Content marketing has changed the blogosphere for the better. As businesses race to attract new visitors – and new custom – content is being produced to higher and higher standards.
Quality content is a must, and frequent production is important, but you also need to produce a variety of content to keep your audience interested. In this article, we’ll identify some different types of blog post ideas you can use to vary your articles and formulate an effective inbound marketing strategy.
1. Pillar Posts
As the name suggests, pillar posts are the posts that support the rest of your content. With a pillar post, you should be looking to draw in consistent traffic over the long term so you can consider it a worthwhile investment.
When creating a pillar post, your aim is to attract as many links as possible, so:
- Come up with a brand new topic.
- Research the search volume of related keywords using Google Keyword Planner – this step is essential in order to make the most of search engine traffic.
- The content should be a complete guide to the subject.
- Aim for a longer length. It’s impossible to write a great pillar post in 300 words.
- Make the content timeless: will it still be relevant and useful in a year’s time?
- Back up your claims with citations and statistics: the reader needs to trust in your content.
If you’re not comfortable with creating pillar posts, consider hiring a content writer to produce them for you. The content will pay dividends for many months.
We aim to make each of our website builder reviews a pillar post. Example: our Squarespace review.
2. List Posts
List posts are a staple of any content marketing strategy for one good reason: users love them. Why?
- Content is packaged into small chunks with clear subheadings, so it’s easy to scan.
- This type of post is very popular on Social Media
- The user knows roughly how much information they’ll be presented with, so they approach the content with a willingness to read it.
- Presenting factual content in a list usually improves its quality, since the writer has to plan the article more carefully.
When using list posts, try to avoid falling into the same tried and tested patterns with your lists. Most of your readers will already know ‘5 Reasons to…’, or ‘5 Things That…’; be creative with your list and tell them something new.
Interviews are fantastic tools for content generation. You’re guaranteed original content with an interview, and you can tie in editorial content to give the piece a unique angle. Interviews are great for promoting authority within your own niche or industry, since the blog post is likely to be of interest to your peers.
Spoken word interviews can be very time consuming, so you may want to hire a professional to transcribe the content for editing. Alternatively, ask your interviewee questions via email and skip the transcription stage completely. Just be aware that spoken interviews tend to be a little more candid and can yield a better result.
One of the best ways to build a follow is to give away your own ‘trade secrets’, or impart knowledge about your industry so that others can learn. Publishing how-to content is a great way to build authority and attract visitors from organic search.
Some how-to content will inevitably date over time. For example, a software tutorial will become less relevant when new versions of the software are released. Periodically review your how-to content and make edits to keep it fresh and relevant.
5. Readers’ Questions
If you find yourself being asked the same question over and over again, there’s a good chance that subject would make a great blog. Repeated questions on the same topics help signpost topics that your key audience is interested in.
If a question is being asked over and over, there’s a good chance your customers have already tried searching and got no results. You’re therefore in a great position to address a topic that no other blogger has covered effectively. This is also a good sign that you’ll gain some fantastic organic search traffic, providing you embed the right keywords into the blog post – great for an inbound marketing campaign.
6. Video Blogs
Publishing video content opens up a brand new audience for your brand. While video blogging is a very broad topic that would fill a separate article without too much trouble, we can briefly cover some general tips and advice:
- Familiarise yourself with your video editing software before you begin. Otherwise your video blogs will look amateurish. Keep in mind that sound is the most important part of your video; therefore use a good mic.
- Try mixing up interviews with viral content, how-to content and screencasts to keep your audience interested.
- If you don’t want to be in front of the camera, try screencasting instead. You can use Camtasia or CamStudio to record your screen and create a tutorial.
- Record any webinars or interviews and turn the content into a video blog.
- Remember to publish on your own website and on YouTube for maximum reach.
I hope that you got a couple of ideas of how to use different article formats to keep your readers engaged. You should make sure to use a commenting feature so that your readers can leave feedback for your posts. It’s important that you answer their questions!
All of the content on your blog should be authoritative, and that means crediting a real person as the author using their real name. Google’s Authorship programme is designed to promote content by linking it with an actual person, giving the reader confidence in their work. Google Authorship is also an essential part of promoting your content in search engine results, so make sure each blog author has a Google+ profile before you start working on your inbound marketing strategy.
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