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How To Create 100 Ideas For Blog Posts, Emails and Other Content
Hi – welcome to another 5 Minute Marketing Tip Video.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who often finds myself staring at a blank computer screen wondering what on earth I'm going to write in a blog post or email.
If that sometimes (or often) happens to you, here's a way to quickly come up with 100 great ideas for articles or other forms of content. It's worked brilliantly well for me.
Find out more in the video.
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Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another 5-Minute Marketing Tip. I'm sure it's not just me who occasionally sits down to write a blog post or an email or another piece of content, and finds myself staring at a blank screen, completely unable to come up with an idea for what to write about. In today's 5 Minute Marketing Tip, if you suffer from that problem, I'm going to help you create 100 ideas for what to write about for blog posts or articles or to create videos or podcasts about, so I'll see you after the break.
Welcome back, so 100 ideas that's very ambitious, but completely doable. I'm going to do it by borrowing from a guy called James Altucher, who you might know is the author of the Choose Yourself series of books. In those books, one of the things James recommends is the thing that he does as part of his daily practice, which is where he writes down 10 ideas a day. It doesn't really matter what those ideas about, the goal is to develop your creativity muscle so that when you need it, you've got the ability come up with ideas on top.
I thought why not use those 10 ideas a day and create them about what to write about blog posts, or articles or for videos I could make, and it works really, really well. But rather than just sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and trying to think of 10 ideas covering any topic and completely out of thin air, it's actually best if you restrict yourself. What I'm going to do is I'm going to give you 10 topic areas that you're going to come up with 10 ideas in, so 10 areas 10 ideas each.
By restricting your thinking, it becomes much easier. If I asked you to come up with a list of 10 ideas for blog posts, you might be going, “Oh, er, uh,” but if I said, “Come up with 10 ideas for blog posts based on 10 things that you wish you'd known when you started your business”, it's a lot easier for you to come up with a list of 10 things you wished you'd known when you started your business, because it's much more concrete. Putting those restrictions on really helps.
That's the first of my 10 topics. 10 things you wish you'd know when you first started your business. For me, it would be stuff like knowing the difference between marketing for small businesses and large businesses which is what I've been used to. Knowing the importance of followup. Knowing how to conquer my fear of actually talking to people. A whole bunch of lessons I've learned that I wished I'd known when I started my business op 8 years ago.
What you're going to do is you're going to turn each of those ideas into an item. You don't have to use all of them, but each one of them potentially becomes an article. What you do is you make sure it's quite client focused and it's a useful piece of advice for your audience, your potential clients.
Topic number 2: 10 things I learnt in the last 12 months.
Topic number 3: 10 people who've inspired me and why. Again, you're going to turn it into lessons that you can share with your audience that they would find useful. It would be people who've inspired you in certain ways. If you're a leadership coach and you're sharing leadership tips, it'd probably be 10 great leaders. You pick each of them and what I learned from Winston Churchill, or why Winston Churchill inspired me, and what you could learn from his leadership. You might want to pick people who aren't quite so obvious as Churchill though, who haven't been covered 100 times before.
Topic 4: The 10 most interesting articles or books that I read recently. What you do there, is you build on those articles, so you might agree with the point of the article and build on it and give some more of your own ideas, or you might disagree with the article. But in both cases, what you do is you'd credit the original article. You'd use it as a spring board, but you credit it and link to it.
Topic 5: The 10 mistakes I've made that you should avoid. If you've read lots of my e-mails, you'll know I often go back to mistakes I've made in the past, and lessons I learnt from them, and share them so that my readers don't make the same mistakes themselves.
Topic 6: 10 business I admire and why. You may have seen my email about Anita Roddick and the Body Shop, for example, and some things I learnt from that.
Topic 7: 10 ways I've changed my business or 10 ways I've changed my life (if that's the kind of topic that you write about) and what you can learn from them.
Topic 8: 10 things my clients are doing that I think are exceptional. Those are really great topics for articles and blog posts, because it gives you a chance not only to share some content with your readers, but also of course to share and promote your actual clients so they will be really pleased while that obviously you need that permission to write those things.
Topic 9: 10 things I learned from watching Brooklyn 99. Obviously in your case, what you do is you pick your own favorite TV show or film or book or radio show, and you write 10 things you learned from that. Again, each of those 10 things could form an individual article in it's own right.
Topic 10: 10 things I learned from my kids or, if you haven't got kids, 10 things that my parents taught me or 10 things that my friends taught me or 10 things my wife taught me, but someone you know and what were the lessons you've learned from them.
You have it. Those are 10 topics. Each of those 10 topics, you can come up with 10 ideas for blog post and articles. My suggestion is you just pick one of those a day for the next few days, and spend 10 minutes. That's all it's really going to take, and brainstorm 10 ideas for articles based on that overall topic, so relatively easy. It actually gets your creativity muscle going in the same way that James Altucher's pushing you to learn, so you become more creative. As a result, it's a great exercise but it also, of course, gives you a list of 100 articles. That's a year's worth for most of us that we can and just use.
Whenever we're staring at a blank sheet of paper or blank screen, we're really struggling for an idea, we just grab one and we can use it straight away. We don't go through that off-blank screen moment. Bonus points, come up with your own list of 10 topics that you come up with, 10 ideas in, and if you want, post it in the comment section below. That's it for this week, see you next week.