6 Ways Business Owners Can Break Through Writer’s Block

6 Ways Business Owners Can Break Through Writer’s Block - The Cafe Wordsmith

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Few things are scarier than a blank page. 

Between completing a creative writing degree, writing a few books, working as an English and writing tutor for K-12 students, and years of blogging and freelance writing, I know all about writer’s block. 

I’m well acquainted with that awful feeling of watching the cursor flash on an empty page, my hands poised motionless on the keyboard, and a head either so full of ideas that I can’t figure out what to write first or a mind as empty as the page in front of me. 

We’ve all been there, and anyone who writes regularly for fun or for business will get veeeery cozy with writer’s block from time to time. 

So how do you finally get some words onto the page when you’re totally drawing a blank? 

Here’s what’s worked for me and what I’ve told clients, students, and friends when they’ve asked me about writer’s block: 

 

How to Break Through Writer’s Block

 

#1: Write SOMETHING

I rarely experience writer’s block these days, and I think that’s because I’ve gotten really good at writing crap. 

In fact, I call my first draft of anything—a blog post, sales page, novel, whatever—the crap draft or dump draft, because I’m just dumping out ideas that I can later arrange into something readable. And it’s almost always crappy. 

If you’re blocked, start by getting something down on the page. Brainstorm ideas until you hit on something good. Freewrite about your topic, even if it doesn’t make sense. The key here is to stop worrying about writing well and just focus on writing something, because you just need to create something you can edit later. 

You can edit a crappy draft. You can’t edit a blank page.  

 

#2: Brainstorm ideas

Start by either writing down all the ideas you want to cover in the piece you’re writing. Either brainstorm your ideas in a list or freewrite them in paragraph format. Get it all out. Even if you’re just writing nonsense for the first few minutes. Eventually, something will click.

Here are some tips to generate ideas from your existing content. 

Then, go back and pick the ideas that are most important and add any details and thoughts you want to include. 

 

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#3: Organize your ideas 

This can be a great preventative measure because if you know what you want to write before you start, the actual writing part will be a lot easier. 

Some of those ideas you just brainstormed will make more sense if they come before other ideas. In what order should you present those ideas? Do they build on each other? Do they have a natural flow or sequence?

Now you should have a fairly detailed outline of your writing project. This outline serves as a map, which tells you what to write in case you get stuck. If you discover gaps in your outline, or places where you want to add something else, go for it! 

Update your outline if necessary so you don’t get lost again. Sometimes it really helps so see the flow of your ideas in that format as you write the actual piece. 

 

#4: Move

If you’re really stuck and these other ideas just aren’t happening, get up and move your body. Take a break. Vacuum the living room, play with your pet, or fold a load of laundry. Anything to get away from your computer for a few minutes.

My favorite way to dislodge ideas and relax enough to write is to go for a walk. Walking is a great way to smooth out your energy and let your body get into a comfortable rhythm while your mind wanders. After a ten minute walk, your mind will be in a much better place for writing. It’s also a good way to work through problems and snags in your project.

 

#5: Feed your brain

Sometimes when I just can’t seem to write anything worth reading, it’s because my tank is completely empty.

I write a LOT, and I have to feed my brain a steady diet of ideas in the form of articles, books, music, and conversation. If I don’t do this, I have a hard time coming up with new ideas. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, calls this “filling the well”. I’ve also heard it compared to tending a garden or filling a cup. 

If you feel like you have nothing to say, stretch your brain a little bit. Ideas will start flowing soon! 

 

#6: Talk to someone about your idea

If you can’t seem to wrangle your thoughts onto the page, try talking through your ideas with someone else or even out loud into a recording app. This works really well if you’re more of a talker than a writer, and it can renew your enthusiasm for a topic when you’re getting sick of it. 

Bonus: If you record yourself talking, you can listen later for important ideas to write down. 

 

Writing is a Muscle

The more you write, the better you’ll get at writing. It’s that simple. 

You’ll get used to sitting down to write and turning your creativity on like a faucet. You’ll get into the habit of expressing your thoughts in words and feeling comfortable with writing crappy first drafts.

But in the meantime, I hope these tips help you get past the block and into a good writing flow!

To make your posts even MORE effective, make sure to grab my free blog post checklist to make sure your posts have all the ingredients that have been proven to increase signups, sales, clicks, and sales! 

 

How to Create a Content Plan for Your New Business

How to Create a Content Plan for Your New Business

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You’re a new business owner and you’re ready to start building your audience or impressing potential clients with content.  But you have no idea how to create a content plan. I mean, what do you even write about?

I know blogging and content marketing can feel super complicated and overwhelming, but it’s an indispensable part of your marketing plan. 

Here’s why:

-Blogging shows potential customers and clients that you know your stuff. 

-Blogging builds your site’s SEO rating, which means Google and other search engines will send more traffic your way! 

-Your blog gives readers a reason to visit your site again and again, which builds trust with your audience. When your audience trusts you, they’re more likely to become buyers. 

Okay, so how do you get started and create a content plan that actually gets results? I mean, you don’t want to go into this without a plan. Then you’re just spinning your wheels while getting no momentum. 

So here’s how to create an effective content plan for your new business. 

Quick note before we get started: Blogging is a long-term marketing tactic, which means you probably won’t see results right away. It should be part of your overall marketing strategy, but it may take a little time before the sales start rolling in. It’s like getting in shape or growing a tomato plant. It takes time and consistent effort, but you WILL get results! 

 

How to Create a Content Plan for Your New Business

 

Step 1: Define your content goals

What specific goals do you want to accomplish with your content? 

You might think “Duh, I want to build my business and get sales,” but I want you to get a little more specific here. Think about your reader’s journey to becoming a buyer (AKA your sales funnel). Remember, you’re playing the long game. So what would help build your business? 

Here are a few ideas: 

  • Point readers to your services page
  • Direct them to a specific product
  • Get more list signups
  • Get more traffic, comments, and shares

Remember, you can have different goals for different posts. 

So what kinds of posts can you write to accomplish those goals? 

 

Step 2: Work backward.

What kinds of posts would accomplish your goals? Here are some ideas:

If you want to make sales and get clients, you can write posts to…

  • Overcome objections they may have to buying
  • Educate your audience about how your services can help them get the results they’re looking for 
  • Give them a “quick win” by helping them solve a problem they’re experiencing in the form of a tutorial or list of tips. This builds trust with your reader and positions you as an expert!

 

If you want to sell info products, your posts can…

  • Overcome objections they may have to buying
  • Educate your audience about how your products can help them get the results they’re looking for 
  • Teach them a small aspect of a topic that you cover in greater depth in your paid product. That way, the logical next step is to use your product. 

 

If you want to build your list and following, your posts can…

  • Build trust by offering useful info and tips they can implement right away (we all love quick wins!). You can do this with tutorials, how-to posts, lists of tips, and resource recommendations.
  • Help your audience get to know you by using stories to demonstrate how you learned the information you’re offering them. (Make sure to weave lots of personality into ALL your posts!) 
  • Teaching them something that you continue or cover more in-depth in an optin offer, so that the next logical step is to download your offer. 

These are just a few examples of how your content can accomplish your goals!

 

How to Create a Content Plan for Your New Business

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Step 3: Brainstorm some topics that accomplish your goals 

Now that you know what you want your blog posts to accomplish and a few types of posts you can write to do that, it’s time to brainstorm a few topics. 

This is the fun part! 

If you’re totally drawing a blank, here are a few questions to get you started: 

-What objections might your potential customers have to buying, subscribing, or working with you? (HINT: Think things like price, uncertainty that they’ll get the results they want, not knowing enough about the product/service, etc.)

-What kinds of problems are your readers trying to solve that you can help them with? 

-What sorts of issues are your readers Googling?

-What have your readers probably tried before that hasn’t worked? 

-What stands between your readers and their goals? 

Just answering these questions should give you a TON of potential topics!

Here are a few examples: 

If you’re a web designer, you can write an article about certain web features that can increase sales and list signups and maybe share a simple plugin to get started. This builds trust with a quick win and shows potential clients/customers that you know what you’re talking about.

If you’re trying to sell more ecourses, write a case study about a client who got great results by implementing what they learned in your course. 

If price is a common objection, write about how hiring a graphic designer like you can save X number of hours each week and increase sales and list signups. All three of those things can make your client more money so they can easily recoup their investment. 

There is NO limit

I once saw an artist write a post about an easy way to hang paintings with pushpins. I thought this was genius because that’s a simple way to overcome a potential objection to buying art. You can get really creative with this stuff! 

 

Step 4: Schedule your posts

Now that you have a list of posts you want to write, put them on the calendar! 

Pro-tip: Make sure you also schedule time to write the posts. If you like to batch write your posts, schedule a day or a few hours to write, edit, and upload your posts. If you like to chip away at projects and work a little each day, decide when you’ll write each day and for how long. 

Bam, now you have a content plan! The more ideas you come up with, the more you can put on your calendar. 

Whenever you run out of ideas, just come back to this post for another round of brainstorms!

To make your posts even MORE effective, make sure to grab my free blog post checklist to make sure your posts have all the ingredients that have been proven to increase signups, sales, clicks, and sales!