How to Get Over Writer’s Block

Writer’s block happens to everyone. When you’re trying to create content for your website it can be extremely frustrating. Not to worry. Writer’s block will pass. Here are a few simple strategies to work through writer’s block and get back to being productive.

#1  Many times writer’s block is caused by a lack of motivation. You may simply not feel like writing. The best way to manage this type of writer’s block is to push through it. Start with the easiest writing task. Perhaps outline your content first. Or create a rough draft for the piece.

Another strategy is to tell yourself you just have to write one page. If you’re writing an article, then just write one paragraph. Taking baby steps helps you find a little motivation and sometimes that’s all you need.

#2  Perhaps you don’t know what to write about or you’re feeling uninspired. There are many fun ways to move past this type of writer’s block.

* Go for a walk and clear your head. You will likely have a great idea come to mind while you’re away from your computer.

* Listen to music or do something fun. Most often inspiration is lacking because you’re not feeling creative. Listening to music can tap into your creative side quickly.

* Read. Visit other relevant blogs. Read the news. Read a magazine. There are inspiring content ideas everywhere.

#3  Change your environment. It’s easy to get into a rut. When you change your routine it can pop you right out of writer’s block. Consider writing in a different room, at a different time of day or even at a different location. Head to your local coffee shop and enjoy the change of pace.

#4  Write backwards. Instead of starting at the top and working your way through your article, start at the bottom. Write your call to action. Summarize your article. Then work your way backwards through the piece. Write the last point you want to make before you summarize and proceed up until you’re writing your headline.

#5  Close your computer! Grab a pen and paper and write the old-fashioned way. There’s something freeing about writing with a pen and paper. You can then type it up and edit it later. Or you can fax it to your assistant and ask them to type it up.

#6  Finally, consider creating a few writing rituals. Rituals can help you set the mood. They help you turn your writing brain on and everything else off. Great rituals range from a cup of coffee and an outline to meditation or a quick walk around the block.

Writer’s block doesn’t have to stop you in your tracks. Push through it, work around it and get your website content created quickly and easily.

 

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Creating a Productive Writing Environment

Writing is difficult. Anyone that says otherwise isn’t telling the truth, or they’re not a writer. It can be even more difficult when you own your own business. You probably have a number of distractions, tasks and responsibilities. One of the best ways to make writing content for your business just a little bit easier is to create a productive writing environment.

Here are tips and ideas to help you get started.

#1 Eliminate distractions. While you may need to have your computer on to write, you don’t need the television on. And you probably don’t need to have your email account open. You certainly don’t need to be interacting on Facebook. Yet many people try to write while they surf, watch television, check their email and interact on social sites.

It’s just not productive. It’s like trying to drive and read a book at the same time. The best way to be productive is to focus on one task at a time. When you’re writing, get rid of all other tasks and distractions. Turn off your electronics, turn off your phone and close your email inbox.

#2 Clear the clutter. Clutter on the desktop creates clutter in your mind. Get rid of the clutter before you sit down to write. Better yet, don’t let the clutter happen. If you need to, however, clean your desk off before you write.

#3 What do you need to write? You probably need a computer or a pen and paper. Do you need something to drink? What about tissues or something to eat? Before you sit down to write, make sure you have everything you need. That way you can focus until your content is written. You won’t have any distractions or a reason to get up from your desk.

#4 Do not disturb. If you work from home, then try to set boundaries with your family. Let them know you’re writing and need quiet. If you have children and they’re young, then consider writing when they’re asleep. That way you can be more certain to have uninterrupted time.

#5 Surround yourself with inspiration. Writing is a creative process. Even if you’re writing very dry material, you still have to create it and make it interesting. You’ll have better success if you feel inspired and creative.

Surround yourself with things that make you feel creative. Your writing environment should be comfortable. Not too comfortable so you fall asleep but a place where you feel safe and productive. Some ideas for inspiring items include:

  • Plants
  • Photos
  • Books (especially books on your niche topic)

Finally, consider adding an element of time to your writing environment. Set goals for your content and your writing time. For example, if you have three hours to write, how much can you accomplish during that time? A clock or a timer can help you stay on track to accomplish your content goals.

Taking steps to create a productive writing environment can help you stay on task. It can improve your writing and make it more enjoyable. If you write content for your business, you owe it to yourself and your future to create a productive environment today.

 

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Five Ways to Find Great Article and Blog Post Topics

There comes a time in every online marketer’s life when they run out of things to write about. There are many solutions to this problem. You can hire someone to come up with ideas for you. You can hire someone to write the content for you, too. You can even purchase PLR.

These are all great solutions. However, you can also write the content yourself. You just need a little inspiration. Here are five ways to find great article and blog post topics.

#1  Grab a magazine from your coffee table. It doesn’t even have to be a magazine in your niche industry. Just about any magazine will do. Now take a look at the cover. Write down the headlines as they appear. Chances are they’ll look something like this:

  • The __ secrets to ____
  • Learn how to _____ today
  • ___ tips to ____

Once you’ve written down the headlines, replace the keywords with your own. Fill in the blanks. If there are ten headlines on the cover of your magazine, you now have ten articles or blog posts you can write.

#2  Jump on a social networking site of choice and read posts in your niche. Visit the pages of your industry guru and read their latest posts and information. Chances are you’re going to find many content ideas.

You may take issue or disagree with something someone said. That’s a perfect blog post. You may think that a topic needs to be expanded upon. You may read a comment to a social networking post that is the foundation of an article. Social networking sites are packed with content ideas. You just have to look for them.

#3  Read your own blog and review the comments. Skim past the ones that say “Thanks for the information.” Those don’t offer any value to you right now. Instead, look for the questions or the meaty comments. Those are ideal for inspiring content ideas.

#4  Read your forum and blog comments on other sites. Often these comments are enough to be an article or blog post all by themselves. Just polish it up and format it for the web and you’re good to go. If the comment or forum post is short, expand on it. Use your feedback to create article and blog content on your website.

#5  Make a list. Lists are easy to make and they’re well received online. If you’re struggling to find content ideas, write down three to five list ideas and tackle them one by one.

Article and blog post ideas are out there just waiting for you to find them. With a little creativity and inspiration you can turn an unmotivated writing session into a productive afternoon.

 

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Does Your Content Have a Purpose?

Content is often considered an online business owner’s primary resource. It drives traffic. It helps make a sale. It provides authority, credibility and liking – all buying triggers. It also helps you market your business.

Unfortunately, many business owners write their content without any direction or purpose in mind. They may write fantastic content. Yet if it’s missing a purpose, it’s missing an opportunity. So what do you want your content to accomplish? It doesn’t matter if it’s short like a blog post or an article. It doesn’t matter if it’s a larger content piece like a report or e-book. It needs a purpose.

Potential Content Purposes

  • To drive traffic to a web page
  • To increase SEO
  • To drive traffic to a sales page
  • To generate affiliate income
  • To boost credibility and authority
  • To motivate a response/comments/links
  • Collect opt-ins

You may find that occasionally your content has more than one purpose. For example, a report may be designed to collect opt-ins. In addition to the opt-ins you may also include affiliate links within the body of the report to generate income. Or you may link back to a sales page on your website to promote your products or services.

On the other hand, if your content is missing a purpose then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity.

Making the Decision

The best time to determine the purpose for your content is when you create a content plan. Different people take different approaches. You may plan your content for the coming week. Or you may plan it for the entire quarter. (If you don’t plan your content at all, consider starting a new practice. Planning your content helps you make the most of your efforts.)

When you plan your content you’ll likely determine the keywords and the topic. You’ll also decide when you’re going to publish it and where. It makes sense to integrate your content into your traffic generation, SEO, sales and marketing strategies. This means assigning your content a purpose.

For example, you may know that in three months you’re going to launch a new service. Your content during that month leading up to the launch will ideally support the launch. It’ll generate interest and excitement. The purpose of the content therefore will be to drive traffic to your opt-in page. People can sign up ahead of time and receive notification when you launch. They may also receive special pricing. Your content can also generate awareness for the need of your new service. Or it can send traffic to your sales page once you launch.

How to Include Your Purpose in Your Content

Every piece of content needs to have some sort of call to action. For example, if you want to motivate comments and feedback at the end of a blog post, you have to ask for it. That’s your call to action. If you want to send people to a sales page, you need some sort of “Visit LINK to learn more.” Your purpose will be integrated into your call to action.

Take a look at the content you have planned for the next week or month. Does each piece have a purpose? Do you have a call to action? Is your content part of your overall business growth strategy? If not, make some quick changes and start reaping the rewards.

 

Three Effective Writing Rituals

Do you have a writing ritual? Many people have writing rituals that they’re not even aware of. Others just sit down and write when they have time. Writing rituals are actually a great way to kick-start your writing. They help inspire creativity. Here are five effective writing rituals to consider.

#1  A shot of caffeine

It may sound cliché but there’s something soothing and invigorating about a cup of coffee. You can even make it a slightly decadent ritual and make a cappuccino, or drink your favorite tea instead. Of course, if coffee or tea isn’t your thing, consider a different drink. Perhaps a glass of sparking water or a smoothie.

It’s not really the drink that matters but the ritual. The process of making the beverage helps set the stage. You’ll probably begin thinking about your writing while you’re brewing your coffee or making your smoothie. Then, once you sit down at your desk you are already in the right mindset.

#2  A breath of fresh air

There’s something about sunshine and fresh air that stimulates creativity. It gets the blood pumping through your veins and into your brain. Embrace the out of doors and take a walk before you sit down to write. You can also take a walk in the middle of your writing workout to refresh and re-energize.

If the weather isn’t cooperating with your ritual, consider doing yoga or stretching for a few minutes indoors. The goal is to get your heart pumping and the blood flowing. It stimulates your brain and your creative energy.

#3  Outlining

The process of outlining your content accomplishes several things at once. It’s an effective ritual that can help you get in the right frame of mind. It’s also a great way to ensure a smooth writing process. If you sit down first to outline all of the articles, blog posts or reports you’re writing, then writing them is actually quite easy. You already know what you want to say.

Outlining doesn’t have to be elaborate either. You might simply write the headlines and sub-headlines for your content. Or if you do prefer to fill in the details, you can embrace a more formal outlining process.

Writing rituals are incredibly effective. Take a look at what you normally do before you sit down to write. If you don’t have a ritual, try one of these three or create one of your own. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

 

 

Three Simple Rules for Great Website Content

Want to write great website content but you’re not sure how? There are only a handful of things that differentiate great content from not so great content. Learn to master these few tactics and improve your content.

#1  Write conversationally

Conversational content is content that is written in a friendly tone. It’s almost personal – as if you were writing your article, blog post or report specifically for the person reading it. Conversational content is written using informal language. Instead of saying, “Business people write content” you would say, “You write content.”

Conversational content often breaks a few grammar rules when it makes sense. For example, you might write an incomplete sentence. For impact. You might use ellipses…

…to create effect and to draw the eye through your article.

Make sure when you break grammar rules that there’s a reason for it. Breaking them just to break them is – well, maybe fun and a bit rebellious, but it’s not productive.

#2  Embrace your personality and voice

Your personality and voice are one of your biggest assets. They help differentiate you. They help you create and strengthen your brand. If you’re sarcastic naturally, then your content can and should be sarcastic too – when relevant and appropriate. If you’re sentimental then your content will reflect that. It’s much easier to embrace your personality than to fight it. And it makes great content.

Study the content and writers you like and read often. How do they share their voice and personality?

#3  Make sure your content is easy to read and understand

We’re talking about formatting here. Many people tend to get a bit carried away with formatting. There are so many underlined, bulleted, and bolded words that you’re not sure where your eye is supposed to go. Instead of enhancing the reading process, it makes it more difficult. It’s distracting.

Simple formatting is best. Simple formatting may include bold or underlined subheadings. You might have either bullets or numbers but probably not both. (Sometimes both are okay depending on the article content and information.)

Pay attention to the content you find easy to read and the content that seems distracting. Is there too much formatting? Not enough? When the article isn’t easy to read, what would you do to fix it? What would make it easier to read?

Learning a few simple web content strategies can help you generate the results you’re looking for. You’ll receive more incoming links. You’ll receive more readers and traffic. And you’ll likely receive more customers. The better your content, the faster you’ll be able to grow your business. To your success!

 

 

Tips and Ideas to Re-purpose and Reuse Your Content

Content is an investment. You spend a lot of time writing it. You probably also spend a lot of time planning and researching it. It makes good business sense to make the most of your investment. When you re-purpose and reuse your content, you maximize your return. Here are five tips and ideas to re-purpose and reuse your content.

#1  Build it up – Gather articles that fit together nicely and create a report. You’ll want to add an introduction and a conclusion. You may also need to add some transitions and polish the content to fit a cohesive theme. To monetize the content, consider adding affiliate links where appropriate. You can also include the occasional product or service promotion for your own business.

#2  Break it down – If you have existing reports, then they’re perfect to create articles and blog posts. You have many options here, too. You can simply pull apart segments of the report to create articles. Add an introduction and conclusion paragraph and you’re ready to publish. Or you can take it further and create lists and other information-packed articles.

For example, if you have a “how to” report with ten steps and ten pages of content, you could create an article that’s a much abbreviated version of the report. List the ten steps with a one or two sentence explanation. You could also write a “three things you need to do to…” article. In fact, with ten steps you could write three of those articles.

#3  Republish old content with updates – Often evergreen content isn’t as evergreen as you hope. The world moves quickly and most industries grow and change regularly. Take a look at your “evergreen” articles and blog posts. How can you refresh them with updated content?

#4  Partition e-books – This method is similar to breaking down reports to create articles and blog posts. You can break e-books down into reports, articles or blog posts. In fact, you can get quite a lot of content from an e-book. Take a look at the e-books you’ve purchased or written and brainstorm content ideas.

#5  Group reports – If you’re looking to create a new information product, consider grouping them to create an e-book. You’ll want to organize the reports in a logical manner. You’ll likely also need to add an introduction as well as a conclusion. Transitions will be necessary and you can add some nice graphics. Add checklists, worksheets and lists to add value to your e-books and reports for extra value.

Re-purposing your content is a smart business strategy. With each new piece of content you create, consider how you might be able to use it in the future. Content is essential for online business success. Make the most of your efforts and maximize your content to the fullest.