When it comes to creating epic online content one thing that is very likely to trip content creators up is a lack of ideas. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, what timezone you live in or what colour socks you prefer to wear. Content block simply does not discriminate and let me tell you, it can be a nightmare. In the past when I’ve suffered from content block. I know for a fact that I’ve churned out some terrible content just so that I had something to put out.
That was until I took a step back. I realised that if I’d have just paused to take a little time out I could have found some awesome inspiration. This could then have resulted in some really wicked content instead of some subpar material. So without further ado, I’m going to share with you some of my top tips for combating writer’s block and content block.
Don’t quickly churn out content because you feel like you have to
One of the best tips I can give you is to take your time with your content creation. Don’t quickly write up a piece of thin content that adds no insight into your topic of choice. Don’t desperately rehash the same subject over and over again. And please, please don’t start chatting about completely irrelevant things to what you don’t normally talk about. I understand that many content creators have deadlines when it comes to writing social media posts and blog posts. This also applies to website copy as well as taking photos. However, if you just take a little breather to brainstorm you’re likely to come up with way better content, trust me.
If you’re struggling with finding lots of inspiration and can only find enough content for social media but you also have a blog, you may also want to ask yourself if a blog is right for your website, brand or business. If you’re struggling you might want to just scrap it and focus purely on your socials. Another option is to hire someone who can write for you. There any many skilled writers out there who would happily create amazing posts for you. We at Canny Social offer both copywriting and content creation services. We also can help when it comes to finding inspiration. If this is something that you’re interested in drop us an email over at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can head over to our contact page.
Plan in advance to really fight content block
Another top tip? Don’t leave your content creation until the last minute. Looking to post content for an upcoming event? Get planning months before. Why? Well, this means that you have the time to come up with the best ideas and create the best content. Seriously, there’s a reason why many brands start creating their Christmas content in the Summer. It’s not just because they’re crackers about Crimbo. Planning is essential. Not only does it mean you can come up with some really good stuff, it also takes away a lot of stress and pressure.
Always be on the lookout for inspiration to help you fight content block
Now one thing you might really, really struggle with is coming up with inspiration for your content. Well, you’re certainly not alone. Every day people desperately look for inspiration and ideas. Many claim that it’s too hard, everything has already been done before and it’s just getting a bit too saturated. Well let me tell you, inspiration and ideas are everywhere. There are plenty of new and innovative blog posts to be written and photos to be taken. You’ve just got to keep your eyes peeled, always be on the lookout.
When it comes to blog post and website copy, look back on your old content. See what was successful and well-received. Can you add further to the topic? Great! If not, move on to something new. Get yourself on the likes of Pinterest and see what others are doing. Obviously don’t start copying people, that’s shady. Instead, look at what they’re doing and see if you can add value. Pinterest is also a fantastic place for designers as the visual platform is jam-packed full of colour inspiration, graphic design work and art. Another great place? Instagram. For many industries, the Gram is the ideal place to discover ideas if you are say a photographer, graphic designer or even a store owner. Other social media platforms like TikTok, Twitter and Facebook can also be great sources of inspiration.
Books are also a good source of inspiration. Recently I read Any Ideas? By Rob Eastaway which was a fantastic read. We at Canny Social are actually giving away a copy over on our Twitter account this month if any of you are interested. Anyway, the book was really insightful and thought-provoking and it has inspired me to pick up more books on the topic of coming up with ideas.
Continue to educate yourself on your industry or topic of choice
That also brings me to the topic of education. Educating yourself is so important. Not only does it keep your brain active, but it also allows you to expand your knowledge so that ultimately, you’re more clued up. Whatever industry you’re in or whatever topic you are writing about there is always more to learn. Whether you read a book on your industry, attend a class or course or watch a YouTube video, growing your knowledge can only help when it comes to the content that you produce.
Personally I love learning. Sometimes I sit and put time aside but most of the time I find myself learning new snippets of information throughout the day just by stumbling across things in real life and online. That’s one of the things when it comes to conjuring up new ideas, I often tend to find inspiration in the most unlikely of places which is why I always have either a notebook on hand on my phone with me for my notes app.
Write down and keep a log of all your inspiration
And that brings me onto my last tip, writing all your inspiration down and keeping a log of your ideas. Like I mentioned above, I often find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. Because of this I always have my phone on hand with my notes app or a physical notebook to jot down my ideas and findings. Throughout the day I find my mind can be unbelievably active. When I’m not looking for ideas I somehow stumble across dozens and before I know it my creative juices are flowing and I can’t stop. Rather than ignore these golden thoughts, I keep a log of everything. Yeah sometimes I discard a lot of ideas later on but I like to have many options.
As well as typing up my ideas and physically writing them down I also like to take pictures and sometimes I even purchase physical items that I spot and know will help with ideas for either my own content or my clients. For example, recently I was out and about and spotted some Easter-themed craft items that I thought would come in handy for a client’s Instagram content. Other times I’ve been out and about and spotted a nice scene that has invoked an idea so I took a shot and then stuck it on my mood board.
Invest in a physical mood board, whiteboard and planners
Although Pinterest is great, sometimes a physical mood board is also incredibly useful too. For example, in the Canny Social office, we have a corkboard that we can pin inspiration to, ideas, notes and pretty much whatever might help us. We’ve also got a whiteboard for brainstorming and keeping track of our day to day tasks. We also use printed out weekly planners, an array of notebooks and we love a good to-do list. Seriously, our office is like a gold mine of ideas and that’s just how we like it.
Naturally discovering ideas can tackle content block once and for all
By discovering ideas you can fight content block and create way better content which can in turn help with things like SEO, photography, website copy, blog posts and even social media posts. For example, you may have had poor Twitter engagement due to scraping a Tweet together last minute. By planning ahead and taking advantage of your stash of ideas you can prevent this from happening. Instead, you can see better interaction which then may even bring you new leads.
Ultimately when it comes to creating any form of content, inspiration and ideas are everywhere. You’ve just got to look out for things and keep in that creator mindset. The chances are ideas will come to you during the most unlikely of times like when you’re out and about or watching an episode of some new TV show. Don’t discard these thoughts as you never know what they could be transformed into. Log every idea for later review and never try and force yourself to be creative when you’re suffering from a severe case of content block. Forced ideas rarely transpire into successful projects especially when your heart and soul just isn’t in it. Oh and don’t forget, nothing is overdone, you’ve just got to take a new approach, flip things on the head and before you know it you’ll come out with something innovative, engaging and exciting.
Further reading on finding inspiration, ideas and overcoming content block:
If you’re after some more content on finding ideas check out these awesome pieces:
- The Art of Finding Ideas by Robert Bruce
- 5 Tools for Social Media Content Inspiration by Justin Kerby
- 7 Ways To Find Inspiration For Social Media Content by Sujan Patel