The struggle to start creating content is real.
Nearly all of us have been there: you’ve been on a creative streak, and then you open a fresh document on your computer, full of possibility. But all your great ideas seem to have just evaporated from your mind.
The great ideas you had seem overdone and tired. You realize you probably have nothing to say.
In ancient Rome, they believed that you could tap into the inspiration of a “genius” to get inspiration for your next project. If there was no inspiration, you’d simply wait until the divine being visited again — so much for Roman mythology.
Writer’s block is still a challenge for content marketers today with consequences. Unlike a successful novelist, you can’t tell your client or editor that you didn’t meet your content deadlines because your “genius” didn’t show up.
If your creative well has run dry, and you’re struggling to break into a flow of creating more content, it’s not always an issue of not knowing what to say. Sometimes it’s knowing where to start.
Thankfully, writer’s block is far from terminal. You can still revive your mind when you’re feeling creatively dull and get some new ideas flowing.
If you’re feeling tapped out, we have some tips that will help you snap out of a bad case of writer’s block and nudge you back in the right direction.
What Do You Do When You’re Out of Ideas for Content?
To some people, pumping out great content on interesting topics every day is a talent that comes easily. But it’s not reserved for the chosen few. It’s accessible to everyone — you included.
So, what do you do when you find yourself butting heads with the dreaded writer’s block? Turn your content into a renewable resource. Let me explain.
Create a Renewable Source of Content
A few years ago, Google announced its plans to reduce its enormous energy consumption by running 100% of its data centers off renewable energy. Not only was this good for the tech giant but also for the environment.
The idea behind Google’s grand plan was to ensure that it never runs out of energy or relies on external power again. They wanted to sustain their energy consumption by using natural renewable energy resources like solar and wind and become self-sufficient, save money, and save time.
Just as Google relies on renewable energy to keep their data centers running, you rely on content to fuel your business.
And that content is constantly being generated — think of all the blog posts and articles written before, during, and after a big event like the Super Bowl.
You can do this by creating relevant, high-quality, and renewable content sustainably.
The secret is to set things in motion before you reach a dry spell. That way you’ll have an endless stream of inspiration no matter the season.
Take some of the pressure off too. You don’t always need a strategic brainstorm. First, go back to your existing well of content and refresh, reuse, repurpose, and further wring out the great pieces you’ve already made.
Creative Examples of Breaking Through the Block
Misfit Media figured out how to wring out content after placing video at the forefront of their content strategy. It worked well for a while, but over time, the company discovered that an omnichannel approach would be a more effective way to reach their audience.
So rather than create a bunch of content from scratch, Misfit Media reshared videos across YouTube, Instagram, and other channels on the web, but that wasn’t all they did. They took a different approach with their audio content — they repurposed it for their blog, YouTube channel, and email with remarkable results.
“It’s not just taking that one episode, posting it, and then saying, see you later, it’s having it on our blog, on our YouTube channel. That’s why we love our audiograms because our audiograms allow us to snip that little piece of content, send it out in an email blast.
“And our email blast is getting 45% open rates on these emails and then repurposing that on social. And it kind of becomes this whole ecosystem of the podcast where our potential prospects see us everywhere and see all these bite-size little content pieces that then they’re able to come back around and be like, ‘This is the company that I need to work for. I didn’t think about it this way,’” stated Camberlyn Sparks, Marketing Coordinator at Misfit Media.
Although frustrating beyond belief sometimes, writer’s block isn’t a particularly complicated state — before you freak out, first go back to what you’ve done and what’s already great and breathe new life into it. Refresh, update, and repurpose — because it’s still great content.
BlueCat’s Diana Iskoldski knows all too well the power of turning conversations into valuable content.
“So, we repurpose content in a bunch of ways. We turn our episodes into these little PowerPoints as well, that we post on social, as little summaries, but not everyone’s an audio listener, and that’s okay. And if you feel like you can meet people where they’re at, and I know this takes time, summarizing a blog episode is not a one-hour affair ... Summarizing a podcast episode is not a one-hour affair, but if you can invest the time there, then you’ve got another excuse to share it, and another excuse to interact with your guest,” stated Iskoldski.
OpenView’s Meg Johnson also works her magic cure on writer’s block by amplifying voices of experts across different channels. One of the clever ways she does that is through creating a content carousel or merry-go-round.
“So, one positive is if we have a podcast where people are excited to participate, that helps us create a great first impression with the types of people we want to invest in. On top of it, just being a great way to get a warm welcome with some prospects and build our network. It also provides us a lot of content that we use on our blog and in our newsletter. And then in turn, the blog and newsletter kind of turn it back to the podcast, which is something I like to call the marketing merry-go-round or the content carousel,” stated Meg.
Don’t Create Content for Content’s Sake
In an attempt to feed the content marketing beast, it’s easy to get caught up in creating content for the sake of it.
You can become almost frantic, believing you need to constantly churn out fresh new pieces of content to keep up with the competition. It’s a big mistake that often leads to poor-quality content based on topics you’ve covered several times before.
You may argue that creating lots of content works to some extent. Maybe you even have all the resources at your disposal for content creation. Without a clear, discernible strategy to it, you’re better off not producing the content at all.
It gets more challenging when you’re creating lots of content at scale and trying to maintain high quality and relevance at the same time.
If all this sounds familiar to you, it’s time to refocus on your audience. Instead of creating content you care less about, spend time listening to your audience and finding out:
- Their biggest struggles
- The questions they ask via email or social media
- How you can use your knowledge and authority to provide relevant and valuable content
Reignite Your Creativity Spark
It’s tempting to call it a day when writer’s block strikes, but that can cause problems further down the line.
If you feel like giving up, Casted is here to help you kickstart and fuel your content engine.
Through our Amplified Marketing process, we help you revive your already exhausted creative mind and create brand-spankin’ new, awesome content from what you have.
Want to know how brands like Misfit, BlueCat, and OpenView cured their writer’s block? Read our Amplified Marketing Playbook to find out how Casted can help you develop a clear content amplification strategy to break the dry spell cycle for good.