By Scott Decker

5 Quotes for Content Ideation & Inspiration


Struggling with that brilliant article you know is in you but it just won’t spring from your head and meet all your KPIs? Creativity doesn’t come easily for everyone, but content professionals know that you can’t just wait for the ideas (or the words) to just show up. You have to build the message you need right now, every day, and on time. Oh, and that piece of content has to drive web and social traffic, show thought leadership, and inspire trust that will bring your audience back for more. Tall order, huh? (All the more reason I like having PublishThis to help me ideate…)

When content creator’s block strikes, a healthy dose of ideas from a cross-section of inspirational voices can really help. So, it’s Friday – let’s be inspired by some great minds who I’d like to think struggled to fill an empty page at one point, too.

James Russell Lowell


1. “Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.” – James Russell Lowell

Lowell’s quote makes me think about how much we can do with content curation. Finding a great piece of content that you know will resonate with your audience is wonderful. Even better than just sharing it is to add your own commentary to put it into context for your audience and increase its relevance for them. Then, you’re really adding value and building trust.


Writing means sharing. It's part of the human condition to want to share things - thoughts, ideas, opinions. - Paulo Coelho


2. “Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.” – Paulo Coelho

In the business of creating content, this doesn’t only apply to writing. If you create great content, people will want to share it. Whether it’s a written article, video, podcast, a social post, or an infographic, if you make that human connection, people will feel a natural inclination to want to share it with their peers.


If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old. - Peter F Drucker


3. “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” – Peter F. Drucker

This is a favorite quote of mine. It’s always safe to do what has worked, but nothing will change. Need to grow or expand your reach? Maybe it’s time to revisit that content strategy and see what isn’t working so you can replace it with a new idea.


Be so good they can't ignore you. - Steve Martin


4. “Be so good that they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin

There’s no good argument against quality. In publishing, creating the right content for your audience will earn their attention. Consistently delivering what they crave will keep them coming back for more.


Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent - Jim Jarmusch


5. “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.'” – Jim Jarmusch

We all get our ideas from somewhere and illuminating an existing one is still a worthwhile endeavor. It’s fine to be inspired by someone else’s work (crediting as appropriate). If you find something that speaks to you, add to it before you present it to your audience so your unique spin can help them realize the value of the content you share.

For content production, this is part of the great case for curation. In this world of information overload, part of an editor’s role is now to make sure the audience actually discovers the content that will engage, delight, and inform them.

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By Scott Decker
Scott Decker is the President and Founder of PublishThis. Before PublishThis, he led technology at, Blue Nile, and development solutions for the government. When he’s not running PublishThis, the industry’s most advanced content platform, he’s exploring new technologies, preparing for next Halloween, or watching something with superheroes, dinosaurs, or at least a lot of explosions.