Does your cursor blink at you, taunting you to come up with something witty and profound for your blog or other content marketing this week?
Our creative wells can all run a bit dry sometimes. And when we’re trying to deliver quality content to our readers, friends or connections, the pressure to create something brilliant can often send our muse packing. (Look, there she goes, hightailing it out the door like someone who did way too many tequila shots and doesn’t want to be reminded of what she may have done at the bar last night.)
When you’re stuck in neutral and want to write a great blog post, create effective content marketing or even just post Tweets that go viral, here are some ideas to lure your muse back in – at least for a cup of coffee and a bagel.
- Answer common questions: Seems simple, but I’m sure there are the same ten questions you always get about your business, book or project that everyone always asks. Why not turn each one into a blog post or create a weekly Q&A video, answering reader questions? Marie Forleo releases a Q&A video every Tuesday for entrepreneurial women. While her videos often branch out to other topics or interviews, they still tend to start with a question she’s been asked many times. What questions do your customers or clients always ask? Start documenting them and plan for a blog post series, video or podcast.
- Add a spice of pop culture: The Holy Grail of PR is to talk about something topical or celebrity-related. Spin your area of expertise into a commentary on the latest hit song, blockbuster movie or media superstar and add some pizzazz and fun to something that might be a bit dry. One of my best viral blog posts was one I did on “Four Powerful Business Lessons from James Bond and Skyfall“. And this one I did about the fall of Lance Armstrong’s brand.
- Revisit or clarify your Brand Strategy: Craft a strong brand strategy and think about what you stand for, why you do what you do, and what your customers really care about. Chances are it goes beyond just your products or services. Is there meaning in your message where you can highlight something related to your business? Brainstorm on a white board every possible topic related to that mission or vision. If you are a nutritionist, what other areas do your clients care about? Why do you do this work? To help them survive a dreaded holiday party? To better deal with family criticism and expectations? To boost their self-confidence? Open the aperture and think bigger about your audience’s needs and what benefits they get, use cases they might encounter or related challenges they may be having. This recent interview I did for Social Media Today, in advance of my conference keynote this week may help.
- Showcase other experts: You may not have anything witty to say this week, but I’m sure there are others in related fields who do. And who doesn’t love hearing another voice from time to time? Interview other experts or feature guest posts, as I’ve done with marketers, entrepreneurs and rockstars that I admire – and heck, you may even learn something in the process. My Slice of Brilliance columns & videos, like ones I’ve done with Betsy Talbot of Married With Luggage about how to woo your audience with great content or a guest post from digital strategist Linda Rubright on better SEO in just 5 minutes a day were extremely popular and well-shared.
- Recycle and repackage: Not everything you do has to be completely original. Sometimes, people like to learn in different ways. Maybe you can turn that popular post from last year into a podcast, with fresh updated information. Perhaps you can take a great presentation you did and turn it into a Top 10 tip sheet. Don’t assume your content is “once and done.” It’s still valuable and important for all the people who didn’t know you or know about it the first time it ran, so just repackage it and tie a different color bow on it.
Photo credit: D. Sharon Pruitt, Pink Sherbet Photography, Flickr