image of tausif akram By: Amby
10 Jun 2014

An Easy Exercise for Coming Up With Topic Ideas for Your Blog or Content Marketing

The hardest part of maintaining a blog or content marketing is that at some point you will have run out of topics, or inspiration, and it becomes more challenging to publish valuable content that is original and unique.

In order to do this easy exercise, however, you are going to have to break one of the most important rules. No you will not be ripping off previously published content! Plagiarism is a rule you shouldn’t ever break.

Of course so is this one, but it’s only temporary. In this case, it is important that you look for quantity, not quality.

As painful as it is, that’s kind of the whole point with this exercise. To break past the inner filter and get as many ideas as you possibly can. You can clean it up later.

Before you begin with this exercise, remember to force yourself to write stuff down, be as specific as possible, and that this is idea generation only.

  1. Go to a quiet place, free from distractions and interruptions. Turn off your phone. Or, if you work more productively where it is noisy and busy then pop in your headphones and head to the coffee shop.
  2. Start with a blank page. You can use Microsoft Word. You can use Google Drive. You can use OneNote on your iPad. You can use an old fashioned yellow legal pad or a white spiral bound notebook. Whatever your writing preference may be.
  3. Start a timer. Pick a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to brainstorming. 10 minutes is too short, you probably won’t generate enough ideas. One hour is too long, you will either burn yourself out or allow yourself to get distra- oh I wonder what my Facebook friends are doing. 30 minutes may be just about right.
  4. Ask yourself a series of questions and try to generate at least two topic ideas from each answer. Here are some suggestions to start, feel free to add your own as you go:
    1. What are you most passionate about in your industry?
    2. How did you get started in your industry?
    3. How does your solution stand apart from others available in your industry?
    4. What are some of the biggest mistakes that others make in your industry?
    5. What is the greatest challenge in your industry?
    6. What does success look like to you?
    7. Who inspires you?
    8. What is the biggest news in your industry?
    9. What is a success story from your business?
    10. What tools help you get your job done most effectively?
    11. Where/How/When do you do your best work?
    12. What motivated you to be in your industry?
    13. What is changing in your industry?
    14. What are some processes that you have perfected?
    15. What personal skills are required for somebody to be successful in your industry?

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