Making sure the content on your blog is varied is as important as having a balanced diet. Break the rut with those 7 types of blog posts that will drive tons of search traffic, make people share your blog posts on social media, give you backlinks and boost your authority! *Writing tips included!*
Not all types of blog posts are equal
The days of ‘blog and pray’ content are long-gone and you need to be really deliberate in what content you create depending on your aim. Depending on whether you want more subscribers to your email list, more social shares, more backlinks or search engine traffic – you may need to choose different type of post. It will be much easier to achieve your goal then!
1. The Problem-Solution type of blog post
This is the most ‘classic’ of all types of blog posts that I described in more detail here (including a fail-safe template how to write it!).
It’s a must-have on every blog and should probably the first thing you write.
Why? It focuses on your target audiences main pain point and shows them that you can solve it (with your product or service).
If what you write here is *excellent* and you have done your keyword research well, the post will ultimately start driving traffic from search engines from people looking for exactly what you have to offer!
- Start with a story describing the pain point from personal perspective
- In the second paragraph, assume the expert position – define the problem in more theoretical / systematic (or even scientific) terms
- then, move on to describing the ‘happy end story’ – how the client’s life will change once they’ve solved the problem
- move on to ‘N ways to solve the problem’ in the next paragraph – include your product as one of them!
- finish with a call to action
Biggest benefits: SEM, product / service promotion
2. The Case-Study type of blog post
Excellent for service (or Software as a Service (SaaS)) company
This is one of my favourite types of blog posts as it clearly shows that you do what you preach. You have walked the walk, got the results, now you are sharing the process in an extremely honest way with your audience. This shows your readers that you really, really know what you are doing.
- How I grew my subscriber’s list (Instagram/ Twitter/ Facebook) following from 0 to 10,000 in 7 days [it doesn’t need to be that impressive – small wins are still wins!]
- How I found my first 10 copywriting customers
- How I grew my business by 300% in 6 months
- How XYZ helped my company get 30 new customers in 14 days
Don’t worry too much about sharing ‘too much information’ and not being able to sell your product / service as a result. 99 % of people are too lazy to do it themselves even if you give them the exact how-to instructions. Besides, most people who run a business can’t afford to spend the time learning to do what you can offer, or doing it themselves. Those that have more time to spare than money are not your ideal customers anyway.
- start with your story to give the reader a context (see the YES Optimist’s example below)
- be clear about your ‘WHY’
- make sure you write from personal perspective (use ‘I’) to show that it was really *you* have achieved the results
- use personal language
- don’t brag – talk about your struggles during the process, and how you’ve overcome them
- include evidence – charts from your Google Analytics account, screenshots of your most-followed post, heck! Even profit statements from your business – everything to show you’ve really done it! Just keep it real!
What if you’re not a service company?
If you are selling physical products, a case study about how you make them will often be too technical / boring / irrelevant to make wow your readers into thinking you’re an expert.
Nevertheless, you can still use case studies to showcase how effective your product can be!
Simply reach out to your customers and get them to tell you a story how your product changed their lives for the better:
- How XYZ [your product/ app] helped NNN [your customer] solve ZZZ [a major problem that your customers are getting] – e.g. how TrackTime24 helped John’s restaurant reduce waiting times by 23%
- How HoneyCloudz gave me the bikini body I never thought I would have
- Customer’s Case Study is an excellent way to put your customers in the spotlight and get some attention too – people love when somebody writes about them, so they and their families will likely share it!
- Organise a giveaway competition to get the case studies – to get free content from your customers, boost engagement and promote your products at the same time!
Biggest benefits: authority building, social sharing
3. The ‘How to’ Tutorial type of blog post
If you create an extremely useful tutorial on how to do something, that will enable your readers to do something of high value themselves (e.g. my post on how to make your own website + blog + online store, integrated with email marketing opt-ins and SEO plugins – for less than $10 / year saves the readers tons of money as they can create a website worth at least $1000 for less than a 1% of the price in under 3 hours) your readers will show the love – they will bookmark your post, and share it with their friends.
The life-span of such post and the traffic-generating potential depend on how useful it is and how much better it is from what the reader can already find at your competitor’s.
- make the instructions as concise and actionable as possible
- make sure you have included *all the necessary steps* to complete the process – illustrate them with photos / screenshots of each step! You can also attach a video explaining the whole process – but don’t replace the postwith it;
- be result-oriented – if you can guarantee a result after following your tutorial – good!
- If you want your post to convert into email list subscribers – hide part of the content behind an opt-in form! E.g. With the website tutorial example above – I could have shown people only part of the process, aka how to build the website, but make the tutorial on how to integrate e.g. Mailchimp pop-ups, or Google Analytics – available only as a downloadable guide for those that sign-up for my newsletter (I didn’t do it on purpose as this was my first blog post and I wanted to focus on building value and driving traffic 😉 )
Biggest benefits: social sharing, subscription list building, SEO
4. The Toolkit type of blog post
This is an amazing post type if you want to both drive traffic and get some quality backlinks!
If you give your readers a complete list of tools, better still – free tools – they will – just like with the tutorial post – love you back through shares and bookmarks.
How to succeed with this type of post though?
The first, and probably biggest tip – you need to make the tools relevant to your target audience, and somewhat (not competitive of course!) to your product or service. This will ensure that the traffic you get from backlinks (more on that below!) will come from your target audience.
- make it better than competition – if they included 13 SEO tools, include 20! You can also curate the list using specific criteria that your competitors didn’t to make the list more niche and useful for your target audience – e.g. sort the tools by price, ease of use, results. You can also create a ‘ranking’ of the best tools that have the same function. E.g.10 Free MailChimp WordPress Plugins to Increase Newsletter Opt-ins
- make sure you describe what they should use the tool for and WHY – what’s so awesome about it, what results they can expect.
- again, be results oriented – if you can prove they can get specific results by using the tools, that’s great!
- include as many free tools as possible, if not – vet the tools for prices.
How to use the toolkit type of blog post to get backlinks? Aka outreach
Backlinks, or links to your website included on other quality websites (e.g. other blog posts) are an amazing tools to drive traffic to your website.
If you want to get backlinks to your post, you will need to reach out to:
- the owners of the tools you have included: Hi, I have included your tool in my ‘TOP-TEN Amazing SEO Tools’ Ranking and I thought you might be interested in having a look and possibly Tweeting about it. Is it ok if I send you the link here?’ [don’t include the link straight away – this is actually a proven conversion strategy!]
- the owners of relevant, complementary blogs, that may find your list useful in building their own content [again, be considerate of their personal space and appeal to their ego when reaching out 😉 – Hi! I’ve been following your blog and I value you as an expert on XYZ. I think you may find my last TOP-TEN Amazing SEO Tools’ Ranking useful in creating your content. I would appreciate if you had a look – can I send you the link here?’]
Biggest benefits: social sharing, backlinks, subscription list building
5. The Resource-List type of blog post
This is the Toolkit type’s younger brother, which can include resources other than tools, like listings of useful websites, Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
Again, this is an excellent type of post for ‘vanity sharing’, aka sharing a post because your name (or website…or blog…or whatever) has been mentioned in it.
Biggest benefits: social sharing, bookmarking, backlinks, subscription list building
6. The Guest Post – you as the guest
This is a most-coveted of all the types of blog posts which may be a bit hard to get when you’re just beginning and don’t have a big authority in your domain yet. Still, you can use certain techniques to get ‘guest blog posts’ even if you don’t have a big name:
- read the submission criteria and create a ‘tailored’ post for one of the big, authoritative company blogs that accept guest post submissions – you will find a ready list (by industry!) here
- do someone a favour for free – find a few companies that provide products complementary to yours, and have a somewhat ‘dusty’ blog – tell them you will write some posts for them for free if they allow you to link back to your website. They should be glad to do it – everybody loves free content.
- use syndication websites such as Medium.com – this will not raise your domain’s authority, but will still allow you to link out to your website and get a much higher ranking in Google than if you are posting on your own website.
Don’t be discouraged if you need to send 200+ outreach emails to get one backlink at first. It’s OK, I know, outreach sucks but it’s survival of the fittest.
Biggest benefit: backlinks
7. The Guest Post – you as the host
What is the biggest problem with content creation? Well, even if you love writing, you know that writing one good blog post takes an effing lot of time. So, the benefit of hosting a guest is obvious – you get free content. It’s also one of the easiest types of blog posts, as – let’s face it – everyone wants backlinks these days.
There are some other less-obvious benefits too:
- vanity metric – you are more likely to get free social shares from the guest & CO.
- repaying the visit – it’s more than likely that the guest will invite you back to write a guest post for them. If not, remind them 😉
- it builds your blog’s authority and makes it more interesting (different writing styles and perspectives help to keep things fresh).
Instead of a ‘regular’ post, you can also conduct an interview with your guest.
Biggest benefits: *FREE CONTENT!* :D, social sharing, mentions
Conclusion: use different types of blog posts as part of your digital content strategy
As you can see, different types of blog posts serve different purposes and this should be accounted for in your content plan – depending on your focus. Also – using the same types of blog posts all the time can get quite boring, both for you and your readers. Try different types of blog posts to keep things fresh and to achieve best business results through your content.