Friday Scribbles: How Marketers Can Beat the Blank Page

blank writing page

Every Friday, we’ll offer some of our thoughts on content marketing, curate a few interesting articles we’ve come across (from the marketing and legal industries and otherwise), and tell you what we’ve been up to.

Writing isn’t easy. That’s why so many people either choose to forgo the benefits of content marketing or outsource it to a specialist.

Fortunately, there are ways to make it easier. Here are two strategies I use that you can also employ to become a more prolific content writer.

1. Create an idea flow.

Don’t wait until you’re staring at the screen to start thinking about your topic. It helps immeasurably to have planned topics in advance. It’s even better to have a coherent content strategy.

Of course, the problem is time. Few of us have enough time in our day that we can spend an hour or two strategically plotting out content.

The solution is to create a consistent flow of ideas. Sometimes lightning will strike, but more often, you’ll come up with ideas when you’re least expecting them. For me, ideas often spring up from client conversations or in the middle of other projects, and I can jot them on a notepad I keep on my desk. But, just as often, ideas pop into my head as I’m listening to a podcast in the car, thinking through client issues during a run, or at some other time when a keyboard or paper aren’t handy. In these cases, I record a voice memo to myself; otherwise, I’m sure to forget. In these ways, I build a running list of content ideas that I can draw from and prevent the well from running dry.

You can even be more purposeful about content ideation. Ask your clients, colleagues, and industry connections what they want to learn more about. Check out the questions being asked in your industry. Quora can be a source of interesting discussions. You can also set up a Google Alert for topics that interest you.

Every interaction you have with other content and people (and the world, generally) presents an opportunity for a new idea. Seize it.

2. Block out writing time on your calendar.

If you’re like me, your to-do list all too often balloons rather than shrinks during the course of the day. Calls and meetings that you didn’t expect appear on your calendar. Emails demand responses and add tasks to your schedule. By the end of the day, you’re fatigued by information overload, and it’s too late—and you’re too exhausted—to crank out an article.

Try this technique: block out time on your calendar for writing. I like to schedule my writing time for the mornings, before I feel too much pressure from the mounting avalanche in my inbox. It’s also a lot easier than having the goal of writing hanging over your head all day, only for it to go unaccomplished and then feel the agony of defeat when I have to transfer it to the next day’s to-do list.

What other techniques do you use to meet your writing goals? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for some (more) tips to improve your content marketing?

What’s new this week in the legal industry?

Need something to read or watch while you’re chowing down on the corn (National Popcorn Day is January 19)?

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

  • Considering a maturity model for financial risk assessment
  • Reviewing key recent cases in eDiscovery
  • Planning a survey of legal marketers
  • Drafting articles about ways to keep seniors social
  • Studying new social media discovery developments

We can help you put some (great) words on the page. Let’s talk.

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