Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Seven Best Types of Blog Posts

In my research on how to write good blog posts and articles, I came across a book called KaChing, by Joel Comm.  His book is specifically on how to make money with an online business, but one of the chapters is about writing good web content, in which he lists and describes the seven most common types of content.  I recognized all of them in blogs I read regularly.

Here is a list of the seven types of content, along with my summary of their strengths and weaknesses (from what I could gather in this section of the book).  I've also added a link to some of my own blog posts as examples for each type.

1.  How-To Articles
Strengths:  If you have the knowledge, it should be very easy to write.  You simply take the readers step-by-step through a process you're familiar with.  The information tends to stay current for a long time, unlike news articles.
Weakness:  Posting a lot of this type of content turns your site into a practical resource.  It may not be the type of articles your readers want for casual reading.
Example from my blog: How to Write a Good Query Letter


2.  News Articles
Strengths:  News sites are very popular on the web. If you include an occasional news article on your blog, it shows that it's dynamic and up to date.
Weaknesses:   It may be hard to come up with original news content on your own.  One solution is to link to several news articles about one subject, like AppleInsider.com does.  However, some news sites may soon start charging for subscription, which will make it more difficult to collect the information.  Another way would be to rewrite news articles in your own words and state where the information comes from to avoid breaking any copyright laws.
Example from my blog:  WriteOnCon!


3.  Opinion Articles
Strengths:  You can make news articles more useful by combining them with your own analysis. Tell your readers why the news is important to them.  This transforms content everyone has access to into unique information, your own expert advice.
Weaknesses:  I didn't find any weaknesses stated in this book, but I would say it probably takes more time and effort to write this kind of article, as opposed to posting a list of links or rewriting a news article. Also, you may lose readers that disagree with you, I imagine, if you have a strong opinion on touchy subjects.
Example from my blog:  About Blog Awards


4.  Review Articles
Strengths:  This type of content is very popular because it's easy to monetize.  You can place an ad to buy the product you reviewed.  Advertisers will be willing to pay more money if they are confident your readers will want to buy the product.
Weaknesses:  In order to write a valuable review, you have to try the product you're reviewing. This might be a problem if you want to review computers or other expensive products.  You can write a review without actually testing the item yourself, but your review will be missing something important.
Example from my blog:  MG Book Review: Truth Teller, by Kurt Chambers


5.  List Posts
Strengths:  This is the type of content that is most likely to be shared online.  When readers see a title such as "12 Ways to (...)" they know they'll be able to skim through the article, each item being only a few lines long. On a side note, my most popular blog post of all times is a list post, which you can see in the picture to the left.
Weaknesses:  The longer the list, the more likely it is to bring in readers, but it requires a lot more work and research than it seems.  This kind of post is a bit shallow and shouldn't be used extensively, but they can act as an occasional traffic bait.
Example from my blog:  Treasure Chest of Quotes for Writers


6.  Interview Posts
Strengths:  This kind of post is high quality and unique.  If the person interviewed is influential in your field, readers will want to read it.  It's a lot easier than it seems.  Call or e-mail to request an interview, then e-mail 10-12 questions or set a date and time for an interview by phone.  Include a link to their site as part of the article, as a "fee" for the interview.
Weaknesses:  Interview posts take time to organize, and the person may refuse or not reply.
Example from my blog:  Interview with Anastasia Pergakis About Self Publishing


7.  Multimedia Content
Strengths:  Sometimes multimedia content complements a written post, but it can also be a replacement for text.  You can make a video post using a webcam and publish it in the space of about five minutes.  YouTube videos can be embedded in a post.  Photos can help attract viewers.  Use your own photos, or purchase them on sites such as iStockphoto.com or Fotolia.com.  Search for photos on Flickr and include a link back to the Flickr page (make sure you search only for photos under Creative Commons - Attribution License to avoid copyright issues).
Weaknesses:  None were stated in this book, but I would say my main challenge is finding public domain content and not breaking any copyright laws. It may take time to find the exact picture or video that would fit a certain article. And I'm way too shy to post a video of myself talking.
Example from my blog:  Baby Bird Rescue


Other Articles You May Want to Read
How To Write A Great Feature Article, by SammySpam
10 Post Types That Gets Plenty of Shares, by Yeremi Bolton
What is the Recipe for a Great Blog Post, by Ann Tran


What's your favorite type of blog post?

9 comments:

Kristen Wixted said...

I love list posts, but they're all good if it's a subject you're interested in. What a nice-looking blog you have! Glad I followed you on twitter!

Emailman said...

Annie, it seems your blog has EVERYTHING! No wonder it's my favourite blog :)

Another awesomely amazing post to add to the collection!

The 'Review Articles' was my favourite hehe!!

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Kristen! See you on Twitter!

Aww, thanks, Kurt. *blush*

Jack said...

What an awesome post! I love number 5 the most! I think when I write posts I tend to forget that my audience sometimes needs a little downtime and the points post is perfect for promoting that downtime!

Good job!

WILL OF HEART said...

this is really great, you give me so much ideas in writing my post, I am glad I found your blog...

Gina C said...

fun post :) i am a big fan of lists - but that's just me in general...

tfwalsh said...

Great list to refer to when stuck for something to blog about...:) Thanks Annie... hope you're well.

Joanne Marie Punzalan said...

Looks like I have to review and update my writing styles now! I need to focus on creating different types of blogs to prevent my readers from getting bored with my mono-style blog post. Time to sharpen my creativity and humor! :)

sewi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Post a Comment