When it comes to attracting visitors to your blog (and keep them coming back for more), nothing works as well as well-researched and insanely useful content. Today we look at the most popular blog post types, which make the process of delivering useful content so much easier.
It’s not an accident that Google tends to favour long posts. It’s because they tend to be more informative than their short counterparts and people tend to be spending a lot of time on those pages. Not because the pages are long, but because they find the information included in those long posts either interesting or useful, hopefully both.
So having said that, here are seven of the best types of blog posts that will help you draw visitors to your site.
Complete step-by-step how-to posts
Let’s be clear here. The post should be so in depth that nothing gets left out. It should be a complete step-by-step instruction on how to do something. How to start a blog. How to succeed with (add your favourite subject here). The best way to learn (whatever).
Quite often this might be a series of posts. If it is a single post, its not unusual for such post to go over 10,000 words.
One great example I can give you is from Chris Lee. In his Rankxl.com blog Chris recently published a monstrous post How To Build (Powerful) Backlinks With Outreach. It’s over 10,000 words in length and very well put together.
Well-researched (and preferably long) lists
There are lists of top x number of ways to do something are always popular with the readers looking for information.
- Seven easy ways to build links naturally.
- 5 must have plugins for your WordPress blog
- 7 most popular blog post types (yes indeed)
It works in any industry, any niche.
- Six thing you can do today to cut down on fuel costs
- Top three ways to pay off your home loan sooner
- Five easy tricks to help you lose excess weight
Brian says that while there will be always room for the top 7 types of posts, there is something inherently more linkable about a list of top 100 items than a list of top 10.
The lists like
- 149 ways to save money on your groceries.
- 57-point check list when buying a second hand car
- 110 ways to make money this weekend
- 104 bloggers who publish their income reports
Another real life example is 182 Greatest Copywriters and Copywriting Resources of the Internet Age. It would be hard to for anyone to top this number by a significant margin without spending probably a few weeks on research. And the headline definitely gets people’s attention.
Another interesting example, particularly for us bloggers, is Joseph Hogue’s 57 Worst Blogging Mistakes and Why Your Blog Sucks. After I read it it for the first time, I often refer back to it as a quick checklist.
Expert roundup posts
I suspect well-researched roundup posts will always be popular with readers, particularly the expert roundup posts.
An expert roundup post is essentially a blog post where you get experts to contribute their best advice on the topic of the post.
If you want to see one of the more useful examples of an expert roundup post, just read How To Stand Out Online: 43 Experts Share Their Top Tips by Adam Connell.
There is more to a successful roundup post that just writing a great post with expert contributions. However, when executed properly, expert roundup posts will help you get visibility form the experts in your niche as well as their readers (traffic).
One of the best posts on the subject of expert roundup posts is How to Create a Roundup Post That Will Skyrocket Your Traffic to High Heavens by Neil Patel.
In the post I just shared above, by Adam Connell, Brian Dean gives this advice on case studies: “ONLY publish case studies. Literally don’t publish anything that’s not a case study in some way.” According to Brian, if you are unknown in your niche the publishing case studies could be the best way to help your readers.
Not only that, but it will also help you to get established as an authority in your niche. According to Brian, big name bloggers like Pat Flynn came out of nowhere by focusing on case studies.
So what exactly is a case study?
Basically it’s a real life example of how somebody else achieved success in a particular area of endeavour. For example, this is a real example of a case study: Discover The $1 MILLION Per Month Site In The Survival Niche & Learn How To Emulate It. The case study looks at some interesting facts and concludes with some ideas on how to emulate that success.
Since Brian Dean is so keen on publishing case studies, I wanted to see if he does what he preaches. Sure enough, there are quite a few on his blog. One of the recent ones is How Buffer Grew Their YouTube Channel by 59% in 30 Days (Step-By-Step Case Study). You will notice that Barian’s case studies tend to be very long and quite in depth.
A good case study will typically start with an outline of what it covers, then followed by an in- depth part of the actual case study itself with as much detail as possible. To add real value it should conclude with some takeaways and tips on how the reader can use this information and achieve something similar. A good case study will often read more like a bit of detective story rather than be boring and cold.
For a book review type post to work for your blog, in my opinion two key factors have to be present first. The book must be really great and it must be on a topic that is at least somewhat related to the topic of your blog. For example, for the Focus and Grow Rich blog any great book on self-development would be a good fit.
When you review a book that you yourself have found very useful, it will come across in your writing. The review will be your unique perspective on it and should be quite interesting to many of your readers.
I was actually hesitating to mention product reviews here. The reason is that product reviews usually go hand in hand with affiliate commissions on the sales of those products. It can be an obvious conflict of interest, unless you are very mindful and really take care to put your readers before the money.
There are some people that do nothing but the product reviews and quite often those reviews tend to be exaggerated and only show the products in the best light. Sites like this tend to lose credibility quickly. If you do product reviews, make sure that you are only reviewing great products in the first place. And if the product has some weak sides to it, make sure you mention it very clearly.
The best and most credible reviews are of the products and services that you yourself bought and used. The second best are the products and services that you have spent some considerable effort researching.
The rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t recommend it to your mother or a close relative, you certainly do not want to recommend it to your readers either.
Remember that if you look after your readers, they will look after you. And if nothing else, your reputation is much more important than any potential profits anyway.
I left infographics for last. Not that it’s the least effective, quite the opposite. Inforgraphics, according to experts, tends to be very linkable and shareable if done right. It’s the “done right” part that can prove a bit difficult to some of us. I will link you below to some sources on how to do it successfully, but you do not have to concern yourself with it at the beginning stages of your blog unless you have some graphic design sense.
If you don’t have any graphics design experience you could hire a freelancer to do it for you, however this could prove to be expensive, particularly if they don’t get it right the first time.
There are plenty of other things to keep you busy, as listed above, and won’t cost you any money.
Having said that, here are a couple of sources that can serve as a good starting point for infographics creation and how to use it successfully.
13 incredible tools for creating infographics. Most of these tools are either free or have a free basic version available. Canva is probably the easies one for beginners.
There is also a really good tutorial on infographics available fore free from Venngage.
To get some inspiration you can also look at real life examples on Pinterest, such as this collection of over 500 infographics.
If, like myself, you are shaking your head thinking “How on earth would I be able to make something like this myself?”, this probably means that infographics is not for you to worry about just yet.
Bonus: podcasts, videos and interviews
This is a bonus category and something to seriously keep in mind as your blog starts growing. Since I am mainly focused on written content in this post, these may be covered in a separate post of its own in the future.
It’s safe to say that these types of content become more and more popular. However, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. So if, like myself, you are not much of a video or podcast person don’t worry about it. Many bloggers are very successful just writing their content and supporting it with well-chosen images.
Conclusion and some parting words
We looked at some top blog post types that tend to be very popular with the readers. Here is the secret though. It doesn’t matter whether you want to publish a list, an expert roundup post, a case study, or a how-to guide. Or even none of the above. But what does matter is that
- your post is very well researched and insanely useful to your ideal reader
- you reference and acknowledge the sources you used for your research (with links)
Some people are afraid to do either of the above. However if you really care about your audience, it’s a no brainer.
A well researched blog post does not have to be very long (and many will be). It just needs to be as long as necessary. It has to educate the reader, answer one or more of their pressing questions, be useful and actionable.
Referencing and linking to your sources will also be appreciated, but not just by your readers (they can do further research if they want to by following those links). It will be also appreciated by the people you link to and some of them will mention you to their audiences and send you traffic. This is also a great source of getting backlinks to your site in a natural way, without ever asking for a link. Google loves natural backlinks.
This is where being passionate about your subject come in. If the topic of your blog is your passion, you will find the above suggestions very easy, in fact natural.
Although today’s post is not very long, don’t take it lightly. Follow the links above and study the topic closely. It’s one of the keys to having a successful blog or a niche site.
Pick your favourite blog post type and try to master it by writing a few posts, before moving to the next technique.
Until next time. Stay focused.