On Coming Up with Content Ideas

One of the worst feelings as a content creator is having no ideas for the day/week/month. Coming up with good content can be hard, stress-inducing, and lead to burn out or anxiety that frankly isn’t worth it! But I have some good news: there are no bad ideas in brainstorming, and coming up with ideas is easier when you’re not also putting pressure on yourself.

So how do you have a well of ideas to pull from when the the creative waters run dry? I have a few tips for you.

Figure Out a Way to Log Your Ideas

First, you need a way to log ideas that works for you. I outline my process here:

The main takeaway here should be to have a process that works for you. It might be the perfect app for quick entry (Tot, Apple Notes, and Bear work for me), or a notebook (I recommend Field Notes). Whatever is fast and convenient.

I also have a couple of Siri Shortcuts so that I can quickly capture using my voice – perfect for the rare car ride or even rarer workout!

Ask yourself: Where should I log my ideas?

Log Every Idea You Have

Once you have a good capture tool, make sure to log every idea you have. Don’t worry about if it’s good or bad. Just write it down and process it later.

Here’s my current Craft Notebook for YouTube video ideas. There are dozens between the notes and lists:

I set aside some time each week to process the ideas. That means throw out the definitely bad ones and prioritize the good ones. In the near future I’ll add labels for easy, hard, long, short and maybe a few more. This will help me pick what to do, especially on the days where I lack motivation.

Look Everywhere for Ideas

When it comes to generating ideas, look literally everywhere. This could be in your work life, cool projects you’re working on, or in everyday interactions. They could be stories to illustrate a point, or questions you get a lot. Here are some places I’ve found ideas for content:

  1. Baby Clothes
  2. Automation questions I get in forums
  3. WordPress questions I get from friends and clients
  4. When we got our faucet replaced

That quick capture process from earlier will allow you to log an idea at a moment’s notice, whether it’s 2am and those snap PJs for your infant are giving you trouble, or you decide to go with one plumber over another because he actually had the parts you needed with him.

Ask yourself: What’s a personal story that would be good content?

Batch That Content!

Another way to prevent burnout and get ahead is to batch content. For my podcast, batching is a well-oiled machine. For YouTube, I’m getting there.

But if you set aside a specific day to create several pieces of content, you’ll be able to breath a little and not worry about putting out a YouTube video today because you “have to publish on Thursdays.” Plus, you won’t need to switch contexts that much.

As you grow, you can even outsource the parts you don’t enjoy, like editing, proofreading, or creating thumbnails.

And with a nice catalog of ideas to pull from, batching should be no problem!

One More Quick Thing…

If you want an amazing bootcamp on creating and executing a great content plan, check out Jennifer Bourn’s Content Camp. It’s got an incredible speaker lineup, actionable advice, and so much more.

Plus, I had the pleasure of doing an interview for the attendees where I share lots of my own processes and thinking.

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