How to Come up with Content Ideas

Even when you feel you have come up with an original idea, it will turn out to have been done before. So what to do?

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.
How to Come up with Content Ideas

It seems as though every idea has been done, these days. The same basic tropes, whether with online content or literature, are done over and over again. Sure, they are given a new spin from time to time. But the same general idea is recycled until it is seen everywhere.

Even when you feel you have come up with an original idea, it will turn out to have been done before. While this is understandable (and expected) with most creative mediums, it is harder to deal with when it comes to content. You have a very short amount of time to leave an impression, and so people tend to be less forgiving.

How Can I Come Up With Something Original?

You can’t, at least not entirely. Everything has pretty much been done in some capacity. You will be able to add a new bent to an idea, but what makes it unique will ultimately be the tone and way that you present it.

There is no chance that you will create something 100% original. But you can create something that is 100% you

Only Write About What Excites You

The easiest way to create something interesting and original is to write it about something that you are truly passionate about. For the last couple of years there has been this idea that you should write for the sake of your audience. As in, you should ignore your passions and only write about what the people reading your content want to hear about.

Sure, pandering has its place. But when you do that, you are inevitably robbing your work of the excitement and energy that comes with writing about something you really enjoy. What is more important, writing about something your audience may or may not be interested in? Or possibly introducing them to something they will enjoy, that you already love?

I can honestly say that across the web, my most well received pieces have been those that I wrote just because I felt like doing so. I didn’t take into account whether it fit a need; the only purpose was to write something I wanted to share. That ended up paying off in a big way.

You can’t always write down what excites you at this very moment, therefore I am using all kinds of brainstorming dashboards to collect and curate content ideas. Cyfe is my preferred way to curate all kinds of search engines and social media networks to store my content ideas: Just checking my widgets there may spur my creativity in minutes! If you end up writing a lot, think if you can turn that piece into a lead magnet or even an ebook.

Draw From Personal Experience

Nobody knows your story better than you. So it is no surprise that content drawing from personal experience tends to do well. Talk about your successes and your failures. Help others with their own situation by giving insight into how you personally dealt with the issue. You will be sure to have something original every time, because no two experiences are exactly alike.

If you don’t have insight into your own experience, draw from someone else’s. Case studies do well, because it breaks down the success or failure of a person or company in an analytical way.

 Show statistics and give facts. But also take some time to personalize it, making it a narrative. This makes it more compelling, and offers something a bit different than pure data. Who knows, you may even feel inspired enough to start a new project (that’s what I usually do) in which case try this business name generator to find a cool name.

Other people may be the road to interesting and unique content. Where educational posts were once the ‘it’ thing, more and more people are turning to interviews to give a first hand view of any number of topics. Expert interviews are great, but so are conversations with everyday people who happen to work in a certain industry, or who have experienced something themselves.

If you really want to be creative, hold a Twitter chat. Then use excerpts to create content, or provide a full transcript. This gets your followers involved, which makes the content more dynamic and compelling to the average reader.

Create Other Media

Following the line of group interviews, a lot of people have been holding them on Google Hangouts On Air. 

Then they record them, put them on YouTube, and offer a different kind of content than the average blog post.

Conclusion

You may feel discouraged when you try to come up with a completely original concept. But it is less about the initial idea, and more about how you handle it. So stop feeling so glum, and just try to be unique in the content itself, not the idea.

 Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

BECOME AN ORIGINAL THINKER

by Isabel Valle
Community//

Is Originality Possible in the Digital Age?

by Samantha Diane
Community//

The Original Lie

by Michael Roderick
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.