How Do You Know When You’ve Got a Good Idea?

Posted on August 5, 2013

So we all know a bit about brainstorming and compiling a database of ideas for future reference. But how do you go about separating the wheat from the chaff and selecting the best ideas to put into practice?

Vetting your own ideas is a tough process and one that is not always the most enjoyable of activities. This is because you are essentially culling the creative process – you’re doing away with the very ideas you worked so hard to create.

But never fear, because ideas are not a limited resource. It’s not like you have a finite supply of inspiration that will eventually run dry.

Instead you have an innumerable host of shiny nuggets just waiting to be discovered. And sometimes you need to get rid of some to make room for even better ones.

Select your criteria

How exactly do you recognize a top quality idea?

First you’ve got to decide what works for your particular platform. Do you want content that draws an explosion of eyeballs or are you more inclined to create selective evergreen content that will stand the test of time?

Ideally a good idea should have a bit of both. It needs to be appealing and relevant to the current discussion on the topic, but should also be broad enough to be relatable to other issues in the future.

Determine what it is you’re looking for and what works best for the tone of your content and your audience. You’ll be able to spot a winner if it’s topical and engaging, but also invaluable to your niche as a long term resource.

Get critical

This is going to be either incredibly easy or incredibly hard.

If you’re the kind of person who thinks every thought is a potential gold mine, you might want to spend a bit of time hashing out the pros and cons of each one.

Confidence is great, but you also need to think critically about how far you can really take a particular concept. It may look fantastic as a standalone thought, but might not work well within the context of a blog post.

If you’re more like me and tend to question every idea you come up with, you’ll need to exercise that critical thinking muscle as well. Not all ideas are bad, don’t dismiss a great one just because you’re afraid of pulling it off.

At the end of the day, some ideas are just better than others. So don’t be afraid to dig deep and be selective about those you keep and those you throw away.

Trial and error

Nothing is guaranteed in this world. Even with the most painstaking analysis, you can never be completely sure an idea will work.

The best way to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t is to practice. Get out there and see which of your ideas fly and which ones never make it off the ground.

It’s only a matter of time before the gems become easier to spot.

photo credit: “Caveman Chuck” Coker via photopin cc


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