The one thing almost all successful blogs have in common is a commitment to publishing regularly. But as anyone who creates content marketing will tell you, sometimes the words are there and others, well they just don’t come to you. Instead, you get the dreaded, writer’s block. But the schedule demands that you publish something, so here are my three favorite ways to push through writer’s block and produce something compelling.
Watch a Webinar
Last week I was totally overwhelmed with writing and editing my new book, The Invisible Sale, and I just didn’t have anything left in the blog reserves. So I watched an Edison Moms & Media 2013 Webinar. While I was watching the 30 minute webinar, I took notes in the form of a blog post. Once the webinar was over, I was able to access the slides, grab a screengrab of one especially interesting slide and confirm all of the stats. As I spent a few more minutes with the data, a nice theme emerged — Mobile Mommies. About 45 minutes later I had found a a perfect feature picture for the post, written several hundred words, polished it all up and published Mobile Mommy: Mobile Social Media & Internet Usage Stats For Moms, which served as a nice cliff notes version of the research webinar with a bit of context and analysis tossed in from Converse Digital.
Read a Book
I always keep a handful of books on my Kindle, desk and nightstand. I don’t kid myself into thinking I’ll actually ever have the time to read them front to back, but I read them. Whenever I’m really stuck and there is no upcoming webinar to jostle my brain, I start skimming through my book on hand. I try and have an assortment of business, leadership, fiction and non-fiction ones available. Inevitably, something in one of those books will spark a thought that can then be crafted into a helpful blog post.
Read a Blog
A lot of people recommend maintaining a small, useful blog RSS feed list. I live in the other camp of subscribe to as many as you find remotely interesting and helpful. Then create a list of your core blogs that you read regularly and leave everyone else in the “to read when I have writer’s block” camp. This technique is even easier than the book tip because blogs make sure good use of subheads. Thus you can quickly skim a ton of blog posts quickly, which makes it easier to find that idea starter.
Look At Pictures
Think of a topic that has been on your mind lately. Then search Flickr for keywords associated with the topic. I’m not sure why, but for some reason, simply letting your mind focus on the photos in front of you can often produce a thought or idea that with refinement can be your next blog post. This also works in reverse… search for antonyms of your keywords.
Take a Walk With Music
If you’ve read much on breaking through writer’s block, you’ll almost always see a tip that says something about getting away from your computer or notepad. I totally agree. Go take a walk, run or bike ride and make sure you have a great music track playing while you do it. There is something magical about the way music can take your mind places. When I worked at an ad agency in the French Quarter I used to make a point of walking through the French Quarter every day at lunch with my ear buds in and the music jamming. Inevitably, I was able to conjure up new ideas, solve problems and create marketing strategies.
Don’t Write — Summarize
And as a last resort, when no words will come no matter how hard you try, forget trying to write something unique and just write something helpful. One of the biggest issues facing marketers today is the plethora of information available. Creating blog posts that summarize a number of key information points or resources into one uber-post that provides not only the cliff notes version of the information but more importantly places the information in context, is helpful and shareable content. Just give the reader everything they should be reading but aren’t. They’ll thank you later.
Got anything to add? We all face writer’s block from time to time, so if you do, why not share your best writer’s block tip with us.