A Counterintuitive Way to Have Unlimited Content Ideas

Here’s a thing I hear quite often: “I don’t know what to write about”. It can be daunting to start creating content.

People, especially in the beginner stages, often have trouble finding ideas to write about. 

Although well meant, the same old advice of “Write about what you know” or the conflicting advice “Write about what you don’t know” doesn’t really get you anywhere. Why? Because most aspiring writers think: but I don’t know if this will resonate.

Or: I don’t have anything interesting to say, I don’t have anything interesting going on. 

I struggled with this myself. Most of the time, I thought: who am I to write about this subject? Why would people even listen to what I have to say? Especially since I’ve found it really different to get my point across. 

If anything, it made me feel really worthless. Trying to write made me feel terrible. 

But then I realized something. Although I hardly ever tweeted, I did comment on other peoples posts. Any comment I made is a post in itself, isn’t it? It’s just that other people had decided upon the subject. 

And when I really sat down to think about this for a bit, I realized that I would comment on posts I would disagreed with or had another perspective – a better perspective – on. And if you think about it, why not turn that comment into a post by itself? As with anything, you can learn to do this too.

Find & Follow the People You Disagree With

As you’re scrolling social media, find the people you disagree with. Deliberately follow them. 

Most people screw themselves over by only following people they like. People with similar interests. You can do that of course but then you’ve effectively created a bubble in which it’s really seldom – hard even – to find views that are opposing your own. 

This leads to confirmation bias really badly. 

It is understandable. Most people don’t like to read world views that conflict with your own. But it’s a really healthy thing to do because your perspective is just that. In a world thats polarizing more and more, it’s actually really important to broaden your perspective on everything you think to be true. 

So look for the posts that make you tick. You know you’re on to something, the minute you’ve found comment or post that does so, that really agitates you. 

Give Your View in a Comment

Whenever you’ve found a post you disagree with, post a comment to share your view. 

This comment is the basis for a new post. Remember to keep it brief. Make it as concise as possible so that you trigger people. But do make sure that you get your point across. If you do this well, you’ll “invite” people to visit your profile. They then see your content and possibly see your new post about that subject as well. 

It’s baffling how many people still reply to comments you’ve made later in the week. The lifetime of a post is extremely short. Think minutes. 

But somehow people keep finding posts that are old, and read comments. Every day, I get replies on posts that are over a week old. Those people will convert to followers if you do this well. 

Turn That Comment in a Post

Now it’s time to do the magic. You’ve posted your comment, got the point across and now you get to turn it in a longer form post. Can be a thread, or just “regular” long form. Whatever suits you best. 

To create the best long forms, show what the initial topic or view was about, then show people why that’s wrong. Set the scene and then elaborate.

Then, there’s several things you can write about it. You can even use one post you’re creating and cook it up into multiple different posts. 

3 Main Types of Content

  • The Rebuttal
    • in depth article dissecting the original argument and presenting your counterpoints.
    • Example: @dieworkwear
  • Opinion piece
    • Long form opinion article that delves into the topic 
  • Response articles
    • Frame the content as a response to the original comment, post or article. Systematically adress the points made in the original piece.

Subtypes of Content

The beauty of writing is that you can convert everything you write into multiple other posts. You can create

  • Stories
    • Personal experience you’ve had with the topic you’re writing about.
  • Listicles
    • List books, websites, videos etc to prove your point. 
  • Threads
    • Break a long form piece of content up into a thread, or elaborate on a shorter piece of content. 
  • Observations
    • See and explain what people are doing – and preferably: why. What makes that worth writing on?
  • Contrarian takes
    • The good old opposing view. It’s even stronger if you write something that opposes your own view. 

All these things can then be turned into stories etc themselves again. See how one single comment on something you disagree with, can turn in pretty much unlimited posts?

The Benefits of Looking for Opposing Views

  • The idea is prevalidated.
    • If it’s a comment on a post, it’s engagement. Think about that. People are already engaging with that type of content. That means people have some form of interest towards it. By providing your view, you’re adding to the conversation. Not only that, but you’re adding to a conversation that is already happening. Chances are that people are going to comment on that too or engage with it otherwise. 
  • You’ll gain new perspective
    • The other person might actually be right. Us vs them. Polarization 101. Social media is highly polarized. We identify with certain groups. People always look for their tribe. This is your in-group. People that disagree with you, are the out-group. But every out-group is an in-group in itself, right? I dare to bet that there’s no exceptions here. Every argument has a counter argument and you can find people that agree with either. So there’s always groups of people that share your opinion. 
  • You’ll become more articulate
    • You’ll learn how to better express your own ideas.
  • You’ll become more persuasive

It’s satisfying to give your perspective and prove people wrong. Or potentially change their view. Beware though, your view might change as well. But that’s another piece of content you can write. See where we’re going here? 

Looking for views opposing your own can give you great content ideas to start with. Their views might change yours. Then you have additional content. 

So to Recap, Here’s How You Never Run Out of Content Ideas

  1. Find people you disagree with
  2. Post a comment – keep it very short
  3. Expand upon it in a larger piece of content
  4. Solidify by following the people you disagree with

As a result, you’ll have infinite content ideas. And every time you post something you can turn them in any one of these: 

  • Stories
  • Listicles
  • Threads
  • Observations
  • Contrarian takes

And to conclude, here are the benefits:

  • Topic is pre-validated
  • You widen your perspective
  • You’ll become more articulate
  • That helps you to be more persuasive

That’s all for today! I hope you’ve learned something new and can put it into practice. 

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