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How to Brainstorm for Content Ideas


There comes a time in every content writer’s week (sometimes day) when you hit that creative brick wall and any creative ideas you had seem to disappear faster than the chocolate biscuits in the Verve Office (believe me that’s fast).

Who to brainstorm with
So who should you brainstorm with? Obvious choice would be the people who are working on the same project with you but also bring in a few people who aren’t working directly alongside you. Creativity is often produced with a fresh set of eyes on an idea. Even people who aren’t from your immediate group can look at your idea and bring an ‘outsider’s’ view. At the end of the day the people you don’t work with on a project are essentially the future readers of your blog posts – so to have their input on an idea can be advantageous in so many ways. An outsider’s view can be the bare bones of your idea – what do they want to read about? What will they find useful? This will impact on any content that is written as a result.

Searching for an alternative angle is probably the best idea you can source for a brainstorming session, a niche angle that will appeal to readers and make sites want your article (because nobody else will have done it).

Let your mind wander
To brainstorm you can go down the obvious route of a spider chart with your initial idea and sprout from this the ideas that can lead to these niche angles. From this you can also get other ideas – not just for content development but also for infographics, competitions and other social and on-page creations. It is an invaluable process of content development and something that you can go back to and draw upon for other ideas.

There are no bad ideas
Don’t ever feel like you shouldn’t be the first one to speak up, or be afraid to make a suggestion – nobody is going to laugh at your idea. Brainstorming sessions are not the areas where you feel as though you can’t speak out or harbour any great ideas for yourself – One person can mention an idea that can be turned into a campaign winner, with a little bit of help from others. Inflated Egos are the number one creativity killer.

Keep it brief too, know when people have had enough and given their all, as a long drawn out brainstorming session will produce poor results. You should come out from a brainstorm with a handful of great ideas you can work with, if not one fantastic idea that you can all participate in creating.

At the end of the day, brainstorming has no hard and fast rules, you can successfully brainstorm with just one other person or a whole office, some days the ideas come thick and fast and other times you may just achieve one. As long as your brainstorming is productive, the key is finding out what makes you feel productive, if your environment isn’t all that inspiring, seek a change of scene for five minutes. People react to different environments and the key is trying different things until you are able to achieve your goal.

It’s amazing how a brainstorm can help clear creative paths and once you have come up with that campaign winning idea you truly do deserve that last remaining chocolate biscuit… but only if you are quick. Very quick.