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I can’t call it a skill of SEO content writing, so I’ll call it a learned tactic: beating writer’s block. Let’s face it; writing engaging, entertaining works of art to awe humanity is a crapshoot. Sometimes you hit the bull’s eye; most times, you aren’t even close to the target first time around. The readers are calling, though; your fans are waiting. What do you do? If you have a treasure trove of SEO content, you dig into it. If you don’t have one, it’s time to build one – and fast.
Lesson #1: When you feel creative, use it!
When the juices are flowing and you’re Mark Twain (or pick your favorite writing hero) incarnate, don’t pause. Don’t worry about the mundane things like SEO, keywords or word count; just write. Let the words flow from point to point – or even just wander around. This is your treasure trove. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be there.
I’ve ended up with 3,000 word documents with brief paragraphs of coherent thought. The good news is that, when writer’s block strikes, I can scroll through these documents and take excerpts at will. It really is a treasure trove.
Lesson #2: When in doubt, outline.
What if your muse has gone on a permanent vacation? What if you forgot to feed them cookies? No worries; there’s always the ever-trusty outline. Start with your main topic, which is – or should be – the topic of your site. Consider what you like most about your topic, write it down, and turn it into a title. Then ask yourself the question, “Why do I like this thing the most?” Bullet these things:
What I like: the intricacies
Starting Title: The Intricacies of SEO
- SEO is challenging
- It’s almost never the same from client to client
- There’s always more to learn
- It’s like a puzzle
- Just about the time you think you have, the search engines change the rules
What you have at the end of it is a brief outline of your next blog post or article, keyword already in use. With enough of these outlines, a day of writer’s block can still be prolific. Write a brief opening paragraph, a brief conclusion, and then expound on your bullet points.
Lesson #3: When even outlines won’t come, write headlines.
Sometimes, the world is just against you. Sometimes, even free flow writing and outlines won’t work. If this is the case, write headlines. You may not be able to use them now, but add them to your treasure trove.
Then again, enough headlines can often help kick start the creative muse. Rather than worrying about not being able to write a whole article, focus on creating beautiful, engaging or exciting headlines:
When SEO Goes Wrong
The BP of SEO
Top 5 Reasons NOT to Build Links
You CAN Get Top Listing in the SERPs
You get the picture. Right or wrong, the headlines you create could be the beginning of an excellent article. What you’ll often find in this case, however, is the title needs to be rewritten after the article is done. Just remember that, and reread the article once it’s done with the headline in mind. If it doesn’t fit, fix it.
Lesson #4: Writer’s block can be broken with the right medium.
Maybe you’re just so used to typing that you haven’t tried a pencil and paper lately. I know a woman who still uses a typewriter for writing drafts (she’ll be devastated when even novelty shops quit selling them). For me, it’s often a smooth pen that just rolls across the paper and a college-rule spiral notebook. When you’re stuck in one medium, try others.
The real key for creating a content treasure trove is try, try and try again. The failures go into the trove for safekeeping until you’re once again free to create. Never throw anything away, because you never know what your next great content creation will be!