Idea Generation and Brainstorming Worksheets

Are you ready to start generating dozens or even hundreds of awesome ideas? Just work through the following five worksheets, where you’ll both generate great ideas and validate them as well.

Take a look…

Worksheet 1: Brainstorming Ideas from Your Personal Life

Sometimes people say that all you need to do is look around your personal life in order to uncover plenty of potential ideas not only for a niche, but also for a specific topic for your course. However, you rarely hear about the exact way to do this form of idea generation. And that’s why this worksheet walks you through the steps of generating ideas from your personal life.

Let’s get started:

1. List your own personal problems.

Take some time and really brainstorm your problems, including those you currently have, as well as those you used to have. The answer to each of these problems is a potential topic idea for your course.

Let me give you examples of potential problems:

· You want to lose weight.

More specific problems include not sticking with a particular diet, not getting results, or having troubles shaking the last 10 pounds.

· You want to remodel your house yourself, but you don’t know how.

More specific problems include how to refinish your kitchen cabinets, or how to install a new bathtub.

· You’re looking for ways to ease arthritis pain.

· You have problems with aphids in your garden, and you want to get rid of them naturally.

· You want to learn how to make money online by selling digital products.

You get the idea. Just spend a few minutes brainstorming all your problems.

2. List your interest and hobbies.

Your next step is to list all the fun stuff that you like to do, or all the topics which interest you. Again, write down as many as you can think of. Be sure to include hobbies you’ve daydreamed about, but haven’t yet pursued due to financial or time constraints.

Here are examples of the kinds of things we’re referring to here:

· You like to restore classic Mustangs.

· You like to go scuba diving.

· You’re interested in learning how to play the violin.

· You want to learn how to speak French.


3. What do you spend money on?

The idea here is to help you uncover problems, interests or hobbies that you haven’t yet listed.

For example, maybe you like to spend money on hiking shoes – and that reminds you that hiking is one of the things you like to do.

4. Where do you like to go on vacation, and what do you like to do there?

Again, the purpose of this question is to help unlock ideas that you haven’t yet listed. For example, maybe you like to go RVing. If so, list some potential topics around that general idea (e.g., basic RV maintenance, or tips for becoming a full-time RVer, such as how to get your mail).

5. What sort of classes did you enjoy in high school and/or college?

For example, maybe you really enjoyed a pottery class. That general topic then gives you ideas for your course. (E.G., How to make pottery for fun and profit.)

6. List any times you recall wishing there was an easier/better/faster/less-expensive solution to something.

For example, maybe you’ve wished your car would get better gas mileage. However, trading for a new car is out of the question right now. So, one possible idea is to learn how to drive in a way that saves gas every time you get in your car. (Hint: people who do this are called hypermilers.)

7. Take a look at the newsstand (or even the magazine section on a site like Amazon) and write down any ideas you see.

The magazines as a whole may give you some niche ideas, while the articles will give you specific topic ideas.

TIP: Big magazines spend a lot of time and money researching which topics to put on their covers, as the covers are what sell the magazine. So, if you see a particular topic on a cover, that’s a good sign that it’s popular.

8. What sort of problems do your friends, family and other acquaintances have?

Now go through and brainstorm other peoples’ problems. For example, if your friend just got diagnosed with diabetes and is looking for information about how to lower his blood sugar through diet and exercise, that’s a potential topic idea.

9. What sorts of hobbies do your friends, family and other acquaintances have?

Now brainstorm and list other peoples’ hobbies and interests. For example, if you have a friend that goes golfing every week and is trying to hit longer drives, that’s a potential topic.

10. What sorts of websites do you tend to browse?

Look at your bookmarks and history pages. What topic ideas do you get from these websites?

11. Watch or read the general news, including those sections you don’t often pay much attention to. Write down any ideas that pop into your mind.

Do this for a few days to generate new ideas. For example, if you see an article about orphaned kittens, that’s a topic idea (“how to raise orphaned kittens”).

12. List anything else you can think of from your personal life.

Now simply list anything else you can think of that you haven’t yet listed. Look around the room you’re in right now. Think about what you’ve done today, or what plans you have.

For example, if you just finished building your own computer, that’s a potential topic idea. Or if you plan on making a delicious Chinese meal later, that’s a potential idea as well.

Point is, brainstorm without limiting yourself. Then be sure to use the other worksheets in this set to help you uncover even more great ideas.



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