title that you instantly get lured into what they have to say. So even if you don’t write on the topics that they write on, you can still transport the way the title is written into your blog post title. Starting points to read some? Get cracking on reading what Charles Duhigg and Adam Grant write – and you will get some amazing content ideas.
- Sleep, relax and unwind. If you don’t know about the benefits of sleeping, I strongly recommend Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. When you give your mind ample rest, it fires up with new ideas that you would have never got if you constantly stay awake and unrested. Let you mind wander and think through when you are unwinding somewhere or taking a break; you will out of nowhere get many ideas at one go when you unplug for some time. Give your mind the respite it needs – and the see the difference in the way it starts thinking fresh.
In no time you will become a content factory for your blog or business or the company you are working for.