This post was originally published on this site

This post is part of a monthly series on how to best utilize your personal branding and media benefits. [Note: This benefit is for YEC members only. Click here to find out if you qualify.]

As we approach the end of a year filled with excellent, thought-provoking member content, I wanted to share some articles to inspire you and perhaps offer some fresh ideas as you plan for 2017. Each of the topics below represents a real question your fellow members have asked us directly in the last 12 months, so I wanted to collect them all in one place for you.

Remember: Done well, great content can elevate your personal brand and your company’s brand too.

1. What is “thought leadership” and why does it matter?

The idea behind publishing your expert content isn’t to drive clicks or make direct sales (although these things might happen); it’s to build trust with YOUR target audience and stay top of mind. Views and shares are great, but it’s far more important to get your piece into the right hands — even if that means just a few key customers. Need to understand how it works? Read more here.

2. How can I get the most out of my publishing benefits?

Planning ahead is crucial. If you’re writing a piece of content that you plan to include in a new marketing campaign launching in a few weeks, for example, then it’s important to write content in advance, follow our guidelines, and prepare to collaborate with our team. Read more here.

3. How can I get my message across clearly without being self-promotional?

We all know readers hate to read a sales pitch when they were expecting advice or information. But how do you strike that balance? How do you know whether you’re informing or merely selling? This post breaks it down and gives you four very clear, easy-to-follow strategies for success. Read it here.

4. How can I get my content seen by the right people?

These 18 simple tips can help you build a robust marketing plan for every piece of content you publish. Pick and choose the tips that work best for your goals. For example, if you write often on culture, are you including those articles in your job listings? If not, that’s a great way to ensure that your future hires understand exactly what your company is all about — and it’s a great conversation starter for the interview. Read more here.

5. What should I write about?

The No. 1 question we get asked: What should I write about? What do readers want? The good news is, this list of 20 ideas isn’t just good for 20 articles. It could potentially lead to 100 articles if you play your cards right, because each article prompt can be used over and over again. Read more here.

6. What kinds of links can I use in my articles?

Links are always a hot topic. Do you need any? How many? Are many better than none? The short answer is much simpler than it appears: Any link you DO use should serve to edify the reader, either by crediting the source (e.g. of a statistic or a quote) or providing more information on a complex topic (e.g. defining a term in more detail). That’s it!

But figuring out how to actually apply that to your content isn’t always straightforward, which is why we wrote an entire post dedicated to crediting your sources clearly and well. Read more here.

If you have something you’d like us to write about in a future article, please let your member concierge know. Our editorial team is here to help you polish and refine your ideas and your finished articles, so I welcome your suggestions. And now is the perfect time to get started on content for Q1 2017, too, so I hope these articles help as you start to plan.

Finally, from all of us — have a great holiday season!