20 Different Post Types to Spice Up Your Blog

If your blog isn’t getting the results you want, it may be because your blog writing has fallen into a rut. As a reader of many blogs, I find they can get dull when the writer sticks to one type of blog rather than providing some variety.
If you need ideas on how to vary your blog posts, here’s a handy list of 20 different types of blogs:
  1. How-to. One of the most popular blog types around. Teach people how to do something, and they will love you for it.
  2. News tie-in. Does something in the news tie into your blog theme? If an item such as Russian bears digging up corpses, the winner of Project Runway, or the election results could in some way reflect on what you blog about, use it as an intro. You’ll give readers an easily accessible entry point for your blog.
  3. Pop-culture tie-in. Is something going on in your industry in some way like, oh, say, Lady Gaga? Bring her into it, and you’ve got an easy, fun image idea that’ll draw readers’ eyes. For instance, see this post I did recently for Entrepreneur magazine’s Daily Dose blog on What You Can Learn About Entrepreneurship from SpongeBob Squarepants.
  4. Roundup. Have you noticed several interrelated developments in your niche? Wrap them together into a roundup and tell readers what it all means.
  5. Humorous post. I am a sucker for blog posts that make me laugh. If you can write funny, don’t hide it under a bushel.
  6. List of tips. The longer your list, the better. This is sort of a variant on how-to, but delivered in a more SEO-friendly package.
  7. Have a contest. Ideally, with a nice prize attached.
  8. Take a poll. Readers love to weigh in when they know you actually care about their opinion.
  9. Q&A interviews. If there’s a thought leader you’d like to learn from, invite them for a quick interview on your blog. You won’t know if they’d be willing unless you ask.
  10. Review a product, service or book. I know bloggers who are making great money writing reviews of products they use and love and then offering an affiliate link. Something I’m just starting to explore myself. Never hurts to include some blog posts of this type, especially if something new or much-talked-about has just come out.
  11. Create a controversy. Do you have an opinion that’s at odds with the view voiced by a popular blogger in your niche? Invite them to debate it on your blog, or just riff about it and link to their opposing opinion.
  12. Ask a question. Don’t know what to write about this week? Perplexed by something going on in your niche? Ask readers what they think about it.
  13. Future forecast. Go out on a limb and make a prediction about what you think will happen next in your niche. Everybody wants to know what’s coming.
  14. Past in review. Have you hit an interesting industry milestone? Maybe it’s time to look back on the first decade of something, or the pioneers and where they are now.
  15. Conference writeup. Any time you attend an event that was worthwhile, share some learnings.
  16. Multi-part series. If you have an idea that would do better as a longer piece, break it up and create a series. Keeps readers coming back for more.
  17. Resource list. If you know the 10 or 20 best places for people in your industry to find or do something — or maybe the 10 best ways to use a particular resource — please share.
  18. Mailbag. Blog readers love it when you answer their questions.
  19. Best-of collections. What were the 10 most popular posts you had on your blog in the past year? Or the best posts you saw online this week? Please provide, as we’re all lazy and appreciate the convenience of your compiling things for us.
  20. Rant. Are you mad about something? Then don’t be shy. This type doesn’t work for every blog or every writer, but some do quite well by blowing a fuse about what really pisses them off.

Have I forgotten any great types of blog posts? If so, please add them to the comments below.

Coming up later this week on the blog: Part II of How to Get the Most Lucrative Writing Clients. If you subscribe, you won’t miss it.

Photo via Flickr user koadmonkee

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19 comments on “20 Different Post Types to Spice Up Your Blog
  1. John Soares says:

    Carole, you’ve given me several ideas for future blog posts. I tend to do the same few types of posts over and over, probably because I’m comfortable with them.

    What I especially like is some of these are easy, but also very interesting for readers, like asking a good question or taking a poll.
    John Soares recently posted..Renegotiating a Freelance Writing Deadline — My Story

    • TiceWrites says:

      They are easy! It's just a question of thinking in terms of providing different blog types so it's not all samey.

  2. Amy Spreeman says:

    These are great ideas. Thanks Carol.

    I'd add that sometimes the random photo or YouTube video can be a conversation starter as well.
    Amy Spreeman recently posted..This is your brain on technology

    • TiceWrites says:

      Well, I'm hoping folks are putting images with their blogs routinely at this point. But a video definitely spices things up! I use them whenever I get the chance on my paid blogs.

  3. Carol —

    Great great list!!! Here’s my two cents…(for what it’s worth!)

    I like failure posts. I don’t mean posts that fail, I mean posts that share failures, as a means of demonstrating that you must fail to succeed. We all have. We all will. And then we will continue…

    Amy
    The ParmFarm.com
    Amy Parmenter recently posted..Do You Need New Friends

    • TiceWrites says:

      Hi Amy! Great to 'see' you outside the Club.

      GREAT addition to the list. I did a fail post a while back on the best freelance gig I ever had to turn down. I carefully cultivated this client…all the while never really thinking about whether I'd really be a fit for them…then he called, and I had to admit I really wasn't. Lame!

      And definitely Mary Jaksch's great blog post where she talks about how awful her blog was when she first launched it, and how she changed it. I thought that was fantastic. Wish I could find the link to it now, but I'm not seeing it.

      Oooh, ooh, I thought of another type I left out — reader-generated posts — sort of follows on #12 — ask your readers for a piece of advice, and then create a post of the best answers. And you're done.

      So that's 22 ideas now!

      Thanks for visiting, Amy!

  4. Rosemary says:

    Another great source of inspiration for me Carol…Between this and your Copyblogger 50 I'm going to be a very busy bee from now on! I'm actually feeling excited about writing again…Thanks again…so glad to have connected with you.

    Best

    Rosemary
    Rosemary recently posted..5 Ways To Kickstart Your Magical Mojo

  5. Anne Wayman says:

    darn, I wish I'd read this in the morning… I might have had an idea to contribute… but it's almost evening and I don't… thanks for the list; it's a good one.
    Anne Wayman recently posted..Five Tips To a More Effective E-Cover Letter

  6. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for this inspirational post! Now I have some ideas for blog posts; I was running out of steam.

  7. Holly Bowne says:

    This was wonderful! Thank you so much. Even the comments are helpful. Sorry I don't have a tip to add, just loads of appreciation. :o)
    My recent post Quote of the Week

    • TiceWrites says:

      That's OK Holly — happy to know you enjoyed it. And happy to see that CommentLuv is finally working again, and showing us your blog headline! Kind of tore my hair out getting that to work with this-here new IntenseDebate plugin for comments last night.

  8. rdingli says:

    I tired CommentLuv yesterday too – don't know whether it'll work this time.
    I truly enjoyed this post – I'll print it out for my desk diary – it will save me having to think about variety. I appreciate it.

  9. Judy Cullins says:

    Tice, Thanks for a useful list of tips. as a long time book coach, I can add another way to leverage your blog articles. How about doing a myths and solutions one? I wrote a myths one on writing books. So many myths out there that discourage writers to do even a short book project that is so doable if you have some useful information.

    CAn you do a post with specifics on comment luv? I'm still not sure what and how to use this. I learned a little on a LInkedin group. I have my own group there on book writing, self-publishing, and book marketing. Full of great discussions like blog group there.

    I think taking some action daily keeps your name out there in all directions!

    Thanks again,
    Judy Cullins

    • TiceWrites says:

      Hi Judy – Nice to see you here on the blog!

      I do have a post scheduled coming up about WordPress Plug-ins I love, and I will definitely be talking about CommentLuv! It's one of my favorites, and you're not the first person in the past week even to ask me for more info on it. May take me a month or two to get to — I have so many special surprises coming up in the next few weeks, and then year-end and new-year posts…but I will get to it!

  10. chazzkorvex says:

    I just realized I usually just write 2 types of blogs ugh Thank You for this article :)

  11. juliet says:

    Hi,I’m so glad i read your helpful tips.Thank you for this.As you know I’m just a beginner in my new
    ly created blog site.Hope I’ll heard from you more.

    thanks again
    juliet recently posted..I’m so EXCITED with My Newly created Blog site

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