How I Overcame the Worst Case of Writer’s Block Ever

As I sat down at my desk this morning, I asked myself – what topic do I feel like writing about today? I’m always looking for engaging and shareable content that not only I would want to read about, but I think others are generally interested in reading as well. I must admit, sitting in front of the computer with writer’s block might be the worst possible thing that can happen, especially during billable work hours. As I jump from one idea to the next, I find myself having some pretty scattered thoughts and I wonder, how can I possibly write an article in this state of mind? The answer – you can’t.

Rather than wasting time trying to come up with a topic that you can’t stay focused on for more than two minutes, here are the things I did in order to get myself over my writer’s block. If you’re facing the challenges of writer’s block, hopefully this article can help you get back in the zone too!

Get organized

Just as I mentioned above, my thoughts this morning were all over the place. Rather than having a topic in mind to write about, I was browsing online to see what was trending in the industry, what others were talking about, etc.

I got a little excited when I thought about writing how one of my favorite shows, ‘The Office’, came to an end last night, and how the show taught me what to expect in the professional world. After about ten minutes spent on that topic, it was on to the next idea, and finally I noticed that I had about four different articles partially started, each with zero direction. If you’re faced with writer’s block, don’t keep perusing the internet to help you come up with an idea. If you don’t have an idea, focus on something else until you do. This will save you time and frustration, I promise.

Find the right jams

Growing up, I never had a very long attention span. In high school and college, it was impossible for me to write a paper unless I had complete silence. This became a huge challenge to overcome once I joined the professional world, especially in a field that is ALL about talking. With time comes great skill though, and now I’m proud to say I can bust out an article while listening to multiple people talk in the background.

Unfortunately, when writer’s block hits, it’s not that easy. If you’ve got headphones at your desk, use them. Having only the sound of music blasting in your ears will certainly be a factor in helping you concentrate when writing. Whether it’s rock and roll or classical music that gets you focused, this tactic will certainly help you overcome writer’s block.

Get focused

With a dozen distractions in the traditional workplace, it’s especially challenging in these instances to close yourself off to everything going on around you long enough to write read-worthy content. I know this, because I spent half my morning trying to write when I always just found myself landing on Facebook, Twitter or both.

When you’re serious about getting over your writer’s block, there’s a few specific things you can do. First, go outside and breathe in some fresh air. Second, close out of any websites that could take your attention from writing your article. For me, this meant closing out of all social media networks and only having your text document and your thoughts. Another helpful tip is to move your workstation somewhere else, which can help with concentration and perhaps even a burst of creativity.

If I can stress one thing through this article, it would be to not write until you’re confident that the content you’re creating is worthy of being published. Regardless of who you’re writing for, don’t just publish content for the sake of publishing it. Make it something worthwhile that’s not going to waste people’s time. This way, no matter how long your article takes you to write, when it’s finally finished, you’ll have something you’re genuinely proud of.

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The 3 C’s of Content Marketing

Content marketing has become the new buzz phrase in the digital space. It refers to the creation and distribution of media and published content in order to attract and engage a clearly defined target audience.

Most website owners understand the importance of unique web content. However, producing unique content that not only captures your audience’s attention, but also holds that attention, converting folks into profitable customers is still a budding concept. While most ecommerce websites do not rely heavily on content, they do use it to promote return visitors and customer loyalty.

The idea of content marketing is that you can communicate with potential customers without hard selling. Instead, you have a conversation with customers, giving them the information they need to make their own purchase decisions. In the process, you deliver a valuable message to customers who should reward you with their business and loyalty. The nuts and bolts of content marketing include social media, video and web.

You can develop an effective content marketing strategy by using, what we call, the “three C’s”: conversation, creativity and consistency.

Be Conversational

First things first, conversational content is jargon-free. Customers do not need to understand your industry, therefore they do not want to decipher your lingo. You should always write in a style that is straightforward and to-the-point.

The purpose of having a conversation is to engage in dialogue. Your content should stimulate a response from customers. Do this by asking your audience questions that will make them interact with you on a personal level. This will be rewarding to both you and the customer.

Get Creative

As a PR and SEO specialist, I get to wear many hats. One of my favorite hats is being able to get creative. Content marketing is the art of storytelling. The purpose of telling a story is to get the customer to take action. Unlike traditional advertising or sales, marketing is about soft action, like visiting your website.

Keep in mind, most customers visit a website for a particular reason. And when they do, they expect to be engaged in a business conversation (refer to C1). Therefore, if you can be entertaining and provide value, you can build customer loyalty, ultimately keeping customers coming back for more.

Practice Consistency

Probably the most difficult of the three C’s is being consistent. Constantly producing quality content while still meeting performance goals can be quite a challenge. We know. However, it’s important to develop a schedule that dictates when you should produce and publish content. We refer to this as an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar will hold you and your team accountable and ensure the work gets done.

In addition to increased online visibility and web traffic, the biggest benefit of being consistent is that you can establish yourself as an industry thought leader. And keeping your content fresh and consistent is the quickest way to portray yourself as an expert in your niche.

Content marketing is taking the digital world by storm. Don’t be left behind; educate yourself on the benefits of using content marketing. Become familiar with its tactics and most importantly, be consistent!

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5 Steps to Writing Read-Worthy Content

It’s easy to call yourself a writer these days, especially when almost everyone is a blogger which as we all know, doesn’t require any technical writing skills in order to be published. When it comes down to it, what sets a good writer apart from the rest of the population is the ability to be captivating with your words, and to understand that it’s more than just knowing how to put sentences together.

If you want to make a difference in the world of writing, it’s imperative to know and understand the steps that are required to have engaging, read-worthy content that people want to talk about. Here are five steps worth taking that will lead you to writing success, regardless of your writing experience.

Relevancy

It’s not uncommon to see an article every now and then reflecting back on something that happened a couple of weeks ago, but most of the time, people don’t care about old news. If you want to be a good writer with engaging content, you have to be relevant and write about the now. Whether it’s politics, restaurants, or celebrity gossip, make it current and make it something that people can talk about.

Single idea paragraphs

It’s okay to be excited about a topic, especially if it’s really juicy, but before you start writing, remember that it’s always a bad move to mix multiple ideas into the same paragraphs. Just like writing a run-on sentence is a big no-no, it’s just as bad to mix multiple ideas into the same paragraph. This is because people’s attention spans are short and if you don’t cut your topics into sections, a readers’ overall focus can get lost.

Include sub-headings

Adding another visual item to the list, sub-headings are an important factor in writing read-worthy content. While sub-headings don’t have much to do with your grammar or writing style, including sub-headings in an article will keep your ideas organized and will be much easier for the reader to follow.

Use personality

One of the most important steps to writing something that other people want to read is to include personality in your writing. As opposed to reading something where you write with proper grammar and refuse to use conjunctions, wouldn’t you rather read something that flows just the way it would if you were listening to someone speak? Don’t be afraid to throw your opinion in there, be creative with your vocabulary and author something that you yourself would want to read.

Proofread

I can’t stress this step enough. Proofread, proofread, proofread! After you write an article, look over it at least three times before hitting publish. Putting out content that isn’t 100 percent makes you look lazy and unprofessional, and catching a type-o in someone else’s work makes their content and the research they put into the article less reliable. Always check for errors and this way, you can be totally confident in the work that you’re putting out to the public.

In order to be an effective and successful writer, these five steps will certainly help get you started. Don’t forget to be yourself and make sure that your passion for the subject matter reflects in your writing. Produce content that you’re proud of and chances are, others will enjoy reading what you have to say as well!

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