If one is lucky enough to be employed by a large company, with a staff of graphic designers, and a staff of IT experts, chances are you’ll find yourself as a one person social media marketing department, graphic designer, photoshop technician, and web master. Basically, you’ll be the content generator, provider, and distributor. These are very different hats to wear, each needing an above basic level of expertise. Content is the lifeblood; generating content is the easiest part, just have an idea, (light bulb over the head!). Then it becomes how to execute the idea, which is probably the hardest, messiest, and most frustrating section of the equation. Depending on your or your client’s needs, the idea will involve a couple of graphic computer programs. Which ones? Knowing how to create web pages,animate logos, and objects, how to import YouTube and GoogleMaps, into a web design, manipulate photo images, import music or sound effects will likely be necessary. Daunting as it is to actually produce the content, possibly the hardest part of a project is integrating all the ideas and suggestions offered. Knowing if the idea will be easy to integrate, or even be a worthy suggestion, while staying on budget, and targeted release date, will keep one focused. Producing social media content is much more involved than a 140 character tweet, and it may be a good idea to take a look at how to create and execute good content.

Stuck? Can’t seem to get your creative juices flowing? Blank page syndrome?

Writer’s block (noun): the problem of not being able to think of something to write about or not being able to finish writing a story, poem, etc.
That’s how defines writer’s block, also known as blank page syndrome, but there is so much.  Anyone who has ever had to face a blank page or a glowing screen with an approaching deadline can surely tell you about the stress they face.  Here are couple of techniques that I use when I am in a rut and need to do away with writer’s block.  
  1. Revisit Inspiration: I keep record of ideas I want to go back to, whenever I am stuck and can’t seem to get those creative juices flowing. I will come back and review these thoughts. I jot down topics and ideas I come up with and save them to Evernote before I forget.  I will type it up on my computer, my tablet or my phone, whatever I have on hand when inspiration hits.  OK, truth be told I am not always that organized, sometimes I write in on a Post-it and stick it to the back of my phone so that I don‘t forget to save it later, but you get the point
  2. Try something new: The topic you were planning to write about isn’t doing it for you? Try a new one. Sometimes switching up an idea is all we need to get inspired and get your creative juices flowing.
  3. Research: Not sure what you want to focus on? Do some more investigation, reading up a on a subject maybe just what you need to remember why you were interested in something in the first place or may just teach you something new.
  4. Think outside the box: Do something completely different, don’t stick to what you normally do.
  5. Take a break: Staring at a blank piece of paper or a glowing screen sometimes just makes me more frustrated, so I take a break and do something else for a while. Lately I have gotten into doodling and coloring mandalas. There is something soothing and methodical to this that gives my brain the break I need and sometimes that is all I need to get those creative juices flowing. I don’t recommend taking on too complicated of a project or you just might get sidetracked.
  6. Ask for help: When all else fails ask someone else for their opinion.  Sometimes just starting a conversation and getting someone else’s input is all you need to get those juices flowing again.
  7. Sleep on it: Sometimes the best thing is to just sleep on it.  I get some of my best ideas when I am sleeping or when I am just waking up.
  I hope you find these tips helpful and good luck.  Still need some more tips? Check out these other helpful sites: Beat Blank Page Syndrome: 10 tips to Get You Started and The 10 Types of Writers’ Block (and How to Overcome Them)
About the Author Alexandra Bonilla @chicaperiodista is a journalist and columnist who knows all too well what it is like to face the dreaded blank page when you have an impending deadline. 

What’s a Blog, You Ask?

Nowadays, we hear the word blog mentioned quite often. A blog for this…a blog for that. What exactly is a blog? Let’s first start by defining the term blog. It’s actually very simple–a blog is a page on a website where you talk about a specific subject matter. It’s where you can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to the world. These days, it’s all about content. The more relevant content you can provide for your target audience, the more successful your blog will be. The actual writings for a blog are called posts. Here’s an example of a blog by Andrea Vahl, who is one of the top social media gurus. I must mention though, one of my most favorite visual blogs is Angelicamademe. Check it out and you’ll see why I like this so much! There are blogs on any subject you can think of—fashion, cars, photography, etc. A blog is updated regularly and can be written by yourself or someone you trust to write for you. A person who writes for a blog is called a blogger. A well-known blogger who I like to follow and has loads of wonderful information on blogging is Jeff Bullas. The goal for your blog is to get as many people as possible to read it…and read it regularly. There are tools you can use to help you with your blog. My favorite is WordPress. WordPress allows you to write, store and publish your postings on your website. It also provides you with tools to help people find your blog. This is crucial for the success of your blog, because most likely there are tons and tons of blogs out there on your particular subject matter. You want people to read YOUR blog. You might be thinking—well, this is all great, but I don’t like to write or I don’t have the time to write. Good news! There are a couple of options.
  1. As mentioned before, you can have other people you trust write for you. There are bloggers you can hire that will do this. Sprout Social has a list of websites to find bloggers. I’ve used Elance, which is on this list and had no problems. You will most likely need to pay whoever you hire and prices range, depending on your needs and their expertise in that subject.
  2. Instead of a blog, you can do a vlog. (Yep…what will they think of next?!) A vlog is a blog, which the postings are done in video. I follow Sonia Gil’s vlog for one of my clients. Her niche is traveling and traveling tips. Vlogs are great for your audience, because they are visual, which can be more appealing than something written.
So blogs have become more and more popular over the years. And if you’re running a business, it’s almost essential for you to have a blog on your website. Most likely, your competition has a blog and again, YOU want to be the expert in your subject matter, not them. Got it? Next up…what the heck do I write about on my blog? So stay tuned…