How do you consistently develop brilliant ideas to write articles? How do some of the best writers regularly develop great stories every day, week, and month? What are they doing differently than you?
They don’t have writers’ block. These writers show up every day and create stories you want to read. They are high-performing writers who have mastered the idea engine.
“Good ideas are common but what is uncommon are people who will work hard enough to bring them about.” — Ashleigh Brilliant, an author
To consistently create great ideas, it’s essential to figure out your ideation process? What does it look like? How do you capture your ideas?
The key is to ceate a process for capturing creativity and encourage the good fortune of connecting the dots. Not every idea is good, and sometimes you need to let the idea simmer until it is ready.
Successful writers have a system for collecting ideas. They create an idea generation farm. You can use Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Trello, Microsoft OneNote, Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Word. Find what works best for you so you have something to capture your ideas.
When you have this process, you can harvest your list of ideas. When you wake up with nothing to write about, you don’t have to worry. It removes the fear that you don’t have to write from a blank canvas. Staying organized in writing your content ideas is crucial to your success.
The key to generating tons of ideas is to be constantly on the lookout for new ones. Every experience you have, every article you read, every statistic you see, every famous quote you read, every conversation you have is a potential idea. We have tons of ideas every day in our heads that we need to do a better job at recognizing.
“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”— Buddha, a philosopher, spiritual teacher, and religious leader
Let’s dive into some tips on how to generate tons of ideas for writing your articles.
1. Look at your old content
Review your old content to find new ideas. You can search your website by typing in “site:your website URL/keyword” in Google. Google will find articles or blog posts on your website for that specific keyword. You’ll find old content that will inspire you, and you realize that you may need to update.
You could also look at your most viewed articles and see if you have more to say on that topic. When you look at your high-performing articles, you’ll get inspiration for related topics or for taking a different angle of the same topic. For example, you could conduct an interview instead of writing it from your perspective.
2. Use an old-fashion, physical notebook
In addition to an electronic place, you may want to carry around an old fashion notebook where you write down random ideas and thoughts. Song writers typically do this so they can revisit their ideas later to create songs. Consider doing the same. Most of the ideas you write down may not work, but you don’t need every idea to win to be successful.
3. Start a list of famous quotes
Quotes from famous people are a hit. We have them on our office walls for motivation. Quotes reinforce your main ideas and words. Words from a renowned person echo your thoughts and perspectives.
They most likely said it better than you. Famous quotes can give you ideas on what topics to write about. When you read quotes, you often find inspiration.
4. Connect the dots
Single ideas don’t make the best articles. It’s the common threads that connect ideas that make all the difference. When you see how your thoughts connect, you can create a better and more valuable article.
When you see how ideas tie together and see how an idea can be molded and shaped into a new idea, your idea becomes better and bigger. Look at individual ideas and data points and recombine them into a brand-new idea.
5. Listen to song lyrics
I listen to music every day, and it inspired me to write this article: What Regular Writers Can Learn From Song Writers. It provides a lot of inspiration. Music artists sing about emotions, life experiences, and relationships.
If you need some inspiration, listen to music and pay close attention to the words. You may find an idea for an article. Music inspires everyone, and song lyrics can encourage you to write powerful words.
6. Review Google related searches
At the bottom of a Google search results page, you’ll see eight related searches. It’s Google’s way of showing you what they see when it comes to searching. These different keywords give you new words to add to your ideas bucket. For example, if you type “generate ideas” into Google, you’ll get the following related searches:
Source: Google.com Search “generate ideas”
You can see that you get words like techniques, innovative, and examples. This will help you build out your thought beyond your initial idea. That idea may lead to a completely different one. For example, you could write an article about what comes next after you generate ideas.
7. Research the competition
It’s essential to spy on your competitors to see what they are writing about. This will help you produce better ideas and fill in the gaps in your idea bank. You may see their content and get an idea of something you have been thinking about, and it crystallized your concept.
8. Do your social media homework
Browse your social media channels to see what they are sharing. You can find ideas from people you follow and people who follow you. You can also look at hashtags and see what’s popular.
9. Read your comment sections
The comment sections of blogs and articles are goldmines for ideas. Comments provide excellent ideas because your readers tell you what you should have or should not have included in your writing. Those comments can help you write your next article.
10. Check out your FAQ sections
A frequently asked question (FAQ) section on your website, a trade show conference, or your competitors’ website are excellent areas for ideas. FAQ sections are created for websites because they are questions that a company gets the most. Look at the FAQ section and see if you can expand on the topics.
11. Talk to salespeople and customer service reps
Your sales team and customer service representatives are in constant dialogue with your customers and prospects. They get questions all the time, and you can create content that answers those questions. If you write an article about those questions, you can write great content to help your salespeople, customer service team, and customers and prospects.
12. Subscribe to email newsletters
Subscribe to industry newsletters like SmartBrief. It has email newsletters for 14 different industries. Read these newsletters to see topics being discussed, and you can find inspiration for your articles. Email newsletters can get your creative juices flowing and spark ideas you have deep inside you.
13. Take advantage of tools
Take advantage of topic and idea generators like the HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator, the Impact Blog Title Generator, and Answer the Public. These idea generators will inspire you with more ideas than you’ll know what to do with. When in doubt, use a tool.
Newsjacking is when you create an article that provides your perspective on a well-discussed news item. You acknowledge the news and then write your thoughts about it. Newsjacking helps you with ideas because all you have to do is be a popular news junkie and then piggyback off that news. The conversations about the news are happening online, and you just add your opinion about the news.
15. Curate content
Content curation is the process of reading and sharing the best articles you find online. It’s like a DJ finding the best songs for a wedding or a museum curator finding the best art for a museum. To curate content, you need to read a lot and build