Saturday, October 20, 2012

Brainstorming Content Ideas

A few days ago, I wrote about Career Brainstorming Day 2012. (Join me in Minneapolis, if you're able to!). It got me thinking about brainstorming. Specifically, brainstorming content.

I talk to a lot of resume writers who say, "I'm not sure what to write about in my blog." Or "I want to do a teleseminar, but I don't know what topic will get people interested in attending."

One of the best ways to engage readers is to be innovative.

A couple of the most common ways to generate content ideas is by reading industry publications or doing keyword research.

Those tactics are good and handy to keep in your pocket. But they can get old, too. You may begin to lose enthusiasm because you're writing about the same topics over and over again. The key to fresh, and exciting content is to come up with new content ideas that inspire you.

Here are a few new ways to brainstorm content ideas.

Word Association
Grab those top keywords, the ones that are most popular for your prospective resume clients to use, and make a list. Write one keyword or keyword phrase at the top of a blank piece of paper. Begin to let your mind wander and write down words and phrases that come to mind. Don't filter or judge any idea — even if it feels ridiculous. Write it down! Once you've filled the piece of paper, continue onto another piece of paper and a new keyword.

Don't start writing any articles. Enjoy this exercise until it feels like you've taxed your imagination. Then put the papers away. The ideas will float around in your mind throughout the rest of the day. If you are inspired to write, then sit down and write. Otherwise, pull out the papers in a day or two and grab a few ideas that feel interesting. Start writing.

Random Idea Generator
There are a few fun tools available online. One fun tool is a random word generator. You can have the tool provide a word, or two or three words, and then you use those words to create an article or blog topic. It really forces you to think outside the box and can be a fun way to brainstorm new content ideas.

Visual Representation
Eliminate words from the brainstorming process. Use a visual tool like a magazine, photo album, or a site like Pinterest to view images related to your niche. Let those images inspire topic ideas. You may want to be able to print the images to use as you're writing. Or you can cut them out if you're using magazines for inspiration.

Finding topics and ideas to write about can be a challenge for any resume writer. When it becomes a challenge, it's easy to lose focus and interest in your niche topic. Instead of continuing to use old brainstorming techniques, consider embracing a few new ones. You might be surprised how productive they are.

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