Oh, the tyranny of the blank page – or blank screen, had whoever first bemoaned it lived in the 21st century.
Even the best creatives come face to face with writer’s block occasionally. Some more than they would like to admit now it comes in so many more forms than just words on a page: the perfect meme picture without a great caption, a graphic you just don’t know where to begin with, an Insta image that just isn’t popping.
The received wisdom is to walk away, do something else and let your brilliant mind subconsciously percolate the perfect idea.
This may work for a starving literary genius scratching away in his garret but there is a reason he is starving. No one wants to wait. Time is money and while you can’t rush an artist, corporate demands mean few of us get to sit around and wait for the marketing muse to strike. Sometimes she needs a gentle shove.
These are some tricks that will help move things along whether you are looking for content or campaign inspiration.
What’s new What is trending is by definition what people are interested in at any particular moment. Being abreast of top keywords should spark ideas of where to go with your next piece of content. Keep an eye on competitors and wider industry news – either share or use it as a springboard to comment yourself. Stats and studies are a rich vein to mine for content ideas – commission your own or make good use of those in the public domain.
Listen to your audience Do you know what your customers are asking about? Judicious monitoring of social media listening tools, Quora, Reddit, industry-relevant forums, readers’ comments on your previous blogs and even internal website searches will reveal their interests and queries. Now answer those questions and meet their needs.
You are not alone Don’t assume it is all on you. Colleagues are a great source of information. Collaborate, bounce ideas around, get them to tell you their work news. There is always a story to tell, some of the best come from closest to home.
Work backwards Come up with a clever headline for a piece and make it the inspiration for a blog by taking it back to the brief. How can you make it relate to the objective and the client?
Recycling Reuse what you already have, but in a different format. A blog that can be summed up in a new graphic, a video that becomes a basis for a written Q&A piece. Delve into the company archives to throwback for a bit of nostalgia.
Avoid analysis paralysis It will crush your creativity; activity is key. Read – exercise your word muscles and be inspired. Write – the more you write the easier it will become. It is better to edit bad content then have no content to work with at all. All of a sudden, you are in the groove and the creative juices just start flowing.
If nothing works Now is the time to take that walk. Inspiration does strike when you least expect it. But if there is no lightning bolt, at the very least you will arrive back at your desk refreshed, revived and ready to give it another go.
ATTAIN turns the blank page trope on its head and adopts Irvine Welsh’s attitude of enjoying the freedom of the blank page. With our creative team on board, you will never have to face another nightmare of an unproductive brainstorming session, never mind that tyrannical blank page, again. Contact us on 01942 247 884