“Blinking Cursor” syndrome is something that ALL writers and content creators face.
Blinking cursor syndrome effectively earns its name due to the amount of time it takes for writers to move past writer’s block.
We often sit and stare at the small blinking line that represents the endless possibilities and creativity that we can produce, that is, if we knew what we wanted to write about.
In fact, in many of the online forums, groups, and studies I have seen, one of the largest issues for content creators and content marketers is continuously finding compelling topics to cover.
When you write as much about a single topic as many content marketers do, coming up with future topics becomes harder and harder as time goes on because you will have already written about more and more.
Statistically, the more you write about, the less you have to write about in the future (while remaining original).
So, today I’d like to discuss some of my favorite methods for overcoming writer’s block (or “blinking cursor” syndrome) and how you, as a content creator, can use these ideas to reduce the amount of time that it takes to create content.
Finding a topic is the hardest part of the process after all, and is also often the point at which the most time is wasted on things that don’t ultimately make a difference to the end product.
So, let’s cover a few good ways to overcome “Blinking Cursor” syndrome!
Tip 1: Find Your Assumptions
As content marketers, we often know more about the company, industry, or product/service that we feel is common knowledge. In that knowledge, we sometimes write about topics that we assume our audience knows detailed information about.
For example, lawyers don’t write about technical legal jargon, they must write about the end result for their audience. If they WERE to write about technical jargon, that would be a great source of clarity for a future article.
Think about it this way, your audience has now read an article containing information they are unfamiliar with, or concepts that don’t appeal to their everyday lives.
You can benefit from this by clarifying your message in a future article, which will not only help your audience clarify your message, but also give you a new topic to write about.
Check for technical jargon, industry-based assumptions, even acronyms can potentially be topics for future content.
For example, when I talk about content and digital marketing, I often write about SEO.
I often find that I must re-explain what SEO is in every article, to ensure that my audience knows how SEO helps them and how they can manage it.
SEO in that sense would be a great topic for future content that I can reference to, add links to, and drive traffic towards!
Tip 2: Keyword Research
When our minds search for relevant and related topics, specifically for content creation, we must compartmentalize those topics into keywords that we “optimize” our content for.
Optimizing your content simply means making it more searchable and findable in search engines for those keywords.
Therefore, lots of heavy lifting can be done by keyword tracking tools that aid you in finding well-searched, relevant, and useful keywords to a niche or subject.
For example, what if I had to write about a subject related to digital marketing. I could place the term “digital marketing” in the keyword tracking tool and be given a list of relevant keywords that are similar!
Take a look at all the potential topics I have now been given to write about. I can write about what it takes to manage a Digital Marketing Agency (suggestion 2) or even about the various kinds of jobs and responsibilities that digital marketers must perform (suggestion 4).
Ultimately, keyword tracking tools are a free way of being given suggestions for topics on a silver platter! Add a little creativity and your own voice and you’ll have plenty of content topics to write about!
Tip 3: Crowdsource Topics
One of the easiest ways to find new articles to write about (and the one I used to write THIS article!) is to crowdsource your topics so that your own audience comes up with curiosities that you can fulfill.
Your audience likely has some questions about your content topics, your brand, or your industry. You can not only quell your audience’s curiosity but also provide value to them by crowdsourcing your content ideas.
Simply hit up social media, online groups, communities, or forums and ask away. See what people are naturally curious about, and how you can go about providing answers to their inquiries.
When I was looking for new content ideas to discuss, I joined many Facebook groups based on content marketing and asked “what’s the most difficult thing about being a content marketer?
Obviously, the main issue I received was difficulty in creating content topics!
But not anymore!
These very tips are what I have used for years to find new topics to write about. Often, it takes only a little digging to find a new topic, that is, if you know where to look!
Be creative when considering your topic ideas, you can optimize your content topic for local SEO by choosing LOCAL events to write about in relation to your brand, product, or industry!
All in all, with these tips, you can save time, overcome frustration, and not have to watch that blinking cursor ever again!
Thanks for reading!
Work With Austin
-Austin Denison is a management consultant and coach from Southern California and founder/CEO of Denison Success Systems LLC. He is the author of The Essential Change Management Guidebook: Master The Art of Organizational Change as well as The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life, and, coming soon: KICK*SS Content Marketing, How to Boost Your Brand and Gather a Following.