“Never settle for the first draft” is something that skilled content creators know to be true. You shouldn’t settle for the first idea that comes your way, either. Ideas are diamonds to be polished, and they will only shine after the right amount of planning and optimizing. Oh, and eliminating the waste.

You should work towards multiplying a killer idea and turning a fledgling of a thought into something usable. How?


When you recognize an idea you can work with, be sure to take full advantage of it, as one idea can serve a great variety of purposes. Make note of your ideas thoroughly and in the right place, so that you can find them later. Give files appropriate names so you won’t overlook them in the future. Also give items a proper timeline and plan ahead, so that you can tell future and current plans apart.

Prioritize. Be realistic in terms of what you want and should produce. Take care of gems and kill the ones that will most likely (and unnecessarily) eat up your time. If you have projects that need to be cleared out of the way, finish what you’ve started, and then think of what to tackle next, whether it’s for money or passion.

Think format.

Can something work better on a different channel or format than you initially thought? By modifying style and length a little bit, you can come up with whole new pieces that work better for a different target audience. If you’re overwhelmed with choosing the right content format (and figuring out what a Boomerang is), consider resources with the best ROI in mind, and always factor in audience needs.

If you can’t decide between pretty colors and fitting as much text as possible, rethink your original notion. For example, a lively interview can translate much better as a Q&A than a write-up, and what you thought would work better as a checklist could make for a killer infographic.

Repurpose content.

You should definitely shake up an old piece of content every once in a while and think of ways to rekindle your best ideas. There are some genius ways you can repurpose old content.

Take the best phrases out of a blog post you previously wrote and create visual content around them. Update outdated info in an article and refresh it to boost rankings. Turn old into something new! Break an article into a series of social media updates. Combine several pieces of content and turn them into an ebook or whitepaper. Use data creatively for case studies. The list goes on.

Remember to only repurpose content that is timeless and of high quality, and pay attention to what garners the most engagement. And tie everything to your content strategy.

Take a step back.

When you look at something from too close, you don’t necessarily spot the little things that will eventually determine the ultimate outcome of a piece of content. That’s why it’s important to allow a good idea to brew. It’s also smart to get someone else’s perspective on an idea – two pairs of eyeballs is better than one.

Finalization is even more crucial than planning. You can have the most carefully laid out roadmaps, but ultimately the outcome depends on execution and careful scrutinizing, which sometimes means removing everything you initially did to make way for something better.

Content creation is not just planning. It’s a craft of being able to pick up spontaneous ideas and make them work in the long run. Just remember to experiment and learn. Content creation mistakes (whoops) often lead to terrific revelations.