I’m a copywriter, so I’ve never had writer’s block.
Not really, I’m lying.
As a writer, I’m incredibly familiar with writer’s block. And although I don’t know for sure why you personally suffer from it, by laying it out for you, you might find it helps you to unlock it, so you can crack on with creating amazing content.
What’s causing your writer’s block?
There are lots of reasons for writer’s block, but the five most common reasons are:
1. You’ve left it to the last minute
Nothing crushes your creativity quite like pressure.
By squeezing in writing your blog posts between five billion other tasks, including running your business, your creativity suffers massively.
So, you put it off or dip into writing your content when you can. And when you do, you end up unsure of what you’re actually trying to say.
One way to break that cycle is to go back to an old blog post.
By giving one of your oldest blog posts an update, your creative returns because you’ll delete all the outdated stuff, add in all the stuff you’ve learned in the 5 years since you wrote it. By the time you’ve finished, your mind will be fizzing with ideas for brand spanking new content.
Oh, and update the published date to today’s date – people want to read content with the current year date, not one from 2017.
2. You’re writing from scratch
If you have to wrack your brains for ideas every time you want to create a blog post, your enthusiasm for writing is going to disappear pretty fast.
One way around this is to keep a log of potential post or title ideas to make writing your weekly or monthly offerings effortless.
Whenever you’re inspired by other blog posts, customer questions, a quirky story you want to share or a delicious chunk of wisdom you’d like to dispense, write it down in a notebook.
When you’re searching your brain for title ideas, don’t stop the moment the first viable option pops into your head. Spend another 10 minutes drilling down to squeeze out as many ideas as you can.
Do that and before you know it, you’ll have a load of ideas to keep you going for weeks and months to come.
3. You don’t see the point in blogging
You can only force yourself to do something you should be doing for so long, and writing blog posts is one of the first things many business owners let slip.
Because they’re not writers, so they find updating their customers with regular blog posts a waste of time. They’ve got a job to do after all
So, to keep your enthusiasm high, look out for signs your content has been useful and valuable to your target audience by keeping an eye on:
- Article and social media comments
- Feedback via email
Every time somebody engages with your content, make a note of it and smile. These likes, comments and shares will give you a little confidence boost that will help you to write amazing stuff, especially when you don’t see the value in articles.
There’s huge value in it, and celebrating positive feedback is a great way to win yourself round to writing them more often.
4. Words aren’t your thing
Here’s an unusual piece of advice for a writer to give:
You don’t have to write words in your blog post.
Okay, bear with me on this…
Your blog should be a place where you share little pieces of yourself. Nuggets of wisdom and slices of helpfulness. If you’re better at communicating in:
Your audience wants to get to know you better, and you do that more effectively by communicating in the medium you’re most comfortable with.
But remember: search engines can’t crawl your video, audio or infographics, so make sure you include a search engine friendly summary or a transcript to boost your SEO.
5. You question yourself
I’ve left this one to last because it’s something even the best writers do.
Every time you start a post, you hear the whisper of self-doubt and worry if what you’re saying is useful.
And you end up telling yourself:
- You don’t know who you’re talking to
- It’s all been written before
- You aren’t qualified to write about this
For this, jump back to point three. Look back and feel inspired by the engagement you’ve enjoyed on previous posts. You’ve added value with your blog posts before, and you’ll do it again.
But first, you need to get past your doubt and write it!
Now go and write!
Writer’s block happens to us all, even me, and I’ve been a copywriter for years. So, remember, the next time you’re struggling for something to write about:
- Update an old blog post to spark fresh ideas
- Look back over positive feedback you’ve had in the past
- Write down any ideas you have in a notebook
- Believe in yourself
You’ve got loads to say, and you’re not going to let a little writer’s block stand in your way, right?
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Matt is a freelance copywriter, specialising in whatever you throw at him. He’s the author of the comedy book series The Bumpkinton Tales, runs writing workshops in schools and has hyper-mobility in his thumbs.