How I avoid running out of content ideas!

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Hi awesome people. Today I wanted to talk a little bit about how I find content to write about every day and how you can too.

To make sure I have enough to write about, I do three things:-

  1. Use a content planner.
  2. Make a note of any ideas as I think of them.
  3. Mind mapping to find hidden ideas.
  4. Bonus: Generate additional ideas using free tools.

Content generation is hard, am I right? It doesn’t have to be. Take a look at traditional newspapers, they have daily editions, if not twice daily. Online news publications are publishing stories multiple times a day.

Sure, but these are NEWS publications – there’s always things happening that are newsworthy. Yep – that’s right. The same can be applied to your idea or websites blog when it comes to creating content. Think of what story you’re trying to tell and make each piece newsworthy.

Start with a simple “to do” as your Calendar

This is how I do it at the moment – I use Simplenote to track my content ideas and it’s been working quite well.

Simple Note for content planning

Although, I’m now starting to explore different ways to do this. I’ve recently started testing out CoSchedule for content planning and I’ll be sure to write about that in a future blog post.

By having a content schedule and it planned out a week, or even a month in advance forces you to think about what content you can write about. Once you’ve filled up the month – if you have scope to write / record more you can easily plan more in (without hunting through multiple weekly notes).

Inspiration can strike anywhere!

When I was writing my post about what I learned from writing content every day in January I added a short list of things I’d learned during the month.

  • Some GLORIOUS Gutenberg Hacks 
  • How to structure your Google Calendar setup 
  • A foolproof YouTube production planner 
  • An INSANE time saver when it comes to prepping images for the web 
  • Type how you text, not how you speak 

Wait. That’s 5 new blog post ideas right there. Because I love Simplenote I’ll transfer any inspiration like this to my notes and then (new process) move them over to my content schedule.

But what about topics?

OK OK – the meat of the matter. How do you actually come up with what to talk about? Well, I just spend a bit of time mind-mapping.

Here’s how I do it. My site is about starting, building and growing your idea. I’m doing this from my backstory and I’m teaching what I learn along the way as I start a new blog, and a new YouTube channel. I’m also using Twitter to help get the word out and build my audience.

Those words in bold are my foundations for content, so let’s list them.

  • Start
  • Build
  • Grow
  • Backstory
  • New Blog
  • YouTube channel
  • Twitter
  • Build my audience

Then for each of these I’ll map deeper down, taking YouTube for an example (links to articles I’ve already written).

  • YouTube
    • What’s my Goal?
      • IDEA: goal setting
    • How do you get started?
      • IDEA: How to create a video schedule?
      • IDEA: How often should you put out new videos?
      • IDEA: I recorded different lengths of videos, you won’t BELIEVE what’s the best length.
    • What kit do I use?
      • IDEA: Webcam, Camera or Mobile Phone?
      • IDEA: I bought a lav mic, here’s what happened to my audio.
      • IDEA: LED panels to light your videos (Zoom, YouTube and more).
    • How to Create the perfect banner?
      • IDEA: Channel customisation next steps.
    • Video production
      • IDEA: I made a stupid mistake (video, needs blog post)
      • Woah, crazy video improvement
      • IDEA: I framed a good shot, but my audio sucked.
      • IDEA: My perfect setup for shooting videos in 4k with crisp audio.

Then, wait a minute, I’m writing about mind mapping, to come up with content ideas IDEA: How to mind map and find hidden ideas.

Just in the process of writing the above section of this blog post I’ve come up with 12 new ideas for content. That was easy, wasn’t it. I’ll spend a bit more time crafting the title to be attention grabbing, and sometimes while writing the content it might change the title completely. The above process gets me well on the way though.

The real hidden secret is to keep writing content every day, and as you write make notes of any inspiration for new content that might pop into your head.

Bonus: Use a topic generator

Maybe we’re not all as creative when it comes to ideas and headlines, so here’s where you can use a blog post title generator.

Blog title generator

Running “Mindmapping” through the above gives some content ideas which you may or may not choose to write about. Some are pretty crazy, and you can keep on generating more and more.

Wow, 10 ideas right there and a button to “Generate 100 more”.

That’s crazy. There’s one thing to keep in mind though when using a generator is others may be doing the same (but others won’t think of ideas the same way as your brain can).

What are your tips? How do you come up with ideas about what to write?

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