Blogging can very good for business—in fact, businesses that blog enjoy 97 percent more links to their company websites, while the most frequent bloggers are 13 times more likely to see a positive return on their digital marketing investment than companies that don't bother. But "bother" can be all too appropriate a word when it comes to the tricky process of creating plenty of compelling blog content. Here are four ways you can maintain or even improve your blog content output without subjecting yourself or your team to unnecessary stress.

1. Master the Art of Topic Invention

Coming up with a steady stream of fresh, original, engaging content is one of the toughest aspects of maintaining a commercial blog. It's depressing easy to fall into the trap of simply spotlighting a different product or service every time, or making generalized statements about your field of endeavor. Even these topics may dry up on you sooner or later, leaving with gaping holes in your blogging schedule.

One key to overcoming this creative drought is to fine-tune your ability to identify and develop offbeat (yet relevant) takes on tried-and-true subject matter. This may require you to view your work with either a tighter focus or a broader scope than you've previously employed.

For instance, if you sell home improvement products, you might explore specific applications for those products. Nails for construction might not be very interesting in their own right, but think about the things they can be used to build: gorgeous interior furnishings, practical outdoor structures or even entire homes. You can also use your calendar as a source of inspiration. Does your industry relate to specific seasons, holidays, awareness months or other dates? If so, you've probably got several timely topics at your disposal.

2. Showcase Other Bloggers

Even the most enthusiastic blogger can get burned out from time to time. If you feel as if you can't write one more article for your company, maybe it's time you lent your online soapbox to someone else temporarily. Inviting guest bloggers to fill your space with their words can yield several benefits. For one thing, it can revitalize a sluggish blog with fresh energy and a new perspective to reclaim your readers' attention. At the same time, it gives you a break to recharge your own batteries, fish around for new topics and work on other issues such as re-evaluating your keyword choices. Last but not least, your guest blogger may link the article to his own website or otherwise mention it to his readers/clientele—introducing your business to a whole new audience in the process.

If you can't think of anything to write about, you can always create a blog post summarizing (and linking to) all the other great stuff you've encountered lately. This time-honored practice was especially common in blogging's early days, and the term "blog" stems from the original term "weblog," coined by John Barger to describe the process of logging various online discoveries. Just make sure the links all lead to articles that your target market is likely to care about -- and that none of them are posted on competitors' websites!

3. Recycle Your Marketing Materials

There's always a chance that your previous marketing materials contain nuggets of insight or interest that can be excerpted and re-purposed into blog articles. Examples of promising resources include:

  • White papers—If you've produced white papers detailing your organization's past work, you may find the kernels of some concise yet powerful case studies to feature on your blog as "success stories."
  • Videos—Your marketing, instructional or even technical videos can present useful information that can be boiled down into short articles on various topics.
  • E-books—If your digital marketing plan includes the production of downloadable e-books as a means of capturing audience data, you can post high-level summaries, teases or extracts based on individual chapters, segments or ideas.

4. Outsource to a Digital Marketing Agency

Even after you've gotten your blog content train back on track, you may decide that content creation simply involves too much time and effort to make it a cost-effective in-house activity. Outsourcing your blog content creation and management to a digital marketing agency can free up your staff's time (or your own) to pursue the more immediate day-to-day concerns of your organization. You may also find that your blog yields significantly better results when it's in the hands of an online marketing company that can handle topic invention, writing, photo election, SEO, publication and distribution with equal skill.

From re-thinking how you come up with ideas to entrusting the entire process to a digital marketing company, you can experience the full power of blogging as an inbound marketing tool without driving yourself to a nervous breakdown along the way. Once you've gotten your content creation under control, you'll have solved a major piece of your digital marketing puzzle!