3 ways to come up with ideas, your BestFirstLine, Copywriting by AI?
Growth Currency 💡⚡ 0️⃣1️⃣2️⃣
“How can I come up with good ideas?”
For most creators, creating is the fun and easy part.
What’s hard? Ideas.
Especially good ideas.
More specifically: coming up with ideas—then narrowing them down to something worth creating.
Here are 3 basic ways to generate more ideas.
#1 - Focus on answering a question
Nicolas Cole’s strategy for writing ideas? Answer questions people are asking.
(like what I’m doing with this post)
In a podcast episode with Stew Fortier, Cole advises your writing should always seek to answer someone’s question if you want eyeballs on your content.
Nicolas recommends this because he’s done it: he answered a question on Quora every day for a YEAR, shooting him to the top ranks as one of Quora’s top writers. 🚀
Here’s a portion of Cole’s idea generation framework (whole article on his Substack). Use these suggestions as a guide for ideation:
Idea #1: Explanation (When/Where/How/What/Why Something Happens)
Idea #2: Habits (To Achieve A Destination, Goal, Or State Of Being)
Idea #3: Mistakes (Keeping You From Achieving A Destination, Goal, Or State Of Being)
Idea #4: Lessons (Learned In Pursuit Of A Destination, Goal, Or State Of Being)
Idea #5: Tips (That Can Help You In Your Own Pursuit Of A Destination, Goal, Or State Of Being)
Idea #6: Stories (That Symbolize Or Explain Some Aspect Of The Pursuit Of A Destination), Goal, Or State Of Being)
Idea #7: Timely Events (That Are Relevant To The Target Reader’s Knowledge, Awareness, Or Pursuit Of A Destination, Goal, Or State Of Being)
#2 - Add Constraints or a Forcing Function
There’s nothing more daunting than staring at a blank page with no deadline. So instead, put a fence around your creativity.
→ Set a timer for 5 minutes and jot down any and every idea, word, thought you have.
→ Create & publish something new every day for a month (aka a ‘forcing function’)
→ Choose one topic or subject to generate ideas from
→ Use an idea generator like… FatJoe’s Blog Title Generator or one of these constraints from 10MinuteNovelists.com
James Altucher insists on coming up with 10 ideas every day (more on that later).
Dickie Bush’s Ship 30 For 30 writing course has a forcing function where you write and publish a 250-word ‘atomic essay’ 30 days straight.
Get your creativity revving using constraints.
#3 - Record EVERY idea
A quick personal story:
I’m a runner. And I struggle with coming up with ideas.
I began noticing ideas taking shape—seemingly out of nowhere—while running. Ideas I’d never think about while working or distracted at home.
Running is a form of meditation allowing ideas to form and bubble to the surface.
Not only would the ideas come, but if I was lucky, I would get an amplified burst of enthusiasm and motivation behind a particular idea.
Promising myself I’d remember when I’d get home, I’d finish my run, do a cool-down stretch and proceed to… completely forget everything.
Now—when ideas strike mid-run, I pull out my phone and voice-type into a Notes app.
For me, running is a way to generate ideas almost passively—despite being physically active.
I’m not advising you go run and see what happens. Especially if you hate running.
But if you’re desperate to find something that works, lace up! 👟
Challenge for the week: become mindful of when your ideas strike, and make sure you have a way to record them.
I’m shining the spotlight on Craig this week because he’s a prolific creator on Twitter—AND he’s also building the visual creator community with his account @daily_visual and its paid membership.
Craig keeps very busy. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of Craig’s other projects:
|| Wanna be featured here? Reply to this email or send me a DM on Twitter letting me know what you’re creating!
TWEET OF THE WEEK
🔥🔥🔥 Can’t wait.
THIS WEEK’S GROWTH CURRENCY ⚡💡
BestFirstLines.com by John Paul Hernandez Jr.
John’s collected 230+ opening lines from creative works and captured them in a Notion doc for you to use (provide your email address for access). John realized there were 5 key elements that made an opening line great:
Establish the Setting Right Away
It’s Multi-Layered or One Big Bang
It’s Strange or Original
There Is Conflict
There’s an Invitation
If you’re not capturing your reader’s attention in your opening line, you’ve probably lost them. Use BestFirstLines.com to capture attention—use your writing skills to keep it. Follow John for more great marketing + writing tips 👇
”I’m sick as hell of writing Instagram captions.”
Then stop!... and let Copy.ai do it for you. Neville Medhora on The Danny Miranda podcast gushed over copy.ai and GPT-3 so I had to check it out.
See it in action 👇 and sign up for a 7-day free trial.
(Not an affiliate link—I just find this product fascinating and helpful!)
Personal Leverage: How to Truly 10x Your Productivity by Nat Eliason
Nat is the founder of Growth Machine and Every. If one person can speak on how to scale yourself, it’s him. Here, Nat explains The Personal Leverage Loop and how he uses the 4-step process to “extend your productivity beyond yourself.”
How To Improve Everyday & Harness the Power of Ideas - James Altucher on Modern Wisdom (Jan. 26, 2020)
James Altucher is interesting, period. He’s made several fortunes and lost them, only to make them back. What’s propelled him to be so prolific: he’s an idea machine.
James comes up with 10 new ideas EVERY. DAY.
If you’re struggling with idea generation, have a listen and get inspired.
The end is here! Thanks for reading right to it, sincerely.
I hope you found something useful out of this week’s post—and if you did, would you be willing to share it?
What did you enjoy this week? What sucked?
Like always, give me your feedback so I can keep refining the newsletter to make it a must-read every week for you. And if you want to go feedback-for-feedback, reply or send a DM on Twitter.
What’s the best idea you’ve come up with recently?
PS - If you want to help support this email newsletter, feel free to buy me a coffee. And not one of those super fancy ones. I take a drip, medium roast, black. ☕