Gini Dietrich

Tips and Tricks: 50 Writing Prompts for Content Development

By: Gini Dietrich | January 18, 2018 | 
11

Tips and Tricks: Writing PromptsThe moment The Bean started talking, we have involved her in story time.

As she’s gotten older, the stories have gotten better and even make me laugh.

They always start with the prompt, “Once upon a time…” and then we take turns adding to the story.

Even Squeak, her elephant, plays along (she does a different voice for Squeak and it’s hilarious).

This was how it went earlier this week:

Once upon a time, in a castle far, far away, there lived a dragon. This was no ordinary dragon. He didn’t believe in fire and, truthfully, he was tired of all of his family burning up their homes. So he breathed cupcakes. And spaghetti. And ice cream.

One day, there was a knock on the door and a human was standing there. He was eating a cupcake. So the dragon ate him and then joyfully breathed cupcakes.

The next night there was a knock on the door. Another human was standing there and she was eating spaghetti. So the dragon ate her and then joyfully breathed spaghetti.

(At this point, I was tired of the poor humans getting eaten and I could see this going on forever. So I introduced someone new.)

The next night there was a knock on the door and a witch was standing there. She was green and had a long, pointy nose and a wart right on the end of it. She was a wicked witch and she would not let the dragon eat her. When the dragon tried to eat her, she vanished in a smoke-filled bubble.

This could have gone on forever, but one of us fell asleep in the middle of telling it.

The point is that those four words—once upon a time—create a world of possibilities and no story is ever the same.

What if you could have writing prompts to help you with your content development?

Not just story time with your kids, but for work, too?

The good news is…you can!

Fill-in-the-Blank Writing Prompts

  1. Our product makes lives easier by …….
  2. Clients love our services because…….
  3. We solve ……. for …….
  4. ……. things I wish I knew before starting a business
  5. Why this ……. teaches you everything you need to know about …….
  6. How I got started doing …….
  7. How ……. can help you do ……. (I loved the article Whitney Danhauer wrote about hand lettering and branding)
  8. ……. tips on how to become successful at …….
  9. The ……. things I learned from <conference, event, webinar)
  10. The ……. things you should avoid in (industry)

Question Writing Prompts

  1. What is the behind-the-scenes look at your business?
  2. What is your process? Can you share it externally?
  3. What’s the history of the organization?
  4. What do you do better than anyone else in your industry?
  5. Why should prospects care about your organization?
  6. What questions do people in sales or new business meetings?
  7. What is something you disagree with in your industry?
  8. How did the leaders of your organization get started in their niche?
  9. What are some things everyone should avoid in your industry?
  10. What absolutely does not work in your industry?

External Writing Prompts

  1. When you’re out to dinner with friends, where does the conversation take you?
  2. While attending an industry event, what is everyone discussing?
  3. What’s happening in pop culture or the news that you can comment on?
  4. What are your competitors writing about?
  5. Why do people buy from you? What’s the emotion behind their decisions?
  6. Who is doing something really cool in your industry? Feature them. Even better if they’re a customer.
  7. What are the pain points of your customers?
  8. What is something you wished everyone knew about your industry? (PR is not just publicity!)
  9. When you are shuffling your kids to activities or running errands, what’s happening in the world that you can tie back into your organization?
  10. Go through your sent mail and pull out the questions you answer all of the time.

Resources and Tools Writing Prompts

  1. Roundup and review the tools you use every day.
  2. What hacks do you have for productivity, work/life balance, content development, etc.?
  3. What are some of your favorite blogs? Books? Podcasts?
  4. Share the organization’s short- and long-term plans.
  5. What are your favorite stock photo sites?
  6. How do you create images for your content?
  7. Which products do you swear by?
  8. How do you stay motivated?
  9. Which apps on your phone are the most used?
  10. Your favorite things for work (apps, tools, hacks, software)

Who You Should Feature Writing Prompts

  1. Customers
  2. Employees
  3. Industry experts
  4. Executives/leaders
  5. People you admire
  6. Authors
  7. Influencers
  8. Family members
  9. Your pets, especially if they’re part of your business life (Jack Bauer went to the office with every day for years)
  10. Competitors

Which Writings Prompts Help You?

And, if you really need help with your next content idea, write a blog post with writing prompts in it.

I just gave myself a ton of ideas!

You can always just start with “once upon a time” and see where that takes you, too.

Now it’s your turn.

Which writing prompts help you with content development?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

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