Replicated content is the worst nightmare of any content creator. So here is how to avoid it.
Creativity works in strange ways. And I say that because nobody still knows its paths precisely.
Original ideas don’t happen every day, and creating authentic content requires attention to details and an abundance of external inputs.
If you want to improve your creativity, you need to find a way to process data and extract its core concepts. But this is not enough. You also need to reshape those ideas and make them look unique by using your experience and background.
You could let your mind work at its phase, which would be the optimal situation for creativity. But sometimes, you may need a little push if you want to become a content creator.
Sometimes, you may need a faster technique to get as many ideas as possible. In those cases, crushing topics could improve your creativity and make authentic content.
What is creativity and how does it work?
The easiest way to explain creativity is through a three-step cycle:
- Research is the step where you consume content to find new inputs.
- Ideation is the step where you use inputs to build content.
- Inspiration is the step where you influence your content with parts of your experience and environment.
And each time you use your creativity to work on a project, you go through these steps.
Yet, not everyone has the same ability to link those steps and create new patterns. So to improve your creativity, you can use crushing topics. Which doesn’t mean all your ideas will become successful. But at least you will have more of them to choose between.
How to use crushing topics.
Crushing topics can become one perfect way to improve your creativity and make authentic content if you master it.
Not only because using it is simple, but it also has high chances of generating many correlated ideas once you find the correct link.
The process comprises five main steps:
- Search for data and systems.
- Split them in isolated pools.
- Crush topics to make them blend.
- Filter what is working from what is not.
- Add experience.
So let’s see how to do it.
Search for data and systems.
When you learn something new, pay attention to two main things: systems and data. Those are the easiest things to adapt to your ideas. And the more you collect, the easier it will be to understand and explain complex concepts to your audience.
You can use systems to give structure to your idea. While data is the perfect support for a topic.
For example, if you need to explain SEO to someone and start talking about long-tail keywords, beginners will not understand it. If, however, you use a familiar system like searching things on Google, it will be easier for your audience to learn what you are trying to say. And if on top of that, you use data to support your perspective, you will also gain their trust.
Split systems and data in isolated pools.
At the beginning of my writing career, I used to discuss a topic as soon as I learned about it and never thought about it again. But when I started to collect data and keep track of everything new I discovered, my creativity also improved.
One simple way I use to find new ideas for content is to compare systems or data from the same pool and show why one is better than the other or if one excels. This way, I can merge two systems in another, more complex one and add that to the pool.
Crush topics to make them blend.
Once you have at least two pools, you can start crushing topics. So take one system and compare it to all systems from the other pools.
I usually follow three steps:
- First, I search for a connection between the two selected systems. For example, consider the pools of self-improvement and content creation. Could you connect weight loss with creativity?
- If I find a connection between the two systems, I create another pool by merging them. To give you an idea, what if I write an article about the befits of running on your creativity. Or a technique that allows you to find new ideas while working out.
- Once I create the new pool, I also include some data to increase my credibility. And this information should relate to both of the merging systems.
Now that I finished comparing all the systems and data from one pool to those from the other, I can go to the next one. And iterate the same process. This way, I generate many ideas in one crushing topics session.
Filter the new systems.
Even if crushing topics can become a satisfying exercise, it doesn’t mean it will always generate good ideas. Some of them will look amazing on paper. But when you think about creating content around them, they may crumble.
Perhaps the connection is not that strong. Or it needs more attention to become viable. But for the moment, it does not work. And there is nothing I can do about it.
Therefore, each time I finish crushing topics, I filter viable and not viable systems. But I don’t delete those that are not working because they might in the future. And each of these combined systems may become viable by crushing them with a third idea
Add experience to the pool.
There is no doubt about it — the most exciting part of a blog post is the author’s perspective. Otherwise, all articles about content creation would be the same. But they are not.
And since the essential part of each content is your take, try to put it in your content right from the beginning.
You can do it in many ways. So these are those I use the most:
- Share an experience that aligns with the evidence of the data.
- Explain if a system worked for you and how.
- Contradict a technique and show why it did not work for you or why it can never work.
- Provide an example against the rules to prove your point or show your audience that exceptions may exist.
- Compare two systems you experienced to explain when you performed better or worse. Or if the two experiences haven’t changed anything and both methods work.
Crushing topics can become one way to improve your creativity and make more authentic content. If you learn how to use it and keep practicing, you will have more ideas, and your brainstorming session will become even more productive. And the process is not even that hard.
First, you start by collecting data and systems, something you are already doing if you are a content creator. Then, you split those concepts into categories, like self-improvement, writing, content creation, etc. And once you do that, you can crush topics to obtain new ideas.
But not every new idea is a good one. Sometimes, you can’t transform a concept into a piece of content. So you should filter those ideas and understand which are eligible for content and which are not.
Once you have finished, remember to use your experience, or you will create the same content someone else did. And as a content creator myself, I can tell you that is my worst nightmare.
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Cover photo by Hamed Custer from Pexels.