We have been in your shoes with regards to trying to write awesome blogs and we get it. When it comes to blogging for your business it all seems so easy. You just sit in front of the computer and type away. You’re the expert and you have incredible information to share. The problem is that many business owners find it hard to express their expertise in a manner that engages and motivates readers to take action. After all, the key purpose of a business blog is to attract readers and convert them into clients.
Business bloggers often fall into the trap of discovering a great type of blog format which attracts readers and then start to overuse it. Over time, the blog becomes boring and subsequently fails to engage the audience. Just as variety is the spice of live, variety is also the spice of your blog’s life. Put another way, you need to mix it up…vary the topics and vary the formats. This is not to say you should be all over the map but merely pick and choose various times to incorporate a change. For example, if you normally use list posts, try incorporating an interview post. This will offer a new perspective to the audience.
Unfortunately, there is no “golden formula” for the perfect content/format mix. Every industry has its specific audience. As you explore various types of content and formats, you will find the ones that your audience prefers the most.
We have compiled a list of the most popular formats below. See if you can incorporate these into your current blogging strategy. Although not specifically mentioned in the list, the interview post would be great to do as a video blog as is the review post…food for thought!
The Cheat Sheet
Cheat sheet blog posts are similar to tutorials. However, instead of teaching people how to perform a specific task, the cheat sheet puts together various techniques and tips covering a larger field. For example, a tutorial teaches people how to fix their creaking door. A cheat sheet will teach them home improvement on a budget.
Try not overuse cheat sheets. Offer them to your readers as a special treat or as gated content to grow your subscribers list. Usually cheat sheets offer an exceptional value to the reader.
The List Post
If you do not know what a list post is, you are reading one right now. List posts are very popular among readers because they gain access to useful resources and information. You can use list posts for a wide variety of topics:
- Recommended products or services to solve a problem
- Resources outside your website (the best books, the best websites…)
- Checklists to help your readers complete a series of activities or purchases
- You can schedule list posts on a weekly basis. This is helpful to keep your audience engaged, as they can expect the next week’s list with useful information.
The Interview Post
Interviews are a valuable type of content, because they put the spotlight on a thought leader in your industry. You will be seen as an expert in your field and your readers will appreciate the fact that you have access to leaders and influencers in your niche.
You need to be careful about how you approach your interview guest. Think of a relevant topic and find a way to reward the guest for giving you the interview. The most common rewards are social media mentions and back linking to their own website.
The News Post
News posts revolve around the latest developments and hot topics in your industry. Sharing news posts on your blog helps you become an authority figure among your readers. Readers appreciate the fact that you are up to date and willing to share the new discoveries and trends in your niche with them.
Given their nature, you cannot schedule news posts – you need to be alert and write on the respective topic while it is recent and relevant.
The Review Post
Review posts focus on products – either yours, or your competitors’. The most relevant and popular review posts compare various products in a fair and unbiased manner. Another popular type of review post is about newly launched products.