As most content marketers know, blogging is one of the key strategies to keep current and potential customers coming back to your website. One of the most common struggles for bloggers, however, is coming up with enough material to write about.
This is why I decided to break down the six main types of blog posts. As you’re planning your writing schedule for the week, keep these six categories in mind, and you might find it easier to come up with topics. Additionally, using each type to its full potential is a great way to keep your readers engaged because they will always feel like they’re getting new information.
1. Industry News
People are always interested to learn what is current in your industry. News posts provide that current information to your reader. By providing that factual information, news blogs help build trust with your audience and present you as a leading authority in your industry.However, one major problem with writing news blogs is that most companies do not have the staff or time to break the news to their customers as it happens. If this is the case for you, take advantage of what’s called newsjacking. (I promise it’s not as shady as it sounds.) Newsjacking is the process of putting your own ideas into breaking news to capitalize on the popularity of the story.
For example, one popular current event is the Ray Rice and NFL scandal. Rather than acting as a reporter and trying to keep up with the latest developments, summarize the story and then provide your company’s perspective on the issue. Choose news topics that you can easily relate to your own industry.
2. Instructional Posts
For myself and other marketing professionals, instructional posts are the most common and the easiest to write. As the name suggests, instructional posts provide instructions on how to do something. These can be general information articles for an abstract subject or literal step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task.Instructional posts have many benefits. For one, almost any industry can take advantage of the opportunity as they can be written by both B2B and B2C companies. In addition, these posts are great for SEO value because they contain natural language that indicates the purpose of the article. In other words, if someone is searching for “How to stop hiccups,” your article with the same title is likely to appear in search results.
The key to writing instructional posts is to choose topics that are less common. Keep in mind you will likely be competing with major websites like eHow and WikiHow.
3. Cheat Sheet Posts
Cheat sheet posts are similar to instructional posts, but they’re more stylized and don’t necessary guide the reader through a specific task. Instead, they condense a large amount of information into a smaller version. For example, instead of listing every known tip to marketing on Twitter, you might list the top 5 most effective strategies. Checklists and countdowns are the most common forms of cheat sheet posts. People like the “quick and dirty” style and are eager to share them. This makes them great posts to share on social media as well.
4. Personal Spotlight
People enjoy reading about other people, so Personal Spotlight posts are a great way to engage readers emotionally and create reader interest. Don’t be afraid to show off your employees or one of your clients. This not only shows off your company but also makes it feel more personal. It humanizes your brand and makes it more approachable.Another idea for a personal spotlight post is to interview someone outside of your company, particularly another industry leader. Unfortunately, most of us do not have access to well-known names. It never hurts to ask, though.
5. The Media Post
These types of posts are on the rise because of the increasing demand for visual content. Short videos, high-quality images, and infographics are a few examples of pieces that can be used for a media blog post. People like to share visual media, so these posts are a great way to earn inbound links, which in turn will improve your SEO. Take the time to craft excellent visual content, write a few paragraphs to summarize the image, and then share on visual social media platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr.
As the name suggests, Entertainment Posts are purely for entertaining the user. These posts give your brand a playful, interactive voice, so they have a higher likelihood of being shared and remembered. Keep it entertaining but also try to provide some valuable information. How frequently you write these types of posts really depends on the seriousness of your brand. If your company is more conservative, write entertaining posts sparingly. But if you’re like Taco Bell or Old Spice, brands that thrive on being witty, feel free to publish as much entertaining content as you want.
Rotate these six blog types in your content marketing strategy and measure their performance over time. Find the ones that work the best for your audience, and then gradually add more of those types of posts into your strategy. In the end, you’ll have a better idea of what you readers want and will be able to give it to them.