Media Shower writer Kari Brummond is well-known for her work in finance, law, and education.
Plumbers, industrial hoses, French doors, tax adviser — those keywords and their kin can strike even the most creative content writer dumb. Whether this writer’s block is an everyday occurrence or just once in a blue moon, you need strategies to push through the sludge and find an idea. Here’s a look at five activities to get your mind moving.
1. Get Off the Main Search Results Page
The main search results page can only take you so far when it comes to idea generation. Get off the main results page and look at “news” or “image” results. News articles help you find out what’s new, what’s important to consumers and what’s been happening in the industry, and they can often lead you to your angle
Image results are easy to scan, and they help to introduce new questions, problems or features you hadn’t previously thought to explore. Pair your keyword with another word or concept to alter the images that appear in the search results.
2. Home in on an Audience, an Emotion or a Season
If the idea isn’t coming from the keyword, change your lens. Start with a certain audience (parents, preppers, parrot owners, etc.), an emotion (fear, curiosity, etc.) or even a season, and look at your keyword through those lenses one by one.
Have a few lenses ready to use at any time, and run through them all when you’re struggling for creative content.
3. Look Around
It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’re writing all day long, but your computer screen definitely isn’t the most exciting thing in the room. Look around.
If you’re at home, you might see a new toy, a stain on the carpet, a kitchen you want to open up or a million other things. Can you, however circuitously, link your possessions, issues, complaints or observations to your keyword?
Turn your problems into ideas. What solutions do you have? How would your solutions be different if you were busier, had a tighter (or looser) budget or fit into some other category? As you answer those questions, an idea should pop to mind.
If you’re at a coffee shop, who’s there? What are they talking about? What would improve the shop? What do the owners need to know about plumbing, design, marketing or French doors? Use everything to stimulate the idea process.
4. Clear the Mind
The benefit of working from home is constant access to laundry and other super fun tasks. If you’ve been hearing the same stale ideas repeat themselves in your mind, take a break but unfortunately, not a Facebook break.
Walk away from the computer, fold a load of laundry, look out the window or unload the dishwasher. Just do something utterly mindless and often from the silence, an idea will rise.
5. Keep a Notebook
In many cases, more than one idea surfaces through the muck, or they pop up when you need them the least. Write these ideas down.
If you don’t you’ll forget them or even worse, they’ll clutter up your mind when you could be focusing on other things. Load a document with your ideas and note relevant keywords or industries next to them. Then, when you’ve got writer’s block, search through it. You may find exactly what you need.
Still craving ideas? Want more strategies to break through the mental sludge? Check out the Content Marketing Academy for content marketing tips; you might just get the perfect idea!