Remember: one idea sparks another; you don't need 1000 ideas upfront to feel comfortable about writing and sharing online
This should only take about 7 mins to read.
Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to talk to early-stage entrepreneurs about writing online and the benefits of doing it consistently. The number one question is: how do I generate ideas? And that's followed by: what happens if I run out of things to say?
The truth is, you can spin a single idea into 15 other ideas or thoughts. In this case, we will call them pieces of content.
Remember: one idea sparks another; you don't need 1000 ideas upfront to feel comfortable about writing and sharing online. In fact, I would argue that once you commit to writing and sharing your first 20 ideas, that will spark your interest to dig into different parts of your journey (or interests) and start sharing more. It becomes an endless idea cycle.
Sure, you can sit down at your desk and wait for ideas to flow. A vast majority of people need a way to spark that creativity and get back to that time when something interesting happened in their journey. I love talking about entrepreneurship, and most of my ideas and thoughts come from my past 10+ years of building businesses. No, I don't have a book with a bunch of notes that I can tap into. In fact, I didn't write anything down.
I start by opening my journal, my notes app, or a notion page, and I start thinking of events that happened in my life. For example:
There are so many parts to my journey. There are endless ideas.
Just start digging deeper every time. Maybe you have old pictures to remind you of those specific times.
Podcasts are a massive source of idea generation. A lot of people underestimate the value of podcasts. The beauty of listening to people talking with no filter, you can almost hear their thoughts. There is no editing or polishing; it's just raw conversation. It'sIt's a different energy. I love listening to podcasts around topics like entrepreneurship, psychology, and technology.
Go find 3-4 podcasts that interest you and start going down the list of episodes. Dedicate time to this process; it's worth it if you're doing something with it and not just passively listening.
Picking up and reading a book is one thing, but reading and taking notes about interesting concepts while you're reading is how you level up your information consumption. Your brain gets two separate exercises: reading and writing. Ya know, more interactive learning. Putting your thoughts and ideas on paper makes them more real. You take it one step further.
The first step is to find 3-4 newsletters in your niche or topic of interest. Once you do that, find time in the week or whenever you need inspiration to read through a few of them.
Newsletter are powerful because that's where most creators share raw information with long-form content. You get to dive further into their thought process.
You're not stealing someone else's ideas; you are just deriving thoughts for your brain to trigger some creativity.
Twitter has an abundance of ideas and conversations on a variety of topics that you can search for. There are so many conversations flying around, some good and some bad. Pick and choose your battles. Set aside 2 hours per week to go through and read content that's relevant to you. Create a swipe file of the most interesting content or ideas you come across. When you feel a bit flat or out of creative juice, refer back to the swipe file for inspiration.
Keep in mind that your brain is doing 100 things at once, even if it sometimes doesn't feel like it. It's natural to forget things you read or see online, but with all the tools nowadays like Notion, Googles Docs, Instapaper, etc., you can quickly save the relevant information in the best format for you.
Small tip: Don't be afraid to repurpose your content multiple times through out the year. My recommendation is post the same thing every 3, 6, 9, 12 months.
Tweet 1: Kicking off the new year with the Agency Starter Kit. More details in the tweet below.
Tweet 2: Self-care is at the top of my list for 2023, I refuse to burnout again.
Kicking off the new year with a brand new season of the podcast. The guest on the first episode of season 3 was Jon MacDonald, the founder of The Good, a conversion rate optimization firm.
This episode was very insightful. We also discussed how to repurpose podcast content, how to utilize social media for your business, the differences between working with a publisher and being self-published, and the problem with regularly offering discounts to customers. The episode is live now so you can check out the whole conversation.
That's a wrap for issue #31
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are building something. I'd love to know what you're working on and if there is anything I can do to help you.
What is your favorite source to generate ideas? What sparks your creativity?
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