How to Avoid Writer’s Block – Content Marketing Tip # 2 For Generating Awesome Content

Content Marketing Guide

Great!  As part of your overall marketing strategy you’ve made the decision to start blogging and now you’re wondering how to avoid writer’s block.  I think this may be what hinders many people the most from starting a blog.  Their afraid of not knowing what to write.  But most of us don’t wake up in the morning unable to talk, or with nothing at all on our minds.  Successful blogging is just about developing a ritual to get those thoughts onto paper or screen.

Keep A Content Backlog and Style Bank

Content backlog

How to avoid writer's block
Photo courtesy of Sharon Drummond

This is the best blogging weapon in my arsenal.  I keep a backlog of content I want to write about in Notes on my iPhone/iPad.  When ever a concept hits me for a new post I write it there.

Magazines are a great source for content ideas.  I’m always scanning magazine covers for catchy titles that I can ad to my backlog.  For example I’m looking at the August version of GQ magazine on my desk right now.  On the cover reads “32 Pages of The Best Suits, Shoes, Ties, Jackets & Accessories You Need This Fall”.  I could take that catchy title and turn it into something like “32 Tips On The Best Social Media Marketing, How To’s, and What Not To’s, You Need For 2013”.

Style bank

The second thing is to keep a style bank of available post types.  Once you realize that there are many ways in which you an create post and content for your blog you’ll never struggle with writers block again.

Keep in mind that a blog post does not have to be a 600 word essay.  I’ve read in a lot of places that you should for SEO purposes make a post at least 300 words.  My position is that you’re writing for your readers.  Sometimes posting a simple quote may be what your readers need.  Most of you know I’m a big fan of Seth Godin and often his post are just a few thought provoking paragraphs.  Other times he’ll expand on a topic in a longer drawn out post.  T

Here are a few post styles and links to sample content to get you started.

I’m sure there’s a lot I’ve left out.  If you can think of others please share in the comment section.

View all the links to the Content Marketing Strategy series.

Are Content Marketers Addicted To The Facebook Crack Pipe

Facebook Crack Pipe

 

Facebook Crack Pipe

Recently I was admiring a group of photos on photographers Facebook page.  I enjoyed the images and wanted to visit his website to learn more about his work and possibly hire him for a shoot.  However, he did not have one.  He was completely dependent on Facebook.  This is what I call being hooked on the Facebook or social media crack pipe.

Whats the problem with this

The problem with this model is that you’re building on someone else’s platform, instead of your own.  Facebook can and has changed the rules.  In fact as I write this I just saw a post on a friends FB wall regarding how he’s unhappy with some recent changes in Facebook.

How Facebook is like a crack cocaine dealer

Something free always attracks attention and usage..after all why not try it…it’s ‘free’.  The problem with free stuff is it’s usually does not stat free very long.

In the 80’s crack cocaine dealers got their customers by giving the first hit away for free.  Crack being highly addictive usually resulted in extreme addiction after the first hit.  There were no more free hits after you were addicted.

Because a Facebook page was initially free many content marketers opted to build there instead of owing their own website or blog.  But now that they are addicted to the Facebook crack pipe guess what…it ain’t free any more.  Facebook is charging for page and post promotion. Facebook will argue that your post will still show without paying but rumor has it that their algorithm favors paying customers.  Read about it here, here, and here.

How to tell if you’re addicted to the Facebook crack pipe

  1. You don’t own your own website or blog and are completely dependent on social media for traffic
  2. You own your own website or blog but spend more time building content on various social media platforms.

3 Ways to ease your way off the Facebook crack pipe

Crack cocaine could not be safely used, but social media can.  Therefore I don’t think content marketers need to completely abandon ship just yet.  Here’s how I suggest you use it.

  1. Setup a blog or website on your own hosting account
  2. View social media as part of your marketing mix not your primary platform
  3. Use a service like Feedblitz to build your subscriber base and to feed content to your social media platforms

Update 6/27/2014: Ezra Fishman over at Wistia has weighed in on the subject….check his post out here.

Update 8/12/2015: Garrett Moon at CoSchedule has an interesting post called, Facebook Is Dead, But Your Content Wants To Live and a graphic that I think sums up how to use social media for distribution instead of a hub for your content.

Content Marketing – 10 Kick Butt Tips For Generating Awesome Content

Content Marketing Guide

Most folks are not creative enough to always have a fresh idea ready to transform into killer content.  Unless you happen to be Seth Godin you likely struggle with coming up with enough relevant, helpful, fun content to blog everyday.  While you may be an expert on the topics you cover deciding exactly how to approach each blog post, webinar, ebook, slideshare presentation, or any other type of online marketing content can be a daunting task.

But have no fear this will be the first in a series of 10 post I’ll put hear each week on Tuesday to help you fill your backlog with some kick butt content ideas so your well never runs dry.

Content Marketing Tip Numero Uno #1

Marketing Strategy
Stay plugged in with industry news to provide current and relevant content to your readers. Photo Courtesy of KellyB

Get and stay plugged in with industry news.  You need to stay current if you hope to provide your followers with relevant, timely content.  But how?

Here are 3 easy ways to stay current on news in your market

Here’s what I do, and if it helps HubSpot also recommends.

  1. Subscribe to RSS feeds from bloggers that cover your industry or speak to your target audience.
  2. Subscribe to email newsletters from niche publications that cover your industry, as well as your vendors and even your competitors.
    1. While I’m on this point you can subscribe to this blog over on the right of this page.
  3. Set up Google Alerts for non-branded keywords related to your industry, your products, and your customers pain points.

How do you stay on top of news in your industry? Let me know in the comments section below.

View all the links to the Content Marketing Strategy series.