You want to produce content for your business, right? Not just any content, but valuable, relevant, consistent content for your readers.
For most of us, this is a tall order. If you’re one of the fortunate few who always have tons of content ideas, hat’s off to you. You may be excused.
Everyone else, let’s talk.
When Inspiration Strikes
Most of us write when inspiration strikes. There’s nothing more satisfying than having a great idea for a blog post or a video appear out of nowhere.
Like a lightening bolt, the words flow unhindered from your head to your page. Voila! You have an excellent blog post to share.
The problem with waiting for that stroke of inspiration is that it’s sporadic. Some weeks you’re hit with great ideas repeatedly.
Other weeks, it’s a vast wasteland. Not a ghost of an idea in sight.
The harder you try, the worse it is.
Even your morning shower, which often produces the best ideas, if you can only remember them later, leaves you with nothing. Nada. Not one stinking idea.
By the way, you may want to invest in an in-shower writing tool. For whatever reason, we do seem to find inspiration under a warm shower.
Unfortunately, leaving your content creation ideas up to chance is not an efficient method of building a loyal business following. You need a better way to come up with new ideas.
Just How Important Is New Content?
How important is it to create content consistently? More important than you might think.
Valuable consistently created content engages your readers. Engaged readers absorb and share your content.
The more consistently you engage your readers, the quicker your business grows.
It’s important that you don’t fade from people’s minds. Not for nothing was the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” coined.
It’s a big world out there, and business owners who understand the value of consistently producing valuable content are kicking your butt.
Finding Inspiration Where There Is None
If you’ve been firmly in the writing-when-inspired camp, you need some easy tips to help you become more consistent in your content creation. Lucky for you, I have a few of those.
1. Keep a swipe file to capture and compile content ideas.
Having a handy way to write your ideas down before they’re gone cannot be undervalued.
A set of bathtub markers for the shower is a start. Not just for kids! It’s a fun and useful way to capture ideas for your swipe file before they disappear down the drain.
For capturing ideas everywhere else, write them down. Carry a small notebook to record new ideas. You can also use your phone, especially if it’s always with you. That’s what I do.
On my iPhone, I often record ideas in the notes app. Lately, I’ve been using another app called Awesome Note. Awesome Note has more features and syncs with Evernote, another app you can use for the same purpose. I just find Awesome Note easier on my phone than Evernote, but it’s purely a preference.
Recording your ideas in whatever method works best for you ensures that your ideas will not escape. If you don’t capture them right away, you’ll have trouble remembering you even had an idea, much less remember what it was.
2. Know your audience’s pain points.
If you’ve researched your target audience, and understand their pain points and problem areas, spend time each week brainstorming ideas.
Regular brainstorming will ensure that you always have a list of handy ideas for your next blog post or video.
3. Read content from others in your target niche.
Scour the internet and collect information from sites relevant to your target niche. Subscribe to a few email lists so you don’t miss new offerings.
Now, no one appreciates more than I the love/hate relationship we have with our email inbox. It’s a constant struggle. You want to keep abreast of what’s relevant in your niche, but time is always in short supply.
Keep your inbox manageable by being selective about your email subscriptions.
Some content is more relevant to you than others at any given time. If you run across a site with great content, but you’re not ready for it yet, bookmark it for later. Subscribe down the road, when it fits your needs better.
Categorize and prioritize your email subscriptions. Create folders in your email manager to house information you want to keep.
Some of your best future content ideas come from reading material posted by others, so it makes sense to make time to research what’s out there.
Just limit the amount of time you devote to reading emails and other content, but make it a regular habit. Maybe an hour or so once or twice a week will be sufficient. Experiment to find what works for you.
Podcasts are another great way to find content ideas in your niche. Listen while driving or working out. Or any time that fits your schedule.
4. Be curious.
One of the best ways to identify content creation ideas is to ask questions. Survey your current customers, ask questions on social media or while networking. Asking questions is one of the best ways to identify your audience’s interests and pain points.
5. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
One of the most frustrating aspects of content creation is believing you have nothing new to offer. It can feel like everyone has already said everything you could say so what’s the point?
And while there aren’t many topics on any given subject that haven’t been talked about ad museum already, nobody else is saying it in your voice.
You have your unique spin on ideas, your voice, your take. Don’t be afraid to break out of the mold a bit and share those ideas. If they seem a bit beyond the norm, awesome! Yours will provide a fresh new slant.
The more you write, the more your voice shines through. Find your voice and use it. Your voice is perfect for a select segment of your target niche.
You can’t, and shouldn’t try, to reach everyone. Let your voice resonate with those who like what you’re saying. Don’t worry about connecting with everyone.
When you run a small business and need content to engage your audience, these simple tips will help you get a list started. By regularly making time to ensure that your content list never goes dry, you’ll be able to produce content consistently for your audience.
It’s not as hard as you think to find ideas. Like anything, it just takes focus.
Record inspiration when it hits.
Make time to brainstorm new ideas.
Read, read, read.
Get to know your target audience inside and out.
And have fun creating new content for your business that engages, sparks interest, and turns readers into loyal followers.
Followers who’ll look to your for answers.
Followers who become loyal customers.