Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

destinationDeveloping new ideas for content is a tricky balancing act between applying what you’ve learned and optimizing what you’re already doing, and exploring new territory, coming up with new, innovative ways of communicating your message.

If you’re swinging for the fences, trying to ensure that every single article and blog post is something novel, something that’s never been done before, then you’re going to waste a lot of time and money. But on the other end of the spectrum it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. When you focus exclusively on using analytics to improve existing campaigns, it’s easy to maintain a stable presence in your market, but it’s very difficult to continue growing or otherwise improve your reach and your brand at a meaningful rate.

Generating the right ideas—ideas that have potential to expand your reach, but which are also informed by your experience and what has been proven to work—is a neat trick. It’s just as much a learning process as is adjusting your content based on performance. There’s no “1 Weird Trick” to it, it’s an ability that you develop over time.

Here are a few ideas on, well, how to generate a few ideas:

Go too far, then reel it in

It’s actually a lot easier to go to an extreme, and then pull back to more reasoned, measured territory, than it is to come up with a perfectly balanced idea right from the start.

Read a few books

P.T. Barnum was a genius in the art of developing ideas that were novel and attention-grabbing, but which also had some legs, creating a loyal fanbase from an abundance of looky-loo’s. The Life Of P.T. Barnum is a must-read for anybody in a marketing position.

Criticize!

Look at what your competitors are doing, and poke holes in their strategy. Let them write the first draft, let them do your test run for you, and then you can swoop in and improve on their marketing ideas within your own campaign.

Of course, one of the best ways to generate new ideas when you’re at a loss is to not worry about it, and let your blog writing service handle that part of the job. Share some relevant data with your writers, and let them figure out how to turn that into a new idea that they can pitch to you. Your freelancers are not just there to fill up a wordcount, they’re there to bring new ideas to the table.

Gilbert S. is a writer and artist who lives in Bluewater, New Mexico with his wife, and his dog, Sir Kay.


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