Sound familiar? It can be pretty frustrating to be a content marketer. When I’m having a hard time finding inspiration or have moved into full-on writer's block, I need to find my happy place and just relax for a minute.
The popularity of content marketing has skyrocketed over the past few years and is now the most powerful way to market, but producing content that will get noticed is tricky. As writers, we naturally doubt our own work and constantly re-examine its value and purpose.
Instead of second-guessing yourself and comparing your work to the entire content marketing industry (we don’t want to drive ourselves crazy now, do we?), focus on your audience. What type of content will benefit them and give them the information they need?
If you're already obsessed with your buyer personas and just need a little boost, worry no more. Below are 5 really cool tips to help you stay inspired in your content marketing. I actually practice these myself, and trust me—if they work for me, they’ll work for you!
1. Crush on a Content Marketing Genius
I’m not saying you should start doodling their names on your notebook. What I mean is follow awesome content marketers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. To start you off, here are some of the my favorites: Ann Handley, Joe Chernov, Joe Pulizzi, and Michael Brenner.
You can find great inspiration by watching what content marketers are saying in their tweets, posts, and articles. Sharing is caring, people! Join in on their virtual community and exchange ideas. Learn from the best and you won’t be disappointed.
2. Practice the 50/10 Rule
I’m not going to lie. This one may be difficult for a time-crunched inbound marketer. I’m still trying to get the hang of it myself. The 50/10 rule is the concept of creating content for 50 straight minutes and then taking a 10-minute breather. That’s right, 10 full minutes of not worrying about a blinking cursor. Cheers to that!
If you work on your own, use this time to stretch to grab a quick snack or chug a glass of water to refuel. I work in an office, so I just usually channel my energy somewhere else. Make sure the editorial calendar is up to date, send out a few tweets, search for future blog post ideas, or brainstorm with colleagues. Writing takes a lot of brainpower and if you’re feeling sluggish, your writing will be a mess. To stay inspired, take a break and really reflect on your work.
3. Look Who’s Talking
With my background in PR, I really enjoy storytelling. One of my favorite things to do is watch a TED talk. Okay, lots and lots of TED talks, like hours' worth (don’t judge me). I suggest watching one of these if you’re having trouble getting inspired. Search the TED website and see who’s talking about your topic, or just skim the titles of the talks for ideas.
TED talks are not only incredibly inspiring, but they're also informational and that’s what content marketing is all about. We’re the magicians who can turn a complicated topic into something that's fascinating, easy to understand, and exactly what the customer wants to learn. And hey, that’s better than pulling a rabbit out of some old hat, right?
4. Browse Inspiring Images
I’ve been using images to find writing inspiration for years—the bigger and bolder, the better. Browsing high-resolution photographs can suck you in and take you to another place. All sorts of content ideas can be generated this way, from a new advertisement to social media campaign or vlog. Head to Pinterest or Instagram and start scrolling away!
One of my favorite action photographers is Jimmy Chin. Chin’s images capture cliff jumping, treading the world’s most dangerous ice caps, or dangling from snowy mountain walls. You name it, he’s not only done it—he’s photographed it! His photographs are so breathtakingly inspiring that they makes me feel like I can conquer the world. And we content marketers need that type of motivation sometimes.
Do you need photographs to use for your website, blog post, or presentation? There are some awesome websites out there that actually offer free, high-resolution images for personal or commercial use. Some of my favorite sites are Skitterphoto and Kaboompics. Both offer content marketers and designers a great selection of inspirational imagery, not to mention awesome desktop backgrounds and screensavers.
5. Build Your Own A-Team
Who’s the Hannibal on your marketing team? Or perhaps you have an eccentric Murdock? Well, at VIEO Design, we all have different areas of expertise, but we still make time to collaborate as one big team. Have your designers meet with content marketers to make sure the content you present is something really special. You can get great ideas from your company’s storytellers, visual artists, word masters, and sales gurus. Having a diverse team will definitely bring something new to the table.
Don't forget to use your buyer personas to stay inspired!
Don't have any? Let's fix that.