Do you ever have those days where everything just seems to come to a halt? Where you don’t feel you are moving forward after having a string of ‘good days’? Everything that you seem to be writing should metaphorically be crushed up and thrown into the trash bin?
If so, let me give you a hug. Or grab you some tea.
Because I have totally been there. And for lack of better word, it sucks.
Thankfully, and I say this with the greatest kindness, this isn’t an isolated incident. Content burnout is a very real thing, and frankly, can be harmful if not taken care of. It’s very normal after a few days (or weeks, or months) to go by and you have a few days where you just can;t get anything done. So how do you get work done?
Here are a few tricks I use to stay productive even in the down times:
When in doubt, write it out. Whenever I am having a major case of content writer’s block, it usually stems from me trying to self-edit and format before I have written a single word! I’m sure you do the same thing as well. Freewriting is the greatest thing you can be doing in order to overcome any blocks in your mind. Don’t worry about the grammar, spelling, or even if you are starting in the middle of the article–just write.
Take It an Hour At a Time
If there is anything I know about myself, it’s that I can not continue to function if I repeatedly try to write something for hours on end, but find myself going nowhere. That just wasted more of my time. Instead, I tell myself that I will give it an hour. If I still am banging my head against the wall by the time that hour is up, it means I need to look at something else or move to my next order of business on my to-do list. Breaking things up into time chunks (or even achievement chunks) makes it easier for me to get some decent writing done–despite not feeling it.
Look to Pinterest for Inspiration
Stuck on what exactly to write about? Pinterest is the best search engine/inspiration board out there. Whenever I am staring aimlessly at my blank word doc, I head over to Pinterest, type in my topic, and just see what is out there. That is usually where I can get a spark of inspiration on what direction to take my posts, or what questions haven’t been answered yet that I can in my own posts.
Turn on The Tunes
Music has a strong influence on my mood, so if I want to work on writing, I always put on some very epic movie track worthy music. Whatever music gets you into a productive mood, make it a playlist and put it on repeat to get you pumped up and focused on your writing. (Here’s what I typically listen to).
Take a Break
I talk about this more in this post, but it definitely applies to content creation as well. Burnout in small businesses is a very well thing, and if you want to see any growth in your business, you need to take breaks. When you find yourself writing like shit, step away from the screen and do something else. Take a walk, play video games, people watch at a cafe–find a way to slow down your work day and reenergize yourself. You are certainly not a content-churning robot (Google hates those types) so don’t act like one!
WWYCW? (What Would Your Client Want?)
Remember that everything you write is for your ideal client. So write to that specific person. For my clients, I create brand personas that are used for all content created for their site. This way, whenever writer’s block decides to strike, I (or the business owner) can fall back on these personas to get some inspiration going in my brain.
Bonus: Have Guest bloggers and Freelancers Write Content In Your Down Time
Don’t feel that you need to write all of this content yourself! While you are working through your writer’s block, you can hire freelancers or allow guest bloggers to write content on your site. This not only gives your site some SEO love from Google, it also allows you to have more time to write quality blogs on your own. Be sure when hiring writers to find those who understand branding, SEO, and your unique value proposition. Little self-promotion: this happens to be my specialty. If you want every page on your site to be a home run with your clients without running yourself into the ground, step into my online office.
I turn to you now! What’s your go-to plan to get through those days when you are on the struggle bus? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂