Your Inbound Marketing Strategy depends on the continuous process of content development, but what happens when the content creation process goes stale, new content ideas don’t flow like they used to? You may have a writer’s block, or you might have just run out of good ideas.
The best way to ensure that you always have content to share is to use a content development process.
While people don’t often relate process to writing and creativity, having a process will help you structure your thinking, so you have a steady flow of new ideas, even when you aren’t feeling like your creative self.
Here’s one of the ways we handle content development ideation in our agency. James Webb Young, author of “A Technique for Producing Ideas”, recommends a 5-step process for generating new ideas.
Step 1: Gather Raw Materials
“Instead of working systematically at the job of gathering raw material we sit around hoping for inspiration to strike us.” James Webb Young
To be a great content writer, you need to consume content from all over the place. This will become the foundation of your raw materials.
Consume whatever content you can, on whatever topics you can. Watch videos. Listen to podcasts. Read blogs, books, magazines. Read current affairs content, popular fiction and quality literature. Even check out old content and bad content – you never know where your ideas will originate from – they can just pop-out and inspire you at anytime.
See something of interest? Save it somewhere. Use your bookmarks folder, or use note taking software like Evernote or OneNote, they can help you save your source, archive the online document and you can make quick notes on almost any device.
Step 2: Digest the Material
“What you do is to take the different bits of material which you have gathered and feel them all over, as it were, with the tentacles of the mind.” James Webb Young
Once you gathered your content ideas and material, it’s time to look at it from as many different perspective and angles as you can. Individual facts mean nothing until they are combined with others. This is where new ideas come from.
Find relationships and connections between the content you have consumed, analyze it’s meaning and how it can apply to different situations.
Step 3: Unconscious Processing
“…turn the problem over to your unconscious mind and let it work while you sleep.” James Webb Young
Stop thinking about the problem completely and start doing something that stimulates you creativity, but takes your mind off the problem. Go for a swim, have a bath, listen to music or watch a movie. Do a task that is unrelated to the information you are processing. Do something you like to do and let your unconscious self mull over the problem.
Step 4: The A-Ha Moment
“It will come to you when you are least expecting it — while shaving, or bathing, or most often when you are half awake in the morning.” James Webb Young
It’s a myth that ideas come to creative people like bolts of lightning. It just appears that way. In reality, it takes time to come up with an idea (three steps worth to be specific).
But, just like Archimedes’ Eureka! moment in the bath tub, an idea will suddenly appear. Maybe you will be washing your face or making dinner, maybe you will have just woken up. But an idea will arrive.
When the idea surfaces be sure to write it down.
Step 5: The Idea Meets Reality
“The idea man, like the inventor, is often not patient enough or practical enough to go through with this adapting part of the process. But it has to be done if you are to put ideas to work in a work-a-day world.” James Webb Young
Now that you have an idea, it is time to refine it. Do extra research. Reach out to others and get their insights and criticisms. In turn, you will be providing them with inspiration for their own creative process.
Once you have given your idea the reality check it deserves, it is time to make your content idea become a reality.
While you may already use this process, knowing how each step works and being more aware of the process and how it applies to content development will help you effectively use it more. Examine how you currently conduct each stage and see if you can improve upon it. Always having a pool of good content ideas cooking in the background is part of the process.
Do you have a specific process you use? Share it in the comments!
THE BRIT AGENCY is a B2B Inbound Marketing Agency providing Inbound Marketing, Inbound Website Design and Inbound Sales services to companies around the world. We're focused on growing website traffic, qualified leads and sales, using the Inbound lead generation and marketing automation process.
THE BRIT AGENCY is a certified Gold Tier Hubspot Partner, a HubSpot COS certified Inbound Website Design Agency, a Shopify eCommerce Partner, and a certified "Google Badged Agency Partner". We have offices in Toronto and Barrie, Canada, and Salisbury, UK.