How I Brainstormed 100 Blog Topic Ideas in Under an Hour Using Post-it Notes

by | Dec 1, 2023 | Content Creation

Ever been stuck staring at a blank screen, desperate for ideas? With the deadline missed and rising anxiety, you may wonder, “Will anyone notice if I don’t post this week?”

Or do you have a neurodivergent brain, are easily distracted, or have a hard time focusing?

Here’s the trick — all you need is a timer, Post-its, and a pen to fill that empty idea bank with rich content ideas.

In this tutorial, you’ll have action steps at each stage that you can implement quickly to build up momentum. Ready?

Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Customer

Identifying your ideal customer is the cornerstone of any successful content creation strategy.

I know it’s been said to death in every marketing article ever read. There’s a reason for it. Having a vision of who your ideal customer is and the story they tell makes everything so much easier.

When you understand who your content is for, this acts as an intuitive guide for the types of topics they’ll find valuable, useful, and engaging.

Action Step: Review your audience psychographics, interactions, and customer feedback. Create an ideal customer profile that includes their interests, challenges, and values. If you’ve done this already, bonus points!

Step 2: Choose One Content Category

The content category you choose must be relevant to your ideal customer and be something you can talk about without any prep work. This makes ensures that your brainstorming will be both relevant and efficient.

This focus helps streamline your thought process, reducing the chances of overwhelm creeping in.

Action Step: Identify one content category that you feel most comfortable talking about and connects with your ideal customer’s interests. Stick to this category throughout your brainstorming session.

Step 3: Set Your Timer

Setting a timer is a technique that instills urgency and stokes creativity.

I started with 30 minutes, added an extra 15 minutes to stretch myself, and then set short five-minute intervals when my brain was exhausted. This time constraint creates a sense of urgency, helping ideas flow freely and quickly.

Use the timer in a way that works for you.

Action Step: Set your timer for a comfortable length, then add an extra 15 minutes. Push yourself with additional 5-minute intervals if needed.

Side Note: when I’m in a flow state (hard to get to with ADHD), the timer goes off and I usually throw it against the wall, that’s how precious a flow state is to me.😁

Step 4: Use Post-it Notes for Brain Dumping

Post-it notes are a tactile, visible way to externalize your brainstorming.

Using 2”x2” Post it Notes, write down the following (one per post it note) and put it on your wall — slap it up, don’t organize until the following day.

  • Questions your customers, readers or followers have asked you
  • Comments and Feedback
  • Think about common problems your ideal customer faces. She’s in line at the grocery store and all she can think about is X.
  • Imagine your phone rings and it’s your ideal customer. They have a question for you. What is it?
  • You hop on a Zoom call with your ideal customer and ask them “how can I help you today?” What do they say?
  • Your ideal customer is at their laptop and head over to Google. What search term are they typing in to try and solve their problem?
  • You’ve just delivered an amazing speech about the niche you are in and it’s Q&A time. What questions is the audience asking you?
  • Say to yourself: “when my [ideal customer] has a question about [content category], they think of me. And then imagine what they’d be asking you.
  • Reflect on your own experiences and lessons learned. What are some questions you asked someone or Googled about the audience you serve and the niche you are in?
  • If you don’t have clients yet, what questions can you come up with about the niche you’re in? Type your question into Google, and on the results page, scroll down to find the section “people also ask” and “related searches”.
  • And of course, I couldn’t leave this out, ask AI. There are many tools available to help you such as ChatGPT, Bard and Claude. I’ll be covering this specific step in a future article.

Side note: If I were to identify the “thing” that saved me the most time was intimately knowing my ideal customer by telling a story.

For example: Carla just poured herself a cup of coffee and she chose caffeine this morning because it’s going to be one of those days. She’s going to skip breakfast as her stomach is in knots because she’s worried about [problem that’s on her mind]. She flops down at her kitchen table, fires up Google and starts to think.

What is she looking for when it comes to [content category]?

What’s she feeling as she starts to type in her search?

Why is she feeling like this?

How does she want to feel?

I can use answers to these questions to expand on the topic idea on the post-it note. I can picture her asking me, typing in search, emailing me that question.

Gisele looking at her wall of post it notes full of 100 blog topic ideas.
after I wrote this article, something sparked, grabbed my post-it notes and wrote down 40 more ideas

Step 5: Let Things Rest

Giving your ideas space to breathe is an essential part of the brainstorming process.

After an intense brainstorming session, step away and let your ideas marinate. Coming back to your ideas later with fresh eyes often provides new perspectives and improves clarity.

Action Step: After your brainstorming session, leave your ideas alone until the next day.

Step 6: Organize Your Ideas

Organization helps make sense of your brainstorming session.

When I stepped back into my office with my vibrant wall of Post-it notes, I organized the creative chaos in a way that made sense to me, which was in rows of 10. This made the process of selecting a topic for my blog smoother and more efficient.

Action Step: Organize your Post-it notes in a way that clicks with you. Whether that’s clustering them by subject, arranging them by priority, or any other technique that vibes with you.

Step 7: Choose a Topic, It’s Time to Write

Whether you let your gut guide you or prefer a more systematic approach, how you choose topic is entirely up to you.

Sometimes a topic jumps out at me; other times, I randomly picked a Post-it note. The key was to pick a topic, not overthink it and start writing.

Action Step: Review your organized ideas and choose a topic that inspires you. Commit to it and start writing.

Step 8: Format Your Content for Different Platforms

Each platform has its own nuances and audience expectations, so formatting your content for that platform ensures they land well wherever they’re posted.

This works for:

  • Tweets (Q&A style post or a thread) — fast and easy
  • Threads (Q&A style post) — fast and easy
  • Instagram Stories, Reels, Carousels and Pinterest Idea Pins (using a multi-slide format allows you to be more detailed with your content). Time consuming and resources are needed.
  • Blog post, Newsletters, Medium Article. Takes more time to create, but this is where you’ll shine as your content will be available to the public.

One thing to remember is this: not everyone is on Twitter, Threads or Instagram so having your blog post readable by Google and the public can only serve your best interests.

Action Step: When you choose a topic, consider how it can be adapted for different platforms, and create content variations as necessary.

Step 9: Be Mindful of Your Energy

Creating content across multiple platforms requires energy management.

If you’re on multiple platforms, don’t just post the same content, post it from a different angle or perspective. But if you’re feeling extra frisky, post it on one platform, write the name of the platform, date and time on the back of the post it note. Then pick a different post-it note for a different platform. Repeat for each platform you’re on.

Warning: I tried this a few times last year and it burned me out FAST.

Action Step: Be realistic about your energy levels when planning to post on multiple platforms, and prioritize self-care to prevent burnout.

Step 10: Keep Things Simple

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication when it comes to content writing.

Set a timer, write a short article, post it on a couple of social media platforms — simple steps can yield significant results. This simplicity keeps the process manageable and sustainable.

Action Step: Start with simple steps. Start with setting a timer for 15 minutes and go. When the timer goes off, can you go for another 5 minutes?

Wrapping It Up:

This approach is your compass, guiding you to an intimate understanding of your audience. It fuels your creativity and keeps your content on the right track — always insightful, compelling, and absolutely on point.

The last tip to give you before signing off would be to do this exercise at a time you’re feeling most creative and can work without interruptions for an hour (even if you only set the timer for 15 minutes). No point in in brainstorming if your tired, angry, frustrated — go for a walk to clear your head and set yourself up for success by being in the right frame of mind.

So grab your Post-its and pen. It’s time for you to ignite your creativity and fill your wall with colorful Post-it notes. Let the creative brainstorming begin!

Until next time, stay inspired.



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