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Blogging is key to running a successful content strategy. We’re at a point now where you can’t have one without the other. And if you don’t have a blog yet, get after it! The struggle is, and will always be, finding good content that’s worth writing about. Content needs to be fresh, engaging and exciting, inspiring your audience and leading further reader discussion through comments, shares, tweets and retweets.

Wasting time on blogging boring and non-engaging material isn’t going to benefit anyone, least of all yourself and your business. You don’t want to ruin your reputation with bad posts that people don’t care about. Below are a few tips on how to ensure your blog stays top-notch.

So where can you get ideas?

Start a Folder

Keep ideas handy in a desktop or Google Doc folder and go back to it whenever you’re in need of inspiration. Any time you come across something new (article or video) make a note of it and keep it in the folder. A great way to find new content is using an RSS feed in your browser. An RSS feed makes it super easy to keep track of your favorite blogs and news sources all in one places. Here’s the Chrome plugin I use.

Brainstorm (it’s ok to ask for help)

Try grabbing a notepad. It’s old school, but it really helps me solidify my ideas and keep notes for future posts. Use bubbles or bullet points—whatever gets the creative juices flowing.

Don’t have to keep it to yourself either. If you’re stuck, ask around; see if someone has an idea, and if they do, you have instant material. It’s important to get other people sharing and weighing ideas with you too. Talk to designers, to writers, to members of other teams. Get as many opinions and ideas as possible.

Think of Your Audience When Coming up with Blog Ideas

Think of the size of your group, their collective interests and the messages that will affect them the most. Plan accordingly, and make sure to eliminate or restructure ideas that will confuse or minimize your audience. Talk them out with your group and be open to their feedback. There’s not one “right way” to do this.

Do Some Research

Read your competitors’ blogs to see what they’re saying. There’s no shame in it; it’s good to know what they’re thinking of and writing about. Find out what makes their customers tick and use that insight to emulate them (if it’s working) or differentiate yourself (if it’s not).

Think Outside the Box

Don’t be afraid to write about your brand from a different perspective. Obviously you want to stay on topic, but consider using a new style or even a different person altogether. Get more minds contributing and not just brainstorming. Always be relevant but unique.

Stay Fresh

Posts don’t have to be lengthy but they do need to be consistent and regular. Look for timely news, upcoming events, seasonal interests. Use a calendar to mark down all the relevant days that could use a coinciding blog post. Try to stay as top of mind as possible. The goal is to be a thought leader.

Blogging can be a hard, but it shouldn’t be! Make it a fun challenge that’s rewarding and enjoyable. Don’t get burned out and you’ll find that it’s easy to pull ideas out of nowhere if you follow these easy tips.

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