Writing is hard. It’s even harder for small business owners and marketers who don’t write for a living but must create content to maintain their livelihoods.
When it comes time to develop an email, social post, blog article, or landing page, the blank page can strike fear into even the strongest writers.
Writing fears fall into three categories:
Doubts about your ability to write.
Inability to come up with ideas.
Worries over other people’s criticism of your work.
This article explains eight things you can do to get over writer’s block and other content creation issues.
Eight Things You Can Do to Get Over Writer’s Block and Other Writing Issues
1. Write Daily Even When You Don’t Have to
Writing every day will help prevent blank-page syndrome, that feeling you get when you haven’t written for a while, and you’re staring at a screen with no idea what to do next.
To beat it, develop a daily writing habit. If you don’t have something to write for work purposes, journal what you did that day, document your most significant accomplishments, or send a thank you note to a favorite client.
Writing is a lot like exercising. It’s easier to work out when you hit the gym regularly. It’s scary to go back when you haven’t been for a while. Developing content on the regular keeps you warmed up and in the habit, making it less daunting to jump back in.
2. Keep an Ideas Journal
Create a spreadsheet, database, or note page that you can access any place, any time, whether from a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Write down ideas for blog posts, emails, and other content when you think of them. Inspiration can strike anytime, whether during meetings, interacting with clients, or reading a competitor’s blog.
Jotting down ideas as you think of them will eliminate the pressure of coming up with something to write when sitting in front of a blank screen. The pressure to develop ideas is often the scariest aspect of writing. Having a list of them at the ready can relieve it.
3. Say It Before You Write It
For some people, thinking and writing simultaneously is an impossible combination. The pressure of conveying an idea while generating it is too much. Relieve the stress by leveraging the recorder on your smartphone to capture your thoughts before you write them. This practice can relieve the pressure of thinking and writing at the same time. Make the process more efficient by using transcription software to turn your recordings into documents. They can serve as the first drafts of your new pieces of content.
As an added bonus, writing that mimics regular speech is appealing and digestible. You’ll make much more of an impact on your audience if they feel like you’re talking right to them.
4. Make Your Writing Your Own
Many novice writers make the mistake of making their writing bland, neutral, or, even worse, mirroring someone else’s style. You will find it easier — and more effective — to write in your voice. Put words down on a page as you think and speak. Staying true to yourself is particularly important for small business owners and brand stewards. People want to know what you think, how you think, and what makes your business unique. Use your own thoughts and style to convey that information as authentically as possible.
5. Seek Inspiration
You never want to copy another writer or their style. However, there’s nothing wrong with turning to others for ideas. In fact, it can be a good thing. Seek out the top-ranking content for your industry sector in Google. Use it as inspiration for your material. Put your spin on it. You never know – your approach could top that of your competitors, earning you a prominent place in Google search results and maybe even some new business.
6. Stay on Top of the News
As you read or watch national, local, and industry news, look for timely angles you can use in your content. Is there a fresh spin you can take on a topic to make it current? For instance, is there a way to leverage inflation to explain why your products and services are cost-effective options in today’s economy? Or, maybe your business type or environment provides a refuge in these turbulent times. Timeliness can allow you to turn an evergreen idea into something contemporary and compelling.
Everything you write doesn’t have to be 100 percent original. It’s considered a best practice to repurpose content when it makes sense. Do you have a blog post that performed exceptionally well? For starters, update this blog from time to time so readers always get a fresh take. Then, consider transforming it into a webinar, video, or checklist. Doing this allows you to extend a good idea and get it in front of more people. Some people will never read a blog, but they will check out the material if it’s presented in a video or podcast. Why limit your good ideas to a single format or medium?
8. Give Yourself Time and Space to Write
Many business owners and other non-professional writers create content on the fly when they have a spare moment. Professionals don’t do this. They carve out time and work in a defined space when they write. You may find that you can eliminate writer’s block, fears, and other concerns if you treat the process as a “real” writer would. Book time in your schedule to write and do it in a quiet, distraction-free space. This simple change will help facilitate the process of creating quality material.
Writer’s Block: The Bottom Line
These eight tips will help you overcome any blocks, fears, or other writing issues you face. Over time, they’ll help you build the confidence it takes to create polished and professional content and a durable content strategy to boot.
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