Brainstorming sessions are a good time to let lose. Yell out ideas, scribble all over a white board…let yourself go crazy.
But when it’s time to sit down to write, it’s also time to rein it in and double check that your ideas deserve to go from the brainstorming phase to the actual content production phase.
To find out if your ideas are blog-worthy, run them through a simple test just by answering these four questions:
If the content idea is worth pursuing, you will be able to answer with a confident “YES!” to all four questions.
If the answer is a hesitant “No….”, find out where it’s falling short.
If the topic falls outside your blog vision, ditch it.
If it is NOT something your audience wants to know more about, ditch it.
If writing about it won’t get you closer to any of your goals, ditch it.
(Yes, it IS hard to toss seemingly good ideas, but they are not right for your school blog if it doesn’t pass these criteria).
Now, what if the approach just isn’t speaking to your audience? This is when you can hold on to the idea and try to refine it until it’s a better fit.
You might need to get more specific, or change your angle. For example: You are a college, and one of the topics your blog focuses on is college life. Your blog post idea is “How to Cook Dinner in the Dorm”. You’re not quite confident that this idea works, because it feels a little boring. You know if it’s boring, your audience won’t care, and won’t read the post.
The problem here is that the approach isn’t speaking to the audience. So let’s play with that idea to make it both interesting and relevant.
Instead of “How to Cook Dinner in the Dorm”, how about “5-Ingredient Dorm Room Dinners” or “11 Healthy Hot Plate Meals”? That takes the broad topic (cooking dinner) and makes it more specific and relatable to the dorm-dwelling audience.
If you can’t get an idea to work, don’t force it. It’s a waste of time to create content that doesn’t align with your audience, goals and blog vision.