15 Proven Ways to Overcome Creative Block from Today’s Top Experts
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You can’t turn a blind eye to content creation anymore. Businesses of all sizes have realized quite well that marketing without content is almost impossible.
You must have noticed that more businesses than ever are now creating content to excite and satisfy their audience.
But what really makes the cut is how well-crafted your content is and how often you publish on your website or blog.
Just as the level of competition in your industry rises, you need to push out more and more content.
If you don’t produce quality content consistently, your online marketing efforts will not yield the desired results.
So, it’s crucial to make sure that you never get stuck or halt your content creation. Never, ever – unless you are OK with jeopardizing your business.
But businesses often struggle with content creation.
After a startup or small business has published a bunch of articles or blog posts, they start to wonder what to write about next.
Topic ideas betray them. They get confused and irritated.
If this sounds like you, here are some practical ideas that you can use to not get stuck with your content creation.
Keep an Idea Journal
Ideas can come anytime – no matter where you are. You may get ideas when you are driving a car or using a lift.
Ideas often strike when you least expect them.
You can’t wait to capture ideas because, by the time you reach home or sit down to write, they might have gone forever.
What you should do instead is take hold of ideas the moment they hit your mind – using a journal or a notebook.
So, wherever you go from now on, carry an idea journal with you to jot down ideas without waiting a minute.
A little journal or notebook can easily fit anywhere in your handbag, but it can prove to be your best friend that you can refer to for writing new pieces of content for your site.
Failing to plan is planning to fail, right? Whichever aspect of your business you want to improve, it requires planning in advance.
Many businesses fail with their content creation only due to lack of brainstorming the topics in advance.
If you’re truly serious about your content marketing efforts, you should never forget to plan.
If you run a business blog, create a list of categories that you’d like to cover.
Being aware of 8-10 main categories that fall within your niche helps a great deal when you want to keep your content creation on the right track and maintain consistency.
Likewise, you need to think about the types of content you’d like to publish to boost your marketing – well in advance.
Depending on what your current requirements are, you may need to focus on just 2-3 content types at a time or expand into a variety of content types.
Going a step further, you might also like to decide upon the length of each type of content.
Use a Content Calendar
Better yet, use a content calendar.
A content editorial calendar is where you document all the essential details of your content creation plan.
What will you post, and when will you post it? Your content calendar has the answer – at the least. But it does a lot more.
When using a content calendar, you can document who will write a particular article or blog post and what tone or style of writing they will follow.
A content calendar allows you to plan content on specific themes for each month.
Equipped with a content calendar, you can plan content for several months in advance.
A content calendar keeps your content strategy organized in the first place. It helps you build a framework for the story you want to tell about your company.
It provides a holistic view of all the content marketing activities you perform to fulfill your business goals.
When you have the bigger picture by your side, it is easy for you for you to turn your content ideas into broader strategies for business success.
You’ll be happy to find out how using a content calendar can save you time and be strategic in your approach.
Everyone loves a content calendar, and you will too.
Hire a Freelance Writer
If you’re getting stuck with your content creation because your in-house team is too small or inefficient, it’s time to hire expert help.
Full-time employees are expensive, and hiring freelancers is the best thing to do as your content marketing aspirations get bigger.
Most entrepreneurs or startup CEOs bring freelance writers on board because
- either they lack great writing skills or are short of time
- they want to amp up their content creation and gain an advantage over the competition.
Hiring a freelance writer is a profitable decision.
If you’re planning to take your content creation to a whole new level and give your brand a better positioning, you should work with freelancers.
But finding good freelancers isn’t always easy because anyone could easily claim to be a freelance writer these days.
Skilled writers know how to turn a dull piece of writing into something that appeals to the target audience.
They are quite adept at picking a complex topic and presenting it to readers in a simplified and understandable manner.
They can help you create copies that attract people and convert prospects into buyers.
So, before you start looking for freelancers, make sure you interview multiple candidates.
Evaluate them on the basis of skills, working experience, and previous track record.
Also, make sure that the freelance writer you hire is in line with your understanding.
From the Experts:
1. Paul Madonna, artist, and writer
This exercise is very simple: you draw something without looking at the paper. Concentrate the glance at the thing you are drawing; it’s like drawing blindfolded when you do not see what you are drawing.
How does it work? Drawing blindfolded saves you from checking lines during the process itself; it saves you from criticizing yourself because you can’t criticize yourself for anything done blindfolded.
Such drawings look like worthless sketches, and yet they have some graceful imperfections and inexplicable beauty.
2. Camm Rowland, executive creative director(Digital Kitchen)
“Drink coffee before going to bed.”
This advice doesn’t sound logical from a medical point of view, but we are not doctors here, right?
Coffee does not let you sleep; you will lay in your bed and think of everything. That’s what we need!
Write down everything that comes to your mind and re-read it all in the morning: 75% of your writings will look worthless, 20% will seem funny, but 5% will be totally gorgeous!
3. Christian Helms, owner of Helms Workshop
One of the best ways to avoid creative block is to admit you have a problem and give a new meaning to it. Try to look at your creative task from a different perspective: what would be a decision if this product intended for dogs, not people? What if a restaurant was decorated like a movie?
Try to look at your creative task from a different perspective: what would be a decision if this product intended for dogs, not people? What if a restaurant was decorated like a movie?
Changing perspective and approach, we can find unexpected and unique solutions.
4. Chaz Russo, graphic designer
“Listen to music.”
Once you feel a creative block, you should restart your consciousness.
First of all, get up and leave your workplace even if you have a deadline. Find a new room, a new place where you can sit and rest. Turn some music on.
It will help you draw a new picture in your head. When you do not have words to describe your thoughts, such an exercise can be very refreshing.
After listening to some music and drawing a picture in your head, you will be ready to take your notebook and make a new sketch or to write something new.
5. Blake Whitman, ex-creative director (Vimeo)
“Take a walk!”
The most creative moments come when you spend some time among nature. It might be not easy to do, especially if you live in a big megalopolis such as New York. Although it can be difficult to travel, you can always try to change your surroundings. Take a walk to some park or just peer at images of Yosemite… Maybe it will help, who knows?
Although it can be difficult to travel, you can always try to change your surroundings. Take a walk to the park or just peer at images of Yosemite… Maybe it will help, who knows?
6. Ji Byul Lee, creative director (Facebook)
“Take a shower and clean your room.”
Take a shower for a long time: you’ll think a little differently in a shower somehow.
Water washes old thoughts away, and you feel refreshed.
Then, do the cleaning. Lee confesses he can’t think clearly when it’s a mess around. The chances are, cleaning will help you organize your thoughts and come up with new creative ideas for your work.
7. Claire Dederer, writer
“Closet yourself in an expensive hotel.”
This tip only works if you’re a little low on money. Check into an expensive hotel for three days. Bring everything you need to excite yourself (sweets, coffees, bourbon, books –
Check into an expensive hotel for three days. Bring everything you need to excite yourself (sweets, coffees, bourbon, books – reading helps you make writing better, etc.), give the key to the reception clerk and ask him not to disturb you and not to give you keys, no matter how persuasive you beg.
Now write ten thousand words. If you feel you can’t deal with this task – just think of the money you’ve spent on just sitting here and staring at the wall.
8. Alexi Murdoch, musician
Here is top 10 from Alexi:
Take all watches out of your house.
Do the same with mirrors.
If you live close to water (lakes, rivers, etc.), take a dip in it.
Do not think about the future.
This of the audience as if they were your enemies.
Give up all food for a while.
Take photos of strangers in a local second-hand store.
Remember, there are 168 hours in a week.
Download some creative application for your mobile phone.
If nothing else helps, cut your forefinger.
9. Simon C. Page, graphic designer
“Find your beach.”
Anyone who visits Simon’s blog on Flickr knows he spends more time on the beach than beach-rescues usually do. This is a place where he feels most comfortable.
It’s very important to find your own beach – wherever it is – and go there as often as possible. Always take a notebook, even if you do not have any thoughts to write right now: its presence can generate new ideas.
Always take a notebook, even if you do not have any thoughts to write right now: just its presence can generate new ideas.
10. Pixel artists of eBoy
“Enjoy your crisis.”
11. Thomas Doyle, contemporary artist
Wikipedia is an inexhaustible source of random facts that helps with generating new ideas. Start reading something, and move from one page to another. New information can push you toward something new in your work.
New information can push you toward something new in your work.
12. Mark Jones, illustrator
“Imagine yourself as an opossum.”
Imagine yourself someone or something else: a chef at the restaurant, a pilot, a hot dogs seller, or even an opossum. How do they look at the world?
Such an exercise sounds strange, but its task is to help you look at the problem from a different angle. If you need to stand on your head and imagine yourself an opossum to come up with new ideas – just do it!
Each of us has a genius inside, and we only need to wake him up.
13. Tim Hume, illustrator
“Spend some time next to a washer.”
Give up everything, go and wash your clothes. Tim confesses that when he sits and looks at a running washing machine, his thoughts calm down and come to order.
Tim confesses that when he sits and looks at a running washing machine, his thoughts calm down and come to order.
14. Tom Muller, graphic designer
The best way to clean your mind might be some routine work: go shopping, read comics, or watch TV.
Tom Muller believes the home shopping channels to be the best variant to watch when you experience a creative block: they do not provide any serious or philosophical information to think about; thus, they can be a perfect variant to relax and clean your mind for new creative design ideas.
15. Graphic designers from The Heads of State
“Eat spicy food.”
Nothing cleans your mind (and makes a man cry) as much as spicy food. After you’ve eaten a very spicy dish and cried over it, all your problems might seem trivial.
Content will continue to be the backbone of marketing.
However, now that more and more businesses are creating content, you need to devote more time to your own content creation.
Prepare yourself to produce and publish lots of fresh content.
Consistency is what will help you beat out the competition and fulfill your business goals.