Being on demand for our audiences is tough. Creating sexy, interesting, glamorous content every week is tough. Capturing audience interaction and empathy through content is tough. But, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Writer’s block is an obstacle all of us bloggers and journo’s face at some point in the content creation process. I can go from having a humongous to-do list of ideas and wonderful meaty posts that I need to get written to then having to sit down and have a content ideation process because I’ve completed everything I wanted to. There’s seriously no in-between, I can’t be the only one that feels like that?
What Causes Writers Block?
– Timing: Sometimes it’s not the right time to sit down and write. Your ideas may need to stew a little longer before writing them down.
– Fear: Worried about how people will react to a post?! Don’t! Fear is a major reason some writers never become writers.
– Perfectionism: You try to get it perfect in your head and never do, so you never begin. If you have an idea and then don’t have the confidence to follow it through you’ll never let your mind wander!
I attended SearchLeeds a few weeks ago, which is the largest search marketing conference in the North of England. I attended the event with my digital marketer head on, but after listening into some content speakers and presentations in dawned on me that the stuff I was learning could also resonate with blogging and Zest of Alice’s content strategy.
I’m not saying I’ve written content strategy that I refer to every month for my blog (because that would be far too organised for me!), as it would be hard to stick to it. I have evergreen ideas that I could write about whatever time of year/season but what about when I want to rant about the latest Instagram algorithm update?! But, I do have in mind the direction I want my content to naturally follow.
It can be difficult to think of ideas or topics to write about, even the most creative of people will agree. With a little inspo from SearchLeeds here are my top 5 tips for content inspiration!
1. Read, Read, And Then Read Some More!
The legendary Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Diving into a good book opens up a whole world of knowledge, grammar and creativity, it’s actually been scientifically backed too. Not only does regular reading help make you more intelligent but it can actually increase your brain power, reading regularly improves memory function by giving your brain a good work out. Getting lost in a good book can make it easier for you to relate to others too. Literary fiction, specifically, has the power to help its readers understand what others are thinking by reading other people’s emotions, according to research published in Science.
I try to read every night before bed, I feel it plays a huge part in my creativity and ability to imagine.
When I get writer’s block, sometimes it’s because I’m overwhelmed with ideas in my head but I’m unsure whether they have enough substance to actually create a post around so I always like to write a list of those ideas and then jot down notes of the structure of what the post could look like. This really works for me. Or perhaps you just have words, and those words are the beginning of an idea, I often use Word Clouds, my favourite website to use for this, is this one! They’re fun, easy to create and colourful!
3. Read Other People’s Blogs!
Let’s get one thing straight, I am not promoting content copying FYI – nor do I copy people’s ideas or content. I do, however, when I’m feeling uninspired or low about my blog progress, read my favourite blogs, stalk on Instagram, stalk on twitter and so on. I think it’s really important to support other bloggers and I love seeing someone I love sharing an absolutely banging insta shot of their latest fashion collaboration. I take inspiration from bloggers like Hannah Gale, Sophie Milner and Em Sheldon! Speaking of Sophie, I’ve been a tiny bit obsessed with her recently! I’ve been listening to her podcast with Millie Cotton and it’s so refreshing! The topics they discuss are so thought-provoking and current. I’ve also been taking a lot of inspo from her Instagram, she is the most amazing fashion blogger. Give her a follow!
4. Get Out And Do Something
Sitting in front of your laptop, waiting for your creativity to flow ain’t gonna’ happen. Creativity hasn’t got a switch where you can turn it on and off when you feel like, it just comes naturally and sporadically. It’s hard to not put pressure on yourself when it comes to creating content but the more pressure you put on your own shoulders, the more stressed you’ll become. Take a step back or a break. I find taking a blog break works wonders for me. I usually try and post around twice a week, three if I’m flowing but sometimes that’s too much for me when I have a full-time job and that’s ok. It’s important to have balance in not only your life but writing too, be realistic. Whenever I’m out and about out or travelling, ideas come to me and it’s like bingo. I just needed to get away from my keyboard.
5. Utilise Current Affairs
What’s hot right now?! Take Love Island as an example, there are so many angles I could write about when it comes to Love Island like:
– Body condifence
– Men vs Women representations on the show
– How I found real loveThe list goes on! Take advantage of current affairs and what time of year it is. I love when Christmas comes around because it’s all I talk about on here in December. Do plenty of research, choose an angle and run with it. You can do this! The people who read your blog probably care about your opinion or are interested in your opinion so why not voice it? That is after all that a blog is for.
Most importantly don’t be so hard on yourself and write about what makes you happy. I hope you can take some inspiration from this post!