Contrary to popular belief, the blogging life can suck.
You bust your hump writing loads of posts and still, your site’s traffic stats have flatlined.
If your blog were a patient, it’d be comatose.
So how do popular bloggers do it? Are they using some magical software to get more traffic to their sites?
No. But they are using proven methods that draw readers to them, like popular magazines, and TV talk shows do.
In this post, we’re going to look at 4 things you can do right now to improve your blog’s content and reel in more readers.
I’m not going to sugar coat this and make it sound easy – it takes time and dedication. But the concept is simple to understand and anyone can do learn to do it.
Uncovering the Types of Blog Posts People Will Want to Read
To be blunt, we’re dealing with a content problem here; if people liked your posts, they’d be flocking to your site.
A lot of people have what I to refer to as the “Field of Dreams Complex”. They actually believe in the idea set forth by the movie, “If you build it, they will come”.
You can have a great looking site with loads of content, but if it isn't valuable to your audience, forget it. Online readers are more advanced now and they will seek out better content.
Another drag is your posts can be excellent and still not draw in enough traffic.
(Don’t worry we can fix this because the key is the type of posts you’re writing.)
There are 4 types of blog posts that will improve your site’s content and captivate your readers easier.
In short order, they are:
- How to posts
- Resource posts
- Expert roundup posts
Are these the only types of blog posts that readers like? No.
Darren Rowse’s Problogger site has a list of 52 different types of blog posts you can use to get reader’s eyes on your site.
The reason these types of posts work so well is that they help people, and are the kind of posts people like to share.
Let’s break down these different types of blog posts and look at how you can start to use them right now.
#1 – The “How to” Type of Blog Post
The reason “how to” posts are so popular is that everyone wants to learn how to do something.
The downside to this type of blog post is that it’s a crowded scene. Everyone has written one, and writing a “how to” post about any subject is very competitive.
So, how can you write a post in this category and still nail it?
You have three options:
Option 1 – Write a blog post that tells people how to do something differently. More than likely, the people who read your posts have seen the same information over and over.
So it’s your mission to write a post that’s UNIQUE. You should write about a way to do something that has a different approach than what everyone else has. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about how to tie shoes, try to figure out a way to tie them that no one else is doing.
You don’t believe that’s possible?
Here’s a video that shows you different ways of tying shoelaces. It has almost 3 million views and over 7 million subscribers to its YouTube channel.
Option 2 – Find a subject that's ignored and write about it.
This option requires a bit of research, but try to find an aspect of your niche that has little written about it. An easy way to do this is to use a keyword search tool. You can use Google's Keyword Planner to find long-tailed keywords about your subject.
In this case, I used the Keyword Planner to look for keywords related to the phrase “blog tools”.
As you can see, the phrase “blogging tools” came up as the most related term. It has low competition and gets 1000 to 10,000 monthly searches per month. This is a good start already.
When I scrolled through the results further, I found longer keyword phrases with low competition and solid traffic.
The phrase “best blogging platform” came up with high traffic and low competition. I’ve also noted the phrase “what is blogging” at the bottom. You could also plug-in these phrases into the planner and run a search on each one of them.
It would be a good practice to keep a file on these types of keywords and save them for later when you need topic ideas.
Another way to find ideas that aren't covered is to read a lot of posts on a subject and take note of what's missing.
Let's say you want to write a post on blogging but notice there are very few posts that focus on how to format one. You could write an entire piece on that subject and make it the best resource available.
This requires a lot of reading and time, but if you want to stand out in your niche, the time and effort are worth it.
Option 3 – Write a massive 3000 + word blog post that everyone will want to use as a resource. Include graphics, resource lists, video, and audio links as support material.
Neil Patel is a master at this. He has written most of his posts on very competitive subjects, and yet his blog posts usually rank at the top.
His posts can be 3000 words long, and he uses every device possible to make them the best resource on the Internet. Neil's extensive research found that search engines rank longer posts more favorably.
#2 – Resource Posts For People Who Want to Know More
A resource post is a type that lists sites, tools, or information that can help your readers in some way. People like resource posts because they save time. It’s always great to be able to go to one site on a subject and find loads of resources you can use.
If you’re a fitness instructor, you could have a resource post on the best types of diets that you’ve researched. You could also have a resource page on types of online tools that can help you set goals and track your calories.
There are a few things you may want to consider on this type of post.
First, you must keep your readers in mind. It’s not about you? It’s about them. Don’t take the lazy man’s way and only write about the resources you like to use.
Besides, if you’re an expert at what you do, chances are you are more advanced than your audience. The tools and resources you’re using may be more advanced than what they can use or afford. So make sure you review alternative resources for them.
When you create a resource page, you should also pick 2 or 3 different topics.
Using our fitness instructor example, you could write about these resources:
- Different types of diets
- Different types of online calorie counters
- Different types of exercise programs
Actually, if you wanted to, you could use those ideas as a springboard to make even more categories, like this:
Different types of diets
- Low calorie
- Low carb
- High fiber
A second thing to consider about this type of blog post is to make it personal. People love the human connection and want to hear your professional opinion.
You don’t have to actually use each product you write about; you could gather opinions from other people that use them. But the more you’re able to try and use a product, the better. So telling your readers which ones you’re using is important.
#3 – Expert Roundup Posts on Influential People in Your Niche
A roundup report is a type of blog post that uses the opinions of experts. You ask a simple question to a body of experts and they each give you an answer you can use in the post.
There are several reasons why you'd want to use this type of post.
First, it gets the attention of the experts in your niche and they will more than likely share it with their herd. This means you'll get loads of traffic to your site.
Second, since you're featuring heavy-duty influencers on your blog, you're in their court. You are developing relationships that are valuable to your business.
Finally, you will gain links and authority from working with these mavens. You'll be seen as someone who knows important players in your niche. Not only that, but these influencers will link to your post, giving you great SEO benefits.
Pretty simple eh?
Actually, a good roundup post takes a lot of time and work.
First of all, you’ll need to come up with a question that your audience wants to know about. Trust me, you'll be wasting your time focusing on a topic nobody cares about.
Make a list of people online that are experts in the subject you're writing about. The more popular they are, the better.
Next, you'll need to approach your list of experts. Contact them and let them know what you're writing about. Make sure you're polite and respectful; remember, you're asking them for a small favor.
Phrase your question in a way that's easy to answer. The easier it is for them to answer it, the more likely they will do it.
It would also help if you told them you will be writing a brief bio of them and a link to their site.
There is a danger in using a roundup post of this nature. If you slap it together without any thought about the quality of the post, it could wind up being a disaster. You need to make your post as first class as possible.
If your experts took the time to write an opinion or a review, you need to make sure your post is stellar. In this case, you are not representing yourself but their reputations as well.
So take the time to write an outstanding piece. Also, take the time to email each one of your guests and thank them.
#4 – The Story Type of Blog Post
I have two favorite writers that I love to read: Harlan Ellison and Ray Bradbury. Among other forms of writing, they are masters of the short story.
I remember one day I was in a bookstore and I picked up a collection of short stories written by Mr. Ellison.
I started reading one of them and couldn’t put it down; it grabbed me from the first couple of words and I was stuck. The title was Shatterday, and it was about a guy who meets his alternate self over the phone.
The next thing I knew, my wife was poking me in the arm informing me she wanted to leave.
15 minutes later, I noticed my wife was gone.
Now I don’t know about you friend, but my family and their safety mean everything to me. When I noticed my wife was missing and I couldn’t see her anywhere, I freaked out and took immediate action.
I finished reading the story.
I did two things here. First, I told you a brief story that you may have held your attention. And second, I proved you don’t have to be a great writer like Ray Bradbury, or Harlan Ellison to use this device.
There are studies that show stories are more memorable than mere facts.
A famous expert on this idea was Harvard psychology professor, Jerome Bruner.
Professor Bruner found that the human mind remembers a story far better than facts. Using stories will also increase the understanding of a subject as well.
Copywriters have used this device since the first printed advertisement. It's no coincidence that the best copywriters on the planet are great storytellers. It's also not a coincidence that great bloggers study copywriting.
So if you want to see effective storytelling at work, study the ads of famous copywriters.
A Good Lesson from a Master Copywriter
If you want to know how to write a blog post that uses stories, study the ads of great copywriters.
This ad was very successful and ran for years in golf magazines.
It’s about a man who was overweight, nearsighted and had arthritis, yet could hit a golf ball 250 yards. He was able to do so because he somehow uncovered a secret 2 step system to golfing that no one else knew about.
The reason this ad sticks in my mind so well is because I have zero interest in golfing. I have only golfed once in my life and that’s it. Yet, when I glanced at this ad, I was immediately sucked in; I couldn’t put it down.
How to Use the Story Type of Blog Post in Steps
Step 1: Write about a Problem or an Issue that Someone is Having.
Describe in detail how the problem harmed you or the person you’re writing about. Use all the senses at your disposal to make it seem real. The more you can do this, the more people will be able to relate to it.
Make sure that you’re addressing a problem that your readers want to know about. Remember, this is about them, not you.
Step 2: Write about a Journey or Discovery that Found the Solution
Most great stories are about a personal journey to solve a problem of some sort.
- Luke Skywalker was on a quest to become a Jedi like his daddy.
- Frodo was on a mission to get rid of a ring.
- Odysseus was trying to get home.
To illustrate this point, let’s say your blog was about blogging.
You could write a story about your journey to become a full-time blogger. You could write about how you had a crappy job with low pay, and how low your bank account was. Then you started blogging and learning all you could about the art.
Then one day out of the blue, someone contacted you and asked you to write a post for their site….
You see how easy that was?
Well, the idea was easy, but you need to write a story that is worthy of your audience’s attention. When you use the story type of blog post, take your time and write a great story; it’ll make all the difference in the world.
Step 3: Tie the Story into Your Subject
The great thing about using a story is that you can use it in any type of blog post you can write.
So you don’t have to write a story blog post. You can write a list type of blog post or a “how to” post and still use a story to introduce it.
For example, you could write about how you had a problem getting people to read your blog. One day friend turned you onto a great WordPress plug-in to promote your posts on social media.
Before you knew it, you had thousands of people reading and sharing your posts
After that, you could lead into a section that reviews the plug-in and all the benefits of using it.
As I mentioned before, there are many types of blog posts you can write; in this post, we’ve covered 4 of them that are very powerful. It would be great to hear about the ones you’ve had success with.
Please leave a comment below and share with us the different blog post types you’ve tried, we would love to hear from you!
Also, if you found this post interesting or beneficial, please share it right now with your friends on social media.
Thanks so much and God Bless!
Mark Elmo Ellis writes compelling content and high conversion copy for entrepreneurs. Check out his blog and get a free copy of his 200+ page book, “Blog Profiting Secrets”. His newsletter and tutorials are sure to help you raise the bar on your own site’s content and help you take your business to the next level.