Content marketing is without a doubt one of the most popular and successful strategies for businesses across all industries. One study even showed that 90% of companies across the globe utilized digital content in some form!
Now, as a content writer, the pressure is certainly on most of the time to constantly create brand new content that drives in traffic and optimizes SEO for our clients.
According to HubSpot’s latest research, the two top priorities for most businesses included growing SEO presence and creating blog content, as well as interactive, long-form, and other types of visual content.
Since there is such an intense focus on publishing content consistently, writers are usually required to create several pieces of top-quality content every single day. This means content marketers are constantly reading, researching, and writing, all while finding new ways to incorporate important keywords and visual elements – all while keeping the piece engaging.
Clear Voice also conducted a survey asking marketers what their greatest challenges were in relation to content marketing. The majority of respondents said that time constraints, the actual writing itself, and ensuring top-notch quality were some of the most challenging parts of the job.
As a content marketing writer myself, I know the feeling far too well.
However, these tips have really helped me deal with the stress and pressure that comes with the job and ensure that I can keep up with projects by creating top-notch content consistently.
Let’s dive in!
1. Treat Your Brain Like A Computer
Now, this sounds a little odd, but hear me out.
Burnout is a real thing, especially for creative writers who work in content marketing. If you’ve got a list of time-sensitive projects, you can’t afford to experience writer’s block! By treating your mind like a machine, you can actually help yourself organize your thoughts, stay focused, and create great content without wearing yourself out.
a) Separate Documents
Approach projects by thinking about them in separate “documents” rather than long lists.
For instance, instead of becoming overwhelmed with the long list of what you need to do, break it up into sets of smaller projects. Start by listing out the projects that are a top priority for the day and then break down how you will accomplish them step-by-step.
So, say that you have a content piece that needs to be written for a client who runs a SaaS company – and wants a piece about marketing automation.
First, you need to research automation strategies so you understand the topic entirely. Next, you need to come up with an outline. Then, find relevant examples and studies to support your claims. Finally, put your thoughts all together to create the final piece.
The key here is to keep things separated – this will help you to go through projects one at a time with laser focus – rather than getting overwhelmed with a massive, unorganized to-do list.
b) Invest In Extra Storage Space
If you’ve ever had a laptop with small memory storage, you know that it is incredibly frustrating to see that alert pop-up that there is no room left to save that important document. You then have to go through and find things you can delete or find a USB drive to store things on.
While you can’t necessarily “delete” information from your brain, there are ways to clear up your mind so you can store more information. This is best known as decluttering or a “brain dump.”
All you have to do is open up a Word document or get a pen and paper and start writing all of the things cluttering your mind. It might be things that are stressing you out or things you need to do. This can help stop those racing thoughts while getting your creative juices flowing!
This is also a great way to come up with content marketing ideas if you are feeling stumped. Start with a generic topic and list off all of the things you know about the subject. Write down questions you have, related subjects, or relevant stories and examples.
c) Power Down For Better Performance
Shutting down your laptop at the end of the day helps it to cool off and perform better.
But you also need to give your mind sufficient breaks during the day and long rests at night if you want it to operate at optimal efficiency. Even taking a ten-minute break to walk outside or make a cup of coffee can be quite beneficial!
The key here is to actually give your mind a rest during these breaks – meaning that you don’t think about work or do any other tasks. Just focus on something non-work related for the next ten minutes, then get back once you’re ready.
2. Stay In-The-Know
Another reason many content writers feel stressed is that they need to constantly stay on top of the latest trends. SEO and content marketing go hand-in-hand, but marketers are well aware that search engines are constantly changing and updating.
Content marketing specialists know the importance of staying knowledgeable about their industries. They make it a point to attend business conferences or watch webinars to learn about them. Now, as a run-of-the-mill content writer, you may not have the luxury of doing things like this. But it is still just as important for you to stay in-the-know.
So, to help me keep up with the latest trends and newest technology, I turn to other types of resources that keep me in a state of constant learning. Listening to marketing-related podcasts is one way to hear from industry experts and hear their opinions about related subjects. Some of my favorite ones are:
- Marketing School with Neil Patel and Eric Siu
- Social Media Marketing Podcast with Michael Steizner from Social Media Examiner
- Marketing Over Coffee
- Copyblogger FM
- Demand Gen Chat
You can also tune into documentaries, TedTalks, or YouTube videos explaining different concepts or offering inspiration.
Another content marketing tip here is to write down any real-life examples that they mention. These can be great anecdotes to include in your writing to make your content more interesting!
3. Notice What Marketing Works On You
As you are aimlessly scrolling through Instagram or watching TV when you are off work, pay attention to the advertisements that capture your attention – or even cause you to make a purchase. Ask yourself what about the ad spoke to you and what marketing strategies they used.
For example, I recently decided to purchase a shaving kit from Billie after I read a Buzzfeed article. The topic was about different subscription services that will make your life easier. This article incorporated UGC by featuring a lengthy review from a real customer.
I took note of this because it is just another example of how influential customer reviews and real-life experiences can be in content marketing.
Think about different brands that you enjoy following on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. What do they do differently that keeps you engaged? Why is their content so enjoyable?
By staying aware of these marketing tricks that work on you as a consumer, you can become a better marketer.
4. Read – A Lot
As the author Vladimir Nabokov famously said, “A good reader is a good writer.”
Whether you want to focus on marketing or business-focused books or simply dive into your favorite fiction novel, reading has an impact on your content writing style.
This is because it can help you find new ways to convey ideas, expand your vocabulary, and help you learn new ways of thinking or approaching different subjects – even ones that are not marketing related.
Furthermore, according to a scientific study, people who read on a regular basis were found to have a larger vocabulary.
Reading content from different authors with varying writing styles can also help you figure out your writing voice. This is especially useful if you work for a content marketing agency. These situations typically require you to create pieces published under different people’s names or create content for different audiences.
For instance, if you are writing an in-depth analytical report for a B2B audience of C-Suite buyers, you will want to keep a more professional tone. However, if you are creating a blog post aimed at the average consumer mildly interested in a subject, you can stick to a more casual and friendly voice.
By consuming different types of reading materials from authors with various writing types, it will be easier for you to adjust by “mimicking” their style. This will certainly help you to expand your content portfolio and make you a more valuable writer to any company.
Content marketing is more popular and influential than ever, and many businesses are amping up their team’s production to churn out more content than ever before. Unfortunately, this leaves many writers feeling worn out, overwhelmed, and totally drained creatively.
It sounds rather cliché, but the key here is finding a balance to keep your mind sharp and prevent burnout. I’ve been a content writer for several years now, and I know that this constant push for creativity can be quite draining. However, I have found some truly effective strategies that help keep my mind sharp so I can keep up and produce stellar content consistently.
What tips and tricks have you found that help your creative writing process? Share in the comments below!