Some days, the content just flows. You write and Tweet and post and share and the ideas just come so naturally that it doesn’t feel like work. Those are magical days!
On other days, however, the writer’s block arrives with a thud. It’s a total drag to write even a simple Instagram caption, and you end up finding lots of other things to do with your time while your editorial calendar just sits, alone and empty.
Content creation is a challenge! Finding the will to write and post and share and film and take photos and add hashtags and reply and comment day after day after day is hard, y’all. We feel you.
But there are some things you can do to stay motivated even on those writer’s block days. And it’s important to stay motivated and keep creating, because the success of your content marketing depends on your ability to be consistent. If you’ve committed to blogging once a week, you’d better do it, or your audience will lose interest fast.
So here are some ways we stay motivated to keep creating content for our dear clients and for TGL. We’d love your suggestions, too!
Keep a running list of ideas
You never know when you might be inspired, so be prepared to write things down all the time!
Use your favorite Notes app to keep an ongoing list of blog titles, content ideas you have while blow-drying your hair, photos you take while you’re out on walks, sketches of graphics you want to create, quotes… anything you think of that could make good content.
Those freeform notes will become content ideas, which you then turn into blog posts, social media posts and more, which live on your editorial calendar. It’s a beautiful cycle!
But rereading those notes can also re-inspire you to think of more ideas. So when you’re truly stuck, open up your notes and remind yourself of those ideas you jotted down. You can even show some colleagues or friends and see what they start thinking up.
Another way to organize your ideas is by using our favorite method, Pinterest, to create boards. Pinterest is literally made for collecting and organizing inspiring things, and you can make secret boards to collect website links and images about any kind of future business or content idea you might want to keep private.
Want to open up a boutique on the beach one day? Start getting potential products and decoration ideas together. Want to run an Instagram influencer campaign? Save links to influencer websites you find. Want to write a memoir about your work one day? Save inspiring blog posts from leaders in your field.
Later, you can look back at these boards to get the ideas flowing again and put your mind back in that creative space.
Check what day it is.
There are so many awareness days out there now, it’s almost ridiculous. But finding out that it’s National Garlic Day can be good inspiration, especially if you’re in the food business!
Use a tool like Forekast to find out what silly and serious awareness days are coming up, and see which ones are worth celebrating with some sweet content.
Find and follow some of your peers who are content creators.
For us, the Goal Digger podcast by Jenna Kutcher is super inspiring, and also makes us feel a little guilty. She’s putting out that consistent content, and when we aren’t putting out as much content as we should be, listening to her episodes reminds to step up our game!
Seeing content from your peers and potential competitors can be a great motivator, so find podcasts and content made by people working in your issue area or business area and start checking out what they’re doing.
You might think, “Oh shoot, they’re doing all the things I should be doing…” but use that emotion as motivation to start creating.
Or, you might think, “I could do what they’re doing… and I could so do it better!” Good! Go do that! Start your own podcast , make better content than what you see out in the world now, whatever it takes to actually show your audience that you’re the one they should be following. Just be extra careful not to copy exactly what you see other people creating. (Obviously!)
Get up and get moving.
Take a mental break by getting physical. Even if it’s just a walk outside for a few minutes, getting some fresh air and some sunlight on your face can help get you unstuck.
And while a walking meeting is a nice idea, we really want you to take a full mental break. Don’t even think about the work you need to do; focus on what’s happening around you, or put some music on that makes you happy, or listen to a comedy podcast (something that makes you laugh!).
This downtime is really important for your overall productivity, and physical movement is even more important for your overall health. So make this a habit!
If you work from home or have access to some quiet space, here’s a great, easy 30-minute yoga routine that will help you loosen up after too much time at your desk:
Go see what your customers are talking about
We’ve talked a lot in the Weekly Slice about customer research and discovery, which is the process of finding and communicating with your ideal customer in order to understand what they need from you. So when you’re not sure what you should write about or post, go back to your customers and see what they’re looking for.
Search through Reddit threads, check out comments on your Instagram posts and those of your competitors, look up hashtags on Twitter related to your business and see what people are posting… there are all sorts of ways to find out what your target audience is saying online, and that can tell you what they’re interested in right now.
Make it a part of your regular social media monitoring to check on these conversations weekly or more, and you’ll never be unsure of what your audience needs.