In this video, Andrea Holland shares some of her tips on brainstorming new content ideas.
- How many times have you sat at your desk ready to write knowing a ton about your industry and yet, you still don't know what to write about? As subject matter experts, we are so close to our own content that it's sometimes difficult to decide on the best topic to start with. One way to get your creative juices flowing is to ask yourself questions. First ask, what kind of industry conversations do you often find yourself in? When people talk to you about your work, what questions do they ask? Pay attention.
It's important to know what people misunderstand about your industry so you can educate them. Second, ask is your industry about to undergo some major changes, and do you have thoughts on that? If you can share your predictions or thoughts on the future of your industry when it is clearly undergoing change, that is a great way to show leadership in your space. Third, do you disagree with anything happening in your industry, or are there concepts you can demystify? Maybe you read about your space often and disagree with what's being said.
Or you feel like your competition or the media just doesn't quite have it right. Say it. If you can back it up, that's a great way to show that you are a trailblazer in your industry. If you are still at a loss on what to write about, take a look at what's happening around you. You can read or watch the news. What are people talking about? Are there any news angles in the headlines that you can challenge or have something to say about? You could read a book. Even if it's not directly related to your industry, maybe there's conventional wisdom that you're able to challenge.
Draw inspiration from others. Lastly, think about the ways you can get social. Invite a friend or colleague to coffee, and just start talking about what you do. If they're not familiar with your industry, chances are they will have a lot of questions. That will give you tons of inspiration. So often we think, people already know that, when most of the time if they are not in our industry, they don't. Educate them. Creativity comes at unexpected times. I always recommend keeping a journal nearby to jot down ideas.
To get started, try out a few of my suggestions, and come up with some writing ideas in the next week. Your goal? 10 to 15 ideas. They don't need to be fully fleshed out. This is just for you. You can also keep an Evernote document open, a note on your phone, or a pad of paper by your bed, whatever works for you to get content out of your head and onto paper.
- Defining your audience
- Contacting publications
- Creating an offer
- Following up
- Writing for PR