I’ve been sitting here for a couple hours with my hands hovering over, (and intermittently lightly strumming) on the computer keyboard; trying to begin typing what would be my next blog entry. But my mind is blank and my hands are unusually still.
With the dramatic push for original content across all marketing channels, there is more and more pressure for marketers to find new material and ideas and present them in an interesting, informative and, at times, entertaining fashion. So here I sit, humming, strumming and filling in the silence by bouncing, admittedly bad, ideas off my cat. Even he hasn’t seemed to like the options. So it finally hit me… I’m sure I am not the only one to experience the dreaded syndrome of “blogger’s block.”
You may have noticed this before: a new blog that starts out (ambitiously) with weekly posts that are well-researched, clever and interesting; which eventually trickle down to monthly postings, and then… Poof! Cut to six months later, and it hasn’t been updated in weeks. It ends up a clearinghouse for rehashed PR content from the company website. Somewhere along the way, the person responsible for updating the blog never quite gained the momentum they expected.
Like it or not, we’re all in the content business now. Blogging requires content, and sometimes our creativity simply goes stale and we sit staring blankly at our computer screen hoping that something, (anything!) will pop into our heads that puts words on our blog. I have been guilty of overthinking, under-thinking, over-analyzing and sometimes simply overlooking a subject matter. If you’re out of content ideas for your blog, don’t give up. Use the following suggestions to help you overcome your blogger’s block.
- Write a list.
People love lists. We like to know the “10 most popular” or the “10 worst” or any number of anything you feel like sharing—as long as it’s relevant to your blog’s focus. And the best part is, you can create your list based on real research, or you can create your own personalized list based on your opinion. Recently I took a Top-10 Patriotic City list and translated it into a relevant article for a travel insurance client. Perfect!
- Put a new twist on an old topic.
It’s possible that situations have changed since a blog post you wrote months or years ago. If you wrote a blog post a while back, and your industry or situations have changed since it was written, link back to the original article and tell your audience about the updates. Make it relevant to NOW, putting a new spin on a previously researched topic.
- Put a difficult topic in layman’s terms.
Back to travel insurance: teach your audience the difference between the different types of trip protection, for example, and what is covered. If there is a topic in your industry that most people find difficult to understand, write a post breaking it down for your audience so that they can comprehend it. If there’s a new program, tell your audience what it means, how they can use it or how it can affect them. You’ll be providing information to your audience that they can use, and they’ll thank you for it.
Blogger’s block is a necessary part of the marketing trade, and has probably happened to the best of us. In a world where postings come frequently, it’s key for marketers and professional writers to keep their content fresh and relevant. Screenwriter John Rogers said, “You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” Tell that to my hands that have been hovering over the keyboard for the past hour. Even writing an article about “blogger’s block” involved a little over-thinking on my part. Just know: it’s just part of being a marketer.
The key is to keep going anyway, right?