Ideas are a writer’s life blood. If your job involves any type of writing, you cannot be successful without a steady flow of fresh, compelling ideas for newsletters, presentations, blog posts, articles, books and other forms of written communication. But how do you come up with great ideas to power your writing?
One powerful tool that I discovered about a year ago and have used ever since is Roger C. Parker’s excellent e-book, Content Catalyst: Standout Content & Ideas. This 178 page e-book is worth its weight in gold to me, as it has inspired topics for numerous blog posts and articles. In my opinion, it is an indispensable brainstorming tool. If you have an associative mind like I do, you’ll discover that Content Catalyst is like rocket fuel for your brain.
What makes this resource so valuable is its unique format. The first few chapters are “how to” oriented, covering topics such as writing and marketing success and using persuasive writing to win customers. It also outlines a practical step-by-step formula for creating great writing. This technique can help you to take the stress out of writing!
Another chapter highlights the top 10 types of articles that tend to be most popular – “evergreen” topics that are always popular with readers, such as a list of biggest mistakes, checklists and productivity tips. Each of these top 10 topics includes questions that will help you to brainstorm your own variations on them, along with helpful examples of each. This is very valuable if you need to create interesting content for your blog or newsletter that subscribers will want to read.
The real core of the book’s value for me, however, is the other two-thirds of the book, which contains over 400 keywords that you can use as a brainstorming tool for developing valuable ideas for your writing. Each keyword is accompanied by definitions and examples, which help you to understand how it can be used. I’m not one of the world’s great original thinkers, but my brain is very good at making associations and at adapting interesting ideas or concepts to my needs. If your brain works the way mine does, you’re going to love this part of Content Catalyst. A sample of one of these keyword pages appears above right.
I liked the section of the book so much that I copied and pasted all of the key words from it into a Word document, shrunk the font down to barely readable size and then reformatted it into narrow columns, until I was able to fit several hundred keywords on a single sheet of paper. I then printed it out, folded it and I now carry it in the folding pocket at the back of my small Moleskine notebook. Because it’s so portable, I carry it just about everywhere with me. When I have a few spare moments, I unfold my Content Catalyst “cheat sheet,” pick a few key words at random and brainstorm content ideas based upon them. If one word doesn’t spur any ideas, I simply pick another one. In no time at all, I usually have several pages worth of great ideas.
Who is the person behind this marvelous ideation tool? Roger C. Parker specializes in helping companies to plan, write and design for marketing success. Over the last 20 years, his 38 books have been purchased by over 1.6 million readers in over 37 countries. In other words, this isn’t some young internet marketer trying to make a quick buck. Roger is the real deal, and he provides quality tools and practical advice to marketers and writers of all stripes. He’s also a talented creative thinker, and an avid mind mapper. I’ve known Roger for a number of years, and have come to trust his advice implicitly.
I recently showed a few pages of Content Catalyst to an acquaintance of mine, who is a small business owner. His response was, “Wow! This guy really put a lot of work into this book!” It’s true – I don’t know what methodology Roger used to assemble these keyword lists, but the rest of us can now benefit tremendously from his dedication.
This unique, valuable book will help you solve the age-old problem, “What will I write about?” You don’t have to be a trained writer to benefit from the Content Catalyst. If you do any type of writing, you will benefit from this powerful brainstorming tool.
The Content Catalyst normally sells for US$139, but for a limited time, Roger is selling it for US$99. I recommend that you purchase and download a copy today!
By Chuck Frey