It happens to the best of them: If you’re a content creator over a long enough period of time, you’ll eventually hit a point at which everything you produce just feels stale. These funks usually pass fairly quickly, but that doesn’t make them any more pleasant to endure.
And if your job or business depends on your ability to generate content, a stale-content funk is even less pleasant. A content marketer has dollars at stake, and a business can’t just shut down because the content creator is in a slump. That makes it imperative for a content marketer to shake the slump quickly.
With that in mind, here are three quick cures for stale content:
Expand your horizons
Creators of content rely on others for inspiration and ideas. They don’t plagiarize others’ work, but their own work can easily be shaped by what others are doing. So if you’re creating content that seems stale, it might mean you’re not drawing inspiration from those in your base of influence.
An easy fix for that is to look outside of that base. Read different blogs or news sites. Follow new people on Twitter. Reach out to a competing business and talk to someone there. Study subjects that are foreign to you, rather than familiar. If you constantly use the same sources and surround yourself with the same ideas, yes, things will probably begin to feel stale.
To draw fresh inspiration, you might have to find fresh influencers.
Play devil’s advocate
If you’re in business, chances are you have some firmly held beliefs. It could be about your business in particular – a product or system you swear by – or within your industry as a whole. Everybody in business has things they accept as truth.
Would your content become less stale if you were to challenge some of the accepted truths? Imagine you were in a college class and had to write an argumentative essay, give a speech or produce a video that contradicted your accepted truth. You have to convincingly argue the opposite of what you believe. Could you do it?
If you think of yourself – even just while you’re in your content slump – as a devil’s advocate, you might be able to sift through existing content and easily come up with fresh perspectives.
Gather some guests
Sometimes, it takes a group effort for a content creator to emerge from a funk. If a writer, for example, is experiencing writer’s block, the feeling of being isolated with the problem can make the hole even deeper.
If you’re in that type of stale cycle, it might be helpful to turn things over to others. Have a guest contributor do a Q&A with you on your blog. Have a business partner, supplier, customer or client interview you for your YouTube channel. Ask Bob from accounting to write the email newsletter this week.
If your voice is stale and a business depends on your voice to create fresh content, it might be time to let another voice help lead the chorus.
Falling into a content slump can be frustrating, but it’s pretty much inevitable. People in all walks of life hit dry spells. In content marketing, the key is to be able to emerge from stale-content dry spells quickly. Your livelihood might depend on it, so quick cures might be worth a try.