50 kinds of blog posts – part 1

Just like magazines, newspaper, television, movies and other media, blog posts come in many varieties.  And like those media, there can be an amazing selection of blog post types within a single blog.  Just think of an average newspaper.  You will find headline news both local and international, editorials, advertisements, sports items, community events calendars, photographs, stories or poetry, informational columns, quick facts, profiles of individuals and groups, politics and religion and other often controversial topics, comics and humour, letters, guest columnists, movie and book reviews, educational items, and so much more.  And yet all of these things are in some way related to the purpose of communicating “news!”

Your blog will also benefit from a variety of posts, even as you seek, for the most part, to keep an emphasis on your blog niche, and a focus on your purpose.  A variety of post types will not only make your blog more entertaining and interesting over the long-term, but it will attract a wider variety of readers, and it will allow you to explore your niche from a greater variety of perspectives and approaches.  What kinds of posts might you use in your blog?

When I started this post, I had half a dozen ideas in mind, but more kept popping up, so I’m naming the post “50 Kinds of Blog Posts.”  Alright, actually there are 46, I believe, but I have no doubt we’ll reach 50 or more if you add your ideas in the comments!

Since blogs are “supposed to be” short and sweet, I’ll be presenting this topic as a mini-series, in 4 parts, so as not to overwhelm you.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Top Hits/ Best of – From time to time share (by links, or by reposting) some of your past posts that received a lot of traffic and comments.  Also take quotes from, and link to, excellent posts from other bloggers that relate to your blog’s niche.

Interviews/ Q&A – Interview people who have expertise in the niche your blog explores, or who are involved in activities and events related to your blog topics.  Your interviews can be in written Q&A form, audio, or video.

FAQs – If you repeatedly receive the same questions or comments, why not create a FAQs (Frequently Answered Questions) post – or page – that answers those questions for all your readers.

Point of View/ Opinion/ Op Ed –  While your blog might deal mainly in educational or factual material, it is worthwhile from time to time to mix it up by including opinions, including of course those that differ from your usual perspective.   You can “think aloud” about differing opinions, invite guest posters to share their opinions, invite your readers to converse about their opinions in the comments, or even “play devil’s advocate.”

Practical advice – In some blogs, this is the basic kind of post, but even if it isn’t your usual approach in your blog posts, it’s always a good idea to include it from time to time, since practical advice is something people are always looking for, pretty much on every topic.

Education and information – Again, for some blogs this is the core type of post.  But even in a “personal journal” type blog, humour blog, even a photo blog, related educational posts are valuable.  For example, if you have a photo blog, every once in a while you might include teaching on some related aspect: how-to’s related to photography, new photographic equipment and methods, even background on the history of the places and events in the photos you have taken.

Expertise – From time to time be sure to include posts that show your expertise in the area of your niche.  It might be a video of a speech you gave at a conference, a quote or link from a review of your recent book or activity, a detailed examination of a discrete aspect of your niche that shows your in-depth knowledge, and so on.

List posts – Posts that use bullets and ordered lists to present “key” information on a topic are very popular, both with blog writers and blog readers.

Literary posts – If you usually post in a list format, or a how-to format, you might from time to time consider approaching your topic in a more formal literary form, with traditional paragraphs and essay style.  There are certain topics within almost every niche that lend themselves to this approach – and its use from time to time demonstrates a sense of professionalism.

Review posts – Readers are always interested in hearing about books and other media, as well as a variety of products and services, that are related to your niche area.  They like to hear about new items, as well as hear unique perspectives on products they are already familiar with.  Just remember that if you are reviewing a product or service for which you are being compensated, whether by payment or by being given the product in return for reviewing it, you must make note of that in your review!

Be sure to go on to read Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 – and add your own ideas for kinds of blog posts – or comment on the ones I’ve suggested – in the comment section at the end of each part of this mini-series.

(This 4 part mini-series is part of the larger series: Planning your blog content)

Question of the Day: What kind of blog post are you most comfortable writing?  Does it suit your niche?  Which of the blog posts types above would also work on your blog?

Tip of the Day: If you are getting bored writing your posts, your readers are probably getting bored reading them!  What different kind of post would be fun for you to try?

Put it into Action: Why not try one of these post types soon?  Set yourself a deadline – say, within the next week or two.  Go for it!

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