In the world of digital marketing, the term "content is king" is often burned into our brains, but for all the right reasons. Great content helps build and attract the right eyeballs to your site either through natural search or social virality. At Integrity, we know a great content strategy goes a long way ensuring the right content sets you apart from competitors and keeps your brand relevant, successful and memorable. However, being able to consistently write content that echoes the needs and wants of your audience isn't always a simple task. Writer's block can happen to everyone and it's one of the most common and frustrating things in a content strategist's career.
I can speak from experience that staring at a blank computer with a million ideas swirling in your head, but none that are quite ready to go onto paper, can be very obnoxious. Heck, even some of the best song writers will tell you that those first lines of their most popular songs were often the hardest to write - songs that would eventually go on to resonate with millions upon millions of people. Watching the time go by as you struggle to find the best way to write out concepts can be difficult, but it's also extremely easy to break out of with the right tricks.
So what can you do when you just don't know where to start? Here are some things that are bound to help the next time you find your creative brain congested:
Sometimes it can be difficult to gather ideas on the best topics to write about, especially if you feel like you've already covered a lot of ground. Setting time on your calendar to sync up with a close colleague to shoot ideas back and forth is perfect for getting the creative juices flowing. It's also a great way to throw all possible ideas to the wall and see which of the best ones stick. I've found these sessions can really lead to some inspiration and help see things in a new light.
Not only can ambient music help clear your mind in a creative writing capacity, it can really help alleviate tension. Listening to the right kind of soothing music can break away any daily clutter that might be circulating in your head. Sometimes all it takes is the right melody refrain to give you that extra push for writing awesome content.
Studies have shown that listening to ambiance or "white noise" can also improve our daily memory.
Some people really love to have a routine. Ultimately there's nothing wrong with that, but it's nice to shake things up a bit. Sometimes we spend so much of our work life at our desk that it feels like our home away from home, which can often lead to a roadblock in our creativity. On top of adding some nice ambient music to your next writing session, try and switch your location up to spice up that weekly routine. When the weather is nice, go find a place to enjoy the fresh air where you won't be bothered. Enjoy a cappuccino from time to time? Take a coffee break at the local coffee spot and try writing there. I've found that even a little five minute power walk can do the mind good and get me back on track to write powerful content.
Sometimes the hardest part of writing is simply not knowing where to begin. When you feel yourself at a creative crossroad on where to start, some find it useful to jump in elsewhere. If there's a chunk of great information that you already have mapped out in your head, start with what you feel is best and see where working backwards can take you. When I start in the middle, I can get into the flow of the piece and keep that momentum going when I come back to the start.
Aside from struggling how to start, fill out, or even finish really great content, one of the most dreadful of all writer's block moments is not even having anything in mind to write about. More often than not, a great way to get content planned in advance is to lay out a calendar that highlights monthly, seasonal or even yearly topics. In my experience, great content that connects with an audience has been carefully and strategically planned out. If you need help with your content calendar, check out our planning guidelines.
When writer's block strikes, try using one of these techniques, or combine a few. I highly recommend tackling your piece from the inside-out while listening to ambient music at a coffee shop with a smart and creative co-worker!
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