So, what do you do when you’re in a content creation slump faced with an impending deadline? In this blog we discuss reasons why content creation can sometimes be stalled by writer’s block and that are sure to help you move past your brainstorming hurdles and back to stellar writing.
Why Does Writer’s Block Happen?
Writer’s block during content creation can occur for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps you’ve simply exhausted all your creativity for a certain client or business. It’s difficult to come up with daily content that is original, especially when you’ve been working on it for weeks, months or years. This feeling of immense pressure to produce can be a huge stumbling block in creating creative content.
The stress that rises out of this pressure is scientifically proven to push back on creativity. It can stifle your motivation and prevent you from coming up with novel ideas, but remember, this happens to everyone. Slow creative bouts are normal. Knowing this can alleviate some of that perceived helplessness.
In addition to stress leading to a lack of originality and writer’s block, Caroline Forsey with Moz speaks to how the focus on SEO and keywords can stifle creativity if you let it. While an SEO-driven strategy ultimately can lead to immense growth, it can sometimes feel like it takes the fun and creativity out of writing – but it doesn’t have to! There is room for analytics and creativity in content marketing, it just may take a little time to find your groove.
I cannot reiterate enough that writer’s block happens to everyone. The important thing to do when faced with it is not to panic. Instead, be prepared with strategies that will work for you when it inevitably occurs. The following eight ideas will not cure or solve your creativity issues in content marketing, but they will give you a place to start when you find yourself stumbling and in need of direction.
1) Walk Away From Your Content Marketing
One of the best and most straight-forward content creation tips is to simply walk away. This doesn’t mean ignoring deadlines. What it does mean is that it is immensely valuable and helpful to just get up and move around away from your computer when you’re feeling stuck. Take a walk, do yoga, grab a cup of coffee or tea or watch an episode of a mindless TV show.
What you do doesn’t matter as long as you’re away from your computer and can focus on something else for a brief amount of time. It may seem counterproductive to halt content creation, but the result is a boost in creativity that couldn’t have occurred without giving your brain a much-needed break.
2) Always Be On The Lookout For Inspiration
Recording ideas that come to you when you’re not working on your content marketing can be a significant tool for combatting writer’s block. Taking photographs of things that spark your interest, keeping a list of ideas and topics and utilizing voice-to-text messages are all ways to record creative ideas when they hit you.
You may not have time to flesh these ideas out in the moment, but they’ll be available later and can lead to solid writing in the future. Furthermore, setting reminders to review these notes later will also help to keep these ideas top-of-mind when you find yourself needing to use them.
3) Just Start Writing
One of the things that I find most helpful in the content creation process is to just start writing. Sometimes this means I start with an outline, but oftentimes it means that I just start. I write what’s in my head right at that moment, and often the result is – awful. Just awful, BUT the simple act of getting something on my computer screen prompts my creativity to do the rest.
Sometimes the biggest stumbling block to content creation is a blank screen. All it takes is a little text on the page to get you inspired and moving again.
4) Ask For Help
When creating content marketing pieces, business owners are often afraid to ask for help. Admitting that you need assistance can be scary, and it can be hard to know who to go to. If you’re not sure how to start that conversation, check out this blog post. Whatever the reason, there’s no shame in admitting that you need a bit of content creation help.
If you own a business, you might also suffer from the curse of knowledge, where the more you know about something makes it increasingly difficult to explain the basics to others. If your target audience includes people who aren’t experts in your field, this make creating content for them feel unattainable.
It doesn’t really matter who this help comes from. Friends, colleagues or other experts in the field are all fantastic places to start. Find someone who can provide a fresh perspective. You’ll find that most people are willing and even eager to provide some insight into your niche; you just have to ask.
5) Work When You Feel Most Creative
Figuring out your most productive times of day and scheduling your most creative tasks during this time period is essential to creating quality content marketing. Whether this time is morning, mid-afternoon or even in the evening, protect this time for content creation as much as you can. This may mean that you will find yourself needing to snooze Slack, put your phone away or turn off sound and notifications on your computer. Whatever it takes, carve out a time when you feel your best for tasks that require creativity and save to-do items that require less of your mental energy for other times of the day.
6) Connect With Your Audience
Putting yourself into your target audience’s mind when you’re working on content creation can go a long way as well. Search for the human element in your field. The following questions are great ones to ask if you’re searching for ways to incorporate more pathos:
- Who are the people most affected by my product/service?
- What do they need?
- What is the story of how my product, service or business came to be?
Connecting with your audience can also involve engaging with them on social media. Keep an open mind, read books, articles and tweets – whatever it takes for you to see your content marketing from another point of view: the consumers.
Find out what is important to your audience and write from that angle. And if you’re not sure what this is, just ask! Take an informal poll on social media or send a survey through a newsletter. Taking the time to utilize whatever you can to discover your audience’s wants and needs will go a long way in helping you to create copy that authentically connects with your customers.
7) Review Your Analytics
Analyzing what has worked in the past, as well as what hasn’t worked, makes you a better writer. There’s no use in spending time creating something that has already been proven not to work.
It can also be helpful to review your competitors. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What decisions are others in my field making?
- Which of their posts have been successful?
- How can I recreate those in a way that aligns with my brand identity?
We also suggest using social media data to brainstorm and understand what’s happening in your product or service niche. Observing these trends is a simple way of guaranteeing that your content marketing hits the mark.
8) Outsource Your Content Marketing Creation
Creating content on a consistent basis can be difficult, let alone creating engaging, exciting and fresh content daily. Taking some of the steps above can save you stress, time and help to ensure that you enjoy the content your business creates and that it’s something you are proud of.
However, if you find that the above ideas still leave you struggling to create quality content, consider that it may be time to outsource your content creation. Utilizing professional content marketers can save you multiple hours a day, and dramatically reduce your stress so you can focus on the areas that make your business money.
Want Help With Your Content Marketing?
Three Girls Media, Inc. has a full staff of highly trained specialists ready to help with any of your content marketing needs. Contact us today if you need help coming up with fresh, exciting copy for your business.
Sign up for a complimentary consultation during January and receive an Email Marketing Guide valued at $475! We offer a 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs – no strings attached. Call 360-955-1410 or contact us today to arrange your consultation!