Post Types You Should Be Writing
Post Types You Should Be Writing
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Variety is the spice of life, so you need to present your posts in different ways to keep them fresh. You demonstrate that you care about your readers when you present information in different ways. These methods of adding variety to the way you portray posts apply to all topics.
And, truth be known, offering different types of posts like this will help you from getting into a writing rut. Variety is as good for bloggers as it is for readers.
A Sample of Post Types
What you have just read so far is the starting place. It is designed to trigger your own ideas about the types of blog posts you should be offering your readers. They will appreciate the fact that you are providing them with a variety of post types.
Get Started Posts
One of the ways to attract new traffic to your blogging site is to offer a getting started guide. People are always looking for opportunities to do something new, but they don’t know how to go about doing it. A quick-start guide, which can be a series of posts, is attractive to them.
It doesn’t make any difference what your blog topic is, you can offer a getting started guide or a series of them. You can define the topic, explain to people what they need to do to get started, talk about any equipment they may need and so forth.
In the past, I have created “getting started guides” on blogs I have owned on various topics, and they turned out to be some of my most highly-traffic pages. Different people will come to such pages over the years to learn about how to get started on the particular topic you have written about.
By offering the fundamentals on the topic, you introduce people to your site and they’ll repeatedly return to see what else you have to offer.
When you read blogs written by others, you’ll find that they have a particular narrative form. Most meticulously follow the proven formula I provide here. And that’s okay — that formula works. But you can show you care about your readers by varying how you present the content.
How-to posts start and end using the formula, but the central part of the content is a step-by-step recitation of how to do something.
It can be anything related to your topic. If your topic is about gardening, it can be the steps of how to plant a rose. If your topic is about cooking, it can be how to make a soufflé. If your subject matter is emotional self-help, it can be about the steps to overcoming depression. You get the idea.
The whole idea is to present how-to steps that anyone can follow. You start with the problem and offer the step-by-step solution.
There is almost always a product, or group of products, related to the topic of your post. Rather than writing a post in a narrative form about them, show your readers you care about them by writing in the form of a product review.
Ideally, you have used the product and you share your experiences with your readers. What are the good points of the product and which are bad?
There is a secondary benefit of offering product reviews. That is, they can provide an income stream for you. I discuss affiliate marketing in detail in Plan Step 7.
So, mix up the type of blog posts you offer. Always offer reader value in them, but present it in different ways.
Resource Link List
Your readers are always looking for resources they can use. This is true no matter the topic of your blog. In a resource link list, you identify the best resources on a particular topic and link to them. Your list should not be random, but rather something you carefully curate. The nature of your list will be different based upon your blog topic, but here are some ideas to trigger your thinking:
- “10 New Tools to Make [Your Blog Topic] Easier”
- “25 Best Pinterest Boards on [Your Blog Topic]”
- “7 Principles for that Will Put You Ahead of Your Competition for [Your Blog Topic]”
- “The 12 Most Important Things I Learned About [Your Blog Topic]”
- “12 Ways to Find the Best Person for [Your Blog Topic]”
There are thousands of other options, of course. I’m avid about helping other people, so I like creating lists of helpful links. A few you’ll find on this site include my list of best WordPress plug-ins and my Master Resource List.
There is something increasingly odd about blog post lists of all kinds. Some bloggers try to beat the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) page rankings by increasing the number of items on their list. For example, a list like “10 Best Flower Arrangement Ideas” was once sufficient. Now, you might see “100 Best Flower Arrangement Ideas.” List length has become a never-ending game of one-upmanship. Is that really necessary? I don’t think so. Most people get lost when they have 100 choices. They want shorter lists with more substance. Think of yourself as an art curator—you want to pick the best and give your reasons for your limited selections. You are not a junk collector who will post a long list solely to get a high Google search page rank. Quality always wins over quantity.
As you know, I strongly suggest that bloggers prepare a list of blog topics months in advance, research them, then post them on a regular schedule. Nevertheless, you should not be afraid to write a blog post about breaking news on your blog topic. As a thought leader in your field, you want to be on top of developments and be among the first to report news and comment on it.
Usually, you will want to preempt one of your scheduled posts with the one that contains the breaking news. In fact, depending on the importance of the news to your readers, you may want to post a special one outside your regular release days. In that case, you may want to send an email to everyone on your list telling them you have just posted breaking news.
How do you keep in touch with breaking news in your topic area? there are many ways, but one of the most common ways is to go to Google News and set up a special search. You do a search , then save it . You can view the news feed on the topic each day .
This method brings you high-quality results. The downside of using Goog news is that it does not always offer the opportunity to save searches. Also, this only works on desktop computers, not smartphones or tablets.
Posts That Spark Controversy
In the US, people have been ravaged by division and controversy since 2009. People get outraged over the smallest things. Many people only care about what’s good for their identity group and not the common good. Few are willing to give differing ideas a chance at success, and they vehemently resist them. Some even think they need a “safe place” so they don’t have to listen to ideas different than their own. It’s sad. Nevertheless, you may want to occasionally write a post that sparks controversy.
No, I am not suggesting you write about politics, religion, sexual identity or any other hot button topic on your gardening blog. No matter what your blog topic might be, some issues are controversial on that topic. Write about them. Do some research (fact-checking) to make sure what you say has substance, then feel free to express your opinion. Challenge people. Spark controversy. Let readers express their views on the topic.
Is there a risk in this? Not if you follow some rules. The first is to not be mean. Don’t attack people, but feel free to denounce ideas, rules, procedures, and even corporations and their products if you have factual data, all in the name of creating debate and possible change. Yes, you will get angry disagreement, but that’s the nature of controversy.
The other main rule is to stay above the fray. You want to state your position and stick to it, but you don’t want to roll around in the mud once you have done that. It is possible to disagree with people without being disagreeable.
What are the most controversial ideas related to your blog topic? Write them down. Write a post that stirs controversy about four times a year to keep your juices flowing.
Talk to people and write down what they say. You can do this by phone or Skype, by email, or in person. I discuss how to do an interview here. By the way, if you are operating your blog as a business as I suggest, trips to seminars and conferences are a tax-deductible business expense. These are great places to meet and interview the luminaries in your field. You want to interview as many people as possible and release them over time, maybe one every month or so.
I’m a big fan of interviews. It enables you to get high-quality content that no one else has. They are easy and fast to write, too. You do an introduction and conclusion, and the body of your content is the edited version of your recorded transcript.
If you want to offer something fresh to your readership, an interview will meet that requirement. Please enjoy reading interviews.
The Starting Point
This list is just a starting point. There are many other types that will keep your readers coming back for more. Think of new ways you can make your content more interesting. Yes, the taste of food is important, but so is its presentation. You may be talking about your same meat-and-potatoes blog topic, but you can present it in some of these mouth-watering ways.
Don’t get caught in a rut. Vary the type of blog posts you write.