Blogging was supposed to be easy, right? Just sit down, crack your knuckles, and bang out a blog post. Write about whatever is on your heart and mind. And do it again and again. “It’ll be easy,” they said. “You’ll have no problems,” they said. Except that it turns out that blogging isn’t easy.
The writing part itself is undoubtedly challenging. Stringing together sentences in a compelling, coherent manner requires thought and effort. But that’s not the only tricky part. One of the hardest parts of blogging is knowing what to blog about. This is especially the case if you’re trying to use your blog to build your brand and your business.
When you’re using your blog as a brand-building tool, you can’t just write about what happened on a particular day. Your blog does not serve as a personal journal.
Instead, you want to write about things that will matter and add value to your readers. This is where things get tricky. Constantly coming up with new topics and angles to blog about that will add value to your readers is no small feat. It requires creativity, insight into your audience, and the ability to create fresh content day after day. It’s enough to cause even the most competent blogger to burn out.
We’re here to help make your job easier. In this post, we will give you 17 different types of blog posts that you can write. You can think of these as blog post formulas. They provide an easy-to-follow framework for you to use when writing blog posts.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
BLOG POST TYPE #1: HOW-TO GUIDES AND TUTORIALS
These are some of the simplest yet most effective blog posts that you can create, and they serve a real need that your readers have. You can guide your readers, step-by-step, through a particular process, showing them exactly how to do something.
Your readers are looking to you as the expert, and it’s your responsibility to show them exactly how to achieve their goal. Examples of this type of blog post include:
● How To Install The Facebook Pixel On A Website
● How To Get More Email Subscribers
● How To Do More Pushups
● How To Set Up A Roth IRA
Your goal is to give your readers a simple-to-follow guide that will make it as easy as possible to achieve their desired outcome.
When writing how-to and tutorial blog posts, it’s critical to break things down into the smallest, simplest steps possible. Avoid assuming that your readers know what they’re doing. Remember, they’re looking to you for help.
Also, ensure that your tutorial is as complete as possible. Don’t leave your readers hanging with one or two steps left in the process. Guide them the entire way, from start to finish.
Your goal is to make things as easy and straightforward as possible for readers. If possible, include things like screenshots and videos to make your tutorials even simpler to follow.
If you need inspiration when writing a how-to or tutorial blog post, consider watching some related videos on YouTube. YouTube is known for having millions of tutorial videos, and you can indeed find one about your subject.
BLOG POST TYPE #2: NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS
Do you skim the news each morning to identify industry trends and get up to date on current events?
Why not turn your morning routine into blog posts?
As you skim through the news, identify the most pressing industry trends and current events, and then blog about them. Highlight important details quote relevant sources, and link to the most important articles. Help your readers get a sense of what’s going on in the world and why it matters.
What’s vital in these blog posts is that you add your unique spin and flavor. Don’t simply regurgitate the news. Don’t be a headline aggregator. There are already plenty of websites that do that.
Rather, thoughtfully interact with what is happening in the world. Include your comments, opinions, and views. Dissect what is happening in the world and help your readers to see the bigger picture. Always remember to relate the news back to your readers.
● Why does it matter to them?
● What effect will it have on their day-to-day lives?
● Why should they care about this or that particular news item?
It’s critical to keep your readers in mind. You’re not simply talking about the things that interest you. When you blog about news and current events, it should be of critical relevance to your readers.
If you need help staying on top of current events, you may want to consider using a news aggregator like Feedly or Pocket. These services allow you to import all your favorite news sites into one location, as well as save relevant articles for later reading. Once you’ve aggregated your news sources, you can read them all in one area rather than having to flip back and forth between numerous websites.
BLOG POST TYPE #3: CONTROVERSY
It’s no secret that controversy sells. There’s a reason that people love to read the tabloids and that reporters are always chasing controversial subjects. If you’re smart, you can use controversy to your advantage when it comes to blogging.
Consider writing about different controversial topics within your industry. These types of posts are guaranteed to interest readers and generate a response from them. Notice that we said to write about controversial subjects within your industry. In other words, primarily focus on issues in which you have expertise. Avoid simply writing about any and all controversial topics.
Your goal isn’t to become a tabloid. Your goal is still to be informational, educational, and entertaining. You’re simply using a controversial subject to achieve that. When blogging about controversial topics, be smart. You don’t want to alienate your readers or drive them away with your opinions.
Instead, you want to carefully, thoughtfully analyze a controversial subject. Your goal is to provide a thoughtful analysis of the issue without offending people unnecessarily. Granted, you can’t please everyone with your writing. But aim to write so that people will come away informed, educated, and minimally offended. One simple formula that allows you to write about controversial subjects is the “This vs. That” formula:
● Mac vs. PC
● The Health Benefits of Coffee vs. Tea
● Keto vs. Intermittent Fasting
● Using MailChimp vs. ConvertKit
You’re simply comparing two different, popular things and then giving your opinion about which is best.
BLOG POST TYPE #4: CHECKLISTS
We are forgetful, which is why we use checklists. Checklists help us remember everything we need to about a particular subject.
We use checklists to help us remember what to take on vacation, get specific projects done, and even in the operating room to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Checklist blog posts can be hugely valuable to your readers. You can help them remember everything they need to around a given subject.
For example, let’s say you’re in the photo industry. You could create a checklist blog post of everything that needs to be taken to a photoshoot.
Or maybe you’re a real estate agent. You could create a checklist of things a person needs to do to get their house ready to sell.
Or maybe you’re a fitness coach. You could create a checklist of all the exercises in a particular workout.
To create the perfect checklist, take a common task (such as selling a house) and break it down into much smaller sub-tasks. Just make sure that your checklist is thorough and complete.
Checklists also present you with a unique opportunity to build your email list. You can offer a downloadable, nicely formatted checklist that people can access in exchange for giving you their email address. This method of email list building is often called offering a “content upgrade.” Your readers can “upgrade” the content they get from you (the downloadable checklist instead of just the blog post) in exchange for their email address.
BLOG POST TYPE #5: LISTICLES
We all love lists. That’s why magazines are constantly publishing articles like “10 Ways To Lose That Stubborn Belly Fat” and “5 Ways To Be Happier Now.”
Lists are easy to skim, allowing us to take in an entire subject in just a few moments quickly. Additionally, they make us feel like we’re taking in a lot of information in a short period of time.
Nothing is quite so satisfying as skimming a list of 73 different items.
Finally, listicles make it easy to break down a more extensive subject into smaller, more digestible pieces. It’s easy to read part of a listicle, stop, and then pick up where you left off. You can take advantage of our love of lists in your blogging efforts. Write “listicles” in which you list a large number of items related to a particular subject. For example:
● 27 Ways To Quickly Build Your Email List
● 9 Easy Ways To Generate Leads
● 7 Ways To Burn Fat and Get Shredded
● 19 Ways To Overcome The Fear of Speaking
Generally speaking, the more items you can include in your listicle, the more appealing it will be to readers. Bigger listicles can more thoroughly cover a subject, thus making it seem more valuable to the readers. So, for example, “101 Ways To Build Your Email List” will appeal more to readers than “27 Ways To Build Your Email List”.
BLOG POST TYPE #6: CASE STUDIES
Case studies are incredibly valuable to readers for several reasons.
First, they let the reader see what’s going on behind the scenes of your business. Readers love being taken behind the scenes, and by writing a case study, you give them a look at how things work in your industry. You show them the inner workings of your business, which can provide valuable insights to your readers.
Second, they provide valuable lessons regarding how you achieved success in a particular area. For example, let’s say that you tripled your sales in six months. You get to walk your readers through exactly what you did, why you did it, how you did it, and what the results were. Your readers can then implement similar steps in their own businesses.
If you don’t have a personal case study to write about, you can write about how you’ve helped one of your customers. In other words, write about how you enabled one of your customers to achieve massive success.
Look through your customer list and determine which one(s) has successfully used your products or services. Then email them and talk through how they used your product or service to grow their business.
When writing your case study, try to provide as much concrete, actionable material as possible. You want your readers to be able to take your case study and apply the lessons in their businesses.
BLOG POST TYPE #7: PROFILES AND INTERVIEWS
Profiles and interviews allow your readers to become familiar with essential people in your industry. They also enable the readers to learn valuable insights and expert secrets. What’s the difference between a profile and an interview? In a profile, you simply highlight a person without actually interviewing them. This could be an important, established person in your industry, an up-and-comer, or a relatively unknown person. There should always be a reason why you’re profiling the person:
● Why do you want your readers to know about this person?
● Are they going to disrupt your industry?
● Have they written a series of books that your audience should read?
● Are they pioneering a new way of doing things?
Ensure that it’s clear to your audience why you’re profiling a particular person. In an interview, you ask questions directly to the person. This allows you to get much more up close and personal with them. It enables you to tap into their expertise and extract the secrets of their success.
You can find out what makes them tick, what drives them, and how they’ve achieved what they have. Before you interview someone, ask yourself, “What would my readers want to know?” Then try to get that information for the interview.
BLOG POST #8: THE EXPERT ROUNDUP
An expert roundup is like an interview on steroids. It involves asking a common question, or set of questions, to a group of experts and then compiling all their answers into a single, coherent, compelling blog post.
The goal is to gather as much expert advice on a single topic as possible and bring it all together into one location. For example:
● You could ask email marketing experts about their favorite hack for growing their email list.
● You could ask weight-loss experts what exercises they recommend for losing weight quickly.
● You could ask tax experts what the number one overlooked tax deduction is.
Expert roundups tend to be easier to create than interviewing a single person. Because you’re only asking one (or a few questions), it makes it much easier for the experts to get back to you. They don’t have to answer a massive list of questions and still feel like they’re contributing their expert advice.
Expert roundups have a much greater chance of going viral than formal interviews.
Why? Two reasons:
● First, because it’s in listicle format. Listicles, in general, tend to go viral more often than other types of posts.
● Second, because you’re combining so much value into a single post.
You’re tapping into numerous individuals’ expertise, making the most incredibly rich in value for the reader.
BLOG POST TYPE #9: REVIEWS AND COMPARISONS
What’s the first thing you do when looking at a product on Amazon? If you’re like most people, you probably look at the reviews. We want to see what others thought about the product before we purchase it. We also have questions that we want to have answered regarding the product.
Reviews are a significant part of the purchase process. By reviewing and comparing products, you can provide a hugely valuable service to your readers. You can help them make educated decisions regarding products and services. You can enable them to purchase a product or service that’s best for them and help them avoid making non-beneficial purchases. In a review, you discuss the pros and cons of a single product or service. Your goal is to provide your readers with a thorough understanding of:
● How the product works
● Its advantages and disadvantages
● The specs of the product or service
● Whether or not you recommend it
In comparison, you’re comparing two (or more) related products or services against each other, intending to recommend one. You’re essentially reviewing multiple items and then deciding which one you recommend to your readers.
The more reviews you do, the more of a trusted resource you become for your audience. They’ll look to you to help them decide which products and services are right for them.
Product review websites like Wirecutter get millions of visitors each month because they provide reliable, unbiased, extremely in-depth product reviews which can’t be found anywhere else.
BLOG POST TYPE #10: RESOURCE ROUNDUP
There are so many resources available on the internet that it can be overwhelming trying to find what you’re looking for.
With millions of new resources being published each day, finding the best can seem almost impossible. This is why resource roundup posts can be so helpful.
A resource roundup post gathers all the best online resources related to a specific topic into a single blog post. For example, you could:
● Create a blog post in which you link to the best blog posts, videos, and podcasts related to Search Engine Optimization
● Create a post in which you link to the best Keto recipes
● Link to best blog posts, podcasts, and videos related to Facebook marketing
Resource roundup posts aren’t necessarily easy to create. You have to do a fair amount of research to find the best resources related to a specific topic. You have to spend a lot of time reading posts, listening to podcasts, and watching videos to determine which ones are the highest quality. But these types of posts add huge amounts of value to your readers. By gathering all the best resources into a single location, you spare your readers from having to search high and low throughout the internet.
These kinds of blog posts tend to get shared a lot because they’re so high in value. They also tend to bring readers back again and again because they contain so many valuable links.
BLOG POST #11: QUOTE ROUNDUP
This is a hybrid between an expert roundup and a resource roundup.
In a quote roundup, you gather together a large number of quotes on a particular subject and put them all into a single post. This gives your readers a sense of what many people have said about a given topic. For example, you might create an extensive blog post that has numerous quotes about:
● Overcoming limiting beliefs
● Following your dreams
● The power of intention
● Achieving success
● Rising early
● The power of faith
These posts tend to be more inspirational than other types of posts since they feature poignant quotes. And because they feature so many poignant quotes, they also tend to get shared quite a bit on social media. If you’re having trouble finding quotes on a particular subject, simply Google “Quotes About [SUBJECT].” You’ll probably find dozens, if not hundreds of quotes on the topic at hand.
BLOG POST TYPE #12: BEHIND THE SCENES / A DAY IN THE LIFE
If you have a sizable audience, there’s a good chance that they want to know what a day in your life is like. They want to go behind the scenes of your business and see how you do things. They want to learn from you and see what things are like from your vantage point. Doing behind the scenes / a day in the life blog posts is a great way to let your audience get to know you. Start from the moment you wake up until the time you go to bed. Chronicle what each element of your day looks like:
● What is your morning routine?
● What sorts of meetings do you have?
● What strategies do you use to be productive?
● What do interactions with your team look like?
● What is your nightly routine like?
● What do you do to unwind?
Your goal is to give others a sense of what your day looks like.
If possible, you also want your readers to learn valuable lessons from how you go about your day. For example, maybe you work out early each morning because it helps you feel energized throughout the day. Communicate that to your readers.
Or perhaps you eat a specific type of superfood because of the numerous health benefits. Clue your audience into that. Or maybe you do yoga every evening because it helps you to relax. That’s a great tidbit to share with your audience and something they can learn from. If you don’t want to write a behind-the-scenes blog post, you could always video yourself throughout the day and then post that on your blog. Sometimes that can be even more effective than a written post.
BLOG POST #13: DATA-BACKED POSTS
Blog posts that are heavily data-driven and backed by research are a unique way to position yourself as an expert. They show that your ideas and thoughts aren’t just your own but are backed by hard data.Additionally, data-backed posts generate a significant amount of traffic since they are often quoted in other posts and heavily shared.
If you’re seeking to establish yourself as a thought leader and industry expert, you should dedicate a significant amount of time to writing data-backed blog posts.
But data-backed posts aren’t necessarily easy to write. After all, they require data, which must be acquired somewhere. This means you must do one of two things:
1. Do original research yourself. This takes a lot of time and effort and is usually beyond what most bloggers can do. However, if you can conduct in-depth research, you can generate a considerable amount of traffic for yourself. People will link back to your post and quote it to support their own posts.
2. Rely on research others have done to back up your primary points. This isn’t quite as powerful as doing original research, but it’s still a very effective way to write a blog post. If you can find data to back up each of your main points, it goes a long way to establish you as an expert in your field.
Writing data-backed posts takes a significant amount of time and effort, but it’s well worth it. The more you do it, the more people will rely on you for proven industry insights backed up by hard data.
BLOG POST TYPE #14: INSPIRATIONAL STORIES
People love inspirational stories. It’s why millions of people visit websites like Upworthy every month. We love to feel inspired to do more, be better, or pay it forward. We love stories of people who have overcome long odds and tales of those who have accomplished great things despite facing innumerable obstacles.
If you have an inspirational story, consider turning it into a blog post. There’s a good chance it will go viral, generating thousands of social shares and an avalanche of web traffic. But there’s one thing you must consider before writing an inspirational blog post:
what is the point of the post?
In other words, what exactly are you trying to accomplish with it?
Yes, you’re trying to inspire others. That’s a given. But how will the inspirational blog post help you achieve your business objectives? Your goal is not just to inspire people with your blog post. You also must seek to further your business in some way. This means that generally speaking, the inspirational story should be in some way related to your business.
For example, if you’re a fitness trainer, it makes sense to share inspirational stories about people losing hundreds of pounds. It doesn’t make sense to share inspirational stories of people saving money. The first type of story will motivate others to want to get fit, directly related to your business. So, as you consider writing inspirational blog posts, always remember to tie them back to your overall business objectives.
BLOG POST TYPE #15: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There are probably specific questions that come up again and again in your business. These are the questions that people email you or that consistently come up when you host live events. Inevitably, you end up repeating yourself as you answer these questions again and again. Instead of answering the same questions over and over, why not create a Frequently Asked Questions blog post in which you give in-depth, definitive answers to the questions?
When creating your FAQ blog post, try to be thorough and answer as many questions as possible. Your goal is to create a resource to which you can send people again and again. When they email you with a question, you want to be able to say, “Here’s a document I created in which I answer that question.” If you don’t feel like creating one long FAQ document, you could write a series of blog posts to answer one commonly asked question in each post. That way, when someone asks a specific question, you can point them to one particular post.
However you do it, be sure to answer the questions in as much detail as possible. You don’t want people sending you follow-up emails with more questions after they read your post. You want to try to answer each question in as much depth as possible.
Over time, you can add to your FAQ post as people ask more questions. It can be a “living document” of sorts, which continues to grow, change, and evolve.
BLOG POST TYPE #16: TOP TAKEAWAYS
Top takeaways posts are blog posts where you write about your top takeaways from something, such as a book, podcast, conference, movie, or other items.
These posts allow you to both recommend resources to your readers and show them why you recommend them. For example, let’s say you read a great biography about Steve Jobs:
● You could write a blog post entitled “9 Things I Learned From The Life Of Steve Jobs”. In this post, you would not only recommend the biography itself, but you would also highlight poignant lessons you learned while reading the book.
● You could talk about all the different ways that Steve Jobs inspired you to be a better person. You’re providing a valuable resource to your readers by creating this sort of blog post.
First, you’re introducing them to outstanding resources that can truly benefit their lives. This, in and of itself, is a great service. With so many resources to choose from, it can be hard to know where to get started. But that’s not all. You’re also helping them learn important lessons from those resources that they might not learn otherwise.
BLOG POST TYPE #17: BEGINNER’S GUIDES
These posts are “how-to” posts but explicitly geared toward beginners. They teach newbies in your industry valuable insights and skills that they need to learn anyway. Examples of this type of post include:
● A Beginner’s Guide To Lead Generation
● A Newbie’s Guide To Running A Marathon
● A Beginner’s Guide To Email Marketing
● A Beginner’s Guide To Social Media
Consider these essential items when writing these guides:
1. Make your guide in-depth but not overly technical. You want to cover the subject thoroughly without overwhelming the beginner with a lot of technical terms or industry jargon. Try to keep the posts straightforward, to the point, and relatively easy to understand.
2. Use a variety of media, like screenshots and videos, to clarify your points. Remember, you’re writing to beginners, and people learn in a variety of ways. Some are more visual learners, while others learn better from the text. Try to cater to all types of learners in your posts. Beginner’s guides, when done well, can be a precious resource to those who are just getting started in your industry. They can also establish you as an expert in your industry, which beginners can look for advice.
In some ways, these beginner’s guides allow you to mentor newbies from a distance, which can be incredibly rewarding.
WHAT’S KEEPING YOU FROM BLOGGING?
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post! We’ve covered 17 different blog post formulas that will help you write posts more quickly and with greater depth. By following these formulas, you’re sure to delight your readers and quickly build an audience of raving fans.
The formulas we discussed are:
● How-to guides
● News and current events
● Case studies
● Profiles and interviews
● The expert roundup
● Reviews and comparisons
● Resource roundups
● Quote roundups
● Behind the scenes / a day in the life
● Data-backed posts
● Inspirational stories
● Frequently asked questions
● Top takeaways
● Beginner’s guides
Now there’s nothing to hold you back from blogging! You have the formulas you need to write killer, compelling, clickable blog posts. Don’t wait any longer to begin blogging. Start today!