Jordan Ogren

September 10, 2021

Improve your ideas by doing this... đź’ˇ

You should not use your best ideas for content.


I like to view content ideas like growing vegetables. The first time you experience that idea or insight is the seed. Without it, there is no vegetable.

But you can't eat a seed (unless they're sunflower seeds).

So, what makes a seed grow into something you can eat?

Sunlight, water, care. But most importantly, time.

The same is true for what grows an initial content idea into a flourishing final piece.

Instead of creating an article or podcast from your breakthrough idea, let it sit in the sun. Water it, care for it and allow it to grow by giving it time and space. How do you do that for an idea?

Create an idea garden document. If you have a marketing team, it's best to create this doc in a public space (Google Doc or a shared Word Doc).

The idea garden is where you will plant your initial ideas (seeds).
You—and your team—can also add content or insights under the idea to build out the angle and premise (sunlight + water + care).
And then give it space until the idea is ripe enough to be made into content (time).

Note: There are exceptions to this concept that could lower its effectiveness.

My newsletter is a glaring exception. When you are constrained to produce content rapidly, applying the idea garden concept can be tricky. Instead, you don't have the time to water (develop) ideas but need a steady stream of ideas to keep creating content.

Here I would recommend a "Swipe File" that would hold small ideas, articles, or social media posts that can spark content ideas when going to write. The difference is that the ideas in your Swipe File do not get developed (watered). They are simply there when you go to create and are used as sparks to get you going.

To be honest, I can't think of any more contexts that would make the idea garden a bad idea. 

The idea garden allows you to improve upon your initial concepts and ideas, leading to better and more impactful content. Yes, it takes time to get the garden going, but you won't regret it once it's pumping out beautiful tomatoes.

The lesson: We should spend more time developing our content and marketing ideas than creating/executing them.

There's plenty of marketing (and content) in the world. 

Your job is not to create more marketing. It's to create better marketing.

🧠 // JO