How To Brainstorm Incredible Blog Posts Like Copyblogger
Copyblogger is an amazing resource for any content creator. Brian Clark, the site’s founder, focuses on three main ideas:
1. Great content that is designed to spread.
2. An understanding of how social media works and changes.
3. Real relationships with those who can help get the word out.
Clark is not just good at providing useful information, but he finds many great ways of putting it.
His approach is witty , inspiring, and a major resource for anyone writing on the internet. You might find yourself asking one of the most predictable questions a successful writer hears: Where do you get your ideas? Switch the question and you’ll get somewhere. Don’t ask where the ideas come from. Instead, ask how they get them.
You can glean great techniques from the Clarks’ eloquent website, but here’s a few that struck us when creating content for our own content:
Pay Attention to the World Around You
Everyone daydreams. One thought leads to another and another. Suddenly, you’re off somewhere interesting.
It’s the power of association. Don’t say how different two things are. Ask what connects them. That’s the basis of creativity according to brain scientists. It’s one reason writers love metaphor, because they put things together in new ways.
Not everything will work out, but plenty will. The connections will give you new ways to treat old material, like “The Mad Men Guide to Changing the World with Words.”
Think About Your Problems
Have problems? Of course you do, everyone does — including your audience. You and the audience members have a lot in common. If you didn’t, they wouldn’t bother reading your blog.
So think about your problems. Specifically, the ones relating to your blog topic. Here’s a hint: One of the two main reasons those people read your blog is because they want to solve those problems. (We’ll get to the second reason in a minute.)
Identify one of those problems as specifically as you can and come up with some answers. Then, try to solve them, like Clark does in “Why No One Links to Your Best Posts (And What to Do About It).”
People read your blog because they want something. So do you. So give them what they want.
Be very specific. A focused post is effective (and will leave plenty of material for other posts — more on that in another New York minute). Instead of writing about how to start a blog post, which all blog writers want to do well, Copyblogger founder Brian Clark wrote “5 Simple Ways to Open Your Post With a Bang.”
Remember Related Posts
As you write a post, you’ll come up with other ideas. (While writing this, I thought of one called “Let Your Audience Tell You What to Write.”) Save these, or as Clark phrases it in Good Fast Content, “write ahead.”
Keep a Notepad
You won’t see this directly in the Copyblogger post list, but it’s a must. Always be ready to write down even the glimmer of an idea. No matter how many of the thoughts later turn out to be useless, you’ll catch the ones that will be the gems of great posts.
Writers have been doing this for years. Ask any novelist or journalist.
Don’t want to carry paper and pencil? Then use a smartphone or tablet. Use Evernote to keep notes and reminders in sync across all your computers. Email yourself. Use whatever technique works for you.
And you’ll have plenty. Creativity feeds on itself, so you may find more good topics than you’ll ever have time to cover.