Everyone gets stuck in a content rut. If you’re a travel affiliate or have a travel blog, you know that creating content feels like feeding a beast with an insatiable appetite. So, what to write? Another story about an amazing travel destination or how fun and exciting the vacation of a lifetime will be? Maybe. But you’ve been there and done that – many times over.
It’s time to get more creative. Here are some suggestions to get your creative content juices flowing:
Don’t be afraid to be “out there.” Even if you think your idea or topic is wacky or offbeat – consider it. Bold gets noticed. I’m sure it wasn’t immediately clear that a TV show about life after the Zombie Apocalypse would be one of the biggest hits ever. But the Walking Dead captivated the attention of millions of loyal (okay, obsessed) viewers.
And, of course, being out there doesn’t mean taking a contrary stance on something simply to inflame people. But instead, flipping something on its head can attract attention.
For example: Everyone seems to be on a diet or eating according to some kind of rules (Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, Atkins, Dash Diet, Weight Watchers, Zone, etc.). You could do a blog post about how to eat in a particular destination according the guidelines of one of those diets. Or instead, focus on how many of these eating plans allow a cheat day or days. Write your where and what to eat post about how to “Make Your Food Cheat Day in Vegas Worth It!”
Think Like a Journalist
When a national news event or happening takes place your local news people will put a regional spin on it. What they’re thinking is “how does impact our specific audience?” So, the next time there is something in the news, look at through the lens of your target audience.
For example: Shootings and gun safety are big items in the news. You could do a post on the Safest Cities to Vacation In. You don’t need to specifically call out the issues related to guns. Simply by doing a post of that nature you are tapping into the emotions of people without throwing it in their face or getting into a polarizing political debate.
However, be careful about capitalizing on tragedy or disasters. It takes a deft hand to do it right and not seem like an opportunist.
Borrow from Pop Culture
See what’s hot in the world of music, movies, celebrities, food, art, culture, social discourse and more. Make a list. For example, right now mid-century modern is all the rage in furniture and decor. This design shift was sparked in part by the popularity of the TV show Mad Men. If you’re a travel affiliate, it might seem like that has absolutely no bearing on what you promote to your audience. But it could. Create a post about staying in mid-century Airbnb houses for a Mad Men weekend getaway. Or highlight destinations that feature tours of the homes of famed mid-century modern architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Focus on hotels that offer that a cool mid-century modern vibe. Or how to do Vegas Don Draper Style.
Make the Connection
If you’re immersed in your business and thinking about it all the time, you might find that mundane things also spark ideas. The tedious weekly task of gathering up the recyclables for pickup might get you thinking about reuse and repurposing of items. That could lead to you reviewing your old content and maybe repurposing it. Or perhaps, you might be inspired to write about eco-friendly hotels or vacations where helping people in other parts of the world may make a difference to the health of the planet.
Walking by a bookstore and just catching a glimpse of the tile “The Tibetan Art of Living and Dying” could yield a host of inspiration (Why Tibet Must be on Your Bucket List, The Top Spiritual and Wellness Destinations, Las Vegas: Balancing Spirits and Spirituality). You may not even be conscious that the book title registered with you. Or maybe just seeing a window display of books ignites something – Book Lovers Vacations, The Best Beaches for Your Summer Read, etc.
Ever notice that when you sit down to come up with ideas, it’s almost makes the task harder? You often can’t “will” yourself to think of something creative. People often say, “I have my best ideas while in the shower.” Well, for you, it might not be the shower. Maybe it’s the grocery store or while driving. That’s because your mind is freed up to wander. That’s often when inspiration strikes. So, walk the dog. Take a hike. Just take a short break to load the dishwasher. Deviating from normal patterns and routines also helps. These are the moments when ideas come – when you’re not forcing them.
Jot it Down
You never know when inspiration may strike. Keep a notepad (or use your phone) to write or record your ideas. Keep a running list of ideas – no matter how out there they seem. Not all of them will be winners or even turn into blog posts. But having that list, in and of itself, is a reminder to come up with new ideas. Plus, you can look back and might find that one of the ideas sparks a totally different idea.
Inspiration is everywhere. All you have to do is be open, receptive and allow yourself the time and space to let the creativity flow.