Over the years, content writing has evolved to be what it is today – more informational, relatable, and actionable. However, this was not the case centuries back, where the art of writing was widely celebrated for its enchanting prowess, archaic vocabulary, and its long unwinding prose format.
The content writing sphere has since revolutionized. Changes in the writing industry were occasioned by changes in the ‘reader’s changing preferences and cravings. With the fast-paced technological era, immense information at our fingertips, and global connectivity, newer techniques had to be adopted to satisfy the needs of readers.
In the 21st century, it is no longer enough to write great content and wait for readers to ‘find’ it online. With the vast array of information, content writing had to evolve to include SEO tools to get the content to potential readers and that’s just the start of things. There is a greater demand for authentic attention-grabbing information which would compel even the busiest of humans, in this fast-paced era, to stop and take a look.
So how can a 21st-century content writer develop thought-provoking, creative content to sustain the interest of his readers for the long haul. The answer is in ‘new century’ ideation.
What is Ideation?
Ideation is the process of forming an idea. When it comes to a content writer it refers to a three-part creative process that involves envisioning, developing, and conveying an idea. It encompasses the modification, organization, execution, and perfection of an idea. This process is mentally engaging and is the foundational block towards writing any cutting-edge content.
With the constant pressure on writers to churn out ‘state of the art’ content ever so often, one may be easily felt overwhelmed and a bit ‘blunt’ in writing. So how do you keep the creative fire from dying out? Well, read on for these and more answers below:
Step 1: Envisioning
For too many writers this is the hardest of exercises. However, the process can be simplified using the following tips.
Let your inner genius of wonder
The power of imagination is undoubtedly one of the greatest forces in the world. The human mind is a powerful tool that, to this day, is yet to be fully harnessed by any human being. For most, their inner genius sits in their mind, caged. They are too swamped with chores, tasks, worrying, and thinking about a dozen things at a go, without allowing a moment to let their genius wander. Most brilliant ideas are formed in a state of stillness and inner peace. Where your mind roams around until it is ‘struck’ by an idea so intriguing that your full attention is affixed to it.
It is important as a writer to always spare a few minutes of your day when you are relaxed and peaceful and allow your mind to wander and imagine the unseeable and unthinkable. In this state, you can gather the most unique and genius ideas which you can, later, develop and translate in your work
Probe into everyday ordinary happenings
One of the most overlooked sources of inspiration is our normal day to day lives. We tend to assume that the grand idea is somewhere ‘out there’ completely divorced by the repetitive day to day notions of our average lives. Well, our very own ‘average’ lives can be invaluable sources of great ideas that are not only stimulating to read but also practical and relatable.
All you need is a keen and probing mind to see how to capture, re-invent, reiterate a particular ‘normal’ activity in a new light. Always ask why? Why does the norm remain the norm? And work from there.
Keyword Search and Optimization
This may probably come as a surprise to many, as most individuals do not think about keywords at the initial creative stages, but it is important. What is the point of envisioning and developing a great story and have no one to read? Once you have a great idea, do a keyword search and look to incorporate the keywords you will find within your work.
Step 2: Developing your Idea
It may take minutes, hours, and even days, depending on the kind of content assigned. You may need a pen and paper for this, to answer vital questions in this creative step.
- Why this idea?
- Is it the best idea for this article? Can I make it better? Where?
- Which angle should I take? Why? Is it the best?
- What exactly I’m I trying to communicate here? What is the end goal?
- What pictures should I add?
Here you internalize and synthesize your key thoughts, concepts, and idea to devise a plan on how to execute your work. Let them simmer in your mind for a while. Swirl the idea around in your mind till you are convinced about it. Find out that unconventional angle, that pleasantly surprising twist, or captivating introductory remarks.
As you ask yourself, these and more questions you will notice how precise the story becomes to you. You have a clearer grasp on what you are looking to communicate, the feeling you are looking to invoke, and the tone and angle you will take to achieve it all.
Step 3: Translating your Idea – The Art of Persuasion
Persuasion begins with great clarity and definition of what you are looking to write. It’s not merely a writing technique that employs emotion-invoking words or some sort of wordplay. To appeal to others, the content must first appeal to you. Only then can you translate it compellingly.
Additionally, invest time in the presentation, poorly presented work will most of the time not be read.
Ideation is very simple and not as complex as it may sound. Always remember, with every idea comes a story and with every story comes another great idea. This is a never-ending process that once tapped into will produce infinite great and unique ideas. With the above steps, I believe you will be best placed to harness the creative guru inside and develop top-notch content always.
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