I was talking with a friend about inspirations for creating content and how good ideas can come from the most unlikely places. But then I realized that these “places” aren’t exactly unlikely, they are just not what most people consider likely traditional or artistic sources of inspiration (such as art, beauty, poetry, touching and tender human moments or motivational words from others).
I don’t know about you, but those sound like old romantic sources of inspiration to me. When was the last time you were inspired by a poem? Ok, seriously, when was the last time you even read a poem? At the risk of sounding uncultured, it’s been a while for me.
Instead, I find inspiration for content in every day and very, very mundane things.
Recently, I was gathering our recycling to be put out and I suddenly thought about reusing and repurposing content. I wasn’t in work mode; I was just doing some household chores. I made sure to I jot down a note to myself and now we are going to have a webinar about repurposing content. Now, the link between repurposing content and recycling may seem obvious, but I hadn’t thought about the concept in quite the same way before.
And while that recycling issue struck me (admittedly, it’s also a hot eco/green issue right now), it might also resonated with those creating content for a variety of different types of sites on a range of topics.
Here are some examples:
For a pet site: what are some new ways that people are recycling dog waste? I read a story recently about Cambridge mass using poop to power the lights in a city park. Maybe there are others doing the same or other methods for recycling doggie poop. That could make a good short blog post on your site.
For a luggage or travel site: now that airlines have very strict regulations about baggage size and high fees for luggage, what are people doing with older bigger suitcases that are unusable? Is there a recycling program from any of the luggage makers? Is anyone doing something fun like making purses out of them? It might also be a good launching point for a post about how things have changed with regard to the life span of luggage and how a set of expensive luggage is no longer given at graduation and intended to last a lifetime.
For a knitting site: you might want to explore new ways to reuse old sweaters or clothing or how to repurpose yarn for creating new items.
I recently was watching the news and saw an Amber Alert for a missing 8-year old girl. The situation was tragic and I felt such sympathy for the parents of the missing child. But it also got me thinking about how there is a national system for alerting people to these situations and how these systems rely on the public to help police and investigators find children.
Then the wheels started churning about how information and content is delivered to the masses. Is it enough to have a national alert? Is the family using social media to spread the word and find their daughter? Did they post a video on YouTube make a Facebook page as well? Not everyone watches the local news and not everyone drives on highways that display the Amber Alerts.
That thought led me to think about how content is distributed and disseminated and the importance of having multiple channels of delivery since people consume information in a variety of ways.
I know that example might seem like a leap, but it’s really not. And you might have taken away something totally different from watching that very same news segment. Obviously, my thought process is different from yours. We all have our unique perspectives and processes. That’s what will result in unique and compelling content.
I also, don’t want to seem like I’m minimizing such a tragic event and have you think that I turned it into fodder for my own gain. I just want to illustrate how everyday things can spark ideas.
I have also found inspiration watching some lame reality TV shows or based on a phrase that came up in a random exchange with a stranger at the grocery store or while walking down the street to run an errand or while attending a sporting event.
The bottom line is that you never know when inspiration will strike. You can’t force it; you just have to be open to looking at everyday things in new ways.