As a content manager, it is my job to come up with new and engaging content everyday…yes, everyday. However, I am not always full of ideas and sometimes could use a little help and inspiration. So, how do I keep the content train running full speed ahead? I use what I like to call a content bank. A content bank is a list of ideas that I set aside for when I am stuck in a content writing rut. As writers, we all get stuck, so having a stash to pull from makes life just a little bit easier.

Here are a few ways I keep my content bank overflowing

  1. When it rains it pours. Collect the rain. Some days we are on a roll, while others we can’t seem to spit out but a few words. That doesn’t make us bad at what we do, it just means that we need to be prepared for these times of writer’s trial and tribulation. When I am full of ideas, I write down as many as I can in a Google spreadsheet, Word Doc, or Notepad. This collection is an ongoing list of content ideas, not necessarily thought out, but ideas that I can eventually expand upon and make into something worth reading.
Vintage inscription made by old typewriter, Time for new content
Vintage inscription made by old typewriter, Time for new content

I keep this document (whatever it might be) close at hand, so that I can add to it whether I am on the road, on an airplane, filling up my gas, etc. Ideas hit at the oddest of times, so it is important to catch them when they come.

For example, I always seem to get ideas when I am laying in my bed at night trying to fall asleep. If it’s one of those nights where I just can’t shut my mind off, I may come up with 10 different content ideas! The notepad by my bed collects these and I can use them at a later date when resources are low.

  1. As a business writer, I am ALWAYS writing about business, sales, marketing, etc. This can definitely get exhausting and sometimes strenuous. You start asking yourself, “Is this the same article I wrote last week with just a few word changes here and there?” “Am I offering anything new to my readers?” If you find yourself asking these questions about the content you produce, it may be time to resinspire yourself by writing about something else that interests you. Are you interested in skiing? Write a blog post about skiing. Even if it is just for personal use or for your personal blog, changing up what you write about will get your mind working and thinking again. You may even come across some metaphors you can use in your business writing. Just like driving the same route everyday gets redundant and boring, switching up the way you drive keeps you alert and on your toes. The same goes for writing.
  1. They say the best fiction and content, in general, comes from real life experiences. Well, real life experiences don’t really happen sitting in front of your computer. You have to go out and live them, breath them, feel them. Whether it is a walk in the park to breathe in the fresh air and people watch, hit a marketing conference, or take up snowboarding, as Nike says, ‘just do it’. Your writing becomes richer and more engaging. People relate to what you are saying because they have either been there or want to hear the story of someone who has. Not only does it give you that first person perspective, it will also open you up to a new slew of potential ideas and topics to add to your content bank.

I can’t think of a better way to become a well-read and well-rounded human being.

Once you have your content bank, you will want to use that for your editorial calendars and your content plans. I know that when I start building my monthly content calendars, I often, if not already inspired, reference my content bank to peek at what’s in there and see if anything resonates with me for that particular month.

By collecting and organizing my ideas, I am able to keep up with the consistent need for content. Marketing relies on content, without it, you risk losing thought leadership, brand engagement, authority, and more.

So, grab your iPhone or a notepad and start keeping track of your ideas when you have them. Get outside and try something new. Every time you do, I swear you will be awed and amazed not only by all the fun you’re having, but by the quality of the content you produce.