How to Brainstorm Content Ideas without Hurting Your Noggin

One of my specialties is coming up with ideas. I’m never at a loss, whether in my copywriting life or fiction-writing life. The problem is never a lack of ideas. It’s a lack of time to do something with all the ideas. (And, of course, not all ideas are good ideas. But that’s a subject for another time.) Not everyone is like me, though, and that’s OK. Some truly gifted writers struggle to come up with ideas, which is precisely why I’m writing this blog post on how to brainstorm content ideas without hurting your noggin.

Below, I provide ways to get those creative juices flowing so that you’ll be pumping out ideas in no time.

If you learn better by watching a video, here you go. Otherwise, keep scrolling.

1. How to brainstorm content ideas: Turn to Google.

Yes, I’m starting with the obvious. If you have a topic, go to Google, plug in a question about the topic, and see what comes up in the various hot spots, as I call ’em. (Or if you want to get all formal about it, the featured snippets.)

If you’ve ever plugged a question into Google, you no doubt encountered the “people also ask” box. That’s a rich source of content ideas (and keyword-rich ones, too, which are great for blog posts).

2. Use your keyword research tool.

Plugging in a main keyword phrase (what’s known as a seed keyword) will bring up plenty of other keyword phrases. And depending on the tool, you can continue drilling down from there. One of the things I love about Semrush, which is the keyword tool I use, is that it generates keyword-rich “optimization” ideas for me. It even regularly sends me emails with new ideas.

3. Visit Quora or Reddit

Both Quora and Reddit are underused by copywriters, and yet both have a treasure trove of info. Type in a topic, and bam! I guarantee you’ll find threads on the topic and a bunch of angles you never considered.

4. Get a little help from your friend ChatGPT or Bard.

AI is GREAT at brainstorming. I told ChatGPT that I was working on this blog post. Check out my prompt and ChatGPT’s response. (I did this AFTER I’d come up with my ideas for this blog post already. Interestingly enough, we didn’t overlap much beyond the tip about engaging with your audience.)

screenshot of prompt to ChatGPT asking it to come up with 5 strategies for copywriters to brainstorm content ideas. It provides an outline.

5. Pick your client’s brain.

Seriously, they are the keepers of great content ideas. They just don’t always realize it because they’re too close to what they do. Always remind them that if they hear the same questions from prospects and customers, the questions would make a great springboard for a piece of content. This is especially important if your client has a sales team. Make sure you have access to the head salesperson so you can pick their brain, too.

6. Survey your client’s audience.

You want to write content that resonates with your client’s specific audience. So why not ask the audience what content they need? OK, so you might not be THAT direct. It’s not like you’re going to run a survey asking what four blog posts they want to read next. But conducting occasional surveys to see what’s on customers’ minds can be a treasure trove for content ideas (among other things).

7. Read reviews. (And not just for your client.)

Reading reviews will reveal what’s on people’s minds, why they chose to buy from your client, what the experience was like, what they love about the product or service . . . or not. This is great intel for the entire marketing team, but you’re likely to find content gems buried in the good, the bad, and the ugly. And ditto on competitors’ reviews.

8. Check out social media.

For platforms driven by hashtags, do searches on relevant hashtags and see what people are talking about, posting, and sharing. For example, let’s say I was writing a blog post about Women’s Health Month, which is May. I might do a search on that topic and relevant hashtags. From there, I could create a quick curated blog post on “Our Six Favorite TikToks Celebrating Women’s Health Month.” That could be a fun blog post for the urology practice I blog for.

9. How to brainstorm content ideas: Develop content around holidays and monthly designations.

That brings up another idea I use. Holidays and monthly designations. Going back to my urology client, we do lots of themed content, like Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and the other March Madness . . . no I don’t mean basketball. I mean vasectomy season. (If you know, you know.)

Got a Question for the Copy Bitch?

That’s me! I’m the Copy Bitch. Contact me or visit my YouTube channel and leave a comment on one of my videos. I might make a blog post or video with the answer.