How to never run out of ideas for content that makes you money
You have great ideas. You are a problem solver. But sometimes it’s hard to find the time and energy to share all of your brilliant solutions. Creating a space to store ideas for content and then making a plan will help you big time.
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Not long ago, my daughter decided that she wanted to buy some Heelys. Her friend had gotten Heelys at school and she wanted a pair of her own Heelys. So she came to me and she said, “Mom, will you buy me Heelys and then I’ll work to pay you back?”
And I said, “No dear, because we have a whole list of jobs in our house that you can do to earn money. You have chosen not to do those jobs over and over and over again. So you will need to earn that money first. You cannot go into debt for Heelys.” She was really frustrated with me.
Fast forward a little while, she had done a job for two, and she had like $3 and that obviously was not enough to buy Heelys, but she came and said, “Mom, can I go to the dollar store and get some candy with my $3?” And I said, “Um, yeah, I mean, it’s your money, but didn’t you want to buy Heelys?” And she goes, “Yeah. But I really want the candy and I’ll earn money for Heelys later.”
So she went and bought the candy, then a week or so after that she came to me crying because her friend had Heelys and she didn’t. And she really wanted me to buy her Heelys. And why was I such a mean mom?
If I had to guess, I would guess that you have probably had similar situations in your home. All four of my kids do this. They want what they want, right when they want it. But they have not yet learned to fill up their bank account with money so that when they come across something that they truly want, they are able to purchase it. Instead they spend their time and their money, the small amounts of money they do make, on things that don’t really matter to them in the long run.
The truth is, we do this with our content. When we create it last minute, it ends up being cheap content that doesn’t really give us the results we want. The result of making us money in our business and helping us to have a greater impact for good in the world. In order for our content to make us money and have an impact for good, it has to be purposeful.
What does a bank have to do with ideas for content?
But being purposeful is hard. When you feel pressured, when you feel like “I have to get an Instagram post out” just to get one out, it’s really hard to be purposeful. So in today’s podcast episode, we are going to solve that problem for you by teaching you how to create a content bank.
This is something that I have done for many years. I had a content bank, but I didn’t have a super clever name for it. This name, content bank, comes from Michelle Gifford. I have to give credit where credit is due. I love this idea of making it like a bank account. If you have money in your bank account you can purchase things that you need or want, that are truly important, when the need or the opportunity to purchase them comes.
We want to create a bank full of content for you so when the need or opportunity to purchase something impactful comes up in your life, you have content ready to go.
What is a Content Bank?
Let’s start with talking about what a content bank is. I alluded to this in the beginning, that it’s very similar to a actual bank account where you put your money. It is simply a place where you store ideas for your core content.
If you aren’t sure what core content is, go back to episode #65 and listen to Michelle Gifford, where she teaches you about core content. Essentially, it is that main piece of content. For me, it is a podcast episode. For you, it might be a blog post or a YouTube video, but it is your biggest piece of content that you create every week.
Your content bank is simply a place where you store ideas for that content. As I mentioned, this is an idea that I have used for years, but I tried to put all sorts of content ideas in here. Content ideas for my IG feed and IGTV and IG stories and Facebook and my private community and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It became very overwhelming to keep all of that well organized.
I learned how to use my content bank better when I took Michelle Gifford’s Core Content Code. As a reminder, you can get the Core Content Code for $100 off using code MISTY100 until the end of February 2021. $100 is a lot of money people! If you are interested in the Core Content Code, you need to go get it by the end of February. You can find that at TheGoodnessSquad.com/corecontentcode.
Two ways the Core Content Code helped me
Michelle taught me how to better utilize my content bank.
- I only use it now for core content ideas. It’s far more simplified.
- I use my content bank ahead of time. I used to pull from it last minute. I would sit down every Friday or every Monday and I would look at all my ideas, there were hundreds of them. Then I would figure out right then and there, which one I was going to post. And then I would create it.
That was overwhelming. But Michelle taught me, in the Core Content Code, a better way to utilize that and to use my content bank far ahead of time. Like budgeting, right? My husband and I, we put aside a little bit of money for car insurance every month so that we can pay it every six months and get that discount.
It makes our money more valuable that way, by planning it ahead of time. We do the same thing for family birthdays. We do the same thing for haircuts. We do the same thing for a lot of categories where we put money aside every single month, even though we aren’t actually spending it.
Michelle will help you learn how to use your content bank in this way. Go get the Core Content Code. Once again, TheGoodnessSquad.com/corecontentcode and use code MISTY100 to save $100 on this incredible program. If you are listening to this podcast episode the day it launches you only have three days left. If you’re listening to it after, still go check it out. It is worth the full price and more.
Organizing your ideas for content
Next question, let’s talk about how to organize your content bank. If you want to know how Michelle does it you’ll need to take her class. I use an app called Infinity, which you can find at TheGoodnessSquad.com/infinity. It’s very similar to Trello, but in the long term, it’s a lot less expensive than Trello. It is an upfront payment, but over the long term it is less expensive than Trello. I have really loved it.
#1 – When I get an idea for a piece of core content, I add it to my inbox in Infinity. If you’re unfamiliar with what an inbox is, go back and listen to episode #60 of The Goodness Squad podcast, where I talk about this one simple idea, the inbox. It has really relieved a lot of stress in my life as a mompreneur.
#2 – During my weekly planning, I move all the ideas that landed in my inbox into my content bank, which is simply another folder in Infinity. Then categorize it by the type of content. There are five different types of content that I create. First is promotional. Second is inspirational. Third is educational. Fourth is entertaining. Fifth is engagement.
I categorize all of my content into those five categories. Then when I go to plan my content every quarter or every month, I have a plethora of ideas to choose from, and I am better able to be inspired to really meet your needs. To truly help you and solve your problems.
Where to get ideas for your content bank
Where do you get ideas for your content bank? My number one best tip is that you are looking for questions that people have about your topic. Those are the things that you want to write down in your content bank, because you want to solve problems with your content.
You’re going to hear me say this over and over and over and over and over again. But when you solve problems with your content, that is when you earn money and have an impact. People pay both with their time and with their money to solve their problems.
So whether they use your free content or your paid content, it needs to solve a problem. You cannot impact somebody unless you are solving a problem for them because they won’t put their time into it. They won’t make the effort. You simply will not have an impact unless you are solving a problem for them.
So where do you come up with this list of questions, this content bank full of questions that you can answer, problems that you can solve?
#1 – Have a brainstorming session
I do this with my coaching clients. I ask them to sit down and come up with a list of at least 50 questions they can answer for other people. 50 problems that they can solve.
If you can’t come up with 50 questions people have about your topic, then you might not have picked the right topic. You should be knowledgeable enough and passionate enough about your topic that you can come up with at least 50 ideas.
Now that doesn’t mean that you all have to be like Becky Squire who did this in about an hour. Crazy incredible. It might take you a little longer. It might not be easy. It might take you a few days. But this is a really important first step for you to list out 50 content ideas, 50 problems that you can solve, 50 questions that you can answer for people. When you do that, you know you have found a niche that you can continue to come up with ideas for.
#2 – Using Forums
Something like Quora or you can search Google for your topic forums. So I might search for website design forums or website copy forums or website tech forums. So whatever your topic is, you can put that in a Google search and see if you can find forums that are really specific to your topic.
But if you don’t find any there, you can try Quora. There are so many questions posted there. Another is to go through Google. So Google your topic (website design for me), and then scroll all the way down to the bottom of that list. And at the bottom of that list, Google shows you other things people are searching for around that topic.
And then you could search for one of those and find more ideas at the bottom of that one and search for one of those and find more ideas at the bottom of that one. Oftentimes when people search in Google, they’re asking a question. They’re trying to solve a problem. So this can be a great place to find content ideas.
#3 – Refer to questions you get asked often
This can happen because you ask them to – you put a post up on Instagram stories and you say, “Hey, what questions do you have right here?” And you ask them to put that in the box, and now you have ideas for content. Go ahead and answer the questions that they ask right there on Instagram, but you can also create an entire piece of core content around those questions in the future.
In addition, people will probably send you emails. They’re going to send you Instagram messages and you are going to get questions probably without even asking for them. Write those down. Don’t just answer them once and be done with them. Put those in your content bank.
#4 – What questions are people asking others in your niche?
You can do this by joining Facebook groups that focus on what it is you teach. As you participate in those Facebook groups, you will see the common threads, the questions people are asking over and over and over again.
You can also search for questions that people are asking inside of a Facebook group. So I will go into just a Latter-day Saint mom Facebook group. It has nothing to do with website design or content marketing, but I will search for those terms inside of that group and see what my target audience, Latter-day Saint moms, are asking about those topics.
You can also do this by following other people in your industry and then looking at what questions people ask in the comments. This is especially good if you’re just getting started and you don’t have a large audience to figure out what their questions are. Go find someone who is really big in your industry, go to their Instagram feed or their Facebook feed, and see what questions people are asking in those comments.
I don’t suggest that you try to overtake the comment thread and answer everybody’s questions, you want it to be respectful of their feed, but it can give you ideas for questions that you can answer in your own content on your own feed.
#5 – Search YouTube videos
YouTube is another search engine. Any type of search engine is going to be a great way for you to find questions that people have problems that they want solved. Just like I said on Google, you can go do the same thing in YouTube. Type in questions. They’re going to give you suggested videos, go to one of those videos. They’ll give you other suggested videos and these can help you come up with problems that you can solve for your people.
The same thing works on Pinterest. Did you know this? If you go into Pinterest and you type in Website design, they’re going to give you suggestions for ways to complete that phrase. Things you could add on to that phrase to make it more specific. You can do that over and over and over again.
#6 – Pay attention to themes in thank you notes
We all get these occasionally. Sometimes people send us an email and say, “Hey, this really helped me. This podcast episode was particularly impactful, or this product helped me do X, Y, Z.” You know that you now solved a problem for somebody. You can go talk about that topic multiple times, take it from different angles and tackle that topic again, because you know that it is going to truly help people.
#7 – Pay attention to your analytics
Your analytics are basically your audience voting for what they think is the most helpful. If you have a particular Instagram post that has done exceptionally well, think of another way you can attack that topic. How else can you answer that question? How else can you solve the problem that that post is solving for people because it’s popular.
#8 – The Holy Ghost can give you ideas for content
I believe he does this for me all the time. Especially when my focus is truly on helping you solve your problems. When that is my focus, how can I help these people that I care about? These people that have chosen to follow me that have put their trust in me? Heavenly Father, how can I help them? What do they need right now? I believe that your Father in heaven will answer that question for you through the Holy Ghost.
I get ideas all the time that feel completely random and out of nowhere. And I add them to my content bank and I believe that very often those ideas have come from the Holy Ghost.
Remember that if you really want to learn how to put your content bank to good use, once you have all these ideas, how do you really create content in a strategic way, then you need the Core Content Code from Michelle Gifford. So go to TheGoodnessSquad.com/corecontentcode and use code MISTY100 to save $100.
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This post originally aired as an episode of The Goodness Squad podcast. New episodes are no longer being recorded, but you can still listen to past episodes on your favorite podcast app.
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