It happens to everyone. Staring at a blank screen, casually flitting between tabs in the hope that inspiration will spontaneously strike. You want to write something. Something relevant that your prospects (or potential prospects) will enjoy. Something they’ll get some value from. Something that will turn them on to what you do…. but what the heck do you actually write about? Yes, it even happens to those who’s life revolves around content creation.
It’s frustrating, especially when it’s supposed to be the fun side of marketing. We are all told, time and time again, that content is not only desirable but absolutely necessary for lead generation, engagement and, ultimately, conversion. I’m here to tell you the same thing: it is absolutely necessary for all of those things, and more! Which isn’t surprising at all, considering what I do for a living.
But this blog isn’t going to be about the many benefits of creating and marketing via content… although I may write that one another time. This blog is all about beating blog writer’s block – something that pretty much every client I speak to regarding content and marketing cites as the reason for not producing any content. At all.
The good news is: it’s easy. Rich coming from me, perhaps, but true nonetheless. Every pro has different methods to overcome the blank-screen aversion (I must confess, it happens to me more often than not. Where do you think the idea for this blog came from?) and here is how I do it (some of the time) in three simple rinse-and-repeat steps that you can either use to write your blogs yourself, or to create a brief to pass on to your relevant wordsmith.
… and on behalf of all wordsmiths, everywhere, I thank you for your custom.
Let’s be getting on with it:
STEP #1: ESTABLISH A CALL TO ACTION
This is kind of the No.#1 rule for content marketing as a whole. All marketing, come to think of it. It’s a good starting point for any piece of marketing you or your team are looking to create. Content for the sake of content isn’t a bad idea (in fact it’s an essential process for nurturing your leads), but having an ultimate end-goal (i.e. a call to action: CTA) in mind is very useful for establishing an angle, and an audience.
“What do I want the people reading (or watching/listening in the case of podcasts and videos) to do once they have finished reading (watching/listening)?”
For the sake of the next two steps, let’s pick an example.
EXAMPLE: I want the readers, small business owners, to take on a £2 trial of a service my company provides.
STEP #2: DRAW FROM “REAL” LIFE
Humanbeings are storytellers. They love to tell stories and they love to hear them. A good story should be inform and entertain, without trying too hard to do either. Every piece of content should tell a story of some form. It could be blatant, or it could be subtle. What matters is the reader feels compelled to read on.
Here’s a few ideas…
– Current affairs/controversies (avoid local/national politics… unless you’re feeling very brave and can remain mostly unbiased)
– Your own life (successes, failures, random anecdotes from work or personal)
– Recent events (what have you literally done today/this week/this month)
– Something you’ve recently been asked about (you are asked for your advice all the time. Pick the most recent – appropriate – question, and answer it!)
Somewhere in there, there’s the bones of a story. Now all you need to do is flesh it out.
EXAMPLE: I was recently struck with a tremendous case of writer’s block… despite being a professional writer. If it wasn’t so common, it would be ironic.
STEP #3: JOIN THE DOTS
You have a call to action, you have a story to tell. Now all you have to do is write around them both and join them in the middle.
In my experience, everything can be connected, especially when you have information to impart. A small nugget of information – be that technical, strategic or even philosophical, can go a very long way in a story.
Ask yourself: “what would the reader want to takeaway from this?” Other than whatever the CTA is, of course. Within good content, there is value that goes beyond the CTA.
EXAMPLE: A blog that detailed my process for beating writers block.
Well, what dy’a know? I have successfully circumvented my own writers block… by writing about my process for circumventing writers block.
And now, to tie it all together with a nice shiny bow.
If you’d like more effective and entertaining strategies for better marketing, better sales and healthy business development, why not take a free trial Success Club? Click the banner below (or here, if you fancy!) and see what else we can do for you
See what I did there?