by Shari Finnell
When it comes to creating art, I’m a wimp.
For those who know me, I’ve got this thing called a “major block” when it comes to plastering paint on canvas. My cabinets are stocked with everything it takes to create a facsimile of a masterpiece … acrylic paints, watercolors, brushes, palettes, canvasses, Mason jars. I even have three easels out in the garage.
Yes, I have the materials, but let’s just say there’s not a whole lot of original art hanging on my walls … at least nothing with my name on it.
In my past life as a reporter, I interviewed plenty of artists who couldn’t seem to relate to my predicament as a frustrated artist. During that time, I received plenty of advice about getting unblocked. Here are a just few that stand out:
• “Just go out in the yard and throw some paint on canvas.”
• “Start with a small canvas so you’re not overwhelmed.”
• “Go to a class.”
• “Use your fingers.”
• “Keep doing it; you’ll come around.”
Looking back on those conversations, I’ve realized those tidbits of advice can be applied to any creative process, like regularly producing fresh website content — an essential component of any professional SEO campaign.
Here is an adaptation of those strategies. Use them when you find yourself in a rut when producing fresh content for your site. There are some new strategies that can make the process a lot like creating art.
Throw some words on the screen.
Here at Slingshot SEO, we hold a series of workshops in which staff members share their tips and tricks for continually developing great pitches and articles. A few authors say they’re able to unblock by just getting words on the screen … not worrying about how it’s all going to come together at the end or making it perfect the first time. One of our social media specialists says she uses Notepad when she writes. Notepad is so primitive, she says, that it makes it easy to keep typing without worrying about formatting stuff like paragraphs, punctuation, autocorrect, etc. In that same vein, the new Grandview app gives you a Notepad like no other; you can type so large you can put one word on the screen at a time. Talk about focus. Without the unnecessary pressure of looking at the overall process, you’ll find yourself more inclined to think freely about your subject.
Another strategy that has been used by some of Slingshot SEO authors in producing content is to divide one topic into three categories. Think bite-size. You’re less likely to be overwhelmed if you’re not thinking about how you’re going to pull together more than 500 words of content. Pick three topics relevant to your content. Write about each of those and pull them together into one cohesive package. Wikipedia does this and does it well. If you’re producing an opinion piece, pick out three or four major points you want to make and tackle each individually.
Go to a Webinar.
There are plenty of people who are great at producing content and are more than willing to share their tips through Webinars, blogs and downloadable guides. And they’re usually free. Gather tips that will help you continually stay inspired to perfect your craft.
Use your fingers.
Yes, use your fingers. Step away from your laptop, grab a cup of coffee and a pad and a pen. The change of pace can do wonders in freeing you to simply jot down ideas as they come to you. At times, staring at a blank computer screen can be a bit intimidating. Go back to the basics.
Keep doing it.
Face it. Nike’s marketing reps were genius when they came up with the slogan “Just Do It.” When it comes to facing blocks to your creative process, you can’t do any better than adopting that motto. Get started. The more you exercise your writing muscle, the stronger you’ll get at this writing business.
What methods do you use when writing new content?