In business and in sports, enduring success is the result of hard work and long-term commitment. On this Marathon Monday, learn from those who know how to go the distance. (more…)
The crisp autumn mornings often trigger a response based in childhood to sit up and take notice. We feel the transformation from the casual and carefree summer days to the discipline of the school year. As Labor Day approaches, the phone starts to ring with business owners ready to ramp up and buckle down. ‘Tis the season for structure.
Unlike summer, when lazy days are relished, as we flip the calendar to September, there is a greater focus on the weeks and months ahead. Year-end sales goals loom, perhaps accompanied by guilt and some angst for not keeping commitments to our own business development. For retail businesses selling to consumers, the stakes are even higher with only eight weeks remaining before the onset of the holiday shopping season. (more…)
In business and in sports, enduring success is the result of hard work and long-term commitment. On this Marathon Monday, learn from those who know how to go the distance.
This post has been updated for relevance and timeliness. Please see the refreshed post here.
Some days, it can be tough to craft yet another pithy, engaging and informative blog post. Yet maintaining your blog cadence is an important signal to search engines and readers that you are credible and worth following. While we recommend using an editorial calendar to provide the needed structure to make content publication less burdensome, not everyone is a natural planner.
If systematic, orderly and structured simply don’t fit your style, try this quick list of strategies to keep your creative inspiration flowing.
1. Leverage events: Capitalize on a recent industry event in your field. Many potential clients can’t take advantage of a full conference due to time or resources, but are interested in the subject matter. Craft a relevant post summarizing a workshop or speaker at the conference. If you offer seminars, classes or workshops, use the same approach to drill down on a key point.
2. ‘Tis the season: Seasonality can serve as inspiration for virtually any business. Fall clean-up is typically thought of as raking leaves, but it can also apply to your financial files or your social media profiles. Consider the weather, national holidays, school calendars, and seasonal events like proms, graduations, tax day, leaf peeping and summer solstice to add an entertaining theme to a post.
3. In the news: Capitalize on news that’s generating interest and use it to brainstorm ideas for a blog post. Not inspired? Explore trending topics in Twitter or top views in YouTube. One caution here — be sure that you offer a unique insight or perspective; posts that provide little new information or value can hurt your credibility and compel readers to unsubscribe to future posts.
4. Go deep in your niche: Set up weekly Google or other alerts on keyword phrases relevant to your business, and route the emails directly to a folder called “blog inspiration.” If you’re at a loss, peruse a few of the articles that use your keyword phrases and you’re sure to awaken the creative juices.
5. Follow the leaders: Maintain a list of the influential or key leaders in your niche. Subscribe to their blogs, newsletters and follow their social media posts. If you find an article which addresses a topic of your expertise, craft your own post which references theirs, and include your supporting or opposing perspective.
6. What’s good for the goose … The work you perform for one client account may spark interest by a potential client in a similar field. Share relatable elements of a recent client project (be sure to get client permission to share, or change any identifying details), identifying the client need or challenge and how the client benefitted.
7. Recycle: Repurpose one of your past email newsletter topics or blog posts to provide a fresh perspective. Or expand on a topic you posted about on social media. New trends can provide an opportunity to revisit previously published content with a fresh perspective.
Don’t depend on creative inspiration every week. “Bank” a few posts for when “life happens” — or creativity doesn’t.
We welcome your input. Please share your creative ways to come up with ideas for your blog topics.
Maintain Blog Posting Cadence: Use An Editorial Calendar (Part 2)
In the first post in this series, we reviewed how an editorial calendar can provide some structure around maintaining blog posting cadence. We suggested using a spread sheet to document categories, or content themes. Hopefully you found some time to do the recommended follow up: to create your own spread sheet of possible blog categories, along with ideas for blog posts within some of the categories. Now we are ready to take the next step in building our editorial calendar.