June 07, 2016 - Posted to Job Interview
10 Ideas to Spark Content Creation
There is a deadline to meet and your drawing a blank of what to include in your next issue. You need content and you need it now. No matter what you do it seems you keep drawing a blank, or it seems that every subject you research has been beaten to death. What are your options when you develop writer’s block? Is there any magic potion for getting your creative juices back to flowing like they used too? Writers and editors alike have been met with this same type of dilemma many times before, but following the suggestions below helped them to get started back on the road to delivering content that their readers can’t put down.
- Employee Contribution
Don’t go it alone. Look around the office for help with ideas. Colleagues and employees may not be on the writing staff but they are more than open to contributing their knowledge of what is going on in the world today. Whether it be entertainment, politics, or services, you can get a lot out info from going around the office and just asking some well thought out questions.
- Your Readers
After every post, your fans contribute jewels right at the bottom of the page in their comments. Don’t just read them, study them. Glean from your readers what the next article could be.
Once a reader wrote into our platform asking questions about resume’s that were not in our recent article. We built an entire new article around this readers’ comments and thanked them for their ideas.
It is a good idea to even solicit ideas from your readers about what they would like to see covered on your site. There could be an entire page dedicated to your readers input.
- Consult Your Analytics
When your fans come to your site they often begin to search for information. Your search analytics, if configured properly, will be able to tell you what your readers want, and what they are not finding. You can then use this information to develop content and keep them on your site.
- Change Your Writing Location
This is one that many of our writers find helpful. Take a walk to the nearby park, or if you have access to public transportation, ride around for a day. Visit your local museums with laptop in hand and sit around; you will see and feel your atmosphere unblocking your creativity.
- Social Media
A survey on social media is another great way to get content ideas. Sites like Survey Monkey, Survey Planet, and Google Forms, are perfect for creating fun surveys that web surfers are eager to answer. Do them on a variety of subjects then get busy writing about the answers you get.
- Recorders Notebooks and Pens
If you are not at your desktop, and have decided to go for a walk to change your scenery, take a recorder, notebook, and pen with you to write down ideas while you are out.
Keep them beside your bed. There are not many writers that go to bed without their notebooks. You wake up in the middle of the night thinking of things that just cannot wait till morning; that is your next article.
- Just Write
It may sound redundant to say just write when you are out of ideas, but consider just babbling off on your computer about anything. Look across the room and whatever your eyes land on, just begin to write. It may sound like trash in the beginning but if you do it for 20 minutes straight, then stop and read it, you may come up with a great idea for an article. One of our colleagues did this and developed an article about trends in shoes that got so many hits we ran it longer than expected.
Famous poet Maya Angelou says, “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”
The positive effects that exercise has on mental creativity has been proven time and time again. Get up and hit the gym or hop on your treadmill. Try some floor stretches, or yoga. Turn on some music and get up and dance for an hour or so. Once the blood starts pumping through your body your creative sense will come back full speed.
- Just go Blank and Walk away
Sometimes you may find yourself stopping in the middle of a great article and you just can’t seem to finish it. The ideas are there but nothing is coming out of your brain traveling down to your fingertips. This is the time to put it down and walk away; print it out if possible. Leave it and come back the next day.
When rereading your work, you may end up changing the entire article or you may see something to add or take away. Your eyes are now new eyes to the writing after leaving it alone. If you don’t believe it, try this; find an article you wrote a year ago or 6 months ago.
After reading it what did you see? Have the ideas changed; were you as clear about what you wrote as you are today? Do you see where there could be improvement or added information? Many writers report doing this and agree that this is a good way to regenerate their creative juice.
- Offer a series
If a subject is popular, why leave it at one article. Piggy back the article with a series that gives your readers more information about the subject and any sub-dissertation type subjects that may be connected to the same information. If necessary, invite a guest blogger to give their take on the subject. That would be great networking and you don’t have to do the writing.
Every writer gets writer’s block, so take some of these suggestions to help with yours and if you have any, why not write about them. There is an article in that.