December 21

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[SGC-14] How To Brainstorm Endless Content Ideas

By Melissa Brown, MDMelissa Brown, MD


One of the most common challenges I hear from my audience is that they don’t know what to write about for their next blog post or email content. This turns into a huge snowball effect with inconsistent publishing of new content, procrastination, and avoidance.

We’re gonna get that fixed right here in this episode where you’ll learn how to plan and execute a content brainstorming session. You can do this once and generate a ton of ideas or do it quarterly and come up with new, fresh ideas more often. It’s all customizable!

Get ready to take notes!

Don’t Miss Inside This Episode:

  • The importance of setting up your content container and making sure ALL your ideas are put in there whenever you’re blessed with a content spark–whether that’s during your brainstorming session or weeks later.
  • Why you need to set a timer for the different micro-tasks during brainstorming sessions.
  • You could do this once and literally have hundreds of content ideas to keep you busy for weeks, months, or even YEARS!
  • Don’t miss how you can get even more ideas for content sparks with the Never Run Out of Content Ideas workbook. See the link below.

Links and products mentioned in today’s episode:

Be sure to get your workbook–Never Run Out of Content Ideas

Places to mine for content ideas:

Answer The Public

Amazon

Good places to check out for a possible ‘Container’ for your content ideas to live:

Trello

Notion

Evernote

About Your Host

Melissa Brown, MD – Coach, Author, Speaker, Teacher, and Podcast Host.

After leaving medical practice in 2009, Melissa discovered the online world and never looked back! After coach certification, she began a healthy lifestyle coaching practice online and quickly fell in love with blogging, writing, and content marketing.

Melissa believes that coaches have the power to change the world. Unfortunately, too many coaches get discouraged by the amount of content they need to create for marketing their business and this can lead to overwhelm and giving up on their dreams. There’s such a ripple effect when a dream dies, so Melissa is on a mission to help coaches and solopreneurs overcome the overwhelm when it comes to content creation so they keep those dreams alive.

Your content can impact massive amounts of people and positively change the world. You’ve got content in there inside you; let’s get it out into the world.

Check out these social media sites:

She’s Got Content Facebook group:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Get your FREE Never Run Out of Content Ideas Tool Kit/Workbook

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for listening to this podcast. It means the world to me to have you here on this journey! If you got value from this episode, please share it on social media, and recommend it to your business besties.

Please leave feedback or questions about this episode in the comment section below.

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Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts

If you have a minute, please leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. I am so grateful for the time and effort it takes to rate and review this show and I would love to give you a shout-out as the next Content Creator of the Week when I read your review of the show.

Transcript
Melissa Brown:

You've looked at that blank screen mocking you for the last time.

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I'm so happy you're here today.

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You know, we've all been there.

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When the calendar says it's time to write content for your blog or your

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next podcast episode, or maybe it's an email you're looking to get done.

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But no ideas are bubbling up and your brain is all foggy and jumbled

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and nothing seems to spark for you.

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So you sit there and you get more and more frustrated and stressed out.

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Well today, let's talk about how to banish that scenario from ever happening

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again, because today on the podcast, we're going to talk about how you can

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fill up your idea banks and have endless ideas, so you always know what you're

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going to be writing for your audience.

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Hello there, Content Creators.

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You're listening to the She's Got Content podcast where it's all about creating

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content for your coaching business.

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I'm your host, Dr.

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Melissa Brown, and I'm here every week to help you get your content out of your

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head, out of your heart, and out there into the world where that information and

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your services can impact the most people.

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Get ready to take notes today and then take action, Content Creators.

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Let's dive in with today's episode because you've got content to get out there.

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Welcome back, Content Creators

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Today, I want to teach you how to do a brainstorming session to come up

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with a ton of ideas for your content.

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And we're going to be using the acronym CONTENT, to easily remember how to

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prepare for and to pull off a content brainstorming session by yourself.

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All right.

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Let's start out with the first CO.

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Commit.

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The first thing you need to do to have a successful content idea

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brainstorming session is to commit.

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And that means you've got to put a date on your calendar.

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You want to set aside time and treat it like you would a doctor's appointment or

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a dentist appointment and schedule nothing else for that particular chunk of time.

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Block off a set amount of time on your calendar.

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Ideally, you'll want at least a couple of hours to devote

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to your brainstorming session.

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But if you could only get an hour, then go for that.

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You could maybe even plan a few shorter sessions over a few days, although I

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think a longer two plus hours is a better strategy, because once you get into a

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creative flow, you'll want to keep going.

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It's so much harder to keep turning on and off a creative spark in your brain.

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So if at all possible, block off two and preferably three hours

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on your calendar to do this.

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Now a brainstorming session is something you can do every quarter, or every year.

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Or you might even come up with so many ideas one time that you can do

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it once and have so many ideas to keep you busy for a long, long time.

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You need to plan for this ahead of time as you'll see in a minute,

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because there are a few things you'll need to set up in advance.

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Especially if you have kids or fur babies and other types of commitments.

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And quite honestly, I don't know anyone who doesn't have other

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commitments of some type or another.

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So designate when you'll step away and take the time to do

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your next brainstorming session.

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Typically, this is, it's not an event that you just want to pull out of thin air.

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Plan for it, because if you don't plan for it, it's easy to let

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something else happen in its place.

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Or you'll have too many distractions happening that you just won't be able

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to effectively focus and really tap into those creative sparks or flow.

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Now there's something else that falls under the first CO of CONTENT,

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our acronym that we're using.

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And this second CO, you'll only need to do this once.

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And that is to decide what type of container you'll use to store your ideas

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that come up when you're brainstorming.

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Every time you get a good idea that you think would make great content for

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your audience, you're going to want to capture that idea in your container

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immediately or write it down on whatever you can find in the moment and then

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transfer it into your container later.

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Or open up an audio app and record a memo to yourself to put

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it into that container later.

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All of your content ideas will live inside your container.

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That way, you always know where to go to grab an idea and run with it.

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In other words, start writing with that idea.

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Your container could be Trello, a Trello board.

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I use Trello myself.

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So, it could be Trello or maybe you prefer the Evernote app.

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Or Notion or some other organizational tool.

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Google docs work well.

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A plain old word doc also works well.

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Just some place where you can put all of your ideas.

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It could be a spreadsheet of any kind Excel spreadsheet, a Google sheet.

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Or maybe even it's a paper journal that you designate for this.

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You do you and come up with a container.

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Personally, I prefer something that's digital.

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Something that syncs with my iPhone.

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So that's why I chose to use Trello, but there are so many options

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out there that fit the bill too.

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So the first thing to do is to commit to a date and a time on the calendar.

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Block it off.

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And choose your container for your ideas.

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The next letter is N.

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For no distractions.

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That's why you want to plan so you can make sure that there are

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no distractions in that blocked off timeframe on your calendar.

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Everything has been accounted for.

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Things like children, pets, phone, doorbell.

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You want to make sure that you have your phone turned off, or

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even leave it in another room.

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So you're not disturbed with notifications of any kind.

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You can set your computer to not distract you.

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If you're working on collecting your ideas in a digital notebook, app or a

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document, set it up with a, do not disturb setting or use an app that you're not

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disturbed by dings and rings and well, not things that go bump in the night, but

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things that will be distracting to you.

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You've got to plan for the kiddos.

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You don't want to be interrupted when you're doing your

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planning, brainstorming session.

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And you don't want to be interrupted by the dogs' need

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to go out for a potty break.

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So if you have a pet that needs to go out, make sure that's been done before you sit

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down to do your planning or brainstorming.

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And you can give them some type of a quiet, distracting treat.

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Close your door and not just for the pup, but all those other

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adult sized distractors who might not know what you're up to.

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So put a do not disturb sign on the door of the room you're in.

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If you don't turn off the digital distractions before you do this, then

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you'll get sucked down a rabbit hole.

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And the time you set aside to spend brainstorming or planning

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gone in no time.

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So no distractions is our N letter.

will be POOF:

And then be sure you have T set a timer.

will be POOF:

The reason you want to set a timer is again, because you don't want to get

will be POOF:

caught going down a rabbit hole, being distracted by researching something and

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then find you've completely run out of time with no notebook full of ideas.

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One of the easiest ways to start is to set a timer for several different tasks within

will be POOF:

the timeframe that you've set aside.

will be POOF:

For instance, you'll do 10 or 15 minutes on each of these micro tasks.

will be POOF:

And I'm going to be coming back to this idea of using a timer

will be POOF:

later and give you a few ideas for these different micro sessions

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within your brainstorming session.

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One of the things that I find happens, if you don't set a

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timer is like I said before, you'll get sucked down a rabbit hole of research.

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And that research is not necessarily: research.

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You could get distracted with.

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Well, at least I can get distracted with cat videos, dog

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videos, pet videos of any kind.

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Sometimes it's art videos and I completely forget what I'm doing.

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So that timer will remind you- if you hear it or you see it on your desk,

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ticking away, that you only have a certain amount of time to do this

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research in each of these different ways.

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And again, these micro ways, I'm going to talk about that later.

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Well that timer, it helps to keep you focused.

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So set a timer for the different sections that you will be doing

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inside your brainstorming session.

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Now, speaking of having a timer on your desk, that's the next thing,

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because the next letter is E.

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And E is for environment, the area surrounding your space

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where you'll be working.

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So first off, start by cleaning off your desk completely and

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get an open uncluttered, freed up environment to work in.

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A place where there are no other distractions.

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That theme keeps coming up.

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You don't want to be distracted.

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You want to be focused.

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One of the things I do like to leave on my desktop is a notepad.

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So if something else invades my thought processes, like, oh my gosh,

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I need to remember to do this, or I don't want to forget to do that.

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I can write that thought down on the note pad and then just let go of the thought.

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Because, I don't want to drop everything, jump into trying to fix that or do

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that thing I thought about right away, because remember you only have a limited

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amount of time that you set aside for this brainstorming session, but you

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don't want to forget that thought.

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So that note pad is a great way.

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Just write it down and then let go of that thought.

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As soon as your brainstorming session is over, you can go back to

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those things that you thought you had to take care of immediately.

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As far as the environment, you also want to maybe play some soft

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music, something non lyrical.

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Maybe it's some type of ambient music that will help you think and access

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those creative parts of your brain.

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You know whatever type of music you like.

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Listen, you do you.

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For me, I like the sounds of silence and I don't mean the song.

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I like it quiet.

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So I don't listen to music.

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I just want it quiet.

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Some people like to listen to meditative type music or some people actually do

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well when they're listening to rock.

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That wouldn't be me, but you do you.

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Set the mood with what you'll be listening to, and you may also want to

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consider diffusing some essential oils.

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Some people like that.

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A diffuser of certain essential oils could help you focus better and stimulate

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certain creative parts of your brain.

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So consider using a diffuser or incense or scented candles if you use those.

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I'm not a fan of incense or burning candles, but it's

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all about what works for you.

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So set the mood in your environment.

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So far we've covered C O, which is a container to collect all your ideas.

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You only do that once.

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And committing to a date and a time.

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Then N was for no distractions.

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T was for timing.

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E was for environment.

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And the next N letter is this; there are no dumb ideas during

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your brainstorming session.

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This is a non-judgemental session.

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So whenever you think of something, write it down.

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Don't judge the idea.

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Don't judge the thought.

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Now is not the time.

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Whether it's good or it's a bad idea.

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This is a point where you're brainstorming everything.

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So put anything down that comes into your mind.

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No matter how likely you are to write about it or use that as content.

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Or how unlikely you are.

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So again, no judgment.

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Right now it's just about getting everything out.

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There are no dumb ideas.

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And the last letter.

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This T is the fruit of your brainstorming session.

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This is where you come up with any and all ideas in the form of your

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topics, your titles, your theories, your things you want to write about.

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Keep in mind, if a title comes to you, when you're brainstorming, you're

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not married to that exact title.

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And you're not judging.

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You're just getting it down.

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Right?

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So it may look like this when you've got it all set up.

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You spend 10 to 15 minutes doing a free writing brain dump of

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everything that bubbles up in your mind for ideas for topics.

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Then you might head over to answerthepublic.com.

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For the next 10 minutes or so to generate some more ideas.

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Remember you're using your timer for each of these micro sessions.

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Once your next timer goes off, you put another 30 minutes on the clock.

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And you spend that 30 minutes googling some keywords to see what comes up.

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Now don't forget, include those sections where it says 'the people

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also ask' and the 'more results' section further down the page.

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So after 30 minutes of the Google search, maybe you add another 20 minutes or

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so on the timer and you head over to amazon.com, and you put some keywords into

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the search that your ideal client would add to look for a book for themselves.

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Then head to table of contents, start reading that, and that may help

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spark some more ideas for writing and even read some book reviews.

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Now, here's a tip; most people like to look at the book reviews that are

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the good book reviews, but if you look in the one or two star reviews, to

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see what questions or topics or ideas people felt that book didn't answer.

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Well, that's a great idea for you to write about.

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So this can keep you busy enough to generate a bunch of ideas.

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Get these idea sparks down in your content ideas container, and you've

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got the basis for creating your content calendar, your editorial calendar

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for setting up which idea will be published when on your calendar.

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You could do this every quarter and just start with a brainstorming session.

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Or like I said before, you might do this once and have so many ideas,

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you don't even need to go back and do this for a long, long time.

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But then every quarter, set up your content calendar so you

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know what idea will be published on what day in your calendar.

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You've got all your ideas now in one place.

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Anytime in the future, you come up with an idea or you hold a

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brainstorming session this is where you're going to add all your ideas.

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Okay.

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There you have it.

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How to plan out and set up your brainstorming session to create a

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load of ideas to help your audience.

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Let's recap one more time using our acronym content.

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CO.

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For commit and container.

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Commit to a date and a time on your calendar for your session.

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Decide on your container for your ideas to live inside so no

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idea gets lost in the future.

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N is for no distractions.

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Make sure all the things that could potentially distract

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you have been removed.

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The next T is for timer.

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Timed sessions.

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Make sure that you set a timer for the different sections that you'll be using

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to come up with your brainstorming ideas.

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E is for environment.

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That means cleaning off your desk, making sure there's no clutter.

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And just making sure the ambience in the room is what is favorable

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for you to have creative sparks.

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Double-check that you won't be distracted or disturbed while you're

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setting aside this particular time.

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Our second N is for non-judgment.

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That is, there are no dumb ideas.

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Write all your ideas down.

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No judging at this point.

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And the last T is for topics.

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You're looking for topics and titles, themes and theories, everything

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that will help your ideal client.

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Write down all these ideas.

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Eventually you're going to sort through all those later.

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So there you have it.

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How to hold a brainstorming session with yourself and come up with endless ideas.

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Now, there are just a few ideas mentioned here under that

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last T for topics and titles.

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If you want even more ideas for how to come up with ideas in your

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brainstorming session, go grab my workbook, Never Run Out of Content Ideas.

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And that you can find at shesgotcontent.com/content.

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There are a lot more ideas I share with you in that document to create

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endless content for your audience during your brainstorming session,

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and also how you can set up your categories and subcategories and

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come up with even more content.

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So tell that blinking cursor goodbye.

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You'll be keeping it busy from now on.

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It's not going to be staring back at you.

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Thank you for tuning into this episode of the She's Got Content podcast.

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I hope you got at least one nugget to take action on this week.

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If you got value from today's episode, I would be so grateful

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when you leave a five star rating wherever you listen to podcasts.

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It only takes a second and it really helps me get my message out

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to impact even more people so they can in turn, keep the ripple going.

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If you're listening on Apple Podcast and leave a review of the show, it

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would really make my day, and you just might receive a shout out on

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the show as my content creator of the week when I read out your review.

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And last but never least, if you want an endless supply of just right ideas for

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content, you can write about for your blog post, your emails, your videos,

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podcast episodes, all the content things, then you wanna head over to my

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website at shesgotcontent.com/content and pick up your free workbook,

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Never Run Out of Content Ideas.

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Look for that link in the show notes today along with the other

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links mentioned in today's episode.

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Until next time, content creators, you've got an audience waiting to hear from you

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and you've got content to share with them.

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Stop being the best kept secret and make a bigger impact when you've

This blog post may contain recommendations for products, services, and events. In some cases, the links provided are affiliate links. That means that if you click on the link and then buy a product at the site recommended, you won't pay a penny more and the author may earn compensation as a thank you. You can be assured that any of the promoted products have personally been used by or researched by the author for you and found to be high quality before being recommended. 

Melissa Brown, MD

About the author

Dr. Melissa Brown's career journey has always had an element of teaching. After retirement from clinical pediatric practice, Dr. Brown has taught and mentored as a healthy lifestyle coach, author, and speaker. She currently teaches solopreneurs and coaches how to stop being the world's best-kept secret. Her mission is to help you: Create great content. Impact people. Change the world.

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