3 Proven Tips to Find New Content Ideas

So you’re looking for ideas and have some sense of how to start content creation, because we all know why content strategy in storytelling is important.

You’ve stopped overthinking and planning, and are realizing you’ve already learned fundamentals from a classic ’80s cartoon.

But where does one go to actually find ideas?

Great news, friends: Ideas are all around us.

Inspiration is everywhere and once you get the hang of it, you’ll know just how content writing is done.

(This applies to journalism or communications).

“Everything is copy,” as Nora Ephron put it.

If you’re feeling stuck, no problem.

Take a digital detox and grab your coat.

Here’s a list of quick IRL ideas to help get you going:

1. Magazines at the checkout

I took this photo of magazine covers in Vancouver, B.C. when I was stuck for new ideas; you can often find great inspiration by reading something completely unrelated to your business.

This is where you’ll find prime evergreen content — mags pretty much run the same items each month of the year and change the cover a bit.

For instance, here are some editorial ideas off the top of my head with no Internet search or magazines to be found:

February – (spring fashion, florals, all things LOVE and romance, baking, cleaning, summer vacation, running)

October – (fall trends, pumpkin, velvet, breast cancer, American Thanksgiving, Christmas ideas)

Something will inspire you or will lead to you connecting the dots to create meaningful content.

2. Go to a coffee shop and eavesdrop

This image was snapped at a local coffee shop. I have come up with many, many content ideas over the years by working in public spaces.

What are people talking about?

What’s got them all fired up?

Who are they gushing over?

What problems are they trying to solve?

Listen and learn!

3. Watch/read the news

A pedicure is the perfect time to catch up on headlines. Keeping up with current affairs helps anyone jump onto a news cycle and create timely, relevant content.

Yup, time to turn off that trashy Netflix series and start watching things that will help your business.

Tune into the news, find out what’s making headlines by scrolling through Twitter, figure out what people are talking about.

This will help you jump onto a story that’s in the news cycle or advance the storyline if you missed the boat.

When I worked at a daily newspaper, I was filing at least a dozen items on any given day.

A consultant who clearly kept up with daily news contacted me about a story I wrote on bus drivers being assaulted and became the ‘security expert’ my next article needed.

He did the work of finding me.

I used his expertise to weigh in on a hot topic …

And contacted him for another article months later.

We reaped the rewards.

This approach can help you impress your editor or producer, promote your own business or your boss’ profile, and make you valuable to your entire company.

At the very least, you’ll be a well-informed dinner party guest.

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