We're back with another episode to help you unlock your business' blogging potential. This week, we're pulling back the curtain on "how the sausage gets made" - more specifically, the physical act of organizing a blogging strategy and actually getting them written.

This topic is important, because so many people don't talk about it.

They'll wax poetic about developing the right strategy around blog topics, bringing in contributors and the value of having a strong promotion strategy, but there isn't much out there on how to actually create a blogging process that is sustainable for your business.

So, tune in as I take Shelby through how we create blogs for clients, and what processes may (or may not) be well-suited to your organization. There's a bit of tough love thrown in for good measure - as I've said before, content doesn't just appear from the sky - but I think we all came out better for it. Enjoy!

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As Quintain's dedicated content manager, I spend as much time creating content as I do reviewing content created by others. That means I have a front row seat to all of the editorial quirks and idiosyncracies of my fellow Quintain team members, our clients and... well, myself. (Alas, I am not perfect.)

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed something that almost everyone was doing - once again, including yours truly.

Most content creators - whether you're a marketer, or you're burning the midnight content oil for your own business - make wimpy word choices when framing their ideas or offering advice based on what is often years of experience. They play it safe and use apologetic language that undermines their authority and the power of their content. 

For those of you sitting there saying, "I'm not 100 percent sure what you mean, but I am not the kind of person to be a wimp about anything," I get it. In person, you stand behind your ideas. In meetings, you speak with conviction and confidence. But who are you once you get behind a keyboard?

You'd be surprised by how many seasoned industry pros succumb to apologetic writing, no matter how much of a rockstar they are face-to-face. What's worse, they don't even realize they're doing it. 

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We're back with one of our full-length discussion episodes. And if you can believe it, a brand new year - 2017! - is only a few short weeks away. 

But before we say goodbye to 2016, we're pausing to reflect. Jessie-Lee and I - in addition to starting this podcast - have learned a lot this year, through projects, conferences and experiences, within our walls, with our clients and beyond. 

So this week, we're taking a deep dive into what content and design trends you should be focusing on in your marketing efforts, as we look ahead to the New Year. From video and the importance of having a "context mix," to flat design and mobile-first approaches, we've got all of the insights you need to start the year off right.

...and there may be a rant or three, thrown in for good measure. 

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Welcome to our very first minisode! Unlike our typical deep-dive discussion-based episodes, Creator's Block minisodes will be quick, down and dirty tutorials that will teach you how to do something in 20 minutes or less. 

This week, Liz is teaching us how to tackle what I think is probably one of the hardest parts of blogging - writing a killer introduction in a way that doesn't make you want to pull your hair out. That's because, for many of us, a blog introduction can be a roadblock that completely derails the writing process - even though an introduction is often only a couple of paragraphs long, at most.

But with the three strategies Liz shares in this minisode, you won't be able to blame your blog writing woes on introductions ever again. Enjoy! 

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The Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content

Let's face it, there is a lot of content out there. How do you get yours to stand out?

Simple, make it mind blowing!

42 pages full of ideas for creating awesome content that converts visitors into leads and leads into customers!

It is no secret that creating awesome content is more important than ever to your marketing efforts. And one great approach to producing that content is to involve your CEO.  It offers the CEO a chance to connect with their audience, which ultimately makes them more relatable and trustworthy.

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It's no secret that blogging is an incredible marketing tool for any business wanting to drive growth.

Publishing a post at least once a week to a blog hosted on your company’s website that's filled with industry news, insights and informative content is beneficial for many reasons. In fact, HubSpot notes that B2B marketers using blogs receive 67 percent more leads than those that don't. 

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What Inspired This Episode?

As a content manager at an inbound marketing agency, one of the most common complaints I hear in some form or another is: "Blogging is hard!"

No matter how many times clients or colleagues agree with me about the mission critical importance of blogging to any inbound strategy, it's still a task a good number of folks look upon with disdain. (That is, if they aren't outright avoiding it all together.)

But I want to know why. Why does the idea of blogging cause such middle school-esque angst in some of the most savvy entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers around? So in this week's episode, we sat aside our usual litany of tactics and tools, and got real with each other about why blogging is considered to be "so hard" - for ourselves and for our clients.

And before you say this isn't an earth-shattering topic, ask yourself this: When was the last time you were brutally honest with yourself about why you don't blog?

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I went into yesterday with high hopes for my own productivity. The office was closed for Memorial Day, and I was armed with grand aspirations of working ahead on a few projects and getting some writing done. While I was able to check a few items off of my list, the latter half of my afternoon was marked by one of the worst cases of writer's block I've experienced in some time. 

Download our Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content for fresh ideas to overcome writer's block

The culprit? Writing an introduction for a blog. Not the whole blog post, mind you – just the introduction. It was completely demoralizing.

The afternoon wasn't a complete washout, thankfully. After a trip to the gym to decompress, the idea for the video below was born – the first episode of a new regular feature, A Content Manager (and Her Beer). During this installment, I'm sipping on Steady Eddie from Union Craft Brewing, finally keeping a promise I made to myself back in January and sharing three key strategies you can start using right away to write great introductions to your blog posts.

Because something so simple shouldn't be so difficult, right?

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