If you are into affiliate marketing, content marketing, online or digital marketing then your work is about helping other people through your writing. Writing and creating engaging content is your core business and it is recommended that you try to write at least 3 posts per week in order to stay ahead of the game. Some people write more, others less.
Since starting this business, I have tried to write consistently as this is one of the pillars of success because Google and the other search engines grow to trust your site and the information you put on it, rewarding you with higher rankings, and therefore more traffic!
But what happens is you get the dreaded “writers block” and find yourself unable to write anything, let alone meaningful posts that your readers are looking for? That’s when you need some information on how to fix writers’ block and if you read on, you’ll get just that.
Every Writer’s Nightmare: Writer’s Block
Firstly, you should know that ALL writers, EVERYWHERE, suffer at some point or other from writer’s block. It can affect amateurs, professionals, long-established writers and newbies the same way. You end up staring at a blank piece of paper with no idea of what to do next.
But have no fear, you are not alone: it won’t be the first time you’ve faced this (we’ve all had this experience in one school exam or another) and it won’t be the last time you face it either.
So the first step is always “don’t panic” – just accept if for what it is – a temporary blip in your writing whilst you gather ideas and inspirations – and then move on.
The second step is simple and just involves replacing the blank paper/screen with something you either agree with and can support, or disagree with and need to dash.
There is nothing worse than staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen not knowing how to fill it, but the minute you give yourself a problem to solve or idea to argue against, you’re off!
You will get your mojo back and you will soon be writing once again, but in the meantime, try these top 10 practical tips to keep you in the flow.
1. Look Around
This is a really easy way to give yourself something to start with. Look at the things you have around you that you are interested in. It could be books, videos, old magazines, your children, a pot-plant, car, cushion, TV programme – anything. In looking around ask yourself whether you like the things you are looking at or not? And if your answer is “not”, then ask yourself what it is you don’t like about them and why? Then begin writing about that one thing. Overcoming writers block means starting writing about anything and I’ve found my room and the things in it, as good a place to start as any.
If you find lots of things you like or that remind you or a situation, person or place, then start writing about that. Once you have broken through the ‘blank page’ syndrome, you’ll find it easy to continue writing about the day you bought your favourite ring, or the day you’d been looking forward to when the new puppy arrived.
Once you start writing about something, you’ll find that ideas bounce off each other like balls on a ping-pong table and you’ll be able to set about writing your killer content soon.
2. Get Up and Move, Then Look Again
Most of us have a desk or table that we always sit at to do our writing, but the problem with that is that you always get the same view – the same view out of the window, the same view of the furniture, your bookcase or your garden. But what happens if you deliberately move and look at things from a different perspective? Chances are you’ll see things that you’d forgotten you owned, or read a book title or see a splodge of wall paper that looks unusual.
In my house, I usually sit on the edge of the sofa using a small desk with my laptop. I can see the door to the hall and the kitchen and one bookcase. But in my room, I actually have 3 other bookcases which I don’t usually ever look at. When I did this exercise myself, I was amazed to see the different ornaments, books and pictures that I was just overlooking in my day-do-day life.
These are things that I know I own but because of my habit of sitting in the same place, I simply don’t ‘see‘ anymore. When I moved, the familiar became unfamiliar and the unfamiliar became a great source of writing inspiration.
3. Find a Book or Magazine and Open It To Any Page
This is one of my favourite things to do whether I’m suffering from writers block or not. I love to find any old book, ask myself a question and let the universe guide me to opening it to a relevant page. I then read that page and find the messages that are there for me.
Now I gave up believing in coincidences a long time ago, preferring to consciously create my own life by directing my thoughts, and the order and creativity in the universe, never ceases to amaze me,
This exercise is also great fun and you can repeat it again and again until you find something that you want to write about. You can use books, magazines, random searches on the internet or newspapers – they are all great fun to use and you never know what you will create for yourself unless you try it.
4. Think About A Problem Then Solve It
As I said in the opening of this article, our business in content marketing is about helping people. We are not selling things but answering questions and problems that people are looking for online. So ask yourself a question:
“Who did you last help and how?” Or “What do you want to know about your niche next?”
If all else fails you could research and write a post on writers block!
Think about what problems people have that read your blog – then think about different groups of people such as:
- Young people
- Older people
- Single people
- Working people
- Working parents
- Single parents
- Over 50s
- 30 somethings
You see how you can separate people into different categories and then address their particular problems. So if your blog is on fishing, could you write a specific post on fishing for each of the above categories, or other categories that are relevant to your niche?
What problems would they face, and how could you help them? Changes are you already know this information if you are writing about a hobby or interest of yours, so it will be easier to tap into the information you already know and move on from there.
5. Do Some Word Association.
This is a fun one that may well surprise you! You remember how it works?
You begin with a word, any word (like ‘cat’ or ‘garden’ or “children’) and then you think of the first word that comes into your head and write that down – then you repeat it until you get to something that you think you could write about.
What’s so great about this is that you should try not to think too hard about the words and so let your inspiration take over. That way if becomes almost automatic and you can put your conscious brain to one side for a few moments and let your sub-conscious brain take over. You never know where the flow will take you so let it unfold and enjoy it.
6. Do Some Research
This is a great way to fix your writer’s block. Do some research into a topic you are interested in or take a look at other people’s sites within your niche. You will often find that there are topics there that you know you could write about as well.
We are definitely not talking about copying here but doing some research and looking around to see what other things interest you. You might find a whole new category that you could write within for your blog which will help get you out of your rut.
7. Write a ‘Best of’ Review Post
‘Best of’ posts tend to be one of the best ways to monetise a site and can be good revenue earners. The idea is that you write a review of the best 5 or 10 products in a niche, such as the ‘best 5 electric kettles or the ‘top 10 yoga mats’.
The benefit of these kinds of posts is that you are usually writing about something that has a lot of technical information, such as what it looks like, the colours it comes in, the features and benefits etc.
This means that you are writing and getting back into the habit of writing, but the things you are writing about are mostly factual so it should be easier to write about.
8. Ask Your Friends & Family What They Want To Know
This is a good way to get other people’s feedback on what they want to know about your niche. If you have thought about other things to write about for people in different categories, then it’s a good idea to go ‘straight to the horse’s mouth’ as it were, and ask people what they would like to know.
You might be pleasantly surprised about the different things that they are interested in about your niche. You can show them your site and see how what else they’d like to know. If you don’t want to show them your site, you can just ask them about things they are interested in and why.
It’s always interesting to see things from other people’s perspectives and it will give you an insight into what other reader’s think of your site.
9. Offer a Competition – Ask What Readers Want
This is a fun way to engage with your readers as well as getting some great ideas about things to write about. Offer a competition online and set an end date. Your competition could be very up front about ideas such as:
“Send in your top 3 things you would like to see on the site” – you could do this as a prize draw type competition.
Or you could do a “complete the sentence in 15 words”-type competition asking people something like “The best thing to add to the site next would be………………
You might get some funny answers and some serious things that people are interested in too. You can offer a relevant prize and then announce the competition winners on your site too so that gives you something else to write about.
10. Do a Case Study
Depending on your niche, you could launch a case study category and do an interview with people in your niche. This could be an entrepreneur, successful person in your niche, or it could be a customer who has done well using a product or service you promoted.
Case studies are a great way to fix your writer’s block because you only have to write the questions and then use the answers that you get from the interview with the other person.
You can also turn this into a series, doing one case study a month or something like that.
Questions to ask your interviewee will depend on your niche, but again, think about what the readers want to know and go from there.
I hope this post has given you a few more ideas for getting over your writers block. Remember, writers block is only a temporary thing and once you get back into the habit of writing, using the ideas above, you’ll soon be bashing out those posts once more.
Wishing you all a great day……have fun.