Time Saving Tips, Ideas, and Tactics to Brainstorm Your Content


As one of the most important elements of online marketing success, content can consume vast amounts of time and energy. It’s not unusual for a business owner to spend several hours a day brainstorming, writing, and publishing their content.

1-timeWhile you can’t really eliminate your need for content, you can reduce the amount of time you spend on it. By embracing tips, tactics, and systems that support you and your business, it’s safe to say that you can cut your content time in half and still create the same great content you’ve been creating.

Your time is precious. By becoming more efficient and productive, you’re able to reallocate that time you saved on content to other profitable tasks. For example, if you’re a coach and you free up 5 hours a week, you can spend those five hours coaching clients and making money.

Of course, if you’re looking for a way to enjoy a shorter work week, you can use those five hours spending time with friends, family and enjoying personal pursuits. So, let’s get to it. The Speedy Content Publishing Tips are divided into the following sections:

  • Brainstorming – learn to brainstorm faster and more efficiently.
  • Writing – Yes, you can write more quickly and still create exceptional content.
  • Researching – Too many people waste precious time researching. Learn how to find what you need quickly and painlessly.
  • Organizing – Proven tips to organize your content for productivity and efficiency.
  • Publishing – You can even save time when you publish your content.

Let’s dive right in and start with what can be the most difficult part of the content process, brainstorming.

Do you have a regular content brainstorming session or do you simply let the ideas come to you? There’s no “right” way to brainstorm content. However, there are steps that you can take to make the process more efficient and also more effective.


#1 Be Prepared

Many busy entrepreneurs find that the best content ideas come to them when they’re not working. Maybe you’re at a family picnic or sitting in traffic. You’re thinking about your business and a brilliant idea comes to you.

If you’re not prepared to document the idea, chances are you’ll forget it by the time you get home. And let’s face it, it’s easy to believe you’ll remember the idea – after all, it’s a great one. However, most often the idea fades away.

One of the fastest ways to brainstorm content is to keep a running list of ideas. The ideas may not be complete thoughts, but the concept can help you brainstorm content when it’s time to sit down and get to work.

2-documentSo how do you prepare to capture every content idea when it comes to you?

  • Notebook – yep, good old fashioned pen and paper still work
  • Phone – even a simple note-taking application can be useful
  • Voice mail- leave yourself a voice mail if you don’t have an opportunity to write down  your idea
  • Email – send yourself an email. That way, it’s waiting for you when you get back to your home office.

#2 Monthly or Weekly Ideas Session

Do you find that there is a particular day of the week or the month where you’re usually motivated and inspired? For example, after the weekend, many entrepreneurs are ready to get back to work. Monday and Tuesday are often exciting and motivating days. By the end of the week things can wind down. Identify your best time to brainstorm and capitalize on your energy by scheduling a brainstorming session.

When brainstorming:

  • Set Aside A Moderate Amount Of Time. An hour or two is probably long enough to brainstorm.  Your mind will start to wander and you’ll stop being productive. Don’t worry, once you’ve started the creative process, more ideas will come to you throughout your day.
  • 3-brainstormGo To An Inspiring Location To Brainstorm. Imagine trying to brainstorm content ideas as children are running circles around you as you sit at the kitchen table. Not very productive.

Instead, find a peaceful place where you feel inspired. Put on some music if it’s not distracting; kick your feet back and begin thinking about the various types of content you can create to help your audience.

  • Review Analytics. Great ideas are often inspired by past successes. Look at the content that received the best comments, links, and feedback. Review your analytics to find your most popular articles or posts and brainstorm more ideas on the topics.
  • Use Creativity Tools. There are many different brainstorming tools to consider. For example, mind mapping is quite popular. You can also use a vision board or even creative prompts. You can create your own brainstorming tools, too. For example, you might create a series of flash cards that ask questions like: What problem is my ideal customer facing today?
  • Identify Inspiration. Are there certain blogs, magazines, or websites that frequently inspire you? If so, organize them into a folder on your search engine toolbar. Create a folder to make them easy to access. And yes, your competition may be a key source of content inspiration.


#3 Broaden Your Horizons

One of the reasons it can become tricky to brainstorm ideas is because people get stuck in a rut. They create the same type of content over and over again. Remember you can create:

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Lists
  • Tips
  • Content series
  • Worksheets
  • Editorials
  • Q&A
  • Interviews
  • Info graphics
  • How To articles
  • Reviews

And much more. As you’re struggling to come up with ideas, try to create ideas for many different formats. You may find that a “tips” article fits nicely with an interview and create a sense of cohesion and flow on your blog or website.

Brainstorming can often be a frustrating process. Embrace systems and tools that support you to succeed. Additionally, if you find you’re having a tough time coming up with ideas, take a break or consider outsourcing the topic idea research for a month or two. You may simply need to step back and look at your audience and niche from a fresh perspective.

So once you have your list of content ideas and topics, it’s time to sit down and start creating the content. Let’s take a look at a few proven methods for enjoying productive writing sessions.

10 Tips for Conducting Interviews Like an Expert


Conducting interviews is quite different than producing a solo podcast. It’s also much more involved than most people realize. You can’t just “wing it” and do well on a podcast interview. You need to prepare for it, plan for it and carefully make sure every piece falls into place.

At the same time, you have to make sure you sound natural while you’re on the air. The audience has to be able to feel the flow and chemistry between you and your guest. It has to appear spontaneous, but also informed.

A great podcast interview will have your audience captivated for the entire duration. If it’s an educational podcast, your audience will learn something. If it’s not, they’ll walk away thoroughly entertained.

So how do you produce a spectacular podcast interview?

Tip #1: Do a Pre-Interview

Talk to your guest beforehand. Don’t just jump on the call and do the interview.

Start by giving your guest a list of sample questions. You might want to hear the answer to some of those questions to make sure they know how to answer. Don’t try to guide their answers; you just want to make sure you’re both on the same page about how the interview should be conducted. Also ask them if there are any questions they want you to ask.

Get clear on their story. If you’re interviewing someone whose background is important, make sure you know the chronological order of how things happened. And make absolutely sure you know how to pronounce your guest’s name.

Tip #2: Feel Out Their Limits

Often time’s the best interviews are the ones that really push the boundaries to the limits. Of course, you don’t want to make your guests uncomfortable. So if you’re going to be asking those kinds of questions, make sure you run them by your guest first.

For example, if you’re running a business show, questions you might want to run by your guest first include:

  • How much money do you personally take home?
  • When your first business failed, how did you face the investors whose money you lost?
  • Did you use any “black hat” techniques when you first built your company?

Questions that might cause your guest to balk shouldn’t be avoided, but you should try to feel out their limits before the call.

Tip #3: Do Thorough Research

Do thorough research into your guest’s background. Even if you have extreme cooperative guests, this can still make a big difference.

Where did their career start? What were some highlights of their career and what were the rough spots? What opinions do they have that are more controversial? What original ideas did they put out in the world?

Read their website. Look them up on Google. Check their LinkedIn profile and Facebook pages.

Learning about your guests will allow you to formulate informed questions.

Tip #4: Fix the Sound before You Start

4-MixerBefore you start the interview, make sure all your sound is good. This needs to be done with every interviewee.

Start by checking the levels. You and your guest should have approximately the same volume. If one or the other is louder, adjust the levels on your mixer.

If you’re noticing feedback or background noise, try to mix it out using your mixer. You might ask your guest to move closer to the mic so you can turn down their levels and blend out any background noise.

If they’re on a Skype connection and you’re noticing stuttering or delay, you might ask them to close other windows and other applications that might be taking up bandwidth.

Get your sound and connection issues sorted out before you start the interview.

Tip #5: Pick Topics and Guests You’re Genuinely Curious About

A lot of podcasters choose guests based on who’s big in an industry or who they think their audience will like. While this is OK every once in a while, the best way to produce home run content is to interview guests you’re genuinely curious about.

When you’re genuinely curious about a guest, you’ll ask much better and much deeper questions. You’ll be much more attentive and be able to dive in more with your guests. You’ll have more on-air chemistry and livelier discussion, which are much more interesting to your audience.

Much like you can get “sucked in” to an interesting discussion, you and your guest can both get “sucked in” to an interesting interview. For someone listening, these kinds of interviews have a magnetic quality. Whenever possible, try to interview people who you’re genuinely curious about.


Tip #6: Demonstrate Your Guest’s Credibility

Start by demonstrating your guest’s credibility. Remember: Your listener’s attention is very scarce. If you want someone to sit through a 20 to 60 minute interview with you and your guest, you need to sell them on your guest.

Be brief, but be powerful and succinct. Talk about your guest’s past, your guest’s achievements and the benefits the interview can offer to your listeners.

Your intro for your guest should be no more than a minute or a minute and a half. But by the time your intro is done, people should be on the edge of their seats, ready to really absorb everything your guest says.

Tip #7: Ask the Hard Questions

questionsDon’t just play on the surface. The best interviewers are the ones that aren’t afraid to ask the really hard hitting questions.

Ask about their insecurities and their challenges. Ask about real numbers. Look for things that most people wouldn’t have guessed about your guest. Try to chip away from their public persona and really get to know the real person. Try to get to the real experience, rather than just the surface level explanation.

As an interviewer, it’s common to want to go easy on your guests. You want to maintain rapport with your guests. You don’t want to offend, to step on toes or to make your interviewee mad. Unfortunately, when you go light on your guests, you aren’t serving your audience.

Yes, you should absolutely help your guests look good on your show. But you can do that by digging for the real picture – Instead of just settling for more shallow answers.

Tip #8: Go With the Flow, But Have a Backup Plan

When your audience says something interesting, go with the flow. Ask them follow up questions. Don’t go into your interview with a rigid outline of what you want to talk about. Instead, follow the energy of the conversation. Go into things that seem most interesting in the moment.

That said, you should always go into your interviews with a plan. Once one line of thought is complete, you should immediately know where to take it next. There should be no down time between lines of conversation.

Don’t worry about transitioning. One topic does not have to smoothly transition into another. If one topic is finished, you can simply bring up another completely unrelated topic and begin a new discussion.

A great interview is one where the interviewer is sharing the excitement of a topic with a guest all the way until it starts to die out, then a new topic is quickly introduced and the energy picks up again. The interview should never feel boring.


Tip #9: Put Yourself in Your Audience’s Shoes

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What would your audience want you to ask your interviewee right now?

For example, let’s say you run a podcast for people who’re starting a restaurant for the first time. You’re interviewing someone who has started 20 restaurants in the last decade.

You might be tempted to ask him high level questions or questions about what it’s like to operate such a large operation. But when you put yourself in your audience’s shoes, you quickly realize that your audience doesn’t care about any of that. They want to know how to open and run one restaurant.

Put yourself in your audience shoes. It helps if there are specific people you can think of. What questions would benefit them most?

Tip #10: Talk Less

When you’re interviewing a guest, it’s important to remember that the interview is not about you. You might be tempted to share your opinions, your stories or your thoughts while your guest is on the air. More often than not, you’re better off letting your guest speak instead.

Sharing your own thoughts or experiences should be done only very briefly. You can share something if it helps you ask a question or helps cement a point home. You can use your own experiences to help move the interview along.

However, throughout the majority of the interview, all of your listeners’ attention should be focused almost exclusively on your guest. Yes, you can chime in here and there, but it should be the exception to the rule. Your guest’s time is a rare commodity – Make the most of it.

These ten tips will help you produce great sounding, enrapturing, lively, informative, entertaining and revealing interviews. These tips will help you produce interviews that people love listening to.