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6 Tips for Conquering Content Writer's Block

DATE PUBLISHED: October 22, 2013

Back in 1967 when the Beatles were recording "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," producer George Martin asked drummer Ringo Starr if he'd overdub some maracas on a few tracks.  Ringo was not enthused. "George, I'm not a percussionist - I'm a drummer!" he exclaimed.  It probably wasn't the first time - and certainly not the last - Ringo was asked to do something he didn't want to do.  In fact, we've all felt like Ringo at some point in our professional lives, whether it's staying late at the office, trying to save a doomed account or traveling to some boring conference…in Clevelandcontent creation

You also may feel like Ringo when wondering how to continuously create content for your blog.  "I'm not a writer!" you say. "I'm a small business owner.  I didn't sign up for this.”  And so on.  But facts are facts: in your bones you know your social media strategy is contingent on publishing consistently compelling content. You also know that the days of trying to game the search engine system with poor content are overQuality content - not just any old content - is king. 

So how can you conquer writer's block and establish a limitless pipeline of really cool content?  For starters, you can: 

  1. Trust Your Instincts.  No one is more attuned to the needs of your customers than you.  You are there, in the proverbial trenches everyday, so trust your instincts.  Make a list of customer challenges and write about how your company addressed them.  Think about high-profile issues in your industry and give your professional opinion.  Recount examples of happy customers and when possible, include their happy smiling faces.  After all, a blog should exude expertise.  It will make your business more attractive to customers and, as an added bonus, please Google's search algorithms.
  2. Provide Unique Commentary.  There's nothing wrong with citing news and opinions from elsewhere in the industry - the key is to properly cite and link the author (even if it means diverting traffic away from your site.)  Whether you agree or disagree with someone else's opinion, what matters most is making your opinion heard.  That's why it's important to bookmark and regularly check a dozen or so key industry sites.
  3. Mine Social Media.  Your social media accounts are a goldmine for content ideas.  Take customer and follower comments and use them as a springboard for a longer, more flushed-out blog post.  Ensure the communication works both ways: provide a link to the longer blog post on the social media network in question, solicit reader feedback, and keep the conversation going.  You'll inevitably attract new visitors and generate leads in the process.
  4. Go Digging For News.  Sometimes you'll have to proactively search for new items and when you do, Google News will be your best friend.  Better yet, set up Google Alerts; enter keywords and get targeted news delivered to your inbox.  For certain industries, such as the solar energy industry, the amount of news for the taking is seemingly endless.
  5. Create Your Own News.  People love polls, surveys, and any other measurements that justify their existence and decisions.  In the business world, benchmarking is a critical tool that helps companies calibrate spending levels, set salaries, and negotiate contracts.  So make your own news.  Roll out a survey to customers, crunch the data, blast out a press release and suddenly you've got some exclusive, proprietary content - don't be surprised if other outlets pick it up as well!
  6. Outsource It (Or Some of It.)  There are two options here.  The first is a partial outsourcing arrangement where you strike a deal with guest bloggers.  They blog on your site; you blog on theirs.  It's a great way to maximize your audience while allowing for an outside perspective.  On the other hand, you can outsource all content writing to a third-party provider.  If you do so, proceed with caution.  It can be difficult to get someone with minimal experience in, say, the ins and outs of auto financing, or how the price of solar panels in China influences demand in the US, to writing compelling posts.  A totally hands-off approach rarely works; you'll have to stay engaged with your provider, making sure the content is high-quality and success is defined at the outset (e.g. improved SEO, higher conversions, etc.) 

Of course, there are other tips and strategies on how to continuously create content, but these six approaches will keep you busy for a while.  Which is also why it's helpful to create a content management work plan.  For example, post an "industry commentary" blog on Mondays, analysis on a news article on Tuesdays, a customer success story on Wednesday - you catch our drift.  If the plan is codified, you're more likely to follow it.

Which brings us back to Ringo.  You're probably wondering how things turned out.  Rest assured, it was a happy ending.  In fact, you can hear his effervescent maracas throughout the album, especially on "A Day in the Life."  It really ties the song together.  So the next time you're paralyzed with writer's block, staring at that empty, white screen, just think of Ringo.  If he could do it it, so can you.

Looking for more tips on how to continuously create content and generate leads in the process?  Download our lead generation ebook: 
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