As bloggers, we’ve all struggled with the following question at one point or another:
“What can I write about now?”
Sometimes it feels like all the great ideas and unique topics have all been taken, written about and used up. While admittedly an absurd thought, it’s one that pops in my head more often that I’d like to admit. Nevertheless, coming up with new ideas and creating unique content that is compelling, valuable and useful for our readership can be difficult, even for the best of us, at times.
If you’ve struggled to come up with new ideas in the past, the following tips can help you stir your “creativity well” for unique content. One of the most universally accepted principles for blogging success is creating useful and compelling content for your readers. Creating content (that doesn’t suck) should be a high priority if you’re truly committed to your audience, and subsequently, to your success.
Here are just a few suggestions to help you generate fresh ideas and create compelling content on a regular basis:
Take A Stand
Mine your favorite blogs for ideas and topics of interest that you’re passionate about. Some of these topics might be controversial or provocative. Take a stand on an issue that you feel passionate about and build an article or video around that topic. Opposing conventional viewpoints or questioning the status quo on an issue can provide a gold mine for debate and conversation. You should be prepared to defend yourself and your stance on the issue though no matter what your position might be. Nothing sparks creativity and good ideas more than a good healthy debate.
Share A Personal Experience
More than anything, sharing a personal experience about the topic at hand can really galvanize your readership’s commitment to the content itself. Sharing your own experience about the topic at hand can be meaningful and extremely useful to your readership, as inconsequential as it might seem to you personally. Nothing has more of an impact on readers than relating their own personal experience to your own.
Inject Your Personality
Injecting your personality into the conversation is important as well, in my opinion. Obviously, the subject matter will largely dictate how much personality you can inject, but don’t be afraid to share your personality with your audience. Believe it or not, your audience wants that. I want that in the content that I consume – content that’s useful with some personality and character. Your audience will appreciate it more than you think. Giving some spice and personal “flavor” is a great way to differentiate yourself from the rest of your field.
Keep an Idea Journal
Ideas for content will come when you’re least expecting them, but many a good idea is lost because of poor recording keeping. Make sure that you keep track of all those ideas, good and bad, regardless of whether or not you actually decide to write about them. Tracking your ideas with a journal is a great way to germinate even more ideas. Countless new ideas and spins on old ideas come from my idea journal, especially after it’s been sitting on the shelf for awhile. An idea journal is a spectacular way to percolate brand new idea topics.
Expand on an Old Article or Post
Revisiting an old article or blog post that you previously wrote and then updating it with new information or new perspective is another great way to generate new content. Believe it or not, people sometimes change their minds about an issue. Your perspective can change, technology can change or new information can come to light on a specific topic or issue that can justify modifying or updating the content from an old article. Don’t be afraid to update your old content to accurately reflect a change in your perspective or a change in the story or the facts that you previously addressed.
Whenever you commit to a topic, be prepared to drill down deeply into the subject matter to more specific areas of the topic. Going deeper into the rabbit hole on a topic provides far more opportunities for interesting and useful discussion than generalized “talking points.” There’s nothing more useless than over-generalized articles with the same talking points that cover the same issues that have been covered a hundred times by a hundred different people. Yuck. Drilling deeper into a topic of interest can help you avoid rehashing an old topic or an old idea.
Solve a Problem
Absolutely one of the most compelling ways to generate useful content is to help your readers solve a problem. Brainstorming for challenges and problems that you’ve experienced yourself and then sharing the solutions to those problems is undoubtedly one of the most useful and pragmatic approaches that you can take with your readership.
Additional Resources for Creating Unique Content:
- 6 Unique Content Ideas to Boost Your Website’s Value (SEOMoz.org)
- “Mommy, Where Does Content Come From?” (OpenForum.com)
- How to Steal Great Content Ideas (CopyBlogger.com)