Nothing discourages a content creator better than a writer’s block. Imagine working with a tight deadline and your ideas suddenly stop flowing! It’s frustrating, isn't it?
But if you are in such a situation, you don’t need to bother yourself. There are a few things you can do to keep your idea flowing again.
If you think you have a very busy schedule and can’t handle your content marketing activities yourself, you can hire some of the best content marketing professionals online. It gives you enough time to handle other areas of your business.
But if you prefer writing yourself, it’s important to have a bank of topics ready on a spreadsheet. So, you can easily pick a topic from the spreadsheet whenever you want to write a new content.
Again, it’s not so easy to generate tons of topics on your spreadsheet. But if you follow these tips below, you can easily come up with tons of irresistible headlines within a short time.
Before You Begin
Before you start writing any article, it’s important to prepare yourself mentally. If possible, get a quiet place where you can get uninterrupted 30 minutes to generate amazing topics within 30 minutes.
As a rule, try to settle everything that could distract you before you start your thought process.
Ensure that you have used the restroom and poured yourself a hot or cold drink if you think you will want one while writing. But don’t let your drink become a distraction by playing with the cup and whatnot. It should just be there to satisfy your thirst.
Either have a pen and paper available or sit at your computer so that you can type. You want to ensure you aren’t just thinking of an idea, but are putting those ideas down to paper, literally or digitally.
When done correctly, this process will help trigger other ideas as you see the topics, instead of just visualizing them in your head.
Keep in Mind
Here’s where most writers normally make mistakes. Your task is to come up with a series of exceptional topic ideas for your content. Remember, the focus is to generate as many topics as possible. So, don’t write an outline until you have come up with all the articles. Doing this will keep you focused.
Be detailed, but concise with your topic ideas. For instance, if you are writing about SEO, here are some awesome topics;
“Which part of SEO is more relevant to your business”? “How Local SEO agencies can Improve Your Website Ranking on Google.”
For example, don’t put down that you want to write about SEO (search engine optimization). That is a broad topic on its own. Which part of SEO could be relevant?
Still on SEO related topics, you can write on How To Use E-commerce SEO sell Your Products on Shopify vs. Etsy
If you have to start with a broad topic like SEO it’s cool. But try to think outside the box and come up with topics that people can’t resist.
Once you are able to put your thoughts together, the next step is to take a pen and a book to start writing. It’s important to avoid distractions and interruptions at this stage.
Get a kitchen timer, or your phone, and set it for 30 minutes and get started. Once you finish all possible ideas for a phase, move on to the next one.
If, after completing all phases, you have time left, start all over again as you may trigger other ideas during the task.
Again, it’s advisable to test a time frame for each phase of your topic idea generation. It helps to reduce the distraction and reduce you the time you spend on a particular stage.
There are multiple phases to this task to help get you thinking of different topics and from different angles. It’s best to do the stages in order, and not to skip any. This way, you will be able to maximize the potential topic ideas.
First Phase - Jot it Down
The first phase begins with just jotting down the ideas you already have floating around in your head. Even if they don’t make sense right now, add them to the list.
Don’t worry about quality at this point, we’re just focusing on getting as many ideas as possible. So, if it comes to your mind, add it to the list. It doesn’t mean you have to write about that particular topic in the end. But you can fine-tune and tweak the topic to make it better when you are about to write the article.
Second Phase - The Self Interview
Start this phase by asking yourself multiple questions as if you are interviewing someone. But this time, you are interviewing yourself.
In this phase, you are going to ask yourself many questions, almost as if you are interviewing someone. In this case you aren’t interviewing anybody but yourself.
Start with questions about yourself that relate to your business or industry. Some topics to consider are your industry interests, how you got into it, and what has changed over the years.
Think about areas of your industry that you would like to change or see done differently. Talk about success stories in your industry, and it doesn’t only need to be your successes, even talking about a competitor’s success will make for a good post.
Think of how you stand out in your industry or what you have to offer your clients and customers that others don’t. If you’re a local website, talk about something great that has happened in the community that might be relevant.
These are just some examples thinking about this phase as an interview will help you come up with some more questions, and chances are as you jot down ideas; more items will come to mind.
Third Phase - Trending and Popular
After your self-interview, do some research and see what’s popular and trending right now. Visit the sites and social media accounts of your competitors. See what they are writing and talking about, and which content has the most views and engagement.
If a viral trend or topic is happening at the time, but it is unrelated to your business, find a way to link it and incorporate it into your content. Maybe you own a t-shirt shop on Spotify, and you see dabbing is trending. You can talk about your new products, or how you come up with new designs based on trending topics.
Fourth Phase - Bonus Content
The fourth phase is a bit similar to the previous stage. During this stage, jot down anything else that comes to your mind that you couldn’t write in the previous phase.
These topics don’t need to be related to your niche; they can be unrelated topics in which you are interested. Show your clients a bit of your personality through more personalized posts. This will help to build trust, loyalty, and engagement.
Talk about the Olympics, a show you just binge-watched, or upcoming plans for your company or website. This phase has no rules.
You might want to build sublists from some of these ideas. Maybe there are several shows that you binge-watched or have added to your watchlist, that you feel would make for good content.
Maybe your industry has been captured in television or movies, and you want to talk about the differences between the on-screen portrayal vs. real life. There are several sub-topics you can come up with from one larger one, especially in this phase.
30 Minutes is Up, Now What?
When the 30 minutes have elapsed, and you still have some ideas that are flowing, keep going, you don’t need to stop at the 30-minute mark. If you’ve finished writing, keep that list handy and add to it anytime something pops up in your head.
You may want to compile all of the ideas and organize them based on theme, season, and social relevance. The next time you need to write an article, pull from your list, fine-tune the topic and start formulating a plan on how you want to structure the content itself.
By having this list and adding to it, you’ll always have something to jump-start your writing. Plus, you’ll find yourself almost subconsciously looking at things differently, questioning yourself if you could turn that situation, article, topic, or trend into a post for your site.