Eco-content: When it’s OK to recycle

August 16, 2017

Eco-content blog 1

Anyone who is operating in the digital space, or knows anything about SEO will know that regurgitating content is not much use; when it comes down to it, putting the same exact article in lots of different places rarely helps – Google just puts its blinders on. However, there is a time and a place for recycling content, and it can be done in a way that works to a brand’s advantage. The way we see it, there are two key purposes – and we’ve outlined these below.

Control and consistency of your story

In an over-saturated market, the brands and businesses that stand out are the ones that know what it is that makes them special and different, and communicate that effectively. Only a cursory look at the current pre-election chaos is needed to demonstrate the disillusionment, and lack of trust, that the public (read: your market) feels when a story and key messages seem unclear.

We’ve long known that a strong brand is crystal clear on what it’s about, but we are – now, more than ever – seeing the importance of a business crafting its narrative in a way that consistently reinforces those messages. Great pieces of content contribute to your narrative; they demonstrate what makes you special in a way that moves people to think, feel and act in a particular way. And those pieces of content are powerful.

People need to see a message consistently, in a range of different ways and places, and at various times, to get it. As you tell your story and invite your customers and prospects to truly ‘get’ you, great bits of content provide the cornerstone foundation for this. You can be creative about it, but don’t be afraid to say the same thing more than once.

Getting maximum marketing mileage

When written well and reflecting all of your key messages, a little content can go a long way. If you’ve carefully crafted a key portion of your story, tell it and keep telling it. We have so many great channels for communication, and touchpoints with customers and prospects, at our fingertips nowadays, and a strong piece of content should be able to be leveraged across many of them.

Avoid making the mistake of merely copying and pasting though. To maximise your marketing mileage from a piece of content in the optimal way, you need to consider your audience, and the different way that those people interact with each channel, so that you can tailor your content accordingly.

For example, people bring a different attention span to an online publication that they have opted to read than they would when they’re engaging with social media (not to mention their varied expectations of different social media channels). Or, another example may be that you have used an article as a blog post, and then receive the opportunity to include it as a thought leadership piece in another organisation’s newsletter. You could just flick off a carbon copy of your original article, but your piece will get better results if you think about the types of people reading this specific newsletter, and do a small amount of tweaking to increase the relevance of your article to them.

Eco-content: Recycling like the pros

Clever copywriters know how take the compelling parts of a story and craft content that is optimised for use across a range of different channels. This allows you to achieve better bang for your buck and maximise the value you get from an investment in great content (and it is just that – an investment!) Not only that, it also helps you achieve a consistent brand voice, increases the chance of people buying into your story, as well as enabling you to control the conversation you are having with your market.

 

 

 

 

 

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Why consistency is key to using content to control a conversation with your market

August 2, 2017

Regular comms blog-2

When it comes to communications, consistency is key. No matter how dazzling and perfect a piece of content is, nowadays, it’s no longer enough to do something once and pray that it will work.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for wonderful content; in fact, we believe that businesses can most effectively communicate with their audiences when they’re telling interesting and valuable stories. That said, we also understand that if you want to win in your chosen space, you have to proactively and strategically drive the conversation that you’re having with your market.

To do that, however, takes time.

Time to uncover and craft compelling stories that help people understand what makes a business or brand special and different.

Time to connect and build up trust with your customers and prospective market.

Time to regularly demonstrate your expertise, build your credibility, gain trust and provide your audience with the confidence that you will consistently give them value.

Time (and consistency) also allow you to improve; over time you can learn from your mistakes, as well as what you’re doing well. If you’re communicating regularly, over time you can see the type of engagement you’re getting, gauge responses, and make tweaks as you go to improve the way that you’re communicating.

Whether it be in the blog space, through a printed magazine or newsletter, or on social media, or through online and digital marketing, it’s more important than ever that you’re consistently getting your message out, and consistently communicating with the people who will help your business grow.

We’ve seen time and time again what happens when businesses are haphazard and spasmodic with their communications; they wonder why their efforts aren’t converting and why they’re not gaining the momentum they desire. Simply scheduling your communications with a content plan allows you to strategically consider the conversation you’re crafting with your market, driving increased conversions from captive consumers.

Let great content build your reputation and earn you the trust of your market. Add your expertise and your narrative to the dialogue that already exists around your corner of the market, with a confident and consistent brand voice.

Magic happening inside… Intelligent Ink’s got a new HQ!

July 20, 2017

You may have seen the news on our social channels, or noticed that we updated the ‘Contact’ page of the website but, either way, we can now happily announce that Intelligent Ink has a new HQ!

After four years in our central city loft-style space, we’ve escaped the CBD (and accompanying roadworks) and headed up to Ponsonby (4B Blake St, to be exact). True to the brand, we’ve found another cute character space that suits us perfectly and we’re nestled near some other cool boutique businesses, including our lovely design friends, Mount Deluxe.

For you, this simply means that it’s even easier than before for you to come and visit. With heaps of street parking available (and no longer the ascent up 3 flights of stairs!) our new digs are well set up for hosting. We made sure we bought our extensive tea collection with us, and we’ve got the goods to make great coffee too… (it’s the important things, you know!)

We’re also happy to be creating a cool space for communications workshops. Our work sees us, more and more, working with brands to drill down to their story and key messages, coordinating content calendars that allow a business to control the conversation that they’re having with their market in a consistent and ongoing way. Our new creative space is perfect for taking clients along on this journey…

We’re excited about what the rest of the year holds (how is it already more than halfway gone though?!) for Intelligent Ink and the next steps in our journey. A special thank you to everyone who has been a part of our story over the last 6½ years and we can’t wait to meet all of you who will also be a part of where we’re going. We look forward to seeing you soon in our new space; don’t be shy!

Intelligent Ink content marketing & storytelling

Work the web: How to make your digital marketing succeed

July 6, 2017

Digital Marketing - Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Gone are the days of simply having a website for your new business. These days your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Website and Google account should all be linked together. But how do you know your business will even be seen in the vast and ever-changing worldwide web’s search engine? It’s most definitely not a case of ‘build it and they will come’ any longer (if it ever indeed was!) Sound daunting? Don’t fret, we have some tips on how to set your business up online in the most efficient way.

 

SEO AND CONTENT

Cathy Mellett Digital MarketerSEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. The best way to ensure your business is popping up first on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines is by using clear and relevant keywords within your online content. Cathy Mellett, owner of digital marketing agency Net Branding, explains the only way potential customers will find you via search is with “exceptionally high-quality content.” We can definitely back this up, considering content is our love and speciality.  But prior to content, make sure you’ve got a long-term website and digital SEO strategy in place so all your efforts have an identified goal and purpose.

When it comes to content, it’s important to identify your keyword/root words; words that will always cross over your content to ensure consistency, and loyal searchers. “Your headings and meta descriptions should make the value you’re offering crystal clear upfront,” adds Cathy.

Then make sure you create content regularly. Although many of the pages on your website will remain relatively static, make sure there is at least a section – like a blog or news area – where you are regularly adding new content. This not only gives your readers a reason to keep coming back, but it will also help you maintain a higher spot in search results, as Google re-indexes your site for each new piece of content. Keeping your business optimised for search engines is a long-term commitment but let’s face it; if you’re not showing up when people are searching for your product or services, what’s the point of having a website?

 

WHEN IT COMES TO CONTENT, MIX IT UP

Let’s say, for instance, you’re running an online shoe business. Customers won’t merely limit themselves to only searching “shoes” when looking for a new pair, that’s far too broad. When we’re looking for shoes, we generally know what we want, so we likely search a brand, style, or even a colour too. It’s important that you always include specific and concise root keywords when producing content, to open up your business for differing search opportunities. This further supports the importance of frequently creating content, as you can explore different search terms and trends, without obviously “keyword stuffing” on one page. Don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun with your content!

 

INTEGRATION IS KEY

Search engine optimisation is one important piece of the puzzle, but it’s not your entire digital marketing story. Be sure to embrace the other channels you have at your fingertips, such as social promotion, email marketing, and Pay Per Click advertising. While many businesses are using a range of channels, Cathy believes what is becoming ever more important, in order to win online, is an integrated approach. “Don’t look at your digital presence in silos – with social media here, the website there and your SEO or online advertising strategy there,” Cathy explains.

“All businesses are different, but digital has evolved into a platform whereby all the functions can come together and work synergistically towards an organisation’s key objectives. Look at where you are now and where you want to go, and look at how you can best make sure you add your voice to the conversation.”

 

Digital Marketing Company Net BrandingTHERE’S NO ONE ANSWER FOR EVERYONE

There’s no point doing the same thing as everyone else if it doesn’t work for you – and not everything will! For some people, regular blogs shared via social media might be the answer, while for other businesses a more advertising-based focus could be right. “Depending on the business’s focus and urgency, other solutions such as Google Adwords and other online advertising options could be explored,” says Cathy, who’s just been over at digital marketing conferences in London. The important thing is to find out what works for you. Which brings us to…

 

YOU DON’T NEED TO DO ALL THE WORK YOURSELF

It’s important to invest in digital marketing for it to work for you, but this doesn’t all have to be at the expense of your time and upskilling. A digital marketing expert can help you ensure your online platforms are offering a cohesive brand presence and performing as well as they should. Likewise, you’re in the business of whatever it is that you do best, not that of creating content, so trust the experts here to curate your brand voice and drive a conversation with your market.

Keen to make sure your content and digital marketing are working for you? Just get in touch – we love working with experts like Net Branding to make sure your content gets the eyes it deserves!

 

Communicating your brand: How to fortify what makes you special

June 22, 2017

Brand blog

We all know the stuff of brands; it’s the unique design, sign, symbol, words – or combination of these things – that together create an organisation’s image. This image, and the story that you tell, helps people to identify your organisation’s product and differentiate it from your competitors. If your brand is proactively built, and positively sustained, over time it accumulates credibility, quality, trust and value in the mind of the consumer. As a result, it helps consumers identify the benefits of one organisation over another.

In all manners of business, a strong, positive brand is essential. However, creating a valuable brand is not a simple and static process; your brand must be constantly looked at to ensure it stays relevant and continues to increase in value. Simply having a nice logo isn’t enough. If you want to establish and fortify your own business’s brand, you must first develop a clear and uniform understanding of your brand identity and, with this understanding, develop a brand strategy for how you’ll best communicate just what makes your business so amazing.

 

Foster your brand

All businesses’ brand identities are determined by their business plan. So, to create and maintain a strong brand strategy, you need to keep an eye on what your businesses goals and aspirations are. Defining a clear brand strategy from your business goals will help you to develop, deliver and manage the brand going forward.

To develop a brand strategy, consider the 3 Ps (Purpose, Potential, and Promise):

  • Purpose: What is the purpose of your brand and business? What does it value?
  • Potential: Realistically consider your ability to achieve your brand goals. For instance, if you aspire to be the top performer in your industry, do you have the time, money and resources to achieve that? Create your own niche and unique position in the market in comparison to the competition.
  • Promise: What do you have to offer to your audience and how are you going to deliver this? What makes you stand out from your competitors? How do you fulfil the brand’s purpose within your potential?

 

Understand the organisation’s goals, ambitions, and capabilities

To further establish and maintain a successful brand identity, be very clear on your organisation’s goals, ambitions and capabilities. Some key things to consider include: What do you want the business to be? Is it that already? If not, how can you become that? Or, if it is, how do you communicate what makes your business special to your customers?

The answers to these questions will allow you to develop an in-depth understanding of the business’ current situation, where it wants to be and what it can achieve.  Whilst doing this, ruthlessly assess what the business really is, considering what is good and bad about it. Only by honestly assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your organisation, can you develop a brand communication strategy that will improve the business.

 

Consider your customer

Another key component to building and maintaining a strong brand within today’s competitive market is understanding your customer – what they need and want. The customer should be at the forefront of your mind when you are developing your brand because they are your most important supporter. Before you can communicate your brand message to them, you need to ensure that it appeals to them and will be unique within the current market. Today’s market is incredibly competitive and your brand needs to have some sort of X factor – that can be positioned along with your unique story – to cut through. It’s all about figuring out what your point of difference is and owning it!

 

The product isn’t everything

When it comes to building, and maintaining, a brand it’s not just about having a good product or service and distributing it. The brand’s story must be brought to life in everything the business does, including its products or services, price point, packing, staff, stores or distribution methods, communications, and corporate social responsibility activities.

On a similar note, however, don’t try to be everything to everyone. Even the best brands understand that they can’t appeal to everyone, so they develop an intimate understanding of their distinct target audience. Essentially, in everything you do, develop a unique position and stand for something.

 

Love your brand

A brand is something that needs constant TLC to maintain its value and credibility in the market. To do this, everyone involved in the business must be involved and present. A brand identity should be treated like a living, organic thing that must be sustained and nurtured, otherwise it withers and dies. This is especially true in today’s digital age, where business never sleeps and social media connects everyone 24/7.

People can now engage with an organisation at any time, from anywhere and information can spread globally in an instant. As a result, social media should be constantly monitored and utilised to protect and share your brand. Depending on how it is used, it can be an incredibly powerful tool for accumulating supporters and/or opposition.

 

Businesses today need to be vigilant and constantly monitor their story and how people feel about them so they can quickly respond to issues and share positive developments. This also applies to all aspects of a business and its communications. Constant monitoring, in-depth planning and proactive action will develop and maintain a strong brand, which paves the way to successful business.

If you want to look at how you can better communicate what makes your brand special, get in touch! We’d love to chat.

 

 

 

Where is the future of content marketing heading?

May 24, 2017

We might still be fairly sprightly here at Intelligent Ink, but sometimes even we feel old – and never more so than upon realising that, tech savvy as our generation is, we’ve got nothing on the kids finishing school now.

Future of content marketing blog

Meet Generation Alpha. The newest generational group to join the purchasing world, they’ve created one of the largest demographic shifts since the Baby Boomer generation. Coined as ‘screenagers’, these customers are tech natives. Having grown up with technology being seamlessly integrated into their lives, it is no longer considered a tool but rather a necessity. A seven-year-old can probably navigate a smartphone as well as a millennial! Suddenly tablets are replacing teddy bears, text messages are replacing passing notes, and landlines and phone books have already become historical items.

So what does that mean for business? In particular, as new generational groups gain purchasing power, how do content marketers adapt their strategy in order to successfully target each group? A strategy that works well at targeting Baby Boomers won’t necessarily be as effective for the next generation.

To evolve with the generational changes, we’re expecting a few changes when it comes to content:

Interactive content

Interactive content is not a new development, but it’s becoming more and more popular in the sphere of content marketing. Gen Alphas have an incredibly short attention span of only 8 seconds; that’s shorter than most snapchats! To remain competitive and to get the attention of this segment you need to be able to hook your audience and give them immediate value. There will still be a place for traditional content marketing, although the use of visual aids and connective messages will grab more attention as a new facet of interactive content is on the horizon.

 

Personalisation

We’ve seen this trend evolve with both millennial and generation Z, but personalisation will become increasingly popular for Gen Alpha consumers. You can get your name embroidered or attached to consumer goods, create a Barbie that looks like your twin and have advertisements that are tailored to your search history pop up in front of you. Personalisation will go further in the coming years with interactions with big brands needing to be all about the individual customer. To lead the way in this, it should feel as though the individual is the sole person who is being targeted with a particular message.

 

Extra-long or extra-short

Engaging content that will hook the audience will either be extremely short or lengthy and in-depth.

With the two extremities in length comes a rethink to your overall strategy. Can your message be translated in a short, concise, snappy message that is most likely to be delivered over social media? Or is your message compelling enough to be in the form of a lengthy story? If your content is worth reading, customers will go beyond their typical 8 second attention spam to gain value and share articles.

One thing will never change about creating good content – and that is that, to be truly effective, you must take into account who you’re talking to. The first step in writing any content is to think about who you’re trying to target – if it’s a B2B customer, are they the business owner or perhaps the problem owner further down the chain? If you’re talking to consumers, are you talking to an early 40s mother who works and is always busy, or to a teenager in Generation Alpha who is used to getting everything instantaneously and spends their life on their phone? Considering who you’re talking to will help you define your key messaging, tone, channels used, and even (as we’ve said), the length, helping you grab the attention of these tech natives, share your story, and connect with your audience.

 

It won’t be long until these digital natives become the new customers. Now, more than ever, businesses need to be thinking about adapting to digital processes, and focusing on customising the experience of each user. Get ready!

 

On to the next chapter – what comes next after an internship

May 4, 2017

Our most recent intern, Caitlin, has just finished up with us – so we asked her to put together her thoughts on the internship and where she’s at now. It’ll probably be a familiar feeling to many people at the start of their careers!

16903334_1428732050471804_5320167433750120684_oI’ve spent the past 3 months as an Intelligent Ink Intern – writing countless blogs, articles and website content and, now suddenly, I’m left with the task of writing my final blog post detailing my internship and my mind is blank. Seriously, there’s nothing in there. Writer’s block decided to come and hit me on my final day. Awesome. Despite this, I’ll push through and follow some helpful advice from my friend Dory, but instead of swimming, I’ll just keep writing, writing, writing.

It’s a strange thought that I’m still coming to grips with; I was once a high school student, then a university student, now I’m an intern, but after today I have no title. Instead I’m left trying to figure out what I want to do.

When I was younger I was constantly asked, “What do you want to be when you’re older?” I would always answer, “A fairy,” and my naive 5-year-old mind thought that it was a viable career option. Anything was possible when you were younger. You could be anything you wanted to be. Why has that changed? Granted, I don’t think being a fairy and flying around all day is too realistic. But that younger self mindset of ‘I can do anything’ is the best one to have when you’re still trying to figure it all out.

Despite having no clue about what I actually want to do career wise, I definitely have a clue about what I don’t want to do, and that’s anything that involves math! And I have an inkling about what I love doing – passions that have ignited over the years and been further developed during my time here at Intelligent Ink.

Over the weeks of being an Intelligent Ink Intern I’ve learnt A LOT! More than I could have ever imagined.

Stepping into this internship was a big dive into the deep end; I was entering into the ‘real world’! However, I’ve learnt that going outside of your comfort zone, and confronting situations that make you nervous, is something that should be embraced! If I said no to everything that I thought I couldn’t do, I wouldn’t have learnt half as much as I did during my internship. Instead, I said “yes” to every opportunity.

No one loves criticism, but instead of shoving it aside and not daring to look at it anymore, I’ve learnt to turn the feedback into pointers for my following articles. In three months you want to learn and absorb as much as possible and that can’t be achieved if you’re not open to helpful, constructive suggestions.
Writing used to be a mundane, chore-like task at university. Sitting down to write an academic essay was a nightmare. I remember when I was younger creating stories and writing for myself was a rush. And far from writing everyday becoming a chore during my internship, it’s the complete opposite; I come into the office eager to write and loving every second of it! You have days where you’re completely unmotivated to write one sentence but the end result of ticking the task off your checklist and seeing your words in print or up on a website drives the desire to finish everything to a high standard.

If you asked me to name what I loved most about my time at Intelligent Ink and what I’ll be taking away from this experience, it’s my love for writing that has been reignited and the vast improvements I have made over the weeks I’ve been here. For this, I am truly grateful for the guidance and support Verity and Christina have given me during my internship.

Right now, there are so many avenues of my life that are undecided. Usually this would scare me, but instead everything is wide open and I’m excited to chase opportunities wherever they may lead.

So, I’m leaving Intelligent Ink with no title, just a recent graduate with some practical experience under her belt and a heart full of curiosity, ready see where the future leads.

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Seeking your story – why use Intelligent Ink?

April 25, 2017

Intelligent Ink storytellers & content marketing experts

When you’re not witty wordsmiths or expert communicators, it can be hard to know where to start. And even if you know you need some support with content, it’s not always easy to know who the right people are for the job – or exactly what the job is!

That’s why we thought we’d give you a little insight into who we are, and what we love, so you can tell if we might be the sort of people that you like to work with. From there, the rest is easy, but it’s getting the right fit that’s important. After all, we’re after partners, not just clients, so we’re keen to be in it for the long haul.

 

We really love stories – and we’re really good at them

You’ve probably already gathered that writing is our jam, but it goes a bit deeper than that. While we can wield words that persuade, and words that inspire, what we really love are words that tell a story, because that’s what truly creates a connection.

 

We can talk how you talk

So often a business intuitively knows what makes them special and different, but this can be hard to get across externally. I mean, you have to really be there and feel it, don’t you? Not so! The other thing we’re really freakin’ good at is asking the right questions; we work hard from the outset to make sure we ‘get’ you, and then help you communicate in a way that ensures that others really get it too.

If you’re ticking a box with your content and just trying to get something up on a page, we may not be your gals. Not ones for a slap-dash solution, we’re just see too much possibility and opportunity for great content. Or as one of our husbands puts it: “Don’t handcuff us to the kitchen sink.”

 

We’re good at the big picture

There’s a reason for this. While for us it’s all about content – and we’re particular about how every piece of writing goes – we’re always considering it within the bigger context of your comms. Our wordsmithing ways are channel-agnostic, but one of the things that sets us apart is our ability to see and make commercial connections and consider how content can be used across all of your channels. Not only is this cost-effective common sense, it enables an integrated approach and a chance to drive a conversation with your market.

As such, we want to partner with people who are keen for some expert support, and love taking a collaborative approach to their communications. (You’re seeing again here why we’re not just words for hire now, aren’t you?)

 

We care – a lot!

There’s a reason that we’re so methodical, and strive for perfection in everything we write and, put simply, it’s because we care – a lot. And we’re not just saying that! We genuinely care about the people we work with and the companies and brands they work for. But don’t worry, it’s not all being “grammar-Nazis”. We make sure to strike the right balance with plenty of creativity and ‘out of the box’ thinking in there too.

 

So that’s us – if you’re keen to partner with awesome writers who think about your business as a whole and how your communications can achieve greatness, then get in touch. We would love to help you take a leadership position to win in your competitive environment, by delivering valuable content and empowering you to control how you communicate and connect with your customers.

Why content is our past, present & future – and what that means for you

April 5, 2017

Lots of changes have been taking place behind the scenes at Intelligent Ink – and we don’t just mean fresh interns or new Inkers. Instead, we’ve changed the way we do things and are focusing on helping our clients control the conversations that they’re having with their audiences. Let us explain…

Intelligent Ink has been doing clever things with words for over six years now (hard to believe!) Although we started off delivering compelling, professional copywriting, and then added a PR arm to our mix, we ended up doing even more than that.

Challenges within the traditional media environment, ever-changing technology and increasing saturation are making it harder than ever for businesses to achieve penetration and set themselves apart – vital ingredients of being able to build a real connection with customers. For this reason, we are putting down our PR tools, and focusing on helping businesses create controlled content.

II relaunchWe genuinely believe that businesses can most effectively communicate when they’re telling interesting and valuable stories – especially when they proactively and strategically drive the conversation that they’re having with their market.

For us, it’s all (still) about uncovering and crafting stories that help people understand what makes a business or brand special and different – stories that enable them to own a niche, take a position, and create authentic connections with customers. From there, we’re partnering with other amazing agencies to help us work magic across their specialty channels.

Whether it be in the blog space, through a printed magazine, online and digital marketing, targeted direct marketing or consistent eDMs, we are driving the channels that our clients can control and own.

Some of you will call this content marketing, but for us that doesn’t go the whole way to explain what makes these types of communications special. If anything, we were doing content marketing before it was “cool” and, now more than ever, we believe in helping clients take a leadership position to win in their competitive environment, by delivering valuable content and empowering them to control how they communicate and connect with their customers.

After all, it’s those who tell the stories that rule the world.

 

At Intelligent Ink, we love helping you uncover what makes you special and working alongside you to communicate that. Our focus is on delivering valuable content that enables you to control a conversation with the people you need to talk to. To find out more, or take the next step on your content journey, get in touch.

9 ways to unblock writer’s block

March 23, 2017

How to unblock writers block
Every writer, at some point, experiences writer’s block. You have an important document, article, assignment or report to write but, for some reason, you can’t seem to get started or you get stuck mid thought…

Put simply, writer’s block is when a writer loses the ability to produce new work or they experience a creative slowdown. Even we master wordsmiths at Intelligent Ink suffer from writer’s block from time to time. So, we have pulled together some of our best tips and tricks for overcoming writer’s block to craft an exquisite piece of writing:

1. Write it out

One way to overcome writer’s block is to just keep putting things down on paper, even if they aren’t relevant or they don’t seem to make sense. Sometimes just writing whatever comes to mind will help you to get into the flow and get the creative juices flowing. Some studies have found that writers get blocked because they fear judgement or not getting it right. The best way to overcome this form of writer’s block is by writing through it.

2. Experiment and make mistakes

Try writing something for yourself, like a private diary, a dream journal, a story or a brainstorm. They don’t have to be for any particular reason or for anyone to see, but allowing yourself an escape from structured and pressured writing can give your mind the freedom it needs explore and conjure up what others may find ludicrous and unrelated. Researchers have found that experimentation with ones writing and making mistakes is integral for overcoming writer’s block. So, if you can’t write what you should, try writing something that you shouldn’t.

3. Remember that the beginning isn’t always the best place to start

For many writers, simply starting is the hardest part. If you find you struggle with the introduction, first paragraph or first chapters, try skipping those and come back to them. Instead, try writing whatever section you find most compelling first. Sometimes writing the body of an article first can help you to better figure out and define what you are doing. Some writers never know where they’re going until they reach their destination; in fact, there are many well-known authors who knew the ending to their stories before they began.

4. Take a break in the middle

It might seem more logical to write until you reach the end of an idea, scene or section, however this logical approach can make it difficult to recommence writing the next day, because you have to find a completely new train of thought to jump on. Ernest Hemingway always said, “write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next.” By stopping in the middle of a thought or section it will make it easier for you to get your momentum back the next day, as you will have a better idea of what to write next.

5. Fool yourself

Some writers can feel blocked when they have a mountain of writing ahead of them. It’s natural to find the prospect of writing an entire article, story or chapter from scratch incredibly daunting. The best way to conquer such a mountain if it’s blocking your flow is to chip away at it by setting and completing baby goals. By setting little goals like, “just turn on the computer,” “just open Word,” “just write one sentence,” etc., you will fool yourself into slowly making progress on what may have, at first, seemed like a monstrous task. Quite often if you tell yourself that you just need to write for five minutes, chances are you’ll end up writing for much longer as you’ll get your groove going.

6. Set a smaller time window

Researchers also suggest restricting yourself to just two or three hours for writing something, as opposed to setting aside a whole day. Chances are that if you designate a whole day, you’ll come up with excuses to slack off. It’s much easier to focus your energy, block out distractions and maximise your productivity for two hours than it is for a whole day. Moreover, if you force yourself to write for several hours, you will probably find that work done in the last few hours will need to be redone anyway.

7. If it doesn’t work, let it go

Sometimes there is a pesky section or idea that you just can’t get to work. If you encounter this, and it’s blocking your flow, it might just not be right. Try considering if the troublesome paragraph or sentence is necessary. If it isn’t then just cut it out.

8. Take a break and come back to it

If you’re having trouble with an idea, paragraph or section and it really is essential, try taking a break and coming back to it. If it’s not working, stop trying to force it and instead go for a walk, get a coffee, have some food or just get out of the office. This can help you to de-stress and increase feelings of happiness, which makes your brain work better. When you come back to it you’ll be feeling refreshed and better equipped to tackle the trouble part.

9. Write the way that suits you

As a writer, it’s important that you don’t let anyone prescribe how you should write. Every writer has different preferences and strategies that help them to write effectively, for example some prefer writing drafts by hand, some work best in the morning, whilst others like to write at night. Moreover, some writers like to write on a treadmill, outside, sitting down, standing up or lying in bed. When it comes to writing, there are really no rules as to how to do it (except that you may be somewhat constrained in your work environment!) As much as you can, trust your unique creative process.