Some people can turn creativity on and off like a faucet, accessing an endless well of inspiration and imagination with ease. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t at least a little jealous. See, for most of us, creativity tends to be a fickle, fleeting thing, coming and going more or less as it pleases.
Most often, this manifests as a lack of inspiration in the brainstorming phase, the inability to come up with compelling content even in spite of knowing what your readers are interested in. The bad news is that there’s no way to avoid this kind of thing entirely. The good news is that if you know where to look, you can overcome this roadblock when it surfaces.
Here are a few of our favorite sources of inspiration to help you more effectively research, brainstorm, and create compelling content.
Quora is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, one of our favorite resources not just for topic research, but for audience research as well. This Q&A community hosts content on virtually anything you can think of — if it’s a question someone’s asked, you’re likely to find it here. Whether you’re stuck on how to address a particular search query or simply looking for new content ideas, it’s the perfect place to look.
Other, similar resources include Yahoo! answers and Reddit.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? As such, if you’re trying to figure out where you should focus your content marketing efforts, it may be worthwhile to have a look at the competition. Note that we are not in any way suggesting that you directly copy them — plagiarism is one of the worst things you possibly do as a writer and something to be avoided at all costs.
Rather, take a look at what sort of topics your competition covers, and think about whether or not there are certain areas you can improve upon when compared to them. In essence, approach content marketing in the same way as you approach every other area of your business. Do what your competitors do, only better.
Friends and Colleagues
Last but certainly not least, never underestimate the value of your contacts, both personal and professional. Even if someone isn’t part of your target audience or working in your particular field, having someone to bounce ideas off can be incredibly valuable. They’ll likely bring a unique perspective to the table, with insights you hadn’t previously considered.
A good brainstorming session is an incredible way to get the creative juices flowing.
Writer’s Block is Only Temporary
Struggling with a creative block can be incredibly frustrating. But if you know where to look, inspiration is usually only a few clicks away. And if the above advice doesn’t help, there’s one more thing you can do to get the juices flowing.
Take a break. Get up from your computer and go for a walk. Do something relaxing, fun, and energizing.
When you return to your work, you might be surprised at how much better you’re able to focus.