Our top tips for breaking writer’s block

18/05/17Our top tips for breaking writer’s block

Over the past few weeks, we’ve written a lot about the importance of producing and distributing great content; blogs, podcasts, video and so on.

As Bill Gates said, and I am fond of quoting (regularly!): “Content is King.”

Our blog last week: “Revealed, the five pages you shouldn’t include on your website” was our most popular ever. It received a large number of visitors from social media, principally Twitter and LinkedIn, and has led directly to new conversations and enquiries.

However, after that high, I’ve suffered from a bad case of writer’s block this week. Definitely a case of after The Lord Mayor’s Show.

Breaking the block

If writer’s block can happen to someone who spends at least 50% of his week creating content, it can happen to anyone. Including advisers.

So, in this week’s blog, I thought I’d write about some tried and tested techniques I use to create content and overcome the devilish block when it strikes.

In other words, writing about writer’s block, to over come it!

1. Know your target audience

The better you know your ideal client, the better you will know their problems and challenges. That makes it easier to write about the solutions.

You speak to clients daily, take inspiration from these experiences and conversations. If you look hard enough, there’s a blog in most of these interactions.

2. Keep a notepad handy

Great ideas for content can strike at the strangest times.

Keep a notepad handy, or use your phone, to jot down ideas when they come to you. I’ve often tapped away on my phone (one finger only, I’m not 14!), noting down subject and main points of a blog. I can then return to it later and finish it off; joining the dots until I have a coherent piece.

3. Build a list

When inspiration strikes, add the topic to a list of potential subjects you want to write about in the future.

That might mean noting down ideas, or saving articles online from which you can take inspiration. But, when it strikes, take advantage, it won’t come along when you most need it.

Then, when the time comes to write your blog (or record your podcast or video) you have a ready made subject list to choose from. Far better than trying to summon up inspiration for a subject as and when you need it.

4. React to events and news

There’s always financial news you can use as inspiration for a blog, podcast or video.

Take this week, the rate of inflation rose. There’s an article in that: How will it affect your clients? Who will be hit the hardest? What action should savers take? Etc etc.

If you’re struggling for inspiration, and you don’t have a list of potential topics to fall back on, use the latest news. Don’t just report it though; no one will come to your website for something they might find on the BBC. Instead, explain what it means to your target audience. How will it affect them? Will it make them better or worse off?

Remember Jerry Maguire? Show them the money!

5. Visit provider media centres

Most providers have a media centre, where they publish press releases, research and white papers. Some are simply there to push their products and agenda, others though are treasure troves of great ideas, which you can use for inspiration.

Again though, don’t just report the news, explain what it means to your target audience and how they should react.

I find the Retirement Advantage and AJ Bell newsrooms particularly useful.

6. Find your perfect place and time to write.

I usually allocate every Wednesday evening to writing my weekly article and pulling together my newsletter.

Sure, I could get someone else to write it, but it would be far less authentic (others might say better, I’ll leave you to be the judge!)

Then on a Thursday it’s edited and we build the newsletter.

Find the right time for you to write your content. The place is important too, I find I write best without distractions from my phone or email. That means writing on the train, in a coffee shop, or after my daughter has gone to bed, with all other distractions turned off. That might not work for you, but experiment until you find what does.

7. Remember how important content is

Producing content should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. That means it’s as important as every other task you do to keep your business operational.

If you enjoy producing content, finding the time won’t be hard. If you don’t, you will make every excuse under the sun why you don’t have time to write or record your content. If that’s the case, don’t force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy; simply outsource it as you would other tasks you would rather not do.

Other ways?

I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to break writer’s block, these are just the ones which work for me.

If you have your own hints and tips your fellow advisers would find useful, please add them to the comments section below and we’ll share them via Twitter and LinkedIn.

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