How to never run out of content ideas

Three tips to get you out of that writing rut.

Everyone has a story to tell, unique ideas to pitch; but what happens when all has been said or done? In the age of information sharing, content creation has become a differentiating factor for brands, with many attempting to outdo one another by even more groundbreaking, exclusive or refreshing content.

Yet, there always comes a time in the life of a content producer where it may seem exceptionally difficult to come up with novel issues to talk about. Be it feeling exhausted, bored or just plain uninspired, putting pen to paper might be a gargantuan task when the mind is in a blank.

Fortunately, getting out of this mental block is simple –  with a bit of preparation and a little practice. Get started on these simple tips and never worry about running out of ideas again.

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1.) List, list, list.

It may seem terribly contrived to purposefully get down to the act of writing ideas, but eureka moments don’t happen all the time. Making a list of potential topics helps to not only clear the clutter in the mind, but also makes way for the brain to think of more angles to an idea. Psychologists claim that list-making helps to increase productivity and creativity by enabling people to categorise and prioritise information, making way for clearer, more purpose-driven thinking.

That does not mean that lists are restricted to a time slot or for a particular occasion. Cultivating a habit of jotting down thoughts as part of a daily routine helps to capture elusive yet ingenious ideas that may be quickly lost in memory. So when a fantastic idea strikes, be ready to get it down. Keep a notebook handy, or go digital with in-phone notepads or specialised apps like Wunderlist.

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2.) Read other people’s content

Like how the Earth is not the centre of the universe, sourcing new ideas doesn’t only revolve around ourselves. When our creativity hits a dead end, referring to existing works available might kickstart those thinking juices again. Often times, we learn, get inspired and build upon other people’s content to create new works that are uniquely ours.

Regularly keeping up to date with news, going through various related outlets or even taking the old-school route reading books are ways that can help you brainstorm new content. Curation tools like Pinterest, Flipboard and Curata are useful in sparking inspiration, with feeds constantly updated based on personal preferences or set filters that may show trending content. The world is truly at your feet to put your spin on.

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3.) Irrelevance sparks originality

The best stories often stem from the most random of situations. It might sound like a game to pass the time, but take two perfectly unrelated concepts and connect them in a coherent and meaningful manner to explore new angles to refresh your content topic. Although unintended, deriving a nonsensical, yet catching sounding title from this also helps to pique the interest of viewers.

Not only does creating seemingly far fetched storylines stretch our cognitive reasoning skill, doing so will provide endless combinations in spicing up a subject that has been regularly covered. It also enables content to reach out to a two sets of audiences, readers whom might be interested in either one of the topics covered. An excellent example of this method in application is HubSpot’s piece on ‘Marketing Lessons From the Cupcake’.

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Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd

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