The secrets to winning with blog post marketing aren’t really secret. The keys to the conversion kingdom tend to be quality content at a consistent publishing schedule. But after weeks, months or years of publishing, simply keeping pace with your posting schedule can be daunting. One reason for that is blogger burnout.
Whether you’re an individual or a corporation, the blog content writers in charge of your blog posts can run into a creative wall that makes it more difficult to come up with ideas and create high-quality content that performs in the search engines and resonates with readers. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of 13 winning types of blog posts that make it easy to craft content that drives social shares, backlinks, conversions and other important metrics.
1. Posts that Answer Questions (Featured Snippets FTW!)
Ben Zeisloft from Qlicket says, “Blog posts and other content written by businesses are most effective when they answer questions in the minds of customers.”
When you ask a popular question (one that users are commonly searching online) and answer it immediately in a short list or paragraph of 25 to 40 words, you position yourself to potentially win the Featured Snippet position. Google displays the featured snippet on top of other organic search results, and often the page that earns the Featured Snippet spot also appears in the top three results, doubling the chance that someone will click on the link.
Zeisloft notes that this type of blog post isn’t just good for winning the Featured Snippet. “When a potential customer encounters a blog post answering their specific query,” he says, “the beginning of a value-creation relationship has already begun. Additionally, when a company creates a blog post that solves dilemmas or answers questions for potential customers, the company’s legitimacy among its customer base is built.”
How do you go about generating these types of posts? Zeisloft advises content marketers to “use free tools such as AnswerThePublic to find your customers’ questions and answer them with simple, brief, and effective blog posts. Then, use Google Trends to select optimal keywords so the blog post appears as a top result on search engines.”
2. High-Quality Mega Posts Based on Content Pruning
Kulwant Nagi shares a practice called content pruning that the team at BloggingCage.com uses.
“One thing which worked for us in 2019 is content pruning,” says Nagi. “In October 2018, we started the process and found 300+ articles that were either of very low quality or ranking nowhere in Google. In the first phase, we grouped similar articles and combined them into one mega post. We keep the best-ranking URL and redirected (301 redirect) other similar links to that mega post.”
So far, it may not sound like pruning, but here’s where the second phase comes in. According to Nagi, the team identified all the posts that were still not ranking in Google and removed them. They took down 319 total articles from the blog.
“In January,” says Nagi, “we started seeing traffic going up, and now we’re seeing more than 200% growth in traffic.”
3. Single Refreshes of Old Blog Posts
You don’t have to reorganize the entire content garden to see results, though. Sometimes, it’s about giving individual plants (aka, existing blog posts) some extra love to generate more fruit (aka, traffic).
Shelby Liu, an SEO analyst for Brand Buddha, says, “Don’t forget about your older articles. Give them a second chance to shine. The truth could be that those older posts used to rank well but were taken down by new articles that better answer people’s search queries. Tweaking your older articles is more likely to improve rankings than creating content from scratch, and this tactic also gives the search engine some time to crawl and rank.”
Crowd Content secret: the article you’re reading right now is a refresh of a page we posted in 2016. We’re just adding all-new data and quotes to be current and expanding the content to cover more types of posts. This is a tactic you can easily use on your own site.
4. Episodic Blog Content
Episodic content continues to be a winner, especially if you have a good hook to retain readership over the course of a series. When you’re working with high-quality blog content writers, you can create cliff-hangers that leave the reader looking eagerly for the next installment, which makes episodic blog content a great partner for email marketing newsletters.
5. How-to Blog Posts
The past few Google algorithm updates have put searcher intent at the forefront of ranking considerations, and optimizing content for that intent is critical to success in the SERPs.
Most searches can be categorized into three major intent groups:
- Informational: the searcher wants to know something
- Transactional: the searcher wants to do something
- Navigational: the searcher wants to go somewhere
How-to searchers are a huge percentage of informational queries. From “how to cook a roast” to “how to buy a tennis racket,” people look for step-by-step guides every day. Conduct keyword research to find out what people want to know how to do in your niche and create content that answers those questions.
6. Q&A with the Experts
Speaking of Google algorithms, 2018’s Medic update and June 2019’s core update both illustrated the need for more expert content on sites, especially for brands that serve finance, health or safety niches.
You can demonstrate expertise with authorship through bios and bylines, but you can also create Q&A interview posts. Your staff or freelance writers can interview experts and turn those conversations into engaging question-and-answer blog posts.
This is one of the best types of blog posts for adding expert content on topics when you don’t have in-house SMEs. While it’s always a good idea to post the thoughts and answers of your own staff, it’s also fine to interview an expert outside of your organization for your blog; some individuals may be happy to contribute in return for a shout-out or backlink to their website.
7. Behind-the-Scenes Posts
Expertise is only one piece of the quality pie for Google. E-A-T content (expertise, authority, trustworthiness) requires building trust with your readership. One way to do that is to create blog posts that provide a behind-the-scenes look at your operation. When possible, be candid about how you make or do things, or let loyal readers in on some of the details —obviously without giving away brand secrets.
In addition to building trust, behind-the-scenes videos and blog posts creates an exclusivity that helps your readers feel like part of a community culture surrounding your brand.
8. Epic Lists (We’re Not Talking a Top 10)
While those top five and top ten lists are losing ground in terms of online marketing, epic blog posts are still a great way to drive backlinks and position yourself for potential viral sharing.
Insider tip: If you don’t have the time or resources to find 99 items for a list, do something to differentiate your shorter lists. Top Tens went out with Letterman, but a shorter list with an odd number of points can still fare well when it comes to SEO and conversions.
9. Curated Expert Advice
Combine tips six and eight by curating a list of points backed by expert advice. This is a great way to add authority if you don’t have a single expert willing to sit for a 30-minute interview. You can ask experts to share success stories about certain topics or give their top piece of advice.
Services like Help a Reporter Out connect publishers with experts willing to provide quotes, but you do have to meet some minimum publisher requirements. If you don’t meet those requirements, consider reaching out to the owners of websites in your industry (who are not direct competitors). They’re often happy to provide a quote in exchange for a link.
10. Infographics Turned Into Blog Posts
If pictures are worth a thousand words, a good infographic could be worth millions. Put together a comprehensive graphic and share it (with a high-res option for download). Then break off portions of the larger visual, sharing smaller glimpses into it alongside in-depth text analysis of the data.
Pro tip: Canva is a great tool for marketers who need to create social media graphics, infographics and more branded visual content.
11. Blog Posts that Are Lists of Social Media Posts
Need some visual bang, but don’t have much buck to buy it with? Whether you’re stretched on time or don’t have the resources to create visual content this week, consider clipping social media posts. Many brands create viral content by sharing screen grabs of or embedding relevant Twitter posts and using them to tell a story (or writing clever captions between them).
You can use your own social media posts — effectively doubling the return on investment in that particular content — or swipe content from others. Just remember if you use posts from other individuals, best practice is to embed it so it’s clickable or include a credit link.
12. Posts that Share Your Own Data or Original Research
We don’t mean to harp on E-A-T. . . actually, we do. It really is that important. And another way to demonstrate expertise and authority is by putting your own data and research on display. You can do that in the form of blog posts that include references to your own data, as we did in this article on reading levels.
You can also blog about your own case studies — sometimes one case study or long-form piece of research you commissioned can become multiple blog posts. Power Inbox worked with Mantis Research on a study about email marketing and then turned it into half a dozen or more blog posts on the subject.
13. Posts for Someone Else’s Site
Finally, remember that every type of blog post you write doesn’t have to be for your own site. Consider breaking free from your own pages to guest post on someone else’s site. You might do this as part of an exchange, having someone from the other site write a piece of content for you. It’s a great way to build authority by getting your name on other pages and get fresh ideas on your own site.
Stuck for Types of Blog Posts to Write?
Consider working with professional writers who can come up with new ideas for your content marketing efforts. And if you’re burned out on the entire process of keeping content calendars and blog posts current, consider working with a professional team.