If you’ve been putting out content for a while, you know that it is not easy to show up every single week and turn out fresh, high-quality stuff.
It’s actually really tough to bring your A-game every week and keep putting out great content.
You get tired. You get bored. You think you’ve said it all and there’s nothing new under the sun.
Today, I have a little trick to share with you that I discovered accidentally, that has been helping me create much better content. (And kept me from publicly embarrassing myself.)
I call it the Big Eyes Brainstorm (more on why in a minute) and it challenges you to bring more to the table and pushes you to dig deep for good content, while showing that you’re capable of so much more than you think.
Real quick before I get into the super easy trick, I want you to promise that you’ll give it a try.
Don’t decide that this isn’t going to work before you even experiment with it.
Because I’ll admit that my organized, plan-loving self would be resistant to this, too — if I didn’t know firsthand that it WORKS.
So give it a try, see what happens, and then you can apply it however you want.
Here’s the Big Eyes Brainstorm:
When it comes to choosing your blog topics, bite off more than you can chew.
You know the saying “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”? When you overeat because you, quite literally, bit off more than you can chew?
Do the same with your blog topics.
Come up with a topic that you think would be really interesting for your readers — whether or not you think you’re capable of actually writing it! And then take it one step further and make that topic specific to hold yourself accountable.
So, for example, a few months ago I pitched a guest post to farideh.com called “The 4 Emails You Need to Warm Up Your List Before Your Next Launch“.
I’ll be honest: when I pitched the idea, I had no clue what those 4 emails would be. It just sounded like an enticing topic for her readers and I really wanted to get in front of her audience.
So I submitted the topic I thought she’d approve.
In essence, I committed to writing about these 4 emails before I was sure I had them in me. That’s the whole idea behind the Big Eyes Brainstorm.
Farideh loved the idea and approved the pitch…and then the pressure was on. I’d committed to someone who was counting on me and I needed to make it happen.
I may have been a bit sweatier than normal when I sat down to outline that post. But then something really cool happened…
Those 4 emails just poured out of me.
I don’t know where they came from, exactly. But in about five minutes flat, I had a 4-part pre-launch sequence that made me go “YOWZA. This is amazing!! Where has this genius sequence been all my life?!”
It was like my brain filled in the blanks to make that blog post happen.
I submitted the guest post and people really liked it…
So I tried the strategy out again, by pitching another guest post called “4 Simple Emails to Build Your Client List TODAY“.
Like the first time, I didn’t know exactly what those 4 emails were going to be. But once the pitch was approved and I started the outline, I quickly came up with 4 different types of emails that would get someone new clients.
I didn’t knowI knew that stuff. But once I set myself a challenge to come up with it, the answers materialized.
And again, the finished post got a great response:
Once I saw how effective this was, I started doing this for my blogging clients, too, pitching topics like:
– X Ways to Do Y, or…
– X Accounts to Follow for Advice on Y, or…
– The X Things You Never Knew You Needed to Help with Y…
And no matter what the topic — even if I’m not sure how I’m going to come up with that many examples — I somehow manage to create the answers I need.
There seems to be some magic in getting specific with your topic and then forcing yourself to come up with a solution.
It’s like our brains are just hardwired to fill in whatever blanks we set for ourselves.
We all have this hidden body of knowledge deep down inside of us that we kind of forget we have. The Big Eyes Brainstorm gives you a way to bring all those forgotten gems out from the depths and into the light of day, by challenging yourself to bring more to the table.
And if your eyes are a bit TOO big, and you can’t come up with quite as many reasons as you set out to? Who cares, man? You can always scale it back.
If I gave myself the topic of “11 sales copy tweaks to increase conversions” and I could only come up with 8 solid ones, that’s still awesome! I’d just change the title to be “8 sales copy tweaks” and be on my merry way.
Even if you don’t reach your ambitious goal, you’re still going to have way more than if you don’t push yourself. Better to try to run a marathon and konk out at Mile 21 than only ever play it safe with a 5K…right?
So the next time you sit down to come up with blog topics, ask yourself these two questions:
What’s a topic that would really help my audience out? (Whether or not you think you can deliver the answer.)
How can I make that topic specific to set a goal for myself?
Then sit down, whip out your writing medium of choice (iPhone notes app over here!) and let your trusty brain do her thing.
I have a feeling you’ll be really surprised at what you can accomplish with this technique.
If you want some extra accountability, let me know in the comments what you’re going to write about! Or submit your idea as a guest post. Having that extra layer to push your brain to deliver the goods is really helpful.
BTDubs — I find this “bite off more than you think you can chew” technique also works especially well when committing to deadlines. Any time I’m ambitious with deadlines, it pushes me to work smarter and be more productive to get it done.
And guacamole. It’s always a good idea to heap more on your plate than you think you’ll need. (Trust me on this.)
join the convo
How do you usually come up with your blog post topics?
Do you play it safe? Or do you push yourself with a technique like this one?
How else do you brainstorm killer blog content?