As I was sitting here thinking about what type of blog post to write this morning and feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of doing a 30-day blogging challenge, it occurred to me that you might be wondering the same thing.
There are so many different ways you can create content to post on your blog. If you do it right, all will get your message across, but each will entertain and educate your audience in a different way. Here are a few of my favorites:
Long Teaching-style Posts
I’m a born teacher at heart, and while I’m not so much for standing up and lecturing, let me write it all out for you and I’m a happy camper. If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that my blog posts tend to run between 900 and 1200 words instead of the standard 400-500.
Not that there’s anything wrong with shorter posts, but you can really go into detail and show your expertise in a long post in a way that you can’t with something shorter.
Epic posts are my new favorites. Even longer than a teaching post, epic blog posts run between 2200 and 2500 words and provide an all-in-one resource on a single topic. If it helps to envision it this way – a short 5 page report that you might give away for an opt-in is usually about 2500 words. Put that report into a blog post format, and you have an epic post.
Epic posts get more organic search engine traffic, on average, than shorter posts do. As well, epic posts, just by the nature of the detail they require, position you as an expert in your niche. This in turn can lead to interview requests, JV partnerships, and ultimately more profit.
A how-to post gives you a chance to show your readers step-by-step how to do something. I like to actually pair a how-to post with a teaching post… Teaching “theory” post one day, and then a practical how-to post with the steps listed out in recipe format a few days later. That way you give people both the how and the why of what you want them to do.
Tutorial Style Posts
Tutorials are like how-to posts, but instead of just writing out a step-by-step list, you can actually go into great detail with videos and pictures. As long as you keep on topic and make sure you are teaching something your audience really wants to know about, tutorial posts are a great way to make your message accessible to the people who need it most.
List posts have been the staple of the blogging community regardless of niche for as long as I can remember. Every blogging course I’ve ever taken touts the list post as being something readers love.
Because they work. Lists make large amounts of information easy to consume in bite-sized pieces. Whether it’s five resources, 10 tips, or 100 quotes on a specific topic, lists appeal to readers because they can read as much or as little as they want without feeling like they’ve missed out on anything.
Visual posts, in the form of infographics, can make a nice break from all the wordy content we’ve discussed so far. Infographics are a huge hit with many audiences because they offer the ability to consume huge amounts of information in a short time. With the increasing visualization of content, it makes sense to add an infographic post to your content arsenal every once in a while. Just be sure to add your own commentary before and after so that your audience knows why you think this image and information is relevant to them.
Question and Answer Posts
If you have a topic you’re passionate about, and an audience that you’ve built a relationship with, you are going to have questions that need answering. Any question someone asks you is fair game for a blog post, whether it comes via email, social media, or even in casual conversation. You don’t ever have to say who asked the original question; just answer it in a post. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that if one person has asked something, there are at least a few more that wondered but didn’t have the courage to ask.
Let me start by saying that this is my least favorite post type. I am not a big fan of video, whether it’s me making it or just watching other peoples. I’ve never really understood the popularity of YouTube, but I know I’m in the minority here. So now that we’ve got that out of the way…
Video posts are hugely popular, and are a wonderful way to connect with your audience. I’m not talking about grabbing a video off of YouTube and embedding it into your site (although that is another way to use video as a blog post). I’m talking more about you creating videos instead of writing posts, and letting your readers see and hear you as opposed to just reading your words on a screen.
Videos are also a powerful way to share your content, because you can leverage the power of YouTube and other video-sharing sites like Vimeo. As well, you can post them on your Facebook page and other social media platforms to expand your reach even further.
Whether you choose to review products or books, or both, sharing information about the stuff you use on a daily basis is a really good way of sharing your expertise and earning affiliate commissions in the process.
Always remember to disclose how you got the product. If you are given it in exchange for a review, this is an absolute must. But even if you just go out and buy something to try, tell people the story behind why you bought it, and why you’re reviewing it.
Nothing says you have to write a 1000 word post every day. If you have a short update, write a short blog post. Your readers will thank you. (And I should take my own advice on this one!)
Curated posts are a really good way of sharing what’s happening in your niche. You know (whether you want to admit it or not) that you can’t possibly keep up with everything that’s going on. Reading other people’s blogs and sharing their important posts with your audience along with a bit of commentary on why they need to know what you’re sharing lets your people know you’re keeping tabs on things for them.
If your niche is one where you see clients or offer advice of any kind, case studies are a good way to offer social proof that your techniques work. Giving your audience a peek into how you’ve worked with others and the successes they’ve had following your advice and teachings shows that you do know what you’re doing and have actual experience in your field. As a bonus, case studies make excellent epic posts
Summary “Round-up” Posts
If you publish a lot of content in a week, a summary on the weekend can not only give you a break from posting, it can also help your audience by giving them everything they might have missed. I know that I appreciate it when my favorite blogs send a round-up of the week’s information because I have more time to read and enjoy on a Saturday morning than I do any other day of the week.
Surveys and Polls
If all else fails and you really can’t think of anything to write about… Ask your readers what they want!
Create a short survey and ask what people would like to learn, what they’d like to read, what their opinions are, etc. This can be an endless source of content for future posts as long as you don’t overuse it.
These are just a few of the ways you can create content and variety at the same time. The last thing you want is a bored audience that won’t engage in the conversation. Your goal should be to not only educate your audience on your message and what you can offer them, but to entertain them and build a relationship at the same time.
Try some of these different posts and pay attention to which ones your readers respond to most. The more they respond, the more likely they are to share your content with others, and the easier it becomes for you to amplify your message!
Do you have a favorite post type? Share in the comments below…