Have you been waking up in the middle of the night and asking yourself how to generate content ideas?
I doubt this question will leave many of you lacking sleep, but if you are a business owner trying to create content yourself, you will understand the difficulty of constantly having to be creative.
It is hard to consistently come up with content, even harder with high-quality content.
So let me help you by showing you how to use social media platforms to your advantage. Here is what you will learn:
? Optimize your Twitter feed for maximum idea generation
? Do the same with LinkedIn.
Stay with me because we have a lot of ground to cover, but once you reach the end of this post, you should have a free content ideas generator in your hands.
How to Generate Content Ideas for Your Business
You need a content creation workflow if you want to create content for your business successfully.
You can use my content creation workflow as your free content ideas generator. Here is what I do:
- Use social media and other blog content as inspiration.
- Write down the best ideas and thoughts.
- Take only half an hour every week and make some of the ideas into titles, subtitles, or anything similar.
- Take an hour a week and write an outline for at least two of the ideas.
- Rinse and repeat.
To be fair, I have not thought of this workflow myself. I learned about it from the Copyblogger’s course about content creation workflows and adapted it to my needs.
I would suggest you take this one and change it to fit your workflow, or you can create something new. The only requirement is that it works for you.
But let us take a look at the result of this approach.
I use social media daily, whether for work or fun, so I can always write down some ideas. And at the end of the day, I have at least ten.
Then I have a weekly half an hour to create titles or outlines from each original thought. Each of these “elaborate” ideas can go on to become a blog post or a social media post.
I do not spend too much time here, just a couple of minutes on each thought, to generate as many usable ideas as possible.
Next, I take an hour to take at least two thought-out ideas and make them into blog post outlines.
Finally, I repeat this process every week.
This content creation workflow leaves me with tons of ideas and thoughts, many thought-out ideas I can use in my content and at least two blog post outlines!
But for this content ideas generator to work, you need an optimized social media feed.
Otherwise, you will have difficulties when the natural inspiration juices stop flowing.
Optimize Your Twitter Feed for Valuable Inspiration
The trick to optimizing your Twitter feed starts with following your topics of interest.
Try to find your industry topics, but also follow themes like creativity, marketing, writing, or similar.
You can learn a lot about creativity from accounts posting about marketing, plus it is never a bad idea to absorb content about creativity, content creation, or business in general.
Secondly, you need to find the accounts that put valuable content first.
This step is easy but time-consuming. Type in search a keyword like “creativity” and look for people in that field.
You will find a ton of creators and your objective is to find the ones creating the most valuable content.
Something to keep in mind is that feed optimization is a never-ending process. You do not have to optimize your feed perfectly from the start.
But the more you use Twitter to spark inspiration, the more valuable accounts you will find.
Set Up LinkedIn As a Free Content Ideas Generator
LinkedIn is another substantial source of inspiration for content ideas.
Try to optimize it in the same way you did with Twitter.
? Find the content creators sharing valuable information.
? Follow them and engage with their content.
However, for LinkedIn, there is another trick you should implement.
You will notice most big creators on LinkedIn (apart from some amazing people) are creating relatively generic content once their audience grows to immense numbers.
What you should do is find smaller creators who create valuable content.
You will receive more inspiration and ideas from their content than from the “bigger” creators.
Plus, you will support the smaller accounts that do everything possible to grow.
Now That all is Set Up, Create Your Free Content Ideas Generator
Optimizing your social media channels is a great way to keep yourself inspired, but it will not do you much good unless you write your ideas down.
So the first step is clear, your feed shows only (or mostly) accounts worth following and content worth consuming.
Now, you should spend quality time reading that content, reading through the comments and Twitter threads.
In one word, explore.
Explore what the content creators prepared for you and see where their content takes you. Take a little notebook or an app to write down the ideas and thoughts that pop into your head as you scroll.
I use a simple Google notes app, but you can also use something else.
It does not have to be a fancy software application, you only need something to refer to when you decide to write a blog or social media post.
And one final note.
As I was writing this post, it occurred to me that small business owners might say something like: “But I use social media to relax, I do not want to optimize it just for inspiration.”
Just create another account where you will only follow people whose content inspires you.
Then you will also have your account for fun.
I find it better to optimize my feed because I do not see social media as a great way to relax. It is more of a procrastination tool, so at least as I am procrastinating, I get to have a few great ideas.
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