Are You Throwing Away Your Best Content Ideas?

Are You Throwing Away Your Best Content Ideas?

Reader Comments (75)

  1. This is super. Great tips for actually using all those great ideas I let go everyday, thinking I’ll save it for later or something better. So much wasted content… Thanks!
    — Maria Reyes-McDavis

  2. This is really good advice – thank you for the article. I hadn’t thought about scribbling down a few subheads in my recording process. I’m pretty good about capturing the raw idea, but without the subhead notes I often forget what my scribblings actually meant in my head at the time.

    And thanks for the advice on blog size to target. I’ve had a few health and fitness posts on larger blogs, but rarely do I target blogs of my size. That is going to change. Thanks!

  3. Excellent post! I was having trouble getting to sleep last night because I had not one, but TWO separate blog post ideas brewing in my head. Got to get them down on paper…

  4. Great post, Sonia.

    One quibble– no one could possibly stuff $2.7 million in cash into a mattress.;-)

  5. People run out of ideas only when they run out of breath. Just write, it’s a bottomless well. Make every day your best. If you’re not constantly giving your best, then you’re not improving, and if your not improving, what’s the point?

  6. Sonia, Nice post, It applies to everything and not just blogs. It applies to a wannbe entrepreneur who is waiting for an opportunity. Often, opportunity is now.

  7. I think I hear my muse laughing in the background some where.

    What was that guest post for copyblogger she gave me a couple of weeks ago? Something about love.

  8. Great reminders, especially about the Muse’s temperament, and to borrow/paraphrase from one of Darren’s earlier posts, that’s the great thing about the drafts feature…you can at least outline those ideas when they hit you for reworking and posting.

  9. Actually, i am hoarding alot of articles and ideas today since i dont know if i can still post new ideas if i give it in one shot still thanks for your post and i might go for a research about this for one month.

    I will try to see if which is better hoarding ideas or giving them out in one shot.

  10. The preamble story grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

    Great ideas! Thanks!

    Squiddo here I come.

  11. Sonia, I can’t agree with you more that keeping your own ideas close to home is an instinct that all of us (or at least myself) have.

    I think the key is to get over the hurdle of “this content can only help me.” Once you realize that a guest post can benefit both parties, as well as form some great relationships, sharing becomes much easier. πŸ™‚

    It’s easier said than done, but i’m definitely going to give this mentality a try!

  12. Sonia — This is right on! I’ve also lost great ideas because I didn’t jot them down when the flash hit me, and then couldn’t remember later.

    I’m off to put one of my moldering ideas into print.

    Thanks for the wake-up!


  13. “Hoarding ideas is the same as throwing them away.”

    I’m going to put THAT on a post-it right next to my computer!

  14. @Vince, heh. I did think about that briefly, but poetry won over practicality. For storytelling purposes, let’s say they were 30s-issued 1000-dollar bills. πŸ™‚

    @Harish, I agree. The more you give (not spend, necessarily, but give), the more you get. It’s scary but exhilarating.

    @Ron, she’ll forgive ya. Eventually. Go write it up. πŸ™‚

    @John Young, great way to frame it–“this content can only help me.” Nice.

  15. This is such a great post – going to link to you from my own blog section on Writing for the Web. Thanks for reminding all of us that all our great ideas are no good if we don’t share them!

  16. I’m a big believer in publishing your current BEST stuff FIRST. NOW.

    Here’s the rub… To attract those 500 subscribers, you’re going to need to publish stellar material again and again and again NOW… Once you have achieved 500 subscribers – you’re going to need to continue to post stellar material to KEEP them on board.

    The truth is you need to write superlative material every time. When you’re a small blog. When you’re a medium blog. And when you’re a gigantic blog…

    Got great stuff? Publish it NOW.

    A great blog post is a terrible thing to waste.

  17. It’s easy to forget, too, that it’s fine to repeat yourself. In fact, we have to repeat ourselves. Not excessively, but there’s nothing wrong with returning to certain strong ideas again and again. Sometimes the 10th time you riff on an idea is the time you really nail it.

  18. That’s the story of my life. I’m still figuring out a way not to waste ideas. I’ve tried to walk around with a voice recorder but it haven’t worked out. I felt kind of silly talking to no one in the middle of the street, for example.

  19. Matt, do you think comments like that are polite? Do you think they make you look cool? Do you think they make people like you?

    Seth doesn’t need to pay us. Sonia does everything she advises in this post, and her only motivation is to share.

  20. Oops, guess I forgot to tell Brian about the GIGANTIC CHECK I got from Seth Godin.

    Hmm, the impulse to write something snarky is nigh irresistible. But no, Matt, I wrote about Squidoo because I’ve found it to be a quite handy little tool that gives nice rewards on one’s time. Especially if you actually put decent content into them.

  21. Hey, hey..

    No offense or critisism intended.

    The direct link to Seth’s blog and the first time I have seen Squidoo mentioned outside of Seth’s Blog, both in the same article, raised my interest.

    It was a serious, honest question. I’m not a copywriter and so probably misworded it. But come on Brian, you have just made some pretty offensive remarks to someone that you do not know based on your own misunderstandings…

    Does not make me want to stick around.

  22. Well Matt, you own your words. If you didn’t mean to be rude, then I accept your explanation and apology.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that “did Seth pay you” is not at all a polite way to ask a question. On it’s face, your intentions did not seem innocent at all, so I’m not sure I was at fault in “misunderstanding.”

  23. we can’t waste it on our measly 300 subscribers (or 100, or 12)

    It’s funny ’cause I was juggling exactly with this kind of thinking this week. My blog is pretty new, and I have a post that I want to write for quite a while, I have between 7 & 10 readers, and I was thinking about waiting to write it because I don’t have– like copyblogger 41066 subscribers…

    Well I just want to say that I really like the quality content I found here (thanks Brian, Sonia Simone, James Chartran, & all the contributers).

    I have been hanging here for about 2 months now, and it’s my first comment.

  24. This is a great post and so true.

    When I started blogging and being active on forums I was unselfish enough to just give every secret I had…every nugget of information…freely and without reservation.

    For a while it seemed like no one was taking any notice…even when I was sharing genuine secrets that had been tested in the real world and produced real results…often quite startling results.

    But then after a couple of years I noticed a trend.

    People were starting to call me a “copywriting gun” or a “marketing great”.

    My wife really hates that one and it’s appeared several times now!

    Your suggestions about getting multiple use from your content are excellent.

    And I have to just confirm what you’re telling people to do here really does work.

    I remember quite a while back the first time I spent a full month actively sharing valuable information on every blog and forum I could (including my own blog) for a full month…

    That month of activity brought in over $20,000 in business.

    It pays to be generous

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh

  25. Oh great, Chartrand starts with the funny talk again.

    I have it on good authority that he wears women’s underpants.

    And I don’t mean just on the weekends.


  26. He’s French, they have different rules. Vive la difference and all that.

    That is great to hear, Jean–and good luck!

    I love it, Andrew! It does take awhile to get rolling, and there’s that little voice that says, Am I being a chump? But then the thing gets some momentum, and you can’t stop it.

  27. Brian. Dude.


    I’m at a loss for words. That was way too funny. Now see what you did? You found the one and only way to get me to poke my head out and comment.

  28. Sonia, this was great.

    It serves as motivation to get the most important ideas I have to share out there now, not later.

    Personally, I’ve been struggling with how much to share, how soon with this brand new site linked – especially because at its core, there are a limited number of key ideas that I can share.

    And being afraid of doing that without any immediate payoff is scary.

    But knowing that it will serve as motivation to my spiteful muse is motivation enough for me.

    So are you going to Disney World?

  29. If you share all your great content, does not mean you cannot build on it in other ways. We may blog on a great idea, but that doesn’t mean we don’t follow up as we build on it – in another blog, dedicated on a webpage, a podcast, etc.

  30. Well said! I am sure that I am not the only one who has made that mistake of not getting an idea down quickly enough and losing it. But then there are those nights when I should have gone to bed hours ago but I can’t keep my fingers still as they dash arond the keyboard. i’ve just started to get into the habit of making lists of ideas, and i am looking forward to seeing where my blog is at a month or three months from now with regular updating.

  31. I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately as I’ve just launched a new website. Your thoughts make perfect sense so I’ll be unleashing those posts a bit earlier πŸ˜‰

  32. Sage advice on what we forget and sometimes take for granted. Thank you for the remember wake up call.


  33. Great advice.

    I write down all my blog ideas in one word document and I try to treat them as a to do list and so far have been successfully crossing them off as I go along on what has been my 3 month blog adventure… which I intend to make a life-long adventure. πŸ™‚

    You reminded me however, my blogs that I don’t feel fit with my current direction need to be written NOW so I can pitch them to other sites and stop delaying that.

    Also I liked the final comparison to imagination being like a drug… reminded me of how my mother has told me talent without direction is just a waste.

  34. Great post! A lot of people censor their content with the idea that “my readers/veiwers don’t want to read about this”. There is a market for everything…somewhere somebody is looking for your information, your idea! Write it down, take action, and support others with quality information. Someone will find it important and 1 begets 2 and so on.

  35. Thanks for the great post! I always had trouble with getting the ideas that are jumping around in my head into words. I have a tendency to ramble and that was when I was using Adwords alone, now I use Adwords with Glyphius and I get straight to the point, sort of!

  36. Excellent post, I can totally grok “Write them up anyway, even if they never get posted”.

    I have a note with a bunch of kewords for a mood I was in a few weeks back, but never got around to writing a coherent post.

    It’s still there, waiting for me to come back to it, but the thrill is gonne, I’ve moved on …

    Strike while the iron’s hot! πŸ˜‰

  37. When I have an idea, but don’t have time to work on it, I open my blog editor and create a new entry. I add the title and a few words. Sometimes I outline it as well.

    When it’s time to write something, if I don’t have a fresh idea, I check the unpublished articles. I’ll fiddle with a few, maybe drop in a picture or some other partial content, write afew phrases. After a while one of these nascent posts will reach critical mass, and I’ll finish it. Sometimes I’ll finish two or three, and I’ll have my week’s work ready to go.

  38. I carry a notebook around with me most of the time for just this sort of reason, and not just for writing ideas for future articles/posts, my best business ideas come to me when doing something completely unrelated, like shopping for groceries – if I don’t write it down there and then it’s lost forever. Certainly when it’s the allotted time to write and you sit down with a blank page in front of you, it’s a lot easier when you have twenty ideas to start with already written down, and what you do write ends up being a lot more inspired as a result.

  39. Fantastic post. I stumbled upon it while doing some research on “hoarding ideas” as I was inspired by a DailyOM post this a.m. about hoarding vs sharing. Not only did you post give me some ideas for my also shined a light on how I hold off on being prolific as I wait for inspiration…better to just write today!

  40. Excellent post! I was having trouble getting to sleep last night because I had not one, but TWO separate blog post ideas brewing in my head. Got to get them down on paper…

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