So you’ve decided you should be blogging, or perhaps adding information pages to your website. In this digital age, blogging, adding pages, even writing, is usually referred to as content. And fresh, evergreen content is a good way to attract readers and be noticed by search engines.
. Evergreen used to refer to some kinds of trees and plants – these days it often refers to articles (content) you’ve put on your website that isn’t dependent on the date it was published. Not new, is one way to say it. Another definition is information that will be valuable to the reader next year and probably the year after, and with any luck a decade from now.
As a professional blogger I’m often asked “where do you get all your ideas?”
Give your mind permission to have ideas
Free yourself to brainstorm ideas about content for your site without any censoring at all – and write every idea down. Not all of them will be good ideas, but that doesn’t matter – you want to get in the habit of having ideas about articles (and maybe other things in your life) and the best way to do that is to just let them flow.
I literally remind my mine “it’s great to have ideas – any ideas – just keep ’em coming and I’ll sort out which ones I want to work with.” (Yes, I talk to myself and consider it a sign of intelligence.)
Ideas are everywhere
A truth is that ideas for real estate content are everywhere, within your own experience of selling real estate. That client you had so much trouble helping understand how amortization works is great grist for your blog/information mill and can easily be turned into a good post or article.
The same thing is true from any real estate meeting – from your office’ sales meeting to a big national conference.
Remember, you’re in a service business, dealing with people who don’t know much about real estate. Their knowledge gaps are perfect for you to write about.
Write down the ideas
Write down each idea as it occurs. I do, and it seems to do at least three things:
- It gets the idea out of my brain, making room for more ideas;
- My mind seems more willing to generate ideas if I write them down, and
- I often forget ideas if I don’t write them down. Writing them down gives me a way to retrieve them when I need them.
I do this writing in several ways. If I have an idea while working at my desktop computer, I open my Idea document and just add it, and move on. I carry a 3 x 5 card in my purse – they fit in men’s shirt pockets mostly, and write new ideas there. That’s often quicker than typing on my phone, but that can work too. I’ve also been known to call myself and leave ideas on my answering machine.
I also will capture an idea right in my blog – by opening a post new page and typing in a rough title, and if needed, a brief note, and saving it as a draft. It’s a perfect place to store ideas because it’s as if I’ve already started the blog.
I don’t call myself or do anything with my phone while driving. Ideas do happen while driving and I make an extra effort to mentally note them, but no idea is worth a car crash or a ticket.
Using the lists
When it’s time to write another blog post, if I don’t already have an idea in mind, I’ll look through my lists. Usually that’s enough. Once in a while I won’t like any of the ideas – then I’ll look through again to see what idea sparks another. Something always pops.
By the way, on my lists I simply cross out the used idea with a single line – it’s called a strike through on your computer. I want to know that I’ve written it. I also know that every idea can be written about again, and maybe again in a different way. A simple strike through means I can still read it, which is the point.
Do you have questions about creating content? Ask me in comments.