Inspiration doesn’t come from staring at a blank page.
Communicators and marketers are under immense pressure to come up with new and interesting content on a regular basis, often about old and dull topics. Where can a content creator to turn for inspiration?
When a walk around the block doesn’t get the gears turning, here are a few online places where storytellers, content producers and communicators can find a creative spark:
1. Mashable’s infographics Pinterest board
This is a curated page of excellent infographics. What do most people wear in their Tinder profile? What is the type of content that millennials love the most? The concepts alone are excellent inspiration for creative infographics that you can replicate yourself.
2. Twitter advanced search
See what other people in your shoes are posting about a certain hashtag, word or phrase. See what you were talking about a year ago, or five. Throwback Thursday, anyone? Here’s an example of how Hootsuite creatively used old content by highlighting popular brands’ first tweets (Of special note is Nike.com’s shoutout to their agency).
YouTube roulette is exactly what it sounds like: a tool that selects a random YouTube video and plays it for you.
It isn’t curated, though you can enter a general topic like “public relations” if you’d like something slightly less random, so you get more of a variety than the mix tailored to your profile—and could potentially inspire an idea for your next video or post.
A word of caution, however: Use it at your own risk. You know how people are on the internet.
4. The Wayback Machine
This internet archive is like a time machine for websites. What was your corporate website like in the early 2000s? What is the first recorded instance of nytimes.com (along with the laughably naïve headline “Europe Betting on Self-Regulation to Control the Internet”)? A glimpse of the past can be your ticket to a well-received piece of content.
Provide insight on how the world has changed or point to lessons from the early internet and include examples from this handy tool.
5. Random Wikipedia article
We got Litchwark on our first try, which led to a deep-dive into Alfred Litchwark’s career directing and managing public relations for the Hamburg art museum. Sometimes a click hole is just a click hole, but sometimes it can inspire a great post.
6. Spurious correlation
A writing teacher once told me that a good way to start a new poem is to find two disparate topics and find a way to connect them.