Cultivating ideas for writers is like planting seeds in a garden. You only get healthy plants if you give the seeds enough water, food, and sunlight to grow. Otherwise they never take root or spring up, only to wither and die. New ideas need a similar kind of nourishment to grow into content.
Content is only as good as the idea that inspired it. A content writer who knows how to flesh out an idea can take the complexity out of content creation –- regardless of the content niche. Writers can draw on several useful methods for content idea development. One such method is idea cubing.
Cubing an idea involves dissecting it to discover which angle is the best for your content. Idea cubing involves six specific aspects:
Ask questions about an idea that relate to the five senses. You should be able to describe sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Think about how you would describe and define each of the characteristics of the idea. Description can help you better understand which direction your idea should take.
Compare and Contrast
Compare your idea against similar ideas. What makes these ideas are similar? Contrast other elements. Why are they not similar? What makes them different? Comparing and contrasting can help you identify an unexplored angle or an unanswered question within your original idea. It opens your thinking and can bring new sources or resources to light.
Does your idea compare to any of your past ideas? What connections exist between the old ideas and this new one? List whatever thoughts come to mind that are associated with the idea. This may help you to generate an anecdote to use as a lead or key points on which you can build your topic.
Break down your idea into smaller parts. What sub-topics are contained in the idea? How do they support your main thesis or argument? Analyzing the idea this way can help you figure out if it is strong enough to flesh out in an article or blog post or if you might just end up filling space.
How can your topic be used? What information does it share with your audience? These are perhaps the most vital questions a writer must answer in content production. Your audience must see informational value in what is being shared for them to pay attention to your content.
Look at both sides of the original idea. Highlight the pros and cons of the topic and decide your position on the topic. Create supporting arguments in favor of your position that answer any concerns or problems raised from the opposition. Doing this will infuse your content with more depth and insight.
John C is a professional writer and editor who has written articles and blog posts dozens of websites and publications for more than a decade. His current goal this summer is to branch out into the exciting world of fiction writing.