Have you ever sat in front of your computer, with your fingers ready on the keyboard but nothing, nothing comes to mind? You are just staring at your empty screen with a flickering cursor?
Don’t worry, we have all been there, one too many times. Writing content is not an easy task. Some days we are more creative than others and some days the words just find their way.
Today I am going to share some tried and tested content writing tips and tricks to help you on days like these.
But first, what is content marketing and what does it do for consumers?
Think about when you wake up in the morning, most of us pick up our phones and start scrolling through our favourite social media platforms. We come across an abundance of posts that either entice us to want to buy a product, follow a brand or page or make us take a step back and think. Some things we see in the morning linger in the back of our minds the entire day.
That is content marketing. It does not necessarily promote a brand or product but stimulates interest in the brand or product and creates value for its audience by creating and sharing online material. As a content marketer or writer, it is important to ensure whatever you are creating is useful and adds value to those reading it.
Content comes in many different forms, such a social media posts, blogs, videos, infographics and podcasts.
With all these different forms of content, it is easy to get writer’s block! So, what do I do when this block comes?
1. Go for a walk!
No, it does not have to be a 5km brisk walk, just get up, move those legs and change your scenery for a little bit. Often if you are in one spot for too long, your mind gets cluttered and easily distracted. So going for a short walk will help you clear your mind and give your eyes a break from the screen.
2. Write random sh*t down
Not on the computer, go old school vibes with a pen and paper and write anything that comes to mind, it doesn’t have to be anything related to the topic you are trying to write content for. This helps reset the mind. Make it colourful, because colours are awesome and help with creativity!
3. Look at old content
Go back to past months in your content calendar and read through what has been done, it may spark some new ideas or bring back some ideas you had back then that may work now.
4. Talk to your co-worker, friend or dog
Sometimes getting someone else’s perspective or just speaking out loud helps spark ideas.
5. Ask yourself some questions
Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and ask yourself, if this was me receiving this content, what would I want to hear, what would I want to feel, what would sell it for me?
6. Try a different platform or medium
Sometimes writing social media posts may be the thing that is tripping you up, so write a blog instead, that form of writing may be more suited to you at that point. You can then repurpose that blog or take points from it to use in your social media posts, it may have just helped get the creative juices flowing.
7. Snoop on the competition
No, I don’t mean be a copy-cat, but just like looking back at your old content, seeing what your competition is saying may bring some ideas to mind. And don’t worry, the competition has probably done the same to you!
8. Read something
Google some blogs or articles about things that interest you, again it doesn’t need to be topic-related, the way other people write may bring you some inspiration.
9. Have a snack
This is definitely my favourite trick! Take your mind off your work for a few minutes, fuel your body with something yummy, think about the flavours and the deliciousness of whatever you are munching on, taste can trigger some ideas and if not, well you scored with some snacks!
10. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Take a deep breath, the ideas will come to you, it may not be in that second, that minute or that hour, but it will come!
I hope these tips and tricks help you next time you are hit with the dreaded blank screen and flickering cursor. Remember everyone is different and what works for me, may not work for you, but it is all about trial and error. Some days some of these tricks don’t even work for me, but then, always remember tip number 10!