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In Episode #390, Eric and Neil talk about avoiding writer’s block. Tune in to learn how they keep their creative juices flowing even in those moments of low energy and low enthusiasm, and the tools they use to stay productive and focused.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
- 00:27 – Today’s topic: How to Avoid Writer’s Block
- 00:35 – Writer’s block is when you don’t know what to write
- 00:38 – Neil shares 3 things to do to prevent writer’s block
- 00:42 – Go to BuzzSumo, put in your competitor’s URL and it will show you what’s popular within your space
- 00:58 – Go to Ahrefs and it will show you what drives traffic to your competitors
- 01:09 – Put in words and phrases on Twitter and you’ll see what people are tweeting out
- 01:21 – Ask around or create a survey when you need an idea
- 01:36 – Eric has a Pomodoro app on his phone
- 01:42 – Pomodoro technique lets you focus on something for 25 minutes then a 5-minute break
- 01:48 – Eric uses this app every morning when he’s writing and it’s effective for him
- 02:05 – You always start slow but you find the flow after a few minutes
- 02:23 – Writer’s block is usually due to distractions
- 02:49 – Sometimes, writer’s block happens to Eric and Neil while podcasting
- 03:15 – Marketing School is giving away a free 1 year subscription of Crazy Egg which is a visual analytics tool
- 03:52 – Go to SingleGrain.com/giveaway for multiple entries
- 04:05 – That’s it for today’s episode!
3 Key Points:
- See what the people in your space are talking about, and then write on those ideas.
- Try to stay focused and never let distractions get in the way.
- Writer’s block happens to everyone—the people who accomplish their goals in life are those who find away around their writer’s block.
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Full Transcript of The Episode
Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.
Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.
Eric Siu: And today we are going to talk about how to avoid writer's block. So Neil, how do you avoid writer's block and what is it?
Neil Patel: Sure writer's block is when you don't know what to write on. It's really simple. You can do three things and I'll break them down to you and then it's all Eric from here. One, go to BuzzSumo, put in a key word or you are other competitor and It'll show you what's popular within your space. It'll give you ideas if you can write other content related to that, that's better because you don't want to write duds, you want to write stuff that does well and it breaks it down based on social shares. Second is Ahrefs. You can put in a URL in there. It'll show you what's driving search traffic to your competitors. Look at their most popular pages. You can create similar ones that are better, right? And the third tip is put in words and phrases within Twitter and you'll see what people are Tweeting out. It's kinda like BuzzSumo. It's a cheaper version of it. Not as good and again this will give you ideas of what's hot right now. So, if you do those three things, you'll get enough ideas. You can try surveying and asking your users and try many different tactics, like ask your support team but the quickest way is just using one of those three tactics.
Eric Siu: Great, here's a tactic for you. Just do it, okay. So, here's one thing I learned. I have this app on my Mac called Pomadoro App and the Pomadoro technique is basically you focus on a task for twenty-five minutes and then you get a five minute break, right? So, I set that for writing in the morning and that almost always gets me started, right? I might not know what to write for the first minute or two, but having that countdown in front of me showing that hey there's only twenty-three minutes left and it gets me going, and I just start writing, right?
Even though sometimes you start writing and the stuff that's coming out is crappy, once you start getting in the flow, just go ahead and edit, right? And I found that always to be the case. So I just start writing. It seems easier said than done. A lot times I won't have much to say until boom that idea comes out of nowhere. Because I'm strictly focused on that. The problem with writer's block in the past is I'll just sit there and I'll start to become distracted by oh I'm going to check my phone, I'm gonna check my Facebook now, I'm gonna read my Feedly. I'm going to trick myself into doing things that I think are actually productive, but aren't. Anything that distracts me from doing the main thing, right? So, just focus on writing for that one period of time.
Again, I'm beating a dead horse here, but just start writing and you'll get something going. And it doesn't have to be as complicated as people make it out to be. Same thing with this podcast, right? Sometimes Neil and I will just sit here. This can be considered writer's block where it's hard for us to come up with ideas, but all of a sudden just a bunch start to flow and then we're just cranking out a bunch of ideas in a Google sheet. And plus, we have Scott that helps us a lot with ideas. So, thank you Scott.
Before we go, by the way, we have a 1-year annual subscription of Crazy Egg that we would like to give to you, so Neil, what is Crazy Egg?
Neil Patel: Crazy Egg is a visual analytics tool. Shows you what people click. Where they don't. What's causing them to convert like the elements on your site. They copy. You can then go make changes within Crazy Egg using the Wizzy Wig editor and then you can even run a/b tests to make sure the changes you're making are improving your conversion rate. It's really easy to use and it does thing like let's say you have content. Well, are people scrolling all the way down reading it and clicking on your Call-To-Actions? If not, maybe your need place for your Call-To-Actions higher on the page. You can do all of this plus more using Crazy Egg.
Eric Siu: Great, so we are actually giving away for each entry you can actually do multiple entries. So, if you want to learn more about that just go to singlegrain.com/giveaway. We're giving away of these every single week for the next year so get in on these limited quantities while you still can. Again, just go to singlegrain.com/giveaway to learn more and we will see you tomorrow.
Announcer: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.
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