Content Conquered is a series of mini-posts designed to ignite content ideas and inspire you to get creative online.
When you have to create content in this online world of ours, it’s easy to get distracted by what lies ahead. We get stuck in this mindset of “new”. NEW technology, NEW ideas, NEW platforms…
But to succeed in any creative practice – whether that’s painting, patisserie or putting pen to paper, you must look at what came before.
Long before there were blogs, or live streams, or podcasts, or downloadables, there were magazines. PHYSICAL magazines, with shiny pages and tons of content. Printed media came up with the concept of bite-sized content, catchy headlines, and timely updates, so why not dial back the clock and take inspiration from there?
First, let’s talk visual inspiration.
Grab any magazine you have lying around and flip through the pages. Take note of the visuals that catch your attention. Look at the feature layouts, the graphics, the ad formatting. What draws you in? Most importantly, WHY? How could you incorporate those elements into your blog?
Here are a few examples so you can see what I mean…
– 1 –
I like this collage of images at the top of the page, because it made me stop and spend a little bit of time looking at each shot, rather than just flipping past a single image.
[Take action] Use one of Canva’s free, pre-set layouts to create collage-style graphics for your blog posts (like I have here)
– 2 –
I like these colourful blocks of text. It gives the page a more fun feel than a flat block of pure writing would.
[Take action] Use the “block quote” feature in your WP Editor to pull out important soundbites, and break up all of that text.
– 3 –
I love the font combination here. I like that you have a mixture of colour, size and style, but it all “goes”. It makes me actually read the text instead of skipping right over it.
[Take action] Get creative with the fonts you use on your title graphics. Play around with the sizes and colours of your letters; combine italics and bold; mix up your upper and lower cases. Have fun with it and see what feels good.
Do you see how you can take tried and tested ideas, and use them to supercharge the work you’re already doing?
Now let’s think about the actual content.
Grab hold of that magazine again, and have another flip through. This time I want you to pay attention to the titles of columns, articles and features, and write them down.
It doesn’t matter that these topics don’t relate to your niche, we’re just looking at what works and what doesn’t.
Once you have a list of 5-10 headlines, I want you to tweak the wording to make it relevant to your field of business.
So (because I’m a big fan of examples) – here are a few I’ve grabbed from an old issue of Cosmo, and how I could tweak them for MY business:
Is Googling your date ever a good idea?
This could become:
- Is Googling yourself ever a good idea?
- What I learned from Googling myself
- What your audience is Googling (when they should be finding YOU)
The Cosmo playlist
This could become:
- The ultimate writing playlist
- 5 songs to jumpstart your freelance day
- The perfect playlist for those “meh” business days
So you think you’ll never be stalked?
This could become:
- So you think you’ll never start a business?
- So you think nobody wants to hear what you have to say?
- So you think you’ll never write that book?
Confessions of a sex addict
- Confessions of an overwhelmed entrepreneur
- The guilty secrets of my five favourite freelancers
- 5 secret ways to save time but do more
This is similar to the tip I gave you in this post about using Pinterest to inspire your content – it really works!
[Take action] No magazines of your own? Swipe the templates above and use them to inspire your next batch of content. (And feel free to use the titles I listed out too – I have more than I know what to do with!)Take inspiration from stuff that’s already out there, and nail this content malarkey. Click & Tweet!