The “How to” advice leaves this one out
It’s not how to build great blog post titles.
It’s not how to write great compelling content.
Those are important, but they come a little later in the process.
The critical content marketing skill people don’t give advise on how to learn better is finding a steady stream of topic ideas with which to generate fresh content.
Maybe this isn’t a problem for you, but it is for some of our members.
I focus on this as a separate skill as it’s my experience that once you know what you’re writing about, generating a blog post is pretty easy. You’ve already done the hard part.
Getting Better at Finding Fresh Topics
The first point to make here is finding good ideas is not enough. You have to capture those ideas to use later. So the work here is to get better at finding and saving ideas for daily fresh content.
Finding Fresh Ideas
The main work here is to make finding fresh ideas a daily habit. At first you don’t see topic ideas easily. After some practice you see them everywhere. In casual conversions with people you meet. In advertisements for products we all know of. In blog posts written by other people. Even in seemingly unrelated activities like watching ants enter and leave an ant hill (true story).
Let me share what tool and processes I use, and please add to this list whatever works for you.
I started by setting Google Alerts for a set of keyword phrases I though were interesting. I then receive a summary email from the Google alert system per keyword phrase. I then set a gmail filter for each alert so the email’s get shunted aside into an email folder and don’t clutter my inbox.
I then started subscribing to email newsletters of every website that looked interesting. Again these email’s are shunted aside into the same email folder as above.
When I needed an idea I would open the folder and start scanning the emails. When I found something someone said that I either strongly agreed with or strongly disagreed with, I had a blog post topic.
However, after a month or two, my need to go to that email folder and look started to drop off, as I started simply seeing blog post topic ideas as I went about my day.
I use two main tools. You may find and like better tools and if you do please share what they are. My main tools are:
- A voice recorder app on my smart phone.
- A browser app and an Android app named Pocket.
Pocket allows me to easily (one click) save a webpage for later and if I add a page to pocket on my smartphone, I see it in my list when I access the pocket website with a browser later.
Here’s the How To…
Start by finding and capturing one idea per day. In the beginning you may have to stop and focus on this. If on any day you can’t find a good idea, find and record a bad one. While this may sound silly, you’re training yourself.
The key to success here is EVERY DAY!
After some number of days you’ll discover it becomes easier to find good ideas, and some time later you’ll start seeing good ideas everywhere.
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