If you're a content creator or writer like me, there's a good chance you've been stumped with this ever-present mental hurdle:
What do I write about today?
How do you figure it out?
Where do you draw the inspiration from?
Well today, I'm going to talk to you about something that's helped me immensely when it comes to getting material for things to write about.
I'm talking about none other than my Article Ideas Database.
A pool of thought in constant flux
My Article Ideas Database comes to my AID when I struggle to find new material to work with.
Get it? AID?
Here's how it works.
It lives on my phone on as a Note document.
Whenever I'm going about my day and an idea floats into my head, I immediately take out my phone and write it down on that note.
I use the checkbox feature (well, it's more like a "check circle" feature) on the phone so that I have an ever-growing list of ideas that I can use to create a new article. And once I write an article about a specific subject, I check the little circle so I know not to write duplicate content.
But the only way that this works to begin with is if you force yourself to remember the first step.
I can't tell you how many ideas have gotten away from me in the past because I thought of something magnificent to write about, only to not write it down to remember to write about later.
That's a lot of unrealized content and potential I've missed out on, and I don't want you to have to miss out on your opportunities to create either.
Write down ideas when they find a way into your brain space.
Save them for later in your database and give them the proper nurturing and attention when you have the time to create something with them.
Another content generation "hack"
My inspiration to write this article came after reading an article from a writer I've connected with named Celia Fidalgo.
She wrote a neat article about ways writers can generate new ideas for content, and I left a comment talking about the concept of an Article Ideas Database.
I figured it'd be a good idea to expand on that comment and make an article out of it, but I wouldn't have had that idea had I not checked out Celia's content to begin with.
Which brings us to our other best friend for sourcing ideas for content generation:
Take some time to read and consume the work of other content creators.
There are multiple benefits that come from doing this, besides getting more ideas for your own content:
- You get to learn about perspectives that you might not have considered or come across otherwise.
- You witness different types of styles of content creation that you can experiment with yourself.
- You support other content creators by consuming their content.
- You can even find opportunities to connect and network with other content creators through seeing their work.
And as previously mentioned, when you look at the ideas that other creators create on, then you get ideas for your own content.
Obviously, this isn't to say to plagiarize content from other creators.
What is ok is taking the idea that someone else created on and giving your own spin on it, which is what I did.
Thanks to checking out Celia's content, I had inspiration to create this article.
Support other creators in your space and pay attention to what they do.
If you wanna go the extra mile...
Aside from supporting other creators by consuming their content, there is one more thing you can do if you want to go the extra mile to support them.
Tag them in your content and provide links to their work.
The world can be a very competitive place at times. To a fault.
Too many people look out for their own hide and forget about helping each other out.
Yet, it's interesting how in my time as a writer, I actually don't see a lot of people fighting each other. I don't really see arguments, gossip or drama.
Maybe I'm out of the loop. Or maybe it has to do with the kind of content creator culture we've fostered.
Content creation, growth, exposure, and reach – these are all very much things that have to do with interacting with others, whether in the form of offering or receiving help.
Don't be afraid to give someone a little boost by mentioning their name to your audience. Your audience isn't going to dump you in favor of them.
Once you get started on the journey of creating your own content, you'll see for yourself how much further you can go when people help you out and when you help them out in return.
Inevitably, you'll run into people you'll help and they won't do the same for you.
People aren't under any obligations to return the favors and sometimes, this is just a part of the journey of content creation.
Lower your expectations and help people anyway.
It's good for your health.