The Antidote For Writers Block
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” -Mark Twain
Constantly having new content is not only a good business rule it’s also a great marketing tool. You can use it to attract new customers, keep your existing customers interested, and win back ones who’ve drifted away.
Search engines are continuously trolling for new content. The more content you have the more likely you are to get picked up and improve your search engine ranking.
Any business owner will tell you it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to try to attract new ones. Existing customers already know your business and have given you some level of trust. To keep that customer continually coming back for more you need to give them a reason. What better reason than new information or content for them to read.
The lucky writer’s that are able to write leisurely or that don’t live by deadlines can afford to be afflicted without consequence. But there are those of us who cannot afford to sit back and idly wait for writer’s block to pass on its own. Articles need to be produced, blogs need to be updated, newsletters need to be sent out, etc.
To speed up the healing process writers have honed these various methods to overcome their blockage.
How To Method. This particular method can cure writer’s block and help you when you feel like you don’t have a creative bone left in you.
When you cannot think of anything to write about, pick a topic and tell your reader how to do it. This type of article is easier to write than others because essentially you are retelling a story from your memory instead of creating a new one. Think of it as producing an easy to understand guide.
First off pick a topic, and then tell your reader how to do it. Make sure to point out common mistakes or other things that could slow down their progress. Also make sure to include tips and techniques that will get them to their goal faster and easier.
The simplest example of this is explaining to someone how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You tell the reader to get two pieces of bread. Wheat bread is the best type of bread to use, as white bread tends to be too soft and can easily rip during the spreading of the peanut butter or jelly. Slather jelly on one side of bread. Use enough jelly so it covers the entire side of one piece of bread. Do the same thing with the peanut butter. Take the second piece of bread and spread peanut butter on one side of the bread until it is completely covered. Place the side of the bread covered in jelly against the other piece of bread covered in peanut butter. It is easier to eat the PB & J sandwich if you cut it down the middle into two equal sized halves.
Another reason “how to” articles are good is because they allow you to become the expert and show off your knowledge on the topic. For example if you own a business having to do with food or cooking, you can write a how to article about how to frost a cake like a professional. You get to show off your skills and knowledge all while informing the customer and gaining their trust. You then become an expert in their eyes and they are more likely to buy related products and/or content from you instead of your competitors.
In fact many businesses use “how to” articles to get leads from search engines. Users type in cake decorating into a search engine and your article describing how to do it pops up in their search. You inform them on various ways to decorate a cake like the pros, and then capitalize on their new found trust in you by getting them to buy a cake decorating tool kit or a report that goes into more detail on the subject.
Opinion Pieces. Another work around when you have writer’s block but need to write something is to write an opinion article. This type of article is just as easy to write as a how to article.
In any industry there rages a debate on some topic. Inevitably there will be a debate that divides the masses. Write an opinion about how you feel or where you stand on such an issue. If your industry has to do with fishing write your opinion on the Gulf oil spill. Or why you prefer one type of fishing lure over another. Or why fresh water fishing is better/worse than salt water fishing. Each industry has a wealth of topics to debate and express your opinion about.
If you don’t want to take sides, act as the mediator and present both sides of the debate. Show positives and negatives to all sides. Let your readers draw their own conclusions based on all the facts.
Below are some examples to get your mind thinking of topics to debate
> Something your competitors are doing better/worse than you
> Common misunderstanding/myth about your industry/business
> Common questions you receive
> New law/regulations having to do with your industry or business
The important thing to remember during this period of free writing is to not care so much about what you are writing. Just write whatever comes to mind no matter if it has to do with what you are working on or not. You can spend the entire time making a to do list or writing a mission statement. The exercise is just to get you to begin writing, to begin to get the creative juices flowing whether you want them to or not.
After the free write period take a short break and then come back and examine what you’ve written. Hopefully you have something you can begin to expand upon or an idea that you’ve gleamed from your dribble. At the very least consider what you’ve written as notes on a topic you can take in one direction or the other.
The important thing to remember is to not allow writer’s block to slow down your business. You can still crank out fresh content daily without worrying about where the ideas will come from.
Until Next Time…