Variety is the spice of life, and the same should be said of your blog content. Before you sit down to write another post, check out these five ideas to help mix things up, reach a wider audience, and keep them coming back for more.
As well as being a pretty funny word to say, listicles (list articles) consolidate information into numbered sections that are straightforward for an audience to read, digest, share, and action.
This type of post is easy to create, and is attractive to readers because it makes a specific promise about what they can expect from the article, and delivers it in a short amount of time. So long as the content is of high quality, readers will be satisfied, in fact, research from Fractl and BuzzStream showed that lists are shared on social media more often than any other type of article.
The amount of information you should provide for each point will largely depend on the total number of items on the list. A rough rule of thumb, as demonstrated by Bodybuilding.com;
- Shorter lists (less than ten), should provide detailed and insightful copy for each point (for a good example, check out The 6 Best Kettlebell Exercises You Need To Do).
- Longer lists sit well with a single sentence or two for each point (as in 48 Delicious Protein Shake Recipes).
2. Product reviews
Almost 90 percent of people check out online product reviews before making a purchase, according to research conducted by Zendesk.
The majority of eCommerce sites will showcase their customer reviews, but the savviest of consumers will seek to find honest and objective reviews from people they trust. As a blogger, you’re well positioned to share your personal interests and thoughts with your audience.
When writing a review, you’ll probably want to think about, and focus on:
- The ease of using the product
- The quality of the product
- The value of the product
- The pros and cons of the product
- The type of person that might use the product
- What others have said about the product
- The alternative products that are available, and how they compare
Include videos or photos of your experience with the product to build trust, and make the post feel more interactive.
3. Guest posts
Getting an outside expert to contribute to your blog can help switch things up by adding a new tone of voice, and a fresh opinion and perspective. Of course, the contributor is probably hoping to drive traffic from your site to theirs, but so long as the content is always valuable and of high quality, readers are going to keep coming back to you for more.
Accepting guest blogs is an effective way to build relationships with like-minded bloggers and brands. This can help draw in a wider audience, establish credibility, and build trust with readers. Just make sure you establish some guidelines with guest contributors, vet their work for suitability and originality.
Whatever your area of expertise, there’s probably something you know how to do that others are interested in learning about. Here are the most searched for how-tos on Google in 2015.
Google reports that Americans watch more than 100 million hours of how-to YouTube videos each year, and instructional blog posts rank second in the number of social media shares.
Bloggers may worry about writing a how-to post in fear that they’ll miss out on customers if they give all their tricks away, but fear not, tutorials are a great way to help establish expertise and credibility. Even in a situation where your step-by-step post completely solves a reader’s problem, they will likely consider you for future opportunities.
Number each step (lists win again!) and keep things simple to follow, include videos, photos, and links to other sources.
Infographics perform well as part of a blog content strategy because they amalgamate our love of visual with our thirst for knowledge. They should be well designed, easy to follow, shareable, and packed full of content (but not text).
You can use infographics to showcase research findings, whether your own or not.
Here is a snapshot of a nice infographic example on Why Pinterest Matters to Marketing from Social Media Today, which clearly displays helpful information in easy to digest chunks.
Don’t stop here
Of course, there are many other types of content that you can produce for your blog to add a bit of variety into the mix, some that will work better for your niche than others. Whilst this list is absolutely not exhaustive, I hope it serves as a bit of food for thought when planning future posts – you don’t always need to stick to a standard templated 500-ish word post on industry news.
What types of post do you enjoy reading and writing? Let us know in the comments below.
Also published on Medium.