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How to Get More Content for Your Blog

This is a guest post by Kristi Hines.

One of the biggest challenges that bloggers face – whether they are blogging for themselves or their business – is creating enough content. Most people can’t just write a blog post in 15 minutes. Creating quality content takes a major investment of time and resources. If you’re struggling to create enough content, then here are some great ways to get additional content for your blog.

Supplement with Content Curation

If your challenge when it comes to content creation is coming up with original blog topics, then one way to fill up your editorial calendar is by adding curated content.  Curated content is simply compiling and organizing content from other sources into one post. The Ultimate Resource Guide to Guest Blogging and Blogger Outreach is an example – it is simply a list of networks and posts from other sites on how to have successful guest blogging and blog outreach campaigns.

Note that these kinds of posts are not time savers – you still have to find the best pieces of content to curate, organize everything logically, give each piece a description, and compile it all together. But it can be a lifesaver when you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas while giving your audience some awesome content to chew on.

Tips for Great Curation Pieces

  • Don’t only use curation pieces. It might give the impression that you have nothing original to say. For example, if you have five new posts a week, you could consider one curation post per week. If you have one new post a week, you could consider one curation post per month.
  • Think about curation topics that could include one or more of your own posts. In the above-mentioned example, I included a post from the KISSmetrics blog on how to do guest blogging. This can help you highlight your own content as well as others.
  • Use Google Reader to subscribe to your favorite sources. Google Reader has a great search function, so if you wanted to curate resources on a particular subject, you can use the search to find posts from every blog you are subscribed to via RSS.

I’ve found that content curation comes in handy in a couple of ways. For my blog, it gives me a weekly roundup post to rely upon with no inspiration needed. Even blogs like HubSpot and Social Media Examiner have their own version of weekly curated content. And for the blogs I regularly contribute to, it was easy to find content related to their niche to group together in a large lists like 45 Posts on A/B, Multivariate, and Usability Testing and smaller lists like 8 Useful Recruitment Infographics.

Repurpose Content

Another way to create content for your blog that doesn’t include coming up with all new post ideas is by repurposing your pre-existing content. This simply means that you refresh, reorganize, and recreate content that has worked for you in the past. You can also take content in one format (such as video) and repurpose it into another format (such as a slideshow).

Tips for Repurposing Old Content

  • Find your most popular blog posts that are over a year old. You can do this by sorting your WordPress posts by going to All Posts and sorting them by the number of comments. You can also use your Google Analytics and look under Content > Site Content > All Pages. This will show you your top content based on number of views.
  • Break overview posts into several detailed posts. For example, I could take this post and create five individual posts that include in-depth details about content curation, repurposing content, attracting guest bloggers, hiring freelance writers, and connecting with businesses for content.
  • Turn a series of detailed posts into an overview post. As opposed to the above tactic, if you have a series of detailed posts on one theme, you could create an overview posts that summarizes each and links back to the detailed posts. This way, you have a new piece of content and you get a chance to highlight your previous work.

Tips for Repurposing Other Formats of Content

  • Transcribe your videos. If you are creating video content (vlogging, video interviews, video testimonials, video tutorials, etc.), then you can easily turn your videos into blog content by embedding the video into a blog post followed by a transcription of what is said throughout the video.
  • Transcribe your podcasts. Similar to video content, if you are a podcaster, you can transcribe your podcasts in a blog post.
  • Add commentary to infographics. This one you can with your own infographics or infographics made by others. Infographics usually include a lot of information that you may – or may not – agree with. Embed the infographic into a blog post (giving credit where credit is due) and then add your commentary above or below the infographic. Talk about the points you agree with, the points you don’t, and add some additional information that may not have been included. You can see an example of this in my post on Top 25 Hosting Companies that includes an infographic plus additional details.
  • Summarize presentations. If you speak at conferences or simply create presentations for Slideshare, you can embed those presentations into a blog post and further explain the bullet points and slides.

One of my goals for 2013 is to produce more eBooks, but I find it hard to commit to any piece of writing longer than a blog post, especially now that I’m a new mom. So I’m looking at repurposing as the answer by staring my next eBook as a series of blog posts. So far I have 40+ post drafts ready to be written. Once they are done, they will be repackaged nicely into an eBook.

Attract Guest Bloggers

If you don’t have time at all to create yourself, you can look towards outside resources to create content for you. The first (and free) resource for blog content is guest bloggers. Guest bloggers will provide content in exchange for exposure with your audience – they usually just want an author bio that includes a backlink to their website.

Tips for Attracting Guest Bloggers

  • Create a page on your blog with guest blogging guidelines. Title the page “Write for Us: Guest Blogging Guidelines” or similar – this includes keyword phrases that guest bloggers typically search when looking for guest blogging opportunities. Be specific about exactly what you want when it comes to content submissions so you can get the content you want and have a quick response when you receive low quality submissions.
  • Link to your guest blogging guidelines often. Link to it in your blog’s navigation bar or sidebar. Also include a quick link at the end of posts that your blog is open to guest post submissions. If you’re publishing guest posts, include a link at the top where you say, “This is a guest post by…”
  • Share your guest blogging guidelines on social media. If you have a good-sized audience that happens to include bloggers, sharing your guest blogging guidelines page on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ can help you get more guest bloggers.

Tips for Working with Guest Bloggers

  • Be sure to quality check incoming guest posts.  Some guest bloggers are marketers in disguise, and there are bad marketers out there that will submit poor quality content or content that has been published elsewhere. Read the post thoroughly and do a quick Google search for a sentence or two to make sure it is unique content.
  • Make sure you stand by the information presented in the guest post. If you are adamantly against something, you don’t want to publish content by someone else that is for it. If facts are presented without reference, make sure they are true. The last thing you want is to have to defend guest content yourself. This also includes checking the website that the guest author is linking to – make sure it is something you wouldn’t mind your audience visiting.
  • Encourage the guest author to participate in the community. Specifically, encourage them to revisit the post and answer comments. This way you are getting content and community management all in one.

Last year, when I was fully focused on client work, I depended on guest bloggers to keep my blog afloat. And that they did – I had regularly scheduled guest posts two to three times a week. Although I am changing up my blog strategy this year (similar to the ProBlogger evolution), I was grateful to have such great content on my site from many talented authors.

Get Completed Articles

If you want to bypass interacting with writers for content, your next best bet is to look for networks that offer ready to go content. Networks like MyBlogGuest and GuestBlogIt allow you to connect with guest bloggers as well as browse through completed articles that you can publish on your blog.

If you don’t have time to browse through lots of articles, networks like PostJoint let you choose topics and then sends you a daily email when new content is available for you to browse. The email includes the content titles and the first sentence so you can preview them right in your inbox.

Tips for Getting Great Content

  • Quality check. Just like you would do with guest blog posts, you need to quality check articles you are getting from any network for value, accuracy, and whether the content has been published elsewhere. Just because most networks require writers to submit unique content does not mean that they all follow the rules.
  • Visit the websites listed in the author bios. While some article submissions are by bloggers looking for more exposure, others are from businesses looking to market their website. Be sure to check out their links to make sure they are websites you would be OK with your audience visiting.
  • Be prepared to answer comments. Since you are getting whole articles, you won’t be getting the author who wrote them to participate in your community. Hence you will need to be prepared to answer your comments and discuss any points in the articles you post.

If your blog isn’t quite at the stage of attracting guest bloggers, then this might be a good route to go. I also found it useful to grab pre-written, unique content for my blog on the days where my scheduled guest blogger missed their submission deadline. This ensured that my blog didn’t go silent on a day people expected a new post.

Hire Freelance Writers

If you have some money to invest in your blog and are not having luck with guest bloggers, then you can always hire one or more freelance writers. The advantage to freelance writers is that you have more control over what they write and can insist upon edits when necessary.

Tips for Finding Freelancer Writers

  • Invest in quality writers. Depending on your niche, you probably won’t be able to hire $5 article writers. When it comes to quality content, you really do get what you pay for.
  • Look for freelance writers who write for similar blogs. Run a Google search for site:domain.com “freelance writer” where domain.com is a blog that contains content similar to what you need for your blog. This will help you find experienced freelance writers in your niche and give you a chance to see how well their work is received. This will ensure you have writers who understand blogging etiquette and community participation, something you may not get out of the average article writer.
  • Contact prolific guest bloggers. Use a similar searches such as site:domain.com “guest blogger” or site:domain.com “guest post by” to find guest bloggers in your niche who may be looking to earn extra income through freelance blogging.

Tips for Working with Freelancer Writers

  • Be specific about your needs. Unlike guest bloggers, you can be really specific with what you need from your freelance writer since you are paying for their services. Suggest topics, give editorial guidelines, and let them know what you expect from start to finish.
  • Set a schedule. If you want a steady supply of content, you need to set a regular schedule for content delivery. Otherwise, you may contact your writer for a post you need ASAP to find they are already committed to other projects.
  • Pay on time. Just like happy employees produce quality work, happy freelancers are going to do the same. The best way to keep your freelancer writers happy is to pay them on time, otherwise they will spend the time they could be using to create content for your blog to play bill collector.

Though I’ve never hired a freelance writer for my blog, many blog owners and businesses have hired me to create content for them. It works out great because then they can focus on monetization and revenue generating tasks while ensuring their blog is kept up-to-date with quality content.

On to you…

Have you used any of these strategies to get content for your blog? Please share your experiences plus additional tactics for increasing your blog content in the comments!

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and professional blogger who writes about blog marketing strategy at Kikolani. She has also contributed to well-known online marketing blogs including Social Media Examiner, KISSmetrics, Unbounce, and Search Engine Journal. Follow her on Twitter or Google+.

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This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

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Comments

  1. That was really useful, thank you. Hoping to apply some of that to my blog. I have much to learn!

  2. Great post Kristi!

    Here are a few tips to add to your list:

    Firstly, brainstorm with pencil and paper (rather than your computer). I do this once a month if I can, I write down everything I can think of to do with my niche (SEO, conversion rates, small business etc…) and then join everything together with lines to show what is related to what.

    Then, based on what I am interested in at that time, I take 2 or 3 of those topics and do the same with them. This normally gives me at least 20-30 new ideas for topics that I would like to write about.

    Some I spin into titles there and then, others I leave to come back to. I store all of this in a spreadsheet with 3 columns:

    idea/title
    status (either ready or needswork)
    category

    This way, I always have a list of ideas that I can use to get me inspired.

    Extra tip:

    If I want to write about something but I don’t feel that inspired or I’m not sure where to start, I will get something written on text broker for about $10-15…

    I don’t actually use the article, but I ask for it to be written with as many bullet points and sub-headings as possible. I can then use that article to generate ideas for my own post. It’s effectively like paying 10 bucks for some basic research and ideas! It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it can be a great source of ideas.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Love those tips Mark. Thanks for sharing! Interesting use of Textbroker too. :)

      • Stuart says:

        Worth checking out iWriter also, had some good experiences with them recently.

        My normal workflow is to spend time brainstorming useful “post titles” i.e. “30 Ways to Improve Your Sleeping Habits” then find some sources of existing articles. Provide them all to iWriter, let someone write an article for ~$25, then you can spend a little time cleaning it up & it’s good to go.

        • Kristi Hines says:

          Not a bad idea so long as the base article is good. I found that posts about social media always came out pretty terrible. The one I remember most “fondly” was a post my company commissioned about upcoming social media conferences. It was due on July first. All of the conferences the writer put in their post were over with before July.

    • I SO agree with you Mark. I’ve tried very many online tools to keep track of the blog post titles I get out of my brainstorming. But nothing worked like the traditional pen and paper.

      First, its simple. But more importantly, it doesn’t distract you when you’re writing your words or thinking about a spin on the topic or trying to do a simple outline before you take it online. And I so love the feeling of crossing out a completed topic and/or export it for and in-depth study.

      Oh it feels good to know that I’m not alone loving pen and paper :)

      • Kristi Hines says:

        I like using paper and pen, but my problem is I end up using a lot of different papers – post-its, different notebooks, etc. So I decided to just use a spreadsheet. :)

  3. Jaimie says:

    I agree. If you’re going into a discussion, do so for the sake of the discussion. I’ve heard that posting comments helps one’s search engine rankings, though I have serious doubts about that when compared to the heart of SEO, content, titles, and quality links. Lord knows, I could be wrong..

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I always suggest that people use blog commenting as a way to build relationships with other bloggers and their audience. If you think about it that way, you’ll always leave behind valuable comments vs. if you’re just thinking about links. Plus, I think at some point Google said they were going to put less value on links through comments. I’m sure they have an algorithm that can decipher what links are in content and what links are below the fold.

  4. I have found your post, to be an interesting, and a favourite one.
    I am an aspiring writer, on the webs. I have always wanted my traffic, to a cause, or social attribution, of my website, but I couldn’t get the number, I originally desired.
    I belief, if I bring my content, to higher standards, and proposition, I should do more, and achieve the passion.
    Thanks, for giving the topic.

  5. Nichole says:

    Excellent tips! I’ve never used the option of complete articles so I have a question – Are those articles unique in that you won’t find them posted somewhere else? I’m concerned about whether or not a group of people could use the same complete article and you wind up part of a ring of duplicate content which not only hurts you SEO wise but can hurt your blogs rankings with Google. If the complete article is taken out circulation once you post it, then I think it would be worthwhile but neither of the sites listed specify that no other users can use that post. I would think you’d be better off to peruse press releases to use as a jumping off point for relevant content.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      The networks that house complete articles do require they be unique content. That said, I’m sure there are some blackhat marketers that are pawning off spun content as new. Just like guest posts, it’s good to do a Google search for a sentence or two to make sure there isn’t anything too similar out there.

  6. Kerry Jones says:

    As you point out, sometimes it just comes down to hiring writers to create the content for you. When do you think this is the best option for a brand, versus recruiting internal staff to create content?

    • Kristi Hines says:

      It depends. Some brands like to turn their blog into authority central, recruiting as many well-known writers as they can find. Other brands do a great job with hiring people who have the talent to do their work and write about it. HubSpot and BlueGlass are great examples of the latter – most of their articles are written by internal staff.

      Most of the brands / businesses that hire do so because they don’t have the resources to dedicate to maintaining a blog. Small businesses and startups especially seem to outsource content because they are focusing all of their energy into the business itself.

  7. One thing I love to do with my blog is offer follow up posts. Since I’m sharing my experience raising three dogs, I have plenty of opportunities to offer and follow up and my readers really like it.

    Another thing I do is subscribe to dog magazines; it’s amazing the topic ideas you can come up with just flipping through a periodical.

    Thanks for this great list. I love all that you offer, Kristi. I’m a huge fan!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Magazines – I always forget about them, but they do help with new blog topics, especially in certain niches. Great point Kimberly! :)

  8. Zamorochkin says:

    Excellent article! I often have problems with creating enough content for my blog for lack of enough time. So I suppose I should adopt some of the described methods.

  9. Vanessa says:

    “Be sure to quality check incoming guest posts. Some guest bloggers are marketers in disguise” ..hahaha! made me laugh:)

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Some marketers are blatantly obvious and transparent. Others really do a good job of trying to pull off the “I’m a blogger and love your site” approach.

  10. Jason Rogers says:

    I am curious on how to let search engines know that the copied content is intentional and not be hit for duplicate content. Any suggestions?

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I’m not fully certain, but there are a lot of good sites that get away with using a post from one site on another. Social Media Today, for example, has original content and republished content from other blogs. I would guess it has to do with the site’s overall authority and the credit link in the content.

  11. Angela Booth says:

    I love this, Kristi: “starting my next eBook as a series of blog posts” — that sounds very doable.

    Since I have more ideas for books than I could ever use, I tend to sit on ideas until I’m bored with them. Starting an ebook as a series of blog posts gets you started writing without panicky thoughts like: “OMG, this is going to take forever/ I’ve got no time to do it”.

    Starting something is half the battle. Thank you. :-)

    • Kristi Hines says:

      You’re welcome! I’m terrible about not starting something I don’t think I can finish. This approach keeps my blog going and helps me towards the eBook goal without panicking. :)

  12. Sarah Ahmed says:

    Grate ideas behind creating quality content using different types of sources available out there. what kinds of strategy should we follow for education niche for example professional accounting and financial management?

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I think most of these would still be applicable Sarah. If you are looking for outside sources (guest bloggers and freelancers), I would suggest finding people with a track record of writing knowledgeable content on those topics.

  13. Joe Wickman says:

    Wow. I’ve dabbled in a few of these tactics, but haven’t touched others. Thanks for pointing out the range of options. It makes sense that establishing a sensible ratio of curated to original content is healthy. Thanks!

  14. Bames says:

    Great tips though I have not really considered the idea of using completed artciles to post on my blog. Is that really a good idea? Will it not reflect as copied content? Just asking.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      They are supposed to be posts that have never been published before. They’re shared within a login-acces system, so that shouldn’t count as duplicate content. That said, some marketers might take advantage of these systems and try to submit duplicate content, so it doesn’t hurt to grab a sentence and Google it to make sure.

  15. Koj T. Tajo says:

    Google Reader has been really helpful but alas it is coming to end. Google has announced to retire it coming July 1. sad sad for everyone. :(

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I know. Go figure they announce it closing the day this post goes live. :( I’ve picked Feedly, Netvibes, and Newsblur as possible replacements. So far, Feedly is winning.

  16. Hi Kristi,

    This is a great article. Very informative.

    Re-purposing old content is a great suggestion. I’ve always been cautious about curation, but I think if done right it can bring a lot of value to your readers.

    Thanks Kristi.

    Andrew

    • Kristi Hines says:

      You’re welcome Andrew! Curation done in a small percentage is never a bad thing. Lists especially always end up being popular. :)

  17. Ferb says:

    There are so many great ways to get content and you’ve listed so many of them. Inviting guest bloggers is the best way to increase the amount of content into blog but invest in quality writers is far more better, you get quality content, you can request them to continuously produce content on one particular topic and much more.

    Thanks for this Great Post

  18. Kimberly says:

    Really helpful article! I’ve also had trouble with content ideas now and again but I what I always do is to just take a walk and clear my head to get my game back on. Besides content curation and content repurposing, I’ve also found that relating two seemingly unrelated ideas and then write about them is a really good content trick!

    Thanks for the article!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Getting a little fresh air always helps. I like your idea about taking two unrelated ideas and tying them together. I bet it gets the creativity flowing!

  19. Hey Kristi ,

    Thanks for an awesome post! It really gives a lot of fabulous tips to create content. Would love to implement these.

    In some cases when I look for freelance writers, I found out social media very helpful. More specifically LinkedIn & Facebook. Where you can be more specific with my search (Location Centric) & the recent Facebook Graph Search update helps a lot to find potential freelance writers in my area.

    Also while I’m checking for unique content from submitted guest posts (freelance writer articles) I found it really helpful to upload the content on a private network & validate via Copyscape. There is also another tool called “Plagtracker” to find out unique content.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Great idea to look locally Sourav! I bet Facebook Graph Search is going to bring a lot of business to those who have optimized their profiles / pages for discovery!

  20. Magnus says:

    Wow, comprehensive and quality tips! A word of advice when it comes to hired freelancers: There are many freelancers around running different programs (spinners) to artificially create articles. Today, these programs can generate fairly high quality, which makes it difficult to detect cheating. Check and doublecheck a freelancer before hiring!

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Same goes for guest bloggers Magnus. If you actually read the content, you can tell though. Spinners are good, but not that good. :)

  21. Jeff says:

    Wow, that is some great information to give more thought on. I have never considered using other blogs and articles to generate a weekly roundup of info. Thank you so much for this post, you have given me some food for thought.

  22. Jay Gumbs says:

    These are all great suggestions. I was looking for another post though.

    About your suggestion on Google Reader? They announced yesterday that they’re closing down so I guess that suggestions isn’t relevant anymore.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Feedly is an almost as good replacement. You can still search within it too which is nice. It’s not quite as good as Google Reader’s search, but it will have to do.

  23. Norfanil says:

    Great post.. im looking for this.. i never know that i should consider all those thing in writing..
    maybe i need to follow this tips in writing my blog after this.. thank you bro..

  24. A time comes when you cannot just keep creating a new post from your head. The always say that you should not re-invent the wheel. Great article. I will follow your tips.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Sometimes blog topics feel like just that – a re-invention of what others are doing. That’s when you have to tap into the creativity databanks. :)

  25. christina says:

    As you point out, sometimes it just comes down to hiring weiters to create the content for you. When do you think this is the best option for a brand, Versus recruiting internal staff to create content?

    • Kristi Hines says:

      It all depends on the brand and the type of staff they choose. If your brand can’t keep up with content demands because the staff is overloaded with client work, that’s when you have to either get more staff to free up some writing time or get people specifically to write.

  26. it is a great article which am waiting for. and i learned more from it.
    waiting for more information,
    keep sharing.

  27. Siya says:

    My advice is to have a strong point of view and stand behind the content you are creating.

  28. It was a great post on how to write more content for a blog. It is not a bad idea the more base content in article is good for the blog.

  29. ashish says:

    ya my friends hire the content writers and they have an improvement in there alexa rank and traffic

  30. frank katzer says:

    very useful tips – but it seems you reused an older article of yours ;-)
    “use google reader to subscribe…”

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Well, that is a good way to curate content so I couldn’t leave it out. Or at least was until Google decided to announce its demise the same day this was published. Now I’m trying Feedly although the search isn’t as good.

  31. Its really great tips and very worthful for all webmasters especially to let stick on this new creative and informative idea for getting content for their blogs and just increasing credibility traffic of our websites 7 blogs and provide a good experience to users.