We’re All Mad Here – Why It Pays a Content Writer to be Crazy in Idea Generation

Posted on June 15, 2014 by Tracy S

‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ said Alice. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat. ‘We’re all mad here.’ – Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

As a content writer, you have to be a little crazy. Maybe not mushroom eating, seeing a talking white rabbit crazy, but crazy. After all, you are working in an industry in which the rules change every day and you often are not sure exactly what your goal will be. Generally, you must temper your craziness with a bit of caution. However, when you are at the “pitch stage” of working with a client, it’s time to bring out the crazy—after all, the best ideas are often a little bit out there.

Why Crazy?

When you work as a content writer, you are constantly competing against hundreds of other writers out there. You may be asked to pitch ideas to your client—the pitch that catches the client’s eye is going to get the job.

While every project is different, many clients and publishers are looking for content that helps them stand out in the crowded marketplace. Will the same old, tired concepts have lasting appeal? Will readers share these pieces on social media or by email? Probably not. When you are dealing with an already talked about or even a dull concept, it takes a shiny, new idea to make this content sharable.

Bringing Out Your Inner Mad Hatter

It’s difficult for many writers to go beyond ordinary. After all, writers typically think first about the usefulness of the idea pitched. However, just because an idea is useful doesn’t mean it can’t be a little crazy. In many cases, the best pitches involve packaging useful, sensible content in the clothing of a unique concept. Crazy may not be as crazy as it seems.

When pitching ideas, do not be afraid to offer something unusual. Tie an old and new concept together, make a boring topic debate-worthy or even find a way to connect your ideas with pop culture. Not only will your idea stand out from the others, but also you will show your client that you have the creative chops to handle his or her topic in a way that will get results. If you are not sure if your client is looking for ideas that are off the beaten path, offer two different sides to the same coin—an idea that is nutty and one that is matter-of-fact. Then, you cover yourself either way.

If you’re not getting the results you want with your pitches, now is the time to try something new. The worst that can happen is that you will hear “no.” It may surprise you what will appeal to your client and get you the job. After all, as Lewis Carroll’s Alice herself said: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Tracy S is a content writer and blogger who specializes in home improvement related topics. When she’s not working, Tracy loves playing pool, watching cheesy reality TV, spending time with her family and dreaming of the beach.


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