You probably have more ideas than you know, but when sitting in front of a blank screen, your mind is just as blank. How do those prolific bloggers and content marketers keep the fresh ideas rolling?
Ideas do come to you. But you're not recording them fast enough. The best writers have trained themselves to capture ideas before they're a mere wisp floating away, never to be seen or heard from again.
What's your favorite note-taking application?
Do you use Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, Trello cards, Todoist, a simple text file, or something else? Whatever works best for you, make it easily accessible on your computer's desktop and always leave it open.
Now as you go about your day, ideas will pop up at the craziest times. Maybe when you're reading another popular blog post or going over comments posted on your last blog. When the ideas strike—and they will—jot them down immediately. Don't stop to think about whether the idea is good or not. Simply capture it and move on. Sometimes copying the URL of another post will help you capture ideas.
When it's time to create your monthly editorial calendar
Voila! You have a list of ideas in your favorite note-taking application. Now it's time to turn them into something amazing. Unleash your inner spin doctor.
Take your blog idea and focus on one of the 7 stages in the buying process.
What questions do your customers have at each stage and what information do they need to make a decision? How can you "spin" your idea to fit it into each of the 7 stages?
For example, let's say you're writing about an exciting new SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform, and you captured an idea in your note-taking application about how SaaS platforms are changing the dynamic of a certain industry (think FinTech and the financial services industry).
How can you spin your idea to focus on a pain or problem a decision-maker may experience? Think of how your product or service can help solve their problem. It gets completely compelling when your blog post shows your prospects a pain they didn't even know they had! You've struck gold there.
Now think about how to present the information. People consume their content in a variety of ways: some read everything, others only skim headings, while others go for the infographics and explainer videos. If you really get creative, you can probably use the same idea for each stage of the buying cycle and adapt it to a different medium, like a blog post and an infographic.
Do you see how you can spin the ideas out for days? And it all started with a single idea captured in your notes.
Shhh…here's an easy short-cut
HubSpot has a Blog Topic Generator. Couldn't be simpler than plugging in your keywords and hitting return.
If you're rushed for time and you haven't perfected your system for capturing ideas, try the HubSpot Blog Topic Generator. It will spit out 5 engaging and compelling headlines. But if none of them grab you, you can click on "Try Again" and get a whole new list of titles. Pure genius.
There are other tools out there, but that's a great idea for another blog post (I've captured this idea in my notes for next month).
This is one method (plus an easy out) to help you generate ideas for your blog posts and content marketing efforts. Now let's get a list going of other idea generating systems.
Let us know in the comments your favorite method to create ideas for your editorial calendar every month.