There are more different types of blog posts than I can count on my fingers and toes. Tone of voice is important, too. For example, if you’re writing for a business audience, should you use humor in your blog posts? Will your readers think you aren’t serious?
When writing about a serious subject such as unrest in the middle East and its implications for business, though, humor would be out of place.
I’ve concluded that many posts fit into the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How Come formula that I learned in journalism class that guided me as a business reporter. See if your posts answer at least one of these interrogatives. It will help to give your blog focus.
The Blog Post List
1. How to. People always want to learn how to do things better, faster, cheaper, safer. How-to blogs appeal to every demographic. Want to learn how to mow your lawn? Head over to Consumer Reports.
2. Promoting a Cause. You may feel passionate about a cause. A particular passion of mine is women and heart disease. I could make the case about why my readers should join the Go Red campaign to educate women on the risks of heart disease.
3. Analysis. In this type of post you can demonstrate your expertise by including your own opinions and those of other experts – linking to authority sites also boosts your SEO. I wrote one recently entitled “The New Leadership Paradigm: Rule by Community” that described the spontaneous formation of new communities of leaders made possible by the power of the Internet. This type of post is also called a Roundup.
4. Reviews. What’s your field? Has an expert written a new book you can review? I just downloaded the Kindle version of Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book “The Thank You Economy” and will write a review after I read it.
5. Q&A. This a great way to conduct an interview with a guest. You can make life easy for readers who don’t like a lot of dense copy. Also, it’s more personal. I interviewed Pat Weber for three blogs that I posted on the elevator speech. She interviewed me for her site and then we decided to turn these posts into an ebook, “Repairing the Elevator Speech to Burnish Your Personal Brand,” which is available to new subscribers of Write Speak Sell.
6. Entertainment. Some blogs are simply meant to entertain. They can be about serious topics – like a lack of service that I experienced at Home Depot in a post “Don’t Forget to Bring Your Own Saw to Home Depot” but written with humor with the primary purpose to entertain your readers.
7. Promotional. You may have a new product or service that you feel the world can’t live without. Write a post – but don’t be too sales-y. Remember that the reader is always asking “What’s in it for me?”
8. Lists. Like this one on blog posts. How about a list of what you consider to be the best books on leadership, or recipes for apple pie?
9. Inspirational. Posts that ask people to be better citizens, to follow their passions in life, to tap their inner spirit are examples of topics that will hopefully inspire your readers to action – and make you feel better, too.
10. Problem/Solution. A demonstrated winner. I wrote a post a while back “Why Can’t WordPress Tutorials be Written in Language for Regular People? I received a lot of comments and I was most gratified by this one, “This was so helpful!!! I’ve been trying to figure this out for almost 24 hours!!! …LOL.”
11. Instructional. I recently wrote a post entitled “How to Insert the Name of Your Website into Your LinkedIn Profile” that received many thank-you’s. So simple, but many LinkedIn users don’t know how – just take a look at some profiles.
Do you have a favorite type of post? What have I left out?