It’s happened to every writer, blogger, online marketer …. pretty much anyone who puts words on paper or into pixels. You sit down to write – aaannnddd – nothing. No words. No ideas. No inspiration.
Or maybe you are finishing up your content plan from the Pray Plan Prepare workshop and you have some holes to fill on specific topics.
What do we do in times like these? There are lots of places we can look for ideas or inspiration, and I’m about to share ten of the best places you can get faith-building content ideas. But before I do, there is something important I want you to know.
When King Solomon asked for wisdom, God responded:
I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 1 Kings 3:12 (NIV)
My friend, the same is true for you. There is no one else like you. There is no one with your experience, your viewpoint, your voice, your unique message. Never has been. Never will be. And so while you may write or teach on the same topic that someone else has already done, your version will be different because it will be yours.
So before you hang up your pen in frustration, try these ideas for generating content topics for your faith-based platform.
What you are learning
Part of developing a relationship with your audience is sharing what is happening in your own life.
1. Your personal Jesus time – Whether this is your personal Bible Study, your church small group, a great Christian book you are reading or an event you attended, what is God saying to you these days? Scour your notes, journal and prayer lists for fresh insights directly from the Father that may also be helpful to your audience.
2. Something that’s working for you – Have you developed a new habit? Implemented a new tool? Tried a great idea from Pinterest? Reached a goal that has eluded you forever? Write about how you did it, why it worked for you, what it meant to those around you. If it is something you have been struggling with and were able to solve (or at least make progress!) someone in your audience probably needs it too.
3. New lessons from your old content – Don’t be afraid to re-visit places you have already been. Go back through your old posts and other content to find hidden treasure of ideas that could stand on their own. Is there one point from your 5 Tips for Changing a Bad Attitude that you could develop into something longer? Something that you knew when you were writing you would want to return to? Maybe you’ve changed your opinion on something you wrote long ago, or have a new perspective.
What your audience wants to know
If you have a clear picture of who you are writing for and what is going on in their life, you’ll be able to provide answers to their questions.
4. Questions and comments in your Facebook groups – You should be participating in Facebook groups where your audience is sharing and interacting. Pay close attention to their questions and struggles. Are there common problems you can solve? Have you had a similar experience that would encourage them?
5. Comments on your blog – Review all the comments on your blog and see what really resonated with people. What did they want to know more about? Can you give them more information, tools or resources to answer their questions?
6. Your daily conversations – Some of us tend to separate our online world from our face-to-face world. But they probably have more in common than you think. When you meet your girlfriends for coffee, what do you talk about? Do they ask your advice on certain topics?
What others are writing
You can be inspired by what others are writing without stealing their work or plagarizing.
7. Current events – In a time of terrorism, deep division and amoral living, the world is aching for the life-giving hope, peace and love that we know only comes from Christ. Pull events from the headlines and write a Christian view or response. Using trendy topics can also give you some SEO juice.
For example, I just grabbed these headlines from the Yahoo! home page and came up with a blog post topic for them:
Obama says he and Trump “are sort of opposites” – How to honor and respect people you disagree with
Dramatic video of Florida airport shooting released – How your family can travel with confidence in a time of fear
Dolphins QB Moore crushed by illegal hit – How to get back up when life deals an unfair blow
(I’m not planning to write any of these posts, so if you want one of them, have at it! You’re welcome 🙂 )
8. Search bookmarking sources like Pinterest, StumbleUpon or Flipboard. All of these “learn” about your interests based on your behavior on the site and then they show you articles and blog posts based on your interests. This is a great way to find content from new sources and see what others in your niche are writing about.
9. Look at magazine headlines and book titles that are trending in the secular or Christian versions of your niche. When it gets down to the basics of life, Christians face the same relationship, career and emotional struggles as everyone else. The difference is that we crave solutions based on God’s word, not man’s lofty thoughts. So look at what the wisdom of the world is addressing and provide a fresh view filtered through God’s standards.
And lastly … if you find a lot of top notch content from others ….
10. Create a roundup of high-value curated content – Your readers don’t expect you to know everything. And sometimes, they do not have time run around the internet looking for what they need. So they will appreciate you bringing the very best resources to them.
God made a promise to King Solomon and he holds that same promise out to you today. “I will give you a wise and discerning heart.” As you pray over the words that will make up your message, let the wisdom that only comes from God guide you. Be unique. Be relevant. Be helpful. Be you.