It happens to the best of us.
If you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve been blogging for a while, sooner or later, you’re going to feel tapped out.
Fresh ideas get harder to come by.
It can start to get less fun.
But, blogging with consistency is critical if you want to attract and maintain an engaged audience.
So, you have to keep at it.
Don’t despair. If you get stuck, you might need to think outside of the box.
Don’t be afraid to shake things up when it comes to business blogging, and know that there are many different approaches that you can take.
Certain types of blog posts are going to work better for you than others. It depends on your blogging style, the nature of your business, your industry – and of course, your audience.
Here are 7 types of blog posts that will help you keep your audience engaged…
1. The Guest Post
But wait. Don’t be easily seduced.
I know – so tempting.
You want to enlist guest bloggers strategically. Don’t go all willy-nilly accepting blogs from just anybody.
Make it a goal to forge meaningful relationships with other business bloggers – and not in a grabby, self-serving way, but in a way where it’s a win-win-win situation.
What I mean by a win-win-win situation is this…
First and foremost, your audience has to win.
In other words, the guest post cannot just be a sales pitch. When your business blog gains some momentum, or one of your posts goes viral, you will inevitably get messages from random companies saying that they would love to provide you with wonderful blog content for absolutely free.
Be careful of this deal.
While this isn’t necessarily a horrible idea, understand that letting someone else turn your platform into a self-serving billboard is going to cheapen your blog, hurt your brand, and cost you your audience.
Always make sure the audience wins.
Then, make sure you win.
Guest bloggers should be people you can see yourself working with, referring business to, and collaborating with in the future. Use the guest blogging experience to grow your network.
Enlisting a guest blogger will benefit you only if they can provide meaningful content that is in line with your brand and add to the value that your blog brings to its audience.
Ideally, the guest blogger has a following of their own, on their own blog and social media platforms, and they’ll be able to share their guest post with their audience as well. By doing this, they will help you expand your reach and grow your audience (and subsequently your business).
And finally, last but not least, this collaborative effort should be a win for the guest blogger.
It should make sense for you to reciprocate and guest blog for them, for all the same reasons you would have them guest blog for you.
When executed properly, enlisting guest bloggers benefits your audience (win), benefits you (win), and benefits your guest blogger (win).
2. The Interview
An interview post is another dynamic way to create blog content.
Simply pick a guest to interview and compose some thought-provoking, open-ended questions.
Your guest should be a reliable expert in their field and should be able to provide value for your targeted audience.
Just as in the case with the guest blogger, when you’ve established yourself as an industry blogger, you might find yourself getting offers from various influencers or experts, saying that they’ll gladly do an interview with you for free.
Again, be careful of these generous offers. Trust me when I say that some of them will seem to magically appear from out of the woodwork.
First and foremost, you want to make sure this offer comes from a credible source. Ask yourself why you, your audience, or anyone for that matter should trust what this person has to say.
Second, you want to be positive that this person can offer value to YOUR SPECIFIC AUDIENCE.
Do not risk confusing or alienating your audience with frivolous, SPAMMY content.
It is completely acceptable if they want to plug one of their products, services, or lead magnets BUT this should not be the focus of your interview.
The focus should be on providing value to your audience and, in doing so, this positions you as a valuable resource for vital information.
You can record the interview in an audio or video file, and then have it transcribed using a service like rev.com to use in a written blog article.
Repurposing your content in this way will ensure that you can have SEVERAL media clips and tons of written content for your blog and social media.
3. The Review
Reviews are an excellent way to position yourself as an expert in your field while showing that you are current on industry trends.
You can review a product (for example, review the latest iPhone if you are a tech blogger), or a software (such as the latest editing software upgrade if you are a video producer), a book, a tutorial, or the latest app that might help your target audience.
You can also do a review of a shop or business if it pertains to your audience. Consider doing an interview-style profile of a business (online or geographically local) or entrepreneur that could benefit your following.
Your audience depends on you to keep them on top of industry trends and announcements, so don’t let them down!
4. The Answer to an Important Question
As a business owner, you will notice that many of the same questions will come up again and again from your clients and prospective clients.
Do not ignore these common questions.
These are in fact THE questions that would make the best launch points for your blog content.
Answer these questions in the form of blog posts.
If you’re stuck wondering what to blog about, my favorite go-to solution is to just throw out a query on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
(By the way, asking on social media platforms also happens to be great for engagement and improving your social media ranking.)
You don’t need to be fancy. Just blatantly ask your followers, “What questions do you have for me? What do you think about XYZ? What’s holding you back right now? How can I help you?”
Asking your followers for their questions will not only give you tons of ideas on what to blog about, but it will also show that you sincerely care about their needs.
You will gain valuable insight on what your audience is thinking and needing. You might be amazed to find how much you take for granted as an expert in your field.
You might even forget from time to time, that you are indeed an expert in your industry – not just a business owner, not just a service provider – but an expert with a wealth of knowledge that people are eager to tap into.
At the very least, answering these questions on a public platform will grow your confidence as a competent professional who has much to offer.
5. The List
The easiest, fastest way to throw a blog together is to compile a list.
Lists are sometimes poo-poo’d by “serious writers” who don’t want to regard them as real writing.
They even gave these list articles a dumb name – they call them “listicles”.
Well, guess what? Lists are easy to read, easy to absorb, and are an effective way to condense and communicate dense amounts of information.
Audiences love lists, and that’s all that counts. You won’t win a Pulitzer Prize (maybe), but you’ll win your audience.
If you’re stuck for a topic, think about what lists you can compile:
- The best…
- The worst…
- 10 ways to…
- 10 awesome websites that will help you to…
- 10 biggest mistakes people make when…
- 10 red flags you’re about to…
- 10 myths about…
- 10 trends for the next year in…
- 10 trends on their way out in….
- 10 golden rules for…
Once you have your list, all you have to do is flesh out each point, put together an introduction, tie it up with your conclusions and a call-to-action, and BOOM… blog article written.
6. The Story
Everyone loves a great story.
If you are comfortable opening up about personal experiences on your business blog (keep it in context and always be professional, of course), storytelling is a great way to get your ideas across.
In your story, be the hero who screws up, gets back up again, and learns something valuable. Then share your experience with your followers so that they may grow as well.
Or, share someone else’s story this same way.
Don’t forget to wrap things up with a heartfelt takeaway that is both actionable and memorable.
7. The Compilation
Once you’ve been blogging for a while and you’ve built up a fair amount of content, you’ll be in a position to do a post that compiles your most popular articles on a certain theme.
Pick 5-10 of your best articles that have a similar topic in common, write a few summary paragraphs for each article that would entice the reader to look up the original article, and then link back to the original article.
Write a nice introduction and conclusion… and voila you are done.
Compilation blog posts are great ways to remind your audience that you have been providing them with tons of quality content, and they will help improve traffic to some of your best blog posts.
Coming up with new material on a constant basis can be hard, even for the best bloggers. So, sometimes you need to think outside of the box. Blog articles can come in many shapes and forms. Consider featuring a guest blogger on your blog. You can also conduct an interview and feature it as a video, audio clip, or written article on your blog. You can write a review, answer a frequently asked question, compile a list, or tell a story. Once you’ve got enough material, you can start writing compilation blog articles to feature your best, most popular work.
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