How to Generate Content for Articles, Videos & More

As a content creator, coming up with new content can be tough. This article is a work-in-progress article that captures some of the advice I’ve found helpful for breaking through creative blocks.

If you have suggestions of your own, please feel free to leave them in the comments. The more the merrier!

-Matt

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Write about things you disagree with

Source: Sean D’Souza

If you’ve ever tried to create a new piece of content, then you know how intimidating that blank page can feel.

  • What should I write about?

  • Do I know enough about the topic?

  • Will people think I’m a poser/charlatan/imposter?

  • Do I need to do more research?

Personally, I suffer from a common writer’s illness called the “I just need to do a little more research” disease. This disease manifests itself with symptoms like perfectionism, failure to complete projects, insanely long articles, and wonderful intentions combined with lack of execution.

If you suffer from this disease as well, then Sean D’Souza’s advice may be just what the doctor ordered!

One of the big ideas I took away from the article was this:

Any time I feel blocked, simply think about and/or find an opinion with which I disagree

This technique is subtle but powerful.

Disagreement inherently means that the model of reality you are confronting disagrees with your own internal model.

But how can you disagree with something unless you have pre-existing knowledge of the topic?

This is an awesome technique for helping you to explore the boundaries of your current knowledge on a topic. It’s also a wonderful tool for sharpening your thinking.

Another way to capture this idea is to fill in the following blanks:

“When it comes to __, it drives me crazy when people say __.”

What’s that blank for you? Whatever it is, I bet you already have 2-3 ideas swirling in your head. Take those ideas and turn them into a new piece of content. Voila!

Combine a Skill with an Interest and then learn how to Package it 1,000+ different ways

Source: Justin Welsh

If you’ve been writing/producing content online for more than a few months, then the following will feel all-too-familiar:

You’ve been working on an article for a couple of weeks and you’ve polished it into a sparkling gem.

With great pride, you hit “Publish” and launch your content out into the world, where it is lovingly admired by all your fans.

48 hours later, everyone has already forgotten about your masterpiece and you’re left wondering, “What the hell do I write about now?

The need to produce new, interesting content is a perpetual problem for content creators.

This is where Justin Welsh’s “Skills + Interests + Packaging” concept has been so useful for me.

The basic idea looks like this:

Justin’s Recipe for Creative Content

+ Something you are skilled at
+ Something you are interested in
+ Some unique angle

Mix ingredients together until New Content takes shape. Serve with a side of Enthusiam.

Serves: 2-4 (million)


Justin gives an example of what this could look like in practice:

  1. Skill = Financial analysis

  2. Interest = Wine

  3. Angle = List of high-end wines

  4. New Content = Use your financial knowledge to project the value of one high-end wine bottle each morning

The beauty of this approach is that it can generate an endless stream of new, creative content. Additionally, because the topic is something that you genuinely find interesting, you will find each piece of content is fun to create. And last but not least, your content will attract an audience that resonates with your worldview since they will find your enthusiasm attractive.

Win-win-win.