10 effective types of blog posts

Jul 31, 2015 by
10 effective types of blog posts

In a previous post, I discussed some of the different types of blog posts featured in the Problogger book, Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income. In this post, I’d like to share with you my 10 favourite types of blog posts to help you cultivate engagement and create an impact.

If you’re struggling with writer’s block and can’t come up with a good topic for your next post, deciding to write in a different format can definitely help you to shake off the cobwebs!

1 – Lists

Lists are the most commonly used type of blog posts for one main reason – they keep readers engaged! In the age of information, people have supremely short attention spans, and if they don’t immediately see something of value when they click through to your post, they’re likely to be gone in an instant. By structuring a post into digestible chunks of information with clear subheadings, people can scan a post for value before they commit to reading it. If you aren’t using lists yet, you should be!

Example: Alex Turnbull – The 8 Types of Images That Increase the Psychological Impact of Your Content

2 – Controversial posts

Nothing cultivates engagement quite like controversy. But while the rewards can certainly be great, if you rub your core audience the wrong way this type of post can backfire dramatically. If you’re considering using this style of post, make sure to consider all eventualities and don’t do something which can permanently tarnish your brand image. That being said, sometimes people will be even more drawn to your brand if you openly condemn a methodology, philosophy or faction which they themselves are against.

On the subject of controversy, blogger Julie Neidlinger suggests that while it’s okay to attack an idea that you disagree with, you should always avoid behaving like a jerk.

“You will always find people unable to process a strong opinion and see it as anything other than a personal attack, but this does not mean you should write purposefully to inflame. As always, attack ideas if you must, but never people.

“Choose decisive and bold language over weak and muddled language, always. Give your readers something to talk about, become passionate about, something that invigorates them in the midst of a typical day. A challenging post gets read and shared.”

Example: Steve Pavlina – Modern Day Nazis

3 – How-to guides

In terms of creating genuine value for your readers, instructional information presented in the form of a how-to guide is extremely powerful. If you can address a common concern or problem within your niche and provide actionable advice to solve it, this is a golden ticket for boosting the reputation of your brand and driving traffic to your site. In the SEO world, few are as adept at writing high-quality instructional guides as Neil Patel.

Example: Neil Patel – A Complete Guide to Tripling Your Email Conversion Rate

4 – Interviews

skype-interview-cambridge-web-marketing-co-blog-content-imageInterviews are great because they allow you provide your audience with quality information from another expert. The structure of interview posts is also an interesting change from more traditional approaches, and because the posts are generally loosely-edited transcripts, the prose is far more raw and conversational (as opposed to standard blog posts where the sentences are edited heavily for readability).

Example: Mindvalley – An Interview with one of our “Customer Support Moms”

5 – Critique posts

Unlike controversial posts, which are usually emotionally charged, critique posts come from the perspective of providing constructive feedback. This type of post is used heavily in the field of web design, where designers often critique leading sites as a means to showcase their knowledge and also sign on new clients. Providing an in-depth critique is an excellent way to boost your reputation as an expert in your field.

Example: Joshua Johnson – Web Design Critique #66: Matthew Coughlin

6 – Research results

This type of post allows you to showcase the results of a customer survey, poll or market research report. You can post the raw data and then use the rest of the blog post to provide some context around it. You may also be inclined to present the data using visual imagery, such as an infographic.

If you are conducting your own research, this type of post has the added benefit of engaging with your audience before you’ve even written it. Asking people to participate in a poll or short survey can be a great way to gain attention in a non-aggressive way. People generally love sharing their opinions, after all!

Example: Search Engine Land – 88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations

7 – Predictions

There’s no better way to demonstrate that you know your industry inside-out than by posting a prediction of trends to come. Those involved in your industry will be interested to know what the future holds, so this type of post tends to do well in terms of traffic. But remember – always research! Posting a wildly incorrect predictions may come back to bite you in the future.

Example: David Wells – 10 Online Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2015

8 – Book reviews

libarary-chair-cambridge-web-marketing-co-blog-content-imageBook reviews are an evergreen topic. Just take a look at your bookshelf for ideas! Book reviews are not only valuable for your audience, but they are also a great way to build relationships with writers. If you want your content retweeted, it’s likely that a writer will do you this favour after you write a positive review about their book.

Example: Phil Szomszor – Book review: Search Engine Marketing, Inc.

9 – Comparisons

People love debating the pros and cons of two opposing technologies, holiday destinations, sports teams, vehicles, music genres and so on. This type of post is particularly beneficial when discussing products – because if people are genuinely can’t make their mind up about something, they’re likely to search for an answer on Google. This will take them straight to your post (provided your site has good visibility) where they will, with any luck, become loyal fans and maybe customers too – as long as your products or services are contextually relevant.

Example: Hannah Green – Traditional vs. Digital Marketing: What Works Best?

10 – Case studies

Case studies are useful because they not only allow you to demonstrate the expertise and problem-solving capabilities of your business, they also draw attention to your customers. This kind of blog post will help to drive traffic to your customers’ sites and hopefully improve your working relationships as a consequence. That’s what I call a win-win scenario!

Example: Alan Bleiweiss – Case Study: One Site’s Recovery from an Ugly SEO Mess