Most content marketers experience writer’s block at some point during their online experience. Writer’s block can result from a variety of causes and can manifest itself in a number of ways; in all cases, however, it reduces motivation and creates barriers to the creative process. Below are six techniques to kick-start the creative process, snag the best topics for your market and beat writer’s block for good.
1. Study your competition
Sun Tzu said it best over two millennia ago: “If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can win a hundred battles without danger.” Writers should take this advice to heart and study not only their own work but also those of their closest and most direct competitors. By remaining informed about the current trends and topics being discussed in the online community, writers can ensure the freshness and relevance of their own entries and hone their creative process to produce the desired results online.
2. Expand your horizons
When writer’s block threatens to interrupt your creative process, it may be time to gain a fresh perspective on your chosen subject matter. Depending on your topic, you may be able to gain inspiration from documentaries on the subject or a day trip to a nearby facility or retail outlet. In-depth online research can also provide new angles on the same old subjects and provide you with insight into the current trends in your particular field of interest.
3. Add a personal touch
The most compelling writing comes from personal experience. Writers who share their own life lessons and insights typically enjoy greater reader loyalty and increased traffic to their blogs, websites, etc.. Sharing a personal anecdote can also be an excellent way to restart the creative process and get back to your regular writing schedule more quickly.
4. Establish a pattern
By setting aside a specific area as an office and reserving that area for serious writing endeavors, you can develop a writing habit that can often increase productivity. During a typical day, most writers experience numerous distractions and interruptions. While some situations do require immediate attention, put off the items that can wait until after your writing is finished. By associating your creative process with a particular area and time, you can more easily establish the writing habit and ensure your ability to stick to it.
5. Analyze your market
Effective content marketing requires an extensive knowledge of your readers and the information they seek online. By tailoring your writing to meet the needs of readers, you can often achieve better results and increase your popularity with the audience that matters most.
6. Augmenting the creative process
Writers should also consider services that provide added analytical information and trend data in their field of interest. These innovative services can often provide valuable general information and may suggest new ideas, topics and subjects for your writing. For example, InboundWriter’s Topic Buzz feature mines Twitter for popular articles that are being circulated, honing in on the ones that are expressly related to the user’s writing topics (based on documents saved in InboundWriter). It then reports back on the article, link, hashtags, popularity rating, and the Twitter handle and Klout score of the person promoting the article. This allows the writer to see what is being published on their subject before they start writing, thereby sparking new ideas and enabling them to set the trends in their chosen field rather than playing follow the leader.
By incorporating these techniques into your overall content strategy, you can work through writer’s block and enhance your creative process to achieve success. Good luck and don’t forget that you can sign up for InboundWriter and try Topic Buzz – referenced in technique #6 – for free.