Content creation is the backbone of all marketing strategies. In order to gain, and keep, the attention of your audience, it’s vital to produce a high volume of strong, compelling material on a regular basis.
It can all be going smoothly until it hits…the inevitable “content burnout.”
After months and months of the ongoing process that is: write, design, post, repeat – the fatigue that sets in is only natural. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you certainly are not alone.
In this article, I’ll lay out 6 ways you can combat content fatigue and keep producing high-quality material.
1. Step Away from the Keyboard
Sitting at your laptop and staring into the abyss isn’t going to help you get inspired. If you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas, your first move should be to step away for a few minutes.
Whether it’s a brief walk around your home, five minutes of exercise, or a quick snack in the kitchen, chances are you’ll return to your keyboard with a fresh idea or two. When you’re feeling stuck, the last thing you should try to do is force an idea that you’re simply coming up with to fill space.
2. Look Around You
If you were looking to write an amazing piece of music, you’d probably listen to some of your favorite songs. If creating a piece of art was your goal, you might browse through some online galleries. When it comes to writing marketing content, look around for ideas – they’re everywhere!
Taking some time to research what others in your industry are doing does not have to feel like copying. Often times, you’ll see an idea that someone else has produced and take it to the next level by adding your own spin on it.
Nearly all great creators – whether it’s writing, art, music, advertising, etc. – have taken some inspiration from outside sources. Don’t be afraid to get ideas from other players in your industry.
3. Change Your Setting
One of the best ways to get the innovative juices flowing is to change your environment. Your brain needs stimulation in order to come up with new ideas, and sitting at the same desk, staring at the same four walls, can reduce your ability to think creatively.
If you’re able to, try taking an hour or two at a local coffee shop or somewhere outdoors. Look around and get some inspiration from your new setting – it’s out there if you take the time to find it.
4. “Chunk” Your Content
Sitting down to write a 2,000-word blog post or a month’s worth of social media content can feel daunting. The solution? Break it down into smaller segments and work on it a little bit at a time.
It’s important to note that this approach does require you to plan things out in advance. If your deadline is coming up, you might not have the flexibility to only do a few posts or paragraphs at once.
Not only does “chunking” your content help reduce stress, it also provides a major boost to your creativity. Your mindset changes, at least a little bit, on a day-to-day basis, and the ideas you’ll have tomorrow are most likely going to be different than those you’ll have today.
If you’re able to master the art of doing a little bit each day, you’ll be shocked at how effective it can be in minimizing stress, increasing your level of creativity, and ultimately improving your final product.
5. Outline in Advance
Just about anyone who has been tasked with consistently pushing out content on a regular basis has come to the point of thinking, “What else is there to write about?” In fact, it feels like more often than not, coming up with topics to write about is more work than the writing itself.
The remedy is to the problem laid out above is to get comfortable with outlining your topics in advance. Even just writing down the title of an article, or subject of a social media post, can make coming up with the copy itself infinitely easier.
Another hidden benefit to writing down content concepts in advance is that you’ll have some extra time to think about what you want to say. Great ideas can come when you least expect them. Pave the way by having topic ideas already bouncing around in your head.
6. 30 Minutes On, 5 Minutes Off
This one might sound like “taking a break,” but this technique is more structured.
There’s just something about a clock ticking down that jump starts the brain into coming up with more ideas at a quicker rate. This is taken to another level when you have the promise of a small reward at the end.
The next time you sit down to write, try setting a timer for 30 minutes. Focus your attention fully on whatever it is you’re working on until the timer hits zero. Once the bell rings, set the timer to five minutes. Take this time to do whatever you want, whether it’s browsing the internet, scrolling social media, or texting a friend. Once that five minutes is up, it’s time for another 30-minute writing session.
The true magic of this method is that you’ll find it much easier to focus for 30 minutes when you know that five minute break is waiting for you at the end. You might even find it difficult to stop writing when your 30 minutes is up because you’re “in the zone,” so to speak.
Content burnout is something that every creator experiences from time to time. If you feel like it’s happening to you, try employing one of more of these methods and see if they help you get back on track.
Once you find what works for you on a personal basis, the process content-creation process starts to become easier than you ever thought possible.