My foolproof method for brainstorming blog ideas on boring topics

Let me guess.

You’ve landed a client who’s hired you to write all their blog posts. Hurrah! Way to land the gig!

We both know that freely sharing knowledge and experience in a helpful and transparent manner – on a  blog – will attract paying customers to a business (including your copywriting business by the way).

A good blog helps solve problems while subtly nudging people towards the products and services you’re writing about.

But, let’s be honest, finding topics for regular posts that do all that can be a little . . . tortuous, especially if you’re writing for a client whose business isn’t (lowers voice) that interesting. If you’re writing for a business that’s a bit boring, you can still make the blog posts sound interesting.

Introducing… my blog brainstorming process for boring businesses.

(CUE THE BAND AND FIREWORKS!)

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.

Educate customers

Don’t assume that everyone knows about what a business (includes your business, copywriters) does or how it’s done. Potential customers don’t necessarily need or want to know the ins and outs of a specialist subject, but when you share some knowledge in educational blog posts, you’re also educating them on how to best use the skills on offer.

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

(Yes, I have written those posts)

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. They offer some real benefit but they could be used or carried out at any time. If you are writing about 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?

(Yes, I have written those posts too)

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
  • The 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 without losing 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.

And don’t forget to link to internal pages, especially products and services pages. That’s good SEO, and it promotes your services without being pushy.

Writing blog posts on boring topics is, well, boring but you can still make them useful, interesting and timely – with the right spin.

Belinda

7 Responses

  1. I’ve been really frustrated lately with the lack of practical, usable information in all kinds of blogs so I’d like to start off by giving you a great big virtual hug and saying thank you for giving me information I can actually use! I like to put myself in the mind of my ideal customer or reader – what are their problems, what do they want to read about, what do they need help with etc? And from there, how can I give them reliable and practical information they can actually use to make their lives easier? Because at the end of the day it’s all about giving away something that’s free, but also of worth.

    1. I love hugs so thank you. I know what you mean though. I try to write the kind of posts I like to read and specific tips and examples are so much more concrete than high level concepts (although I won’t pretend I don’t write those sometimes 😉

      As you said in your comment, you have to find something of worth and interest to the readers but at the end of the day, you’re selling yourself and your skills so you have to keep your eye on the prize.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I recently started writting, so, I have not encountered this problem… yet. But I know I will have to face it at some point, and I want to thank you in advance, I know these advices are/will be really helpful.
    Sorry for my english, but there is not much information on this topic in my mother language!

  3. Thank you for these tips. I’m excited to check out your blog now.

    If this is the first post I’ve seen and it’s that helpful…can’t wait to check out the rest!

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