Blogging Playbook : Successful Blog Types

We’re almost ready to start writing – YAH!

Before you start tapping those keys, take a moment to understand the types of posts that you can write. Understanding blog post types makes it easier to write popular posts that attract readers from the beginning.

Here are proven reader-magnets that I’ve seen used successfully by bloggers from dozens of interests and niches.

1. How-To
How-To / Tutorial posts are the bread and butter of blogging.  Readers are on the hunt for new information that solves their most pressing problems; How-To posts serve up the solutions in 700 words or less.  This post type is incredibly useful and does a splendid job showing off the writers expertise.  I believe that at least 50% of your blog posts should use this post type.

Example: 10 Ways to Add Facebook Functionality to Your Website

2.  Opinion / Perspective
These stream-of-conscious posts are simple to write and marginally effective.  I’m not a fan because readers prefer to hear about solutions to their problems not your personal pet-peeves.  If you want to write an opinion post, follow the style of Washington Op-Ed columnists who share their opinions for a living.  These opinion columns are concise, well-reasoned, logical, and filled with perspective-busting detail.  Model these columns and you’ll always have a winner.

Example: Is the Golden Age of tech blogging over?

3.  Pre – Sell
Blog posts are an excellent way to pre-sell or warm-up on audience for a direct pitch for a product or service.  Pre-sell posts usually offer valuable stand-alone how-to content that demonstrates the writer’s expertise.  The offer is a natural extension of the tutorial content.  The stealthier the offer the better.

Example: 6 Ways to Sell Without Selling Your Soul

4.  Resource
Resource (or list posts) compile links or advice in a bulleted or numbered form.  These posts are popular with readers because they are easy to digest at a glance.  Writers love them because they only require a quick introduction concise bulleted descriptions.  Although social media pundits complain about the proliferation of resource posts they are a reliable reader magnet.

Example: 50 Awesome Posts on Email Marketing 

5.  Cornerstone
Cornerstone posts are written to deliver basic information to readers and serve up targeted keywords to the search engines.  Don’t get the wrong idea.  These posts are incredibly informative for readers but they also are designed to rank well for certain times.  This type of post was pioneered by Problogger and Copyblogger allowing them to dominate high-volume keywords early in their growth.  These posts still work extremely well and should be a part of your regular repetoire.

Example: Blog Promotion Cornerstone Post

6.  Loyalty-Transfer
Loyalty Transfer posts seek to piggy-back on popular themes to reach a wider audience.  For example, my Lady Gaga’s Eight Poing Guide to Extraordinary Blogging attracted Gaga fans who were curious about the title.  This post attracted the attention of Jade Craven, a Gaga Fan, who placed me on her Top 50 Netsetter List, an extraordinary honor for a blog that was just a month old!  You can piggy-back on any topic that is a good fit for your topic.  Don’t overdo it though since your posts can easily look formulaic and overdone.

Example: Lady Gaga’s 8-Point Guide to Larger than Life Blogging

7.  Epic
Epic posts average 3000+ words and thoroughly cover a particular subject. These posts often combine the How-To, Opinion, and Resource post types to massively overdeliver for the reader.  These posts take time.  Their authors usually publish one every month.  They are often shared and bookmarked extensively within the niche.

Example: The Post on Productivity I Wish Someone Elase Had Written

The Best Mix?

I recommend the following Blog Post mix:
50%: How-to
20%: Resource
15%: Cornerstone
10%: Epc
5% Other

As with everything, test this mix for yourself.