Idea generation comes from asking the right questions, according to consulting firm owners Keven and Shawn Coynes, whose brand-new book Brainsteering is a must-read for blog content writers.
"Right Questions," say the Coynes, "are ones that make you take a different perspective on your problem than any you’ve taken before." As a corporate blogging trainer, I realized that’s precisely what really great blog posts are designed to do.
Blogs, as I so often stress to business blog writers, are not advertisements or sales pieces (even if increasing sales is the ultimate goal of the business owner). Whatever "selling" goes on in effective blogs is indirect and comes out of business owners sharing their passion special expertise and insights in their field. When blog posts "work", readers are moved to think, "I want to do business with him!" or "She’s the kind of person I’ve been looking for!"
As a professional ghost blogger offering business blogging assistance to corporate owners, I especially liked the "101 Right Questions to Spur Breakthrough Ideas" listed in the appendix of Brainsteering. Here are a couple I believe can stimulate the sort of reader interest that could lead to sales without making the blog post itself at all "sales-y".
- (Under the category of Right Questions for new products and services):
What’s the biggest (avoidable) hassle that our customers have to put up with?
Gillette became rich through realizing the inconvenience of sharpening a safety razor after each use, and coming up with a solution to that "hassle" People are online searching for solutions – your blog needs to remind readers of the need and be right there with the solution!
- (Under the category of Exploring Unexpected Successes):
Who uses our product/service in ways we never intended or expected?
Stories of unusual uses of a business’ products and services help emphasize to potential buyers how they might benefit.
- (Under the category of Finding the Perfect Gift):
What event or accomplishment are they (the recipients of the gift) most proud of in their lives?
A well-tempered blog, says Paul Gillin in "Secrets of Social Media Marketing", should be written mostly in first person. The passion of the business owner will come across most powerfully that way. What are you most proud of about your business and your industry?
"We all need good ideas. Breakthrough ideas. All day. Every day, " claim the Coynes. Brainsteering takes all the creative energy normally associated with traditional brainstorming and steers it in a more productive direction." Corporate blog writing at its best presents breakthrough ideas to online readers.
Do your blog posts help readers look at things from a different perspective? Try brainsteering your blog posts!