Let me guess. You’ve added a blog to your website because, well, that’s basic marketing these days, isn’t it? If you’ve got your head wrapped around content marketing, you did it for all the right reasons. You want to attract people to your business by freely sharing your knowledge and experience in a helpful and transparent manner.
A good blog helps to solve problems, while readers feel is authentic if you show off some personality. A good blog shows off your skills and promotes the fact that you really know your shiz while subtly nudging people towards your products and services.
But, let’s be honest, finding topics for regular posts that do all that can be a little . . . tortuous, especially if your business blog isn’t about something that inspires a wealth of interesting topics. If your business is a bit boring, you can still make your blog interesting.
Here is the way I approach blog brainstorming for boring businesses. I think it’s pretty foolproof.
We all have dry spells on the inspiration front, and there are lots of blog posts about for finding ideas for blog posts. They usually include tips such as ‘pay attention to the world around you’. A valid tip. You should always be open to inspiration while you are away from your desk and have the tools to capture it.
But when I’m brainstorming blog post ideas for myself and for my blog-writing clients, I go through these steps. I find they give me a long list of topics that are all related to the products and services in question.
Start with your products and services
Because you want your blog posts to promote your knowledge and skills, it’s good to write about what your services and products do. When I’m brainstorming blog ideas for businesses, I start by looking at each product or service, and I aim to have one blog topic for each.
Don’t assume that everyone knows about what you do and how you do it. Potential customers don’t necessarily need or want to know the ins and outs of your specialist subject, but when you share your knowledge in educational blog posts, you’re also educating them on how to best use your skills.
Example: A TV antenna installer could blog about the following:
- Does your TV reception get worse at night? TV signals explained
- All you need to know about the switch to digital TV
Bring a topic to the front of readers’ minds
The need for your products and services might be triggered by an event, but most businesses have at least a few products or services that are nice-to-haves, that offer some real benefit but they could be used or carried out at any time. If you have one of those products or services, you need to bring the topic to the front of your readers’ minds and create a trigger event.
Example: An electrician offering an energy efficiency audit service could blog about the following:
- Seven simple ways to slash your home electricity bill
- Are your home appliances costing you money while you sleep?
Solve some problems
When brainstorming blog topics, I always mine the questions that businesses are getting asked because they are the problems you can solve, and probably are solving every day.
I don’t mean the salesy FAQ you have on your website (although still useful). I mean the real problems you and your team get presented with and the questions you get asked as people work out if you’re the business that can help them.
Example: An accountant offering BAS submissions could blog about the following:
- Ten ways to make your BAS submission faster and easier each quarter
- Information you must have ready for your next BAS submission
You can also mine industry forums to find problems that people are posting to groups. This is something I always do, and it provides a huge amount of inspiration.
Example: A WordPress website developer could blog about the following:
- Ten simple tricks to install a WordPress theme and keep your sanity
- The easiest way to keep your website’s sitemap is always up to date
Be inspired by other blog posts
After I look at someone’s products and services, their FAQ and industry forums, I google similar blogs to see what they are writing about. You need to take inspiration where you can find it, and just because someone else has written about it doesn’t mean that your audience has read it.
Try to give the blog post your spin to make it original.
When you follow these steps, you’ll end up with a list of blog ideas that relate to your products and services. You can show off your knowledge and even include internal links to the services in questions. That’s good SEO, and it promotes your services without being pushy.
When you do it right, you’ll pick up some customers along the way.
So now it’s over to you. How do you brainstorm blog ideas that can help to bring in business?
The Copy Detective