If coming up with content ideas is sometimes hard for you, there’s an easier way to generate ideas that are a breeze for you to write – and that your audience will actively love to read (and share).
I call it inspired content, and it’s pretty much my primary way of writing content right now. Once I made the transition to this style of content creation, both writing – and the work I do – got a whole lot easier.
So today I’ll walk you through the process, and you can start using it right away to generate content for your own blog, podcast, video channel – the sky’s the limit.
(ALSO: if you own Product in a Weekend, you can even extend this model to create desirable, useful digital products as frequently as you’d like.)
So – let’s dive in!
What is “inspired content”?
Inspired content is any content that comes to mind naturally as a result of something you’ve recently experienced or recently thought of. It’s current. It’s active and alive in your mind.
There’s a fresh energy to inspired content because you’re not so much “thinking up” as much as you are “writing down”. You don’t have to come up with ideas and angles and insights – they’re already swimming around in the foreground of your brain because of that recent experience.
This is what makes a great book you just read so easy to talk about, or a great movie you’ve just watched so easy to gush over. The words just flow, because they’re coming naturally as opposed to intellectually.
Examples of inspired content
The post you're reading right now is an example of inspired content – I wrote it the day after describing this concept to a client over a Zoom chat, and it came up super fast, because it was fresh in my mind.
Other examples & their origins:
- How To Quickly Build Your Own Customer Service Email Templates – I came up with this idea after I had to rework an older template that was dated and needed to be replaced.
- Yes-Oriented Questions: An Easy Way To Increase Sales – this one came after I was editing a sales page for a client and had to build in more questions to enhance the flow of the page.
- The Simplified Content Model: 5 Steps To Fast, Effective Content – I had 2 clients who were struggling with the structure of content they wanted me to write for them, and after explaining it to them, I realized my approach would make a good post.
- Customer Example: 7 Click-Worthy Content Ideas You Can Use Right Now – This is a great example for you to adapt – a student showed me her results from The 1-Hour Content Plan and I liked it so much I used it as a teaching example. You could do the same with success stories from your customers / clients.
- Weak Branding? Fix It With These 3 Words – I was revisiting my own branding and seeing how I could consciously strengthen it up moving forward, so I decided to write a post about based using my recent notes as a template.
- How To Make Money From Your Email Signature – I was updating my signature and it occurred to me that the way I do it is so easy that it would be a great teaching opportunity for my audience.
There are endless catalysts that can create the spark for inspired content. All you have to do is keep your eye out for something you’re doing, learning, or experiencing that has material relevance for your audience.
Why inspired content can be superior content
Inspired content is often higher quality than content that’s approached from a “gotta write this blog post about X this week” perspective. Reasons why:
It’s less detached / academic.
Sometimes when we sit down to create content, we assume a level of professional distance that can come off as boring to the reader.
This isn’t so much of a problem for academic writers, but if you’re a personality-based brand, you may not get as much “you” into the content. Inspired content will carry more of your natural voice.
Your enthusiasm comes through.
When you’re creating content that you’re genuinely interested in (or happens to feel particularly exciting today), that energy and vibe is going to come through in the way you write, and the reader can pick up on that.
They’ll enjoy the content more, and you have a chance to strengthen loyalty and attention over the long term.
It’s often more practical / has more takeaways.
Whether you’re creating a how-to listicle or a persuasive essay, inspired content tends to have more “teeth”. You’ll include more meaningful information, less fluff, and you’ll tend to deliver more value to the reader.
Sometimes this happens because you’ve just engaged with the topic (like I did with my client) and have fresh, recent experience. Other times you’ll just think of more stuff to say because of your real-time interest level.
You’re less self-conscious about what to say.
When you’re engaged and interested in a topic, your language is more natural and you feel more free to say what you’re really thinking and feeling. If you ever struggle with writing voice or how you sound, this can be a huge advantage – your focus stays on the content, not on how you “sound”.
Creation is faster and/or easier.
Inspired content tends to come up faster and easier because the content itself is more intuitive. You don’t have to do so much pre-thinking and you don’t get as caught up in the “right” way to say everything or structure your post. You can trust in your own abilities and just roll with it.
Case in point: This post took me about 50% of the time it usually takes me to write a post of similar length.
Exceptions exist, but in a good way – it may actually take way longer than usual, if you have a lot to say or you’re including more than is typical for you. But that’s a win, too, because you’ll have a larger, more meaningful piece of content to offer your audience.
Hold up – does this mean you shouldn’t use the 1-Hour Content Plan?
If inspired content is the opposite of planned content… does that mean that you shouldn’t use The 1-Hour Content Plan?
My client asked me this very question (and so did Naomi when I was texting her about this concept). Don't worry – you can absolutely keep planning out your content using this tool.
You won’t always be inspired at any given time, so it’s good to have a backlog of content ideas. Also, much of the valuable content you can create isn’t “inspired” to begin with – it covers fundamentals or best practices that you're writing on because you need to. Those topics are perfect for planned posts.
Two other things of note:
- If you take your moment of inspiration and open up The 1-Hour Content Plan, you can use your inspired idea as a springboard for generating a lot of spin-off / related topic ideas. You could easily come up with a dozen or two dozen topics in a flash this way.
- If you create a content plan and keep it handy so the ideas are fresh in your mind, you'll be able to see when any sparks connect with your plan. If I have a “plan” to write a piece on upsells at some time in the future, the next time I'm creating an upsell I can ride on an inspired wave of energy to create that content.
So yes – you can still totally use The 1-Hour Content Plan. :)
How to create inspired content quickly
The key to creating inspired content is to reduce the length of time between inspiration and creation. The faster you move on it, the less time it will take you to create – you’ll be able to ride on that inspired energy.
Here’s how I do it:
1 – First, I keep several “capture” tools handy. I have a notes app on my phone, a Bullet Journal that I keep with me at all times, and a dedicated, always open document on my computer, so I can capture my ideas wherever I am.
2 – Next, I use my Simplified Content Model to outline my idea very quickly. Read that post if you haven’t already – you can whip up the basis of a great piece of content quickly and easily when inspiration strikes.
3 – I write the post within 48 hours. The longer you wait, the more that “easy energy” fades, so it’s key to jump on it as soon as you can. (If you’re using the Simplified Content Model, remember you can save the intro / outro for last – just get the core piece written while energy is going strong. The beginning and end don’t require so much inspiration!)
Extra note: I keep the Master Template List from Plug & Play Blog Posts handy, too – it helps me see what style of post is the most appropriate match for any topics I come up with. If you don’t have it, take a look in the Karma Store & get it for yourself.
Want a high-five? Tell me about your content ideas!
Once you’ve tried using this process, you’ll find that you have good, share-worthy content ideas popping up all over the place.
Give it a try and get in touch when you have ideas you’re working with – and I’ll give you a virtual high-five! :)
In the meantime – take care, and have a wonderful day.
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