Where Do New Content Ideas Come From?

A woman at a typewriter.

One of my primary responsibilities as a marketing consultant to small businesses is to create unique and informative content to post via my clients’ blogs, social media and e-newsletters. This frequent writing keeps me very busy and often tests my creativity, especially since I happen to have multiple clients in the same industry requiring me to be extra careful not to make the copy too similar (for obvious reasons.) I enjoy the challenges posed by this ongoing wordsmithing but I do admit that there are weeks when my internal idea factory gets a bit low on fuel.

So what’s a solo marketing maven like me supposed to do to generate enough appropriate content to fill the business services space? My answer: READ. When I’m feeling under-whelmed, or underproductive, I head over to those friendly search engines and news outlets and start reading everything I can find. It’s not unusual for me to consume several days-worth of articles before coming up with one that sparks a new flame. After all, it takes time to develop content that is relevant, timely, and clearly links back to my clients’ businesses.

I recently read a great article on Entrepreneur called “5 Findings About Idea Generation for Content Marketing.” The author, content marketer and writer, Jean Spencer, offers a sobering reminder of just how much content needs to be conceived of in order to produce a consistent stream of words. At the risk of intimidating my entire blog audience, I will share her recommendation:

“Marketers need one new idea per working day to fuel their marketing efforts. That’s 251 ideas per year.”

251 ideas? Well, that’s a lofty goal, for sure! To reach such a wordy summit, Ms. Spencer must be assuming the presence of a team of full-time, actively brainstorming writers from which to draw ideas. Realistically, I’m not sure that’s going to be feasible for a solo practitioner like me, but it’s certainly something to work towards! A more achievable goal for my company would be to generate one new idea per week, per client. I understand that the more I write, the more content I will post and the more opportunity for the search engines to do their job. At the same time, I’m determined that the text I write will be considered highly readable, compelling and actively opened and shared by my target readers.

The nature of this business dictates that I try to be as prolific, as possible. However, when faced with the age-old quality vs. quantity debate, I’ll choose to err on the side of quality, every time.

Please share your own content-writing stories or struggles in the comments, here.

Anne Richardson

​Anne Richardson is the owner and media director of Richardson Media Group, an agency specializing in media planning and buying, advertising campaign management and SEO.

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Richardson Media Group logo icon.
Anne outside the door of the Richardson Media Group office.
In addition to her role as owner and media director here at RMG, Anne authors the majority of our blog posts. Favorite topics include the entrepreneurial journey, media planning and buying, and forming productive agency partnerships.