If you are currently running a blog or are just in the process of starting one up, it’s a great and exciting thing to be doing...so well done! Obviously, one of the main qualities you need to succeed is dedication. You need to make sure you are updating your blog on a regular basis with interesting and readable content to keep people coming back time and time again. It’s a good idea to have some sort of rough schedule so you can be sure that you have enough fresh material to keep people interested.
A huge number of people who visit your site are likely to be new users, so making sure that you write on a wide variety of subjects (or topics within your particular area of expertise) is important. If you are struggling to think about what to put up on your blog, there are a number of different types of blog post which you should consider. Rather than writing in the same style again and again, it’s a nice idea to keep these varied up so your blog doesn’t risk becoming stale and predictable.
How Tos and Tutorials
This is one of the most popular types of blog post. Many people search the internet looking for solutions to particular problems, whether this is IT support or fitness guidance. If you offer a step by step guide, people are likely to read the post and may consider following the advice. Make sure your solution is well tested and has been proven to work. People are then likely to see you as an expert in your field and come back to you when they are looking to complete similar tasks. Try to make the posts as specific as possible. Rather than ‘How To Create A Great Website’ it could be ‘A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Homepage’. People appreciate this and it also allows you to create more posts on similar topics.
Lists are another extremely popular way to frame your blog posts, whether it is ‘The Top 5 Places to Travel in 2017’ or ‘Top 10 Ways to Meet New People’. People like that they are able to easily find the information that they are looking for. Often, your blog visitor will scroll through looking at the subheadings so make sure these are strong so they are encouraged to read through the main body of text. Try not to overuse this style as it has been done so many times before, but there’s no denying that it can be very effective.
This is another way to offer people solutions to a particular problem. While these have a similarity with the ‘how to’ posts we have already talked about, these may well be more specific. For example, you may do a checklist of ‘Things You Need to Take Care of Before a Big Trip’ including items to pack, sorting out insurance, booking accommodation, planning transportation etc. People appreciate that you are taking care of all these details which helps to take a weight off their mind.
Many bloggers base their pages solely on writing reviews, but it’s nice to include a few of these posts even if you’re not a regular reviewer. People tend to be much more informed before purchasing products these days, so they appreciate the help of reviewers to give them an honest picture of what they are buying. There are two main types of review post. One is the standard review of a particular product while the other involves comparing and contrasting numerous products and giving each one a general star rating or figure out of ten. You may also get companies wanting to send you free samples (never a bad thing!) but try to stay impartial so people trust your opinions and the advice you are offering.
Often, the most read posts on a blog tend to be the ones which go against popular opinion. If you are challenging the usual way of thinking, people are likely to click on the link based on the headline alone. However, make sure you are able to back up your arguments with clear and well researched points. It’s no good writing controversial posts just for the sake of it. You are also likely to encourage the most interaction with this type of post, so make sure you are able to answer your critics in a diplomatic way.
Talking to other specialists and experts in your field is a nice way to vary up your blog posts. Though people are generally coming to your blog to hear your opinion, it can be a nice change to give a platform to someone else’s voice. If you are lucky enough to be able to secure an interview with someone who has a big profile or media presence, people are certainly likely to want to hear what they have to say. It may be that you decide to film the interview to add some visual content to your site, while you could also transcribe it so you have some valuable written material to go alongside it.
Speaking of giving others a platform on your site, many blogs now accept guest posts so others have a chance to get their voice heard. As well as providing a fresh approach and new insights, it also takes some of the weight off your shoulders so you don’t have to create such a mass of content on a regular basis. Make sure you have guidelines so that you maintain the quality of your blog and check the posts to ensure that contributors are up to the task. Many people who write guest posts are looking to drive traffic back to their own website, but as long as you keep populating your site with interesting and fresh content, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!
Sometimes, you may find that you have simply too much content for a single post. And just like a great Netflix drama, this is the perfect way to keep people coming back for more! Make sure to label the posts ‘part one’, ‘part two’ etc, and write a teaser at the end of each post to ensure that people are encouraged to come back. Also, include links back to previous posts so that people are easily able to read what has been done in the past. Try not to drag this out for too long as people are less likely to keep coming back.
Unless you run a specific news blog, people are unlikely to come to you when there is breaking news. However, they may well choose to come to you to read your reactions to specific stories. This is where it pays to keep up to date with the news, as this should provide an endless source of inspiration for your posts. When you are mapping out your blogging schedule, always make allowances to include news stories - you never know when these can happen. Also, try to dig out some lesser known stories that may have been buried. You may well be providing people with new information that they have not read about in the past.
Everyone loves a good story. Sharing personal anecdotes on your blog is a great way to give it some more personality and character. People come to a blog because they are looking for a source that they can trust. A lot of the time, your story can be used to illustrate a wider point that you are making. It may be something that you have learnt because of a mistake that you have made. Remember, the worse incidents tend to make the best stories so be prepared to share something that didn’t go according to plan at the time. People will appreciate your honesty, especially if you tell the story with humour.
Surveys and Polls
Surveys and polls are a great way to give your visitors a chance to interact with your blog. While many users will not go through the effort of actually writing a comment, they will click a poll or answer a few short questions. Not only does this get them involved, it also gives you some valuable information about the people that are actually reading your blog. That way, you are more able to tailor your content specifically for your audience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Invite your readers to ask you their own questions, possibly through your social media accounts or on a comments page. Next, create a blog post tackling all of these questions. This is another great way to keep people engaged. Anything you can do to make your blog more interactive can only be a positive thing.
These are just some of the most popular blog posts that you can consider writing. Make sure to keep them as varied as possible so people stay engaged and come back time and time again.