Blogging with a purpose increases market share, consumer engagement, revenue growth, and ROI. Of course, you want to do that.
I mean, just look at this:
But once they start the blog, a lot of people I know are still stuck on the fundamental question:
What do we blog about?
Here is a list of 35 types of articles, topics, and approaches that have demonstrated massive success for bloggers in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
1. How To Guides
People generally hate reading instruction manuals. When was the last time you snuggled up with a glass of wine and the instruction manual to your toaster?
How do people figure out how to do stuff?
They Google it.
WikiHow became insanely popular based on how-to articles alone.
Politics are popular during every election year. Whether national or local, find a political topic to discuss, and join this conversation.
Politics can be dicey, however. People tend to get really polarized around political topics, so be prepared to handle some controversy.
Everyone loves bacon.
Huffington Post is one of the most popular blogs online, and it has an entire archive of bacon articles.
It’s not a trend going away soon, so get on board.
Recipes are a great way to draw traffic to your blog.
There’s always a new diet fad, e.g., today’s Whole30 is yesterday’s Atkins, so there’s always new recipes to be discovered.
5. Beginner guides
Before you can convince someone that you know the advanced stuff, start with 101 beginner guides.
My own beginner guides have been very popular.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Beginner guides are often the way bloggers build organic search traffic at the start, and they can even be done using infographics like this guide to Sharepoint.
6. Ultimate guides
Subject matter experts, on the other hand, are always seeking out the most credible ultimate guides for their areas of expertise.
The term “ultimate guide,” however, is a bit overused. You can use some alternate terms if you want, such as these from Business Casual Copywriting:
- Essential Guide
- Complete Guide
- Uncensored Guide
- Last Guide to ____ You’ll Ever Need
Whenever you’re writing an informative guide, back it up with statistics.
Use data only from authority sources, and give them credit for the information.
Adding data to your guides shows your readers your content is legitimate.
You didn’t just pull ideas out of thin air. You took the time to conduct research and then formed opinions based on your findings.
I use this strategy all the time. Before I take a stance or give advice, I find numbers to back up my claims.
If you are interested in doing original research, consider highlighting your case studies in a blog post.
This will help you get traffic from organic searches as well as through backlinks whenever another site uses your study as a source of information.
If you’re an expert on something, creating an ultimate guide is an ultimately awesome way to do some ultimately popular blogging.
7. Frequently asked questions
Be warned that posting answers to frequently asked questions online won’t stop people from asking anyway.
They do, however, serve as a resource for people, and they are often featured on e-commerce websites—but overlooked on blogs. FAQs are blogging gold in any age.
Google’s algorithm uses FAQs, questions, and other popular topics as part of its Knowledge Graph. If you’re lucky, you might score a top spot in this coveted place.
The best way to set yourself apart from the ocean of bloggers is to gain insight from industry experts.
Whether it’s with people on your team or from other companies in the industry, set up interviews on websites like helpareporter.com to gain valuable knowledge from a professional.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be in the same room as your interviewee to talk to them. Come up with a list of questions your audience would be curious about, and email it instead. You could also post the questions via Twitter or another social media channel.
9. Personal stories
While personal stories may not be the keyword-filled anchor pieces you want, they’re still valuable additions to any blog.
Through sharing personal stories, you give readers a chance to relate to your business on a personal level, which helps build brand affinity.
Learning how to tell a story is an art. Once you master this skill, the quality of your blog posts will improve.
A great story will keep your readers on the edge of their seats.
You need to understand the impact storytelling has on our brains:
When readers have an emotional response to your story, dopamine gets released from their brains.
Use this information to your advantage. The best stories are written to elicit some type of emotion, whatever that may be.
The choice is up to you. Maybe you want your readers to feel sad or angry while they’re reading your posts. And some of you may prefer to evoke joy, surprise, or love.
If you can make your readers feel emotions, they’ll be more likely to continue reading the blog.
As a result, they’ll come back to read more in the future.
Depending on the nature of your story, it can also generate traffic based on curiosity alone. For example, if I saw a blog post that said something like “How I Caught a Shark With a Pair of Jeans,” I would be very inclined to click on it to find out what happened.
10. Charity and activism
Any type of charitable actions, events, or activism you support should be blogged about.
Crowdfunding sites such as KickStarter, IndieGoGo, GoFundMe, and the like appeal to the good in people, and showing you’re active in these communities can build your readership. Even an occasional Change.org petition can help the brand image.
11. Product reviews
Reviewing products and services is another great way to drive traffic to your blog. Not only are product reviews a trusted resource online that will draw traffic, but they are also a revenue stream for bloggers.
If you want to monetize your blog instantly, this is a smart move.
By linking to product pages through affiliate links like Amazon Affiliates, you can monetize a blog almost entirely on product reviews. Make sure you go niche, since this provides the greatest platform for credibility and expertise.