It happens to all of us… Writer’s Block. And when it hits, it hits HARD. Quality content still needs to be produced even when your brain is uncooperative and feels disjointed. Let’s clear the cobwebs and examine some ways to get you back in the right headspace.
Okay, first of all let’s talk brainstorming content ideas. They are lurking in the fringes of your mind; you just need to ask yourself the right questions for them to materialize.
1) Are you willing to address little known facts or “mysteries” about your industry?
For example, let’s say you’re a professional moving company. Many people move several times in their lifetime, can you shed some light on ‘shortcuts’ to a successful move (ie. keeping your clothing in your dresser drawers and shrink wrapping the drawers shut) or help people understand how quotes for moving services are determined? Not only is that fantastic content but giving out authoritative advice builds trust and sets you up as a go-to expert in your field.
2) Do you have special insight or predictions about the future of your industry?
People like to have an inkling about what’s coming down the pipeline. If you have strong beliefs about a particular topic individuals should be aware of, share it. For example, if you’re a Financial Advisor and see Robo Advisors as being a trend that will not disappear, weigh in and express your feeling about the human vs. computer battle for clients. Individuals will have interest in your opinion and about how you see the future panning out. By nature, humans want to feel that they are well-informed and armed with loads of information about future possibilities.
3) Do you have a “lightning rod?”
Do you have something up your sleeve that makes you stand out from the pack? It may be an opinion that runs the opposite direction of the majority of your peers. If you do, use it to your advantage. Sure, it may spark an argument or be disproved but a little controversy goes a long way… even if you’re just playing Devil’s Advocate.
4) Are you willing to share failure just as much as success?
Everybody has taken a small misstep or fallen flat on their face. Don’t just focus on your high points, share lessons learned in the gutter. Being upfront will win you lots of fans and encourage those who are experiencing the bitter taste of failure. Just look at investor and entrepreneur James Altucher. He’s very open about his roller coaster of experiences and has attracted legions of readers who hang on his every word just by being brutally honest.
Now that we’ve got your idea mill cranking, let’s look at some simple everyday strategies you can incorporate into your daily schedule.
1) READ. Yes, read materials from around your industry. Eventually, you’ll identify particular websites, blogs, or authors that really inspire you. Also don’t be afraid to check out content more loosely related to your niche and “cross-pollinate” ideas. You’d be surprised by how many connections you find between seemingly autonomous industries.
2) JOT. Keep a notepad close. It sounds old-fashioned, but putting a pen to paper makes formulating ideas seem more anchored in reality. Don’t let a fleeting thought spark and then die, capture it in a quick note to yourself.
3) FOLLOW. Keep tabs on thought leaders and experts in your field. It’s so easy to be plugged into great channels of thought with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. It’s free, so use it.
4) CAPTURE. Everyone has a method to keeping record of content or sources they want to come back to and review later. I quickly Bookmark articles on my browser or pin visual snippets on Pinterest. Find a method that works best for you and organize away!
5) BREAK. Feeling depleted? Run an errand, chat with a coworker, take 5 minutes to daydream. Sometimes switching mental direction for a moment is all you need to refresh and regroup. Don’t be afraid to walk away temporarily when you’ve hit a wall.
Use these methods to clear the mental fog and get on the right track for effective content creation!