12 Ways to Brainstorm Content Ideas – Developing A Content Strategy, Step 5

Brainstorming content ideas is a key part of any content strategy. Taking time out to generate several ideas in one setting will save you lots of time, ensure you never run out of things to say and, importantly, make sure that your content is truly serving your business and your audience! Let’s dig in.


12 Ways to Brainstorm Content Ideas

Remember, as you brainstorm ideas, ask yourself whether they fit with your purpose, your audience and their problems, and with any important dates you have identified for your business.

1) Always Keep A Notebook With You: Content ideas strike at the weirdest times, so always keep a notebook close by. (For me that usually means having my iPhone with the Evernote app installed!)

2Choose A Monthly Themes: Sometimes planning and brainstorming ideas is easier when you choose a monthly theme. I did that this month with this post series, though I won’t be doing it every single month.

3Answer Your Audience’s Problems: In step 2 of this training I had you come up with a list of problems your audience might have. You can literally turn these problems into blog posts, or break them down into sub-problems. If there’s enough material, they also make great info products!

4Create a Mindmap: You’d be surprised at how a mindmap can unlock certain ideas you never knew you had. There are a number of free online and downloadable Mindmap tools available, like Bubble.us.

5Look At Books: Take a look at some books in your niche on Amazon, and take advantage of the “look inside” feature to view their table of contents. Each chapter could probably be a title of a blog post, or you can break tehm down further for more ideas. This isn’t copying, it’s just idea generation. You don’t actually need to read the book!

6Keep Up to Date With Trending Topics: Twitter is a great place to go to see what’s currently trending. Does this spark any ideas? You can also take a look at Bottlenose.

7Write About Popular Products: Keep an eye on the bestseller lists in all categories on Amazon, too, as they might just inspire you in your content. You don’t need to necessarily write product reviews. For example, there’s just been a new iPad release. I wouldn’t review the new iPad directly but I might be inspired to write an article on apps that can help you with your content creation.

8Creatively Tie Your Business Into Holidays: Think about any holidays coming up and how you can creatively link them to your business. For example, if you help people with relationship issues then you could write a piece on how Halloween can bring you together as a couple.

9Sign Up to Google Alerts: Set up some Alerts in your niche and you’ll be sent a roundup of news and articles matching that topic. Great for sparking new ideas, or for finding sources for content curation.

10Do Some Keyword Research: Sometimes looking at what people are searching for can help you come up with extra ideas. You can use a tool like Market Samurai or Wordtracker for this.

11Take Advantage of Various Media Formats: Don’t forget you can also find interesting/ useful photos and videos in your niche and base your blog posts solely around those!

12Ask Your Readers: Lastly, remember that it’s always worth asking your audience directly for ideas every now and again. Either setup a survey, or simply ask them in an email or blog post.

For now, just come up with a raw list of ideas. We’ll go into what to do with them in the next lesson!

Your Homework: Come up with at least a month’s worth of ideas – how many that is depends on your post frequency.


Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for extra daily content marketing tips and inspiration!

2 thoughts on “12 Ways to Brainstorm Content Ideas – Developing A Content Strategy, Step 5

    • Ruth says:

      Jan – Exactly, sometimes we forget to put ourselves in the shoes of other people who have less experience, so we forget just how many questions that still go unanswered.

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