As with anyone who works in the industry, content writers sometimes run out of ideas. The problem is, content marketing isn’t the kind of thing you can put off until tomorrow. If it needs to get done, it needs to get done now. And if you run out of ideas for topics and the right words, you’re in trouble.
This is why there are certain practices that every content writer should be, well, practising every day. You never know where ideas are going to come from, but these five activities are your best bet. And even if nothing comes of it, they’re enjoyable, as well as great content marketing tools.
Researching what’s happening in the industry
You work in the industry, right? So, naturally, you need to know what is going on in said industry. Marketing and advertising sites, both local and international, need to be bookmarked (or just followed on social media, whichever). Read about all the latest content performance tools, Google’s new algorithms and what’s today’s best practices are. The content marketing industry is constantly evolving and it’s incredibly important that you keep up with everything that’s going on.
Reading other content
Put your ego aside and look at what other content writers are doing at other agencies. Whether those agencies are local or international. Take a moment to appreciate the kind of content that’s winning awards and let yourself be inspired by it (but don’t copy it, no one wants recycled ideas). But it shouldn’t stop there, you need to read in order to be a great writer, so read as much content as possible, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, online content or even social media posts.
Listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos and scrolling through social media
As much as you may shake your head in dismay when a client says, “Make it go viral”, you do need to know what people are liking, sharing and commenting on. This is today’s pop culture and it’s important that you stay up to date with what’s #trending.
Writing down ideas as soon as they have them
You’re a writer, you no doubt have a notebook, so use it. Take it with you wherever you go. Never leave it anywhere. Write down all the ideas you have as soon as you have them because you won’t remember them in an hour. You think you will, but you won’t. You can even leave different notebooks in key places. Have one next to your bed, in your kitchen, in your car, at your desk and, of course, a small one with you at all times. You may think that carrying around a tablet or phone works just as well, however, there are benefits to writing down your thoughts with a good old-fashioned pen.
Looking at what their colleagues are up to
Knowing what your colleagues are up to can easily spark ideas. You can feed off each other’s creativity and come up with topics related to what they’re working on. And talk to them about their work and your own. When you’re running on empty, ask for your teammates’ input. You never know what they might say that sparks an idea. That’s what makes brainstorming so popular in the industry, after all.
At the end of the day, what you do to come up with ideas is up to you. But these activities are something that will help you be the best content writer you can be (motivational, much?).