October 19, 2015

What to Write About When Writer's Block Strikes

What to Write About When Writer's Block Strikes

A blank screen. A blank piece of paper. A blank mind.

How often have we all sat in front of our notepads or keyboards, only to draw a complete blank? The next time you're struggling with a bad case of writer's block, consider these sources for strategic inspiration.

Analytics

There's no need to reinvent the wheel when you can capitalize on what has already been successful in your inbound marketing efforts. Delve into your data for an objective look at what works.

  • Keyword traffic can help you pinpoint exactly which keywords drive visitors to your website. Use these as topics, and refine them into working titles based on your buyer personas' related needs and interests. 
  • Views and CTA clicks give you an idea of which posts and corresponding offers are already popular. Identify trends and use those as the foundation for new working titles. 
  • Interactions like comments and shares via social media also elucidate what resonates with your blog audience. Take these into consideration, particularly if your ideal customers are the ones interacting with a post. 

Sales and Customer Service Teams

As a marketer, you may often interact with customers and prospects online, which obviously provides unique insights. Meanwhile, your sales team and customer service staff might have an entirely different perspective, one that should inform your inbound marketing efforts:

  • Prospects' objections frequently come up during initial sales calls. If these objections could be overcome with education, address them in a series of blog posts. These articles can even be repackaged as print brochures for your sales team to use in the field. 
  • Challenges with using your product or service may require a customer support call. Ask your customer service staff which questions they answer most often, and answer these not only on your website's FAQ, but also in blog posts. 
  • Clients' victories with your product or service should come up as your sales person nurtures that client relationship. With the client's permission, turn these stories into blog articles or even case studies. 

News and Trends

You want your customers and prospects to feel confident that you're on top of your game. One great way to do that is to tie in your blog content with relevant news and trends. 

  • Today's headlines might inspire a timely blog post, and newsjacking can do wonders for your short-term traffic. To ensure that your article's relevance doesn't expire with the news cycle, take an evergreen spin. 
  • At events, conferences and conventions, you'll get a pulse on the industry, including emerging trends and ongoing challenges. Pay attention not only to what's happening in your own industry, but also to what's happening in your buyer personas' industry. 
  • Tap into topic trends by surveying popular industry websites and publications. For example, our friends at Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) are dedicating significant air time to scam prevention. That could spin into multiple blog articles published over a few months. 

Existing Content

Chances are, you've developed plenty of content marketing pieces over the lifetime of your company. And these can all be repurposed into blog posts. 

  • Long-form offers like ebooks, white papers and case studies can be broken down into smaller, blog-size pieces. Be sure to include CTA's to download the originals at the end of each post. 
  • Videos and podcasts may get new life as blog articles. Place the original somewhere in the post, and give your audience a little something extra with your post. 
  • Old blog articles might be tweaked and republished. For example, posts that tied in with a specific news story can be updated, as can early blog articles that gained limited traffic the first time around. 

Preventing Writer's Block

The surefire way to prevent writer's block in the first place is to create a comprehensive editorial calendar in advance. That way you're never left struggling for a topic or angle at the last minute. Use all the sources above, along with your own ingenuity and deep industry knowledge, to put together an editorial calendar of blog posts, offers, videos and any other content you intend to create. 

Still stuck? Perhaps a content audit is just what the doctor ordered. Contact us to schedule a consultation, where we'll review your content and offer insights on how to make it even better. 

Need help increasing brand awareness, generating more leads, and converting prospects? madison/miles media can help.

Kristin Masters

Kristin Masters is a content marketing specialist with almost a decade's experience in SEO and social marketing. A HubSpot maven, Kristin has developed and implemented inbound marketing strategies for a variety of B2B and B2C clients. Kristin graduated from the University of Florida with an ever-useful specialization in 18th-century British literature. She teaches Bikram yoga.