But I’m Out of Ideas!

One common complaint heard from individuals who have to regularly produce interesting content is that they are out of ideas. My response? I don’t believe you. Writer’s block can and does happen, but it’s not a lack of ideas, it’s just a missing connection between the knowledge or concept and the exposition.  Once you’ve revitalized your >email marketing habitudes and fine tuned what you want to deliver, you’ll be back on your game in no time.

In the moment of not having an idea, though, there is another solution. Stop trying to come up with the idea yourself. Look around. Who else has ideas worth sharing? You might be surprised how much information and perspective will come from people around you.

Ask the Experts - Invite Support Staff to Contribute
Try asking the customer or tech support people about issues they wish people had more information about.  Not only will you be gleaning ideas for content but then you are in a position to do both your company and your clients a service. Consider it a public service announcement in your email newsletter - you can distribute important information that will help make life easier for those using your product or service and you’re taking the load off of your internal help. This in turn clears the schedule for your support staff to handle issues that are more complicated (or at least more uncommon). 

Use The Sales Experience To Your Advantage
Ask the sales guy what the most commonly asked questions are.  Find out what uses or interests users have. This is the kind of information that marketers are always looking to have and many overlook the fact that the people who are on the sales end tend to have a lot of experiential information. You also get to skip right over the bias of the user to find out what they *really* want to know when it comes right down to the wire. Use this information to fuel the creative fire.  Answer questions and maybe even ask a few more of your own. 

Build Up Your Content Bank
A single round of queries should give you a pretty good list of ideas on what kind of content to tackle.  Keep a list of these ideas so that you can pull from the bank as needed.  Let response drive your course.  You might save your list for a rainy, uninspiring day, or you might just find that a “notes from the help desk” column is exactly what your readers had hoped and dreamed they would one day have in an email newsletter.