Content marketing is difficult. Even the best ideas for blog posts, email campaigns and social media posts don’t always translate so well into finished marketing copy. Sometimes you’ll just hit a brick wall and nothing will flow.
When this happens, the best thing you can do is save your document and move on to something else. Great content cannot be forced, and you will never find inspiration staring at an empty screen.
You might think this approach to content creation isn’t very productive, but you should also consider how productive poorly produced content will be for your organization.
It’s also worth remembering that content for the digital environment doesn’t have a print deadline. It should only be published when it is ready to be published. If you have targets to meet and a certain piece of content isn’t coming together as it should, it may be better to focus on another path that will get you there.
Note: I’m a great believer in the “good enough” approach to content marketing. Don’t strive for perfection — you will never attain it. Instead, focus on creating good, useable content that your subscribers and site visitors will find useful and that will drive engagement. The easiest way to figure out whether you are reaching this goal is to ask yourself the following question: Would I like to receive this information myself?
For me, the hardest part of creating content is writing the first line. Once this is on the page, I find the process so much easier. In this respect, I’m reminded of an artist friend who has to make a random mark (often just a smudge of charcoal) on her canvas before she starts painting. She tells me that it takes her mind off the vast, empty, uncreative space and lets her focus on the job at hand.
But sometimes, things just grind to a halt and you get stuck.
This doesn’t mean that the content you have worked on is useless. It may just not be the right time for it to work out.
Sometimes ideas are a little premature (or ahead of their time) and it takes an additional piece of inspiration to spark your creative juices and point your content creation in the right direction.
Content Marketing Inspiration
The inspiration for this blog post comes from a piece of writing (a book idea) that has been sitting on my hard drive for nearly half a decade. I always knew the idea was a good one, but it needed something extra to make it work.
The idea behind the text nagged away at me but never really went anywhere until I talked through some ideas with a couple of friends, which completely changed the way I thought about it. The biggest problem I have now is actually stopping writing.
Even though as a marketer or an entrepreneur you shouldn’t rely on others to produce your content for you (you are the expert, after all), this doesn’t mean content creation should be a solo effort. Seek guidance and inspiration (but not permission) from others, and the content, if it’s a great idea, will eventually write itself.
How do you overcome content marketer’s block? Share your comments below: