content mindset If you're a small business owner or a professional marketer getting started with inbound marketing , you're probably worried about content.

You understand that content is the best way to win the SEO lottery and get found on the web -- but you're worried that producing all that content will be hard. You and your staff (if you have one!) weren't trained as professional writers and the prospect of regular blog responsibilities is daunting.

I don't blame you. I worked in the news business for seven years before joining HubSpot, and the prospect of producing new, original content everyday is overwhelming to me, too.

Here's a secret: Writing a useful, popular blog doesn't require that you come up with spellbinding new ideas every day. You should be able to create useful content from things you're already doing on a regular basis.

To do this, you need to be in a content mindset. Instead of trying to come up with ideas when you sit down to write blog posts, look for posts throughout the day.

Here are five more specific ways you can do this:

(1) Turn Forum Posts Into Blog Post -- When somebody asks you a good question, don't just send a long response to one person. Post the question and answer in a forum -- then take that answer and turn it into a blog post. A similar approach works for blog comments. If you craft a thoughtful response to somebody else's blog post, chances are it would be a good post on your blog.

(2) Refine Thoughts for Speaking Events in Blog Posts -- How much time do you spend getting ready for speaking events? As you pull together your presentation, use a blog post as a way to crystallize your ideas in specific areas. For example, I'm using this post to spell out things I'm going to talk about at the eMarketing Techniques Conference in Cleveland on May 8 and the Inbound Marketing Bootcamp in Louisville on May 19.

(3) Interview Other Bloggers and Thought Leaders -- Going to a conference, or have interesting people visiting your office? Don't just have lunch with them. Pull them aside for five or ten minutes and ask them questions about your industry. Another approach is to be on the lookout for interesting Twitterers visiting your area. At HubSpot, we did this successfully with the governor of Massachusetts , MC Hammer and Twitter founder, Biz Stone .

(4) Use Your Data -- Does your business collect any unique bodies of data? If not, are there ways that you can? Opinions and advice are a dime-a-dozen, but great data is unique. If you have unique data, figure out ways to publish it and share it. At HubSpot some of our most successful blog posts are the ones we've written using data gathered in our free Grader applications .

(5) Share Lessons You Learn -- When you learn a new trick, share it. HubSpot's Ellie Mirman is a pro at this. For example, a few weeks back she leaned that certain links inside Facebook applications were giving SEO credit. Instead of keeping this news to herself to use for HubSpot, she published a very successful article on the subject the day after her discovery.

What do you think? Are there places that you find useful blog posts that I should add to this list?

Photo: Cindiann

Originally published Apr 22, 2009 8:36:00 AM, updated July 28 2017


Content Marketing