Having trouble coming up with content ideas for your personal brand, small business, or side hustle?
As a marketing writer and content coach, I’ve come up with five questions I recommend you ask yourself at the start of each month. These five questions will help you get all your best ideas out from inside your head and onto the page (as any good brain dump should), allowing you to slot great content into your editorial calendar and begin posting!
Before you get going on your first Content Creation Brain Dump, there are two steps I’d like you to complete first.
Step 1: Determine your CONTENT PILLARS for the year.
I recommend that a content creator (whether that be a person or a business) have three content pillars. These are essentially the “themes” in which your content falls under.
A person creating content for their online jewelry shop, may select:
1. Jewelry Making & Crafting
3. Travel & Outdoors
Step 2: Determine your MARKETING PILLARS for the quarter.
As you look at your business goals for the quarter, your marketing pillars prop those up. If you want to increase revenue coming in from sponsored Instagram posts, one of your pillars might simply be sponsored content. Trying to build your mailing list? Maybe your pillar is a lead generator.
Our online jewelry shop owner chooses:
1. Sale on Summer merchandise
2. Cross promotion of brick & mortar store that sells some of her pieces
3. Working with a few travel content creators on an influencer marketing campaign
[I advise that you repeat Step 1 every year and Step 2 every quarter!]
Once you’ve determined your CONTENT PILLARS and MARKETING PILLARS, it’s on to the Brain Dump! Grab some paper and ask yourself the following questions…
Question 1: What are some pieces of content I already have that I can repurpose?
Our jewelry shop owner took beautiful product photos of all her Summer merchandise before that line launched. Now that the remaining pieces are on sale, she can use those photos in her Instagram stories to promote her End Of Summer Sale.
Question 2: What is going on this month that I could create content about?
The brick & mortar store that sells her jewelry is a couple towns over and is hosting a small event. She plans to travel there for the event as well as do a restock of her merchandise.
She also donated a couple pieces to a local nonprofit for an online auction at the end of the month.
Question 3: What products or services should I highlight this month?
She’d like to promote her new jewelry collection that’s going on sale next month. She sent out a few pieces from the collection in advance of the launch date to travel content creators.
Question 4: What content did my followers/clients/customers respond best to last month that I can iterate on this month?
Her customers always respond well to giveaways! Maybe she can include some other local products she finds at the small event she’s attending this month?
Question 5: What content am I missing that would help me achieve my quarterly business goals?
Sales in the brick & mortar store are an important part of her business goals this month. She needs to sell the store (as well as the little town it is located in) just as much as the merchandise she has inside it this month. She might think about some content from her trip to the store that falls under her Travel & Outdoors pillar.
Once your Brain Dump is complete, you can build out the content ideas and get them scheduled on your calendar. Repeat each month for ongoing awesome content! Remember: Validate each idea against your two sets of pillars. They should serve one or the other and ideally BOTH!
If you ever want to talk strategy, my inbox is open! Send me a message at email@example.com ❤ Let’s work together to make some internet magic!
P.S. My 10 brutally honest tips about content creation.