Generating quality content, actively promoting it and keeping those creative juices flowing can be a challenge at the best of times.
The great news though is that your blogging strategy needn't feel like a chore if you keep a few simple and practical content creation ideas in mind.
Here are 12 strategies to help you produce relevant and engaging blog content that will delight your manufacturing prospects and keep them coming back for more
1. Conduct an interview
Draw on the expertise of those around you by reaching out to industry leaders, current clients or prospects and asking them for an interview.
The interview process needn't be an onerous or time-consuming one. Just half a dozen open-ended questions could be enough to kick-start the conversation.
And you could well find that the responses you get fuel ideas for topics for future posts.
2. Review a product
Take an in-depth look at the benefits and drawbacks of a specific good or service that's relevant to your industry.
This form of post isn't a vehicle for singing the praises of your own products. Think of it instead as a way to offer objective and helpful advice that addresses your audience's needs and establishes trust.
3. Create a survey
Asking questions of your own customers, colleagues or industry partners can trigger new insights and offer a wealth of resources.
A simple-to-use online survey tool such as SurveyMonkey will walk you through the process, from customising your survey to collating and analysing the results.
4. Write about events
Help out your customers by providing a summary of upcoming manufacturing trade-shows, conferences or exhibitions with a handful of the need-to-know facts about each event.
5. Comment on the latest news
Responding to what's new current affairs or 'newsjacking' can be a quick win if you're stuck for content ideas.
But be mindful of striking the balance. Too many 'of the moment' blog posts can quickly lose relevance, while more long lasting or 'evergreen' content will stay relevant over time.
6. Collate roundup articles
Schedule seasonal blog posts that give a snapshot of the highlights, innovations or key happenings within your industry over the last few weeks or months.
You could also identify a recent industry-relevant report, summarise the findings and offer an opinion.
7. Refresh your old posts
Bring your old posts back to life by rejuvenating and re-purposing your most high-performing articles.
Recycling your existing content library will save you precious time and effort.
And it's also a prime opportunity to give your blogs a health-check by updating out of date statistics and fixing any broken links.
8. Curate posts
Sharing the knowledge and insights of others who are blogging within your sector is an economical way to increase your content production.
Take the opportunity to create a fresh spin on the article by adding your own insights or perspective.
Your curated article should include a new headline, a new image, an interesting quote from the original article, a link to the original post and acknowledgement of the author.
9. Team up
Content creation needn't be a solo effort. Collaboration is king.
If you're finding the responsibility of generating new ideas is becoming too much, then ask a few colleagues to join you in a 'content club' to brainstorm new ideas, share the load and keep on top of your blogging calendar.
10. Be a magpie
Ideas for new blog posts are literally all around you.
Take some time to research what sorts of things your customers or prospects are tweeting about, liking or commenting on.
Search engines can be another rich resource. What popular searches are coming up in Google searches? Take advantage of Google's predictive text search or Related Searches feature to spark new ideas for your content calendar.
11. Check your competitors
Keeping tabs on what others in your sector are writing about can be a useful barometer for which topics are popular, what's working well, and what's not.
The key though is not to be tempted to imitate your competitors, but to take inspiration from their content creation efforts.
12. Stay customer focused
Every piece of content you create should be crafted with the needs of your customer (buyer persona) in mind.
What are they interested in? What's driving them? Where are their pain points or challenges?
The more closely that you tailor your content to your prospects, the more likely you are to win, and keep, their attention.
Consistent, high quality blogging is a crucial element of your inbound marketing strategy. And the reality is that it takes time, effort and patience.
But by keeping a few simple strategies in mind you can stay motivated, keep things fresh and keep on top of your content creation plan.