(About 4 minutes to read.)
Looking for blog post ideas? Here’s a swipe file that will help you come up with blog posts faster.
If you’re getting my weekly emails, you’ll know that last week I promised to share a big list of blog post formats with you. This is all about helping you get the tools to turn all your ideas into actual content. (Plus it keeps me accountable! When I promise you something, I have to deliver!)
Keeping these ideas up your sleeve will help you write your posts more quickly.
Take this post as an example. I could have written a general post explaining how it helps to have a few ideas about different blog post styles. Instead, I sharpened that idea by framing it in a very specific format — as a List Post. Deciding on the format helped me quickly fill in ideas. It helps me organize the writing and any research I have to do.
Picking a well-defined blog post format also helps you (my readers) know what to expect. It shows you that I have something organized to share with you. And, since you know exactly what you’re going to get, you’re more likely to keep reading.
Blog Post Formats to Speed Up Your Content Creation
1. Frequently Asked Questions Posts
Not sure where to start with your content? Start by answering the questions you get asked most often. Pick a question each week and just write out your answer. Simplicity for the win!
2. List Posts
Our brains love lists. Especially numbered lists! It’s easier to write a list, and people love to read them. According to BuzzSumo.com, 50% of the Top Ten Most Shared Posts on Facebook are List Posts. So if you haven’t tried doing a List Post yet, definitely give it a try.
Here’s an example of one I worked on with a blog-coaching client: 7 Things Teachers Can do to Make School Better for Students with ADHD.
3. How-To’s or Tutorials
Sites like YouTube, WikiHow, LifeHacker and many others have grown to be huge in part because people use the Internet to figure out how to do things. Take advantage of this and teach your readers how to do something simple and helpful.
4. Guides and Resources
Take the “learning” angle a little further and produce a Step-by-Step Guide or Resource that really helps your readers achieve a goal. Resources can include Cheat Sheets, Checklists and tools.
5. Create a Challenge
Challenges are a high-energy way of delivering content and value. Create a challenge for your blog readers or email list — invite them to follow your blog for a while, and share a learning experience with them. Challenges can help generate some buzz when you’re preparing to launch a new product or service.
6. Share your Business Story
Sometimes blog posts simply explain your business (or brand) story. Share a “behind the scenes” look at how your business runs. Talk about the things you care about — the ones that connect with your readers’ lifestyles, interests and goals.
7. Before & After Client Stories
Build your credibility by sharing case studies from your own work with clients. Frame it as a “Before and After” to quickly show the impact of your work.
8. Stories Related your Industry
You probably spend more time educating yourself about your industry than your clients do. Share big stories, trends and case studies from your industry to position yourself as a wealth of knowledge in your field.
9. Research / Scientific Findings / Data
If you can back an idea up by discussing a scientific finding, research results or some interesting data, you have a great angle to get people’s attention. Especially if you can cite a major study or chart your data so readers can quickly see your point.
10. Lessons from Experience
As a business owner, you’ve probably seen common mistakes and problems your clients struggle with. Or, maybe you struggled with these issues yourself, and now you have a solution. Share some of these lessons with your readers.
11. Mistakes You’re Making
Turn that last idea upside-down and show common mistakes your readers might be making. Then, help them fix the problem!
12. Reviews or Product Comparisons
Always remember that your readers could be coming to you as potential customers. When they’re looking for someone to work with, they’re probably shopping around. Make it easy for them by showing how your service or product compares to the others. Or share a product comparison/ review of something else they’ll be looking for. (Always keep it connected to your key business topics.)
13. Share a Strong Opinion
Stir up discussion and emotion by taking a stand on something that people care about. Share your opinion as an expert in your field. Keep it respectful, open-minded and within your brand’s style. (For example, a Chef or a Farmer might write a post about Eating Locally-Farmed Food. A Kitchen Designer might write a post about Eating Family Dinners Together.)
Interview someone who knows something your readers would like to learn. You can do the interview on Video, then have it transcribed and add the transcription to your blog.
15. Expert Round-Ups
If you regularly learn from other experts in your field, share what you learn in your blog posts. An expert round-up is a post that covers what several experts say about one topic. You can interview them, or just share quotes from them.
16. Series of Several Posts on One Topic
To make the most of the time you spend on content, break one big topic down into several posts. Calling it a Series makes it clear that the posts all go together — plus, it sounds impressive!
17. Curated Collection
Share a list of great quotes, ideas, trends or resources (websites, books, courses) that resonate with your target audience.
Use these blog post formats to stay organized and write your content more quickly!
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