This post was inspired by keynote inspirational speaker, poet, and entrepreneur Jean Clervil (@JeanClervil), who sent me a question on LinkedIn:

How do you come up with so much content, and what helps you?

Answer:

It’s a combination of inspiration, time, and topics. Here is what keeps me going and what helps me produce a flowing stream of content.

Inspiration:

What are you writing for? I’m writing to both build my business and because I made a promise to publish an article every day. Sharing this goal publicly on LinkedIn helped me get support and has helped encourage me to keep going. If you don’t have a strong reason or goal for your writing, it’s going to be hard to stick with it when times get tough.

Time:

Schedule time to write in a way that fits your style of writing. Since I have the attention span of a 10-year-old and I love to do ten things at once, I schedule an hour to write and work for 15 minutes straight (timed) on four different articles. I then add 15 minutes to plug away on the article that is the closest to being finished. This might not work for everyone, but after just an hour and 15 minutes I have a nearly finished article and three good foundations for other pieces, which is much better than getting stuck in the middle of one article.

A second aspect of time to consider is the time of day. My writing at 7am will look drastically different, and come together much slower, than what I can do later at night. Know when you are most productive and awake, and use that time to write. Don’t force writing when you’re tired or focused on other things, because it will show up in your work.

Topics:

Coming up with topics is the easiest part of the process for me, but it can be very difficult when first getting started. Here are several keys that will help you become a whiz at coming up with new topics.

  • Sources: I recently published 8 Awesome Sources for Article Topics to share the secret places I go when I’m feeling empty or burned out. These have yet to fail me when simply looking for a new topic, but there are a couple of things that are important to understand in order to find topics (see below).
  • Know your voice: Sure, I could find enough information to write an article about the 6 Best Places to Visit While in Hawaii, but I’ve never been and I don’t really have an interest in this type of writing. Stick to what you know and what you love to write and talk about. Great content will leak out of your pores if you stick to what you care about.
  • Know your audience: Who are you writing for and what do they want to read about? Fitting this into what matches your own voice will make coming up with topics and building a large audience much easier than just winging it.

Anything else?

To answer the second part of Jean’s question, it all comes down to incorporating habits into your daily routine. For example, I’m never beyond an arm’s reach away of a notepad or computer to jot down an idea for an article. Even if I’m at a concert or church, I have a pen and something to write with.

Start experimenting and figure out what works for you. Have a question for me? Send me a LinkedIn message or email me at Michael@TrepRep.com.

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Michael Luchies is the Founder of TrepRep, Director of Content Programming forPursuit, Interview Editor for Under30CEO, Entrepreneurship Lecturer at Illinois State University, TEW 2 contributor, and writer of all things entrepreneurship. Connect with Michael on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.