Boosting Your Blog’s Visibility: Discovering the Most Effective Post Formats to Increase Reader Engagement

How do you make the most of your blog to get strong results?  Post a variety of content that’s not only optimized for your readers, but for search engines as well.

Whether you’re writing your first blog post or you’ve been blogging for a while, knowing which types of posts drive traffic to your site is essential to growing your blog.

These are 7 blog post types your website needs to grow for long-term success.

#1:  How-To Guides

How-to guides are the most popular blog post type readers look for, and my favorite to write, so I’ll provide a little detail here.  Generally speaking, people turn to the internet to learn how to do something.  Your customers and potential customers are no different.

They have a problem, and you have the solution.  Create a step-by-step blog post that shows them exactly how to do what they want to do.

There are 6 steps to writing a solid “how-to” blog post:

Step 1: Pick your topic: Be specific about your topic. If it’s about health and fitness, narrow it down to a subset of the health and fitness industry. If it’s online marketing, what’s the exact topic?

Choose a topic that you know you can write in detail about. You don’t have to be passionate about it, but you should know it thoroughly enough to provide solid details.

Step 2: Address your audience’s needs: What are the major challenges of your readers? Do they need help with setting up their social media channels or increasing sales? Address that need in your how-to blog post.

Step 3: Research: Researching your topic helps you write faster, so spend some time here doing research. Get all the data, facts, and visuals you need to create a strong and valuable post for your readers.

Step 4: Create an outline: This also helps you write faster. Think about the major points you’ll cover and map them out in a structure that flows and makes sense.

Step 5: Write your rough draft. Using your research notes, fill in the gaps in your outline. Make sure you’ve covered each specific step thoroughly and coherently.

Step 6: Edit and publish.  Proofread your post and clean it up as much as possible. It helps to read it out loud to yourself. You’d be surprised at what makes sense in your head, but then doesn’t quite sound right out loud. If you can, have a friend look it over.  Even better, hire an editor. Once you have an end result you’re happy with, hit “publish”!

Make sure your how-tos are written for your audience, not your competition.  They’re meant to establish your credibility and expertise in the eyes of your customers and potential customers.

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#2: Checklists, Cheat Sheets, & To-Do Lists

Giving your readers a checklist, cheat sheet or to-do list provides a step-by-step breakdown of how they can achieve a specific goal.  Just make sure you’re providing a solution to one of their challenges.

While similar to the how-to post, this blog post type focuses on how to do something more efficiently and has steps to follow so that nothing’s forgotten.  They’re awesome reference guides too, especially when designed as a printable PDF.

#3:  List posts

List posts are great for generating traffic because they’re easy to read, actionable, and very popular among readers.  They help your readers find the best info in the shortest amount of time.

Examples of list posts:

    • 22 Exercises for Better-Looking Legs
    • 12 of the Best Books Every Entrepreneur Needs to Read
    • 101 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

#4:  Round-Ups

Round-ups are great for SEO because you can link your content to other content sources, both internally and externally.  A round-up post brings together many opinions and gives your readers a broader set of solutions. They’re an easy way to organize useful information for your target audience as a collection of strategies, tools, or other items that are somehow related.

There are two types of round-ups.

  1. Past post-round-ups. Do these after you’ve been blogging for a while.  Basically, you’re featuring a list of the top sources on a given topic. Examples could be:
    • 21 Tips to Build Blog Traffic from Professional Bloggers
    • 10 Must-Read Blogging “How-To” Posts
    • Top 5 Cryptocurrency Influencers to Follow on Twitter
  2. Expert round-ups. These are a collection of interviews or quotes by influencers in your niche, and they help establish your brand as an authority.
    • They’re pieces of content in which a list of selected experts give their insights on the same topic, in short descriptions that include their opinions, reviews, or predictions.
    • Creating an expert roundup post can take some preparation and organizing effort, but it brings undeniable long-term benefits in terms of authoritativeness, traffic, and peer recognition.

Use round-up blog posts sparingly.  I recommend one every six months to once per year.

Related: How to Identify Your Target Audience

#5:  Personal Stories that Provide a Useful Lesson

Personal stories establish a connection with your readers and let them in on why they should trust you.  This is a very powerful tool from a marketing perspective that helps you establish yourself as an authority from a more personal point of view.

Here’s one example:  Mistakes I Made When I First Started Freelancing (and how you can avoid them).

#6:  Case Studies

These are simple, yet powerful.  They’re a great way to show how effective your product or service can be.  They combine data with personal stories, facts with figures, and a little emotional reflection in a compelling story.

#7:  Interviews

Converting an interview into a blog post is an efficient use of your time as a writer and is interesting for your readers.

You can find an expert in your niche and either sit down with them in a face-to-face interview or send them a list of questions and lightly edit their responses for clarity and brevity, then publish a proofread, polished version of the interview onto your blog.

Be sure to disclose any edits you make and that the interviews are for the benefit of your audience.

Planning is Key

As you plan out your content calendar, include a nice mixture of these different types of blog posts. Give some thought as to why you want to use a particular blog post type and how often you’ll use each one when doing so.

For example, you may not want to publish five case studies in a row and two back-to-back round-ups.  It would make your blog boring and not make much sense.  Simply plan ahead and think about how you’ll best serve your customers.

There are many other different types of blog posts, too.  This is just the shortlist to get you started on your blogging road to success.

Remember:  Keep things interesting by offering variety in what your customers are looking for, and be the brand that connects with your readers.

About Dianne Robbins:

Bio Picture of Dianne Robbins | Dianne Robbins Social

I’m a seasoned digital strategist with over 30 years in sales and marketing. My expertise spans from traditional marketing in the real estate and auto industries to innovative strategies in social media and digital marketing. As the head of Dianne Robbins Social, I focus on creating simple yet effective online strategies tailored to each business’s needs that drive business growth.

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