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20 Types of Blog Posts – Battling Bloggers Block

Blog Tip 18 - Change up your posting form – find new blog topics – In the same way that it’s easy to get ‘stuck’ in always posting in the same voice – it’s also possible to get stuck in always writing in the same form or genre.

Yesterday I decided to look through a the 500 blogs entered in Australia’s Best Blog Competition (I didn’t view them all but looked over at least 200). I was amazed by the talent out there. I also came away from the exercise struck by variety of different approaches that people take to blogging – especially with the form of posts that they write.

As I surfed I jotted down some of the different types of posts that I came across. Experiment with some of these and you might find it helps you in your battle with Bloggers Block. I came up with 20 types of posts – but am sure there are more. Feel free to suggest your own in comments below:

20 Types of Blog Posts

• Instructional – Instructional posts tell people how to do something. I find that my Tips posts are generally the ones that are among my most popular both in the short term (ie loyal readers love them and will link up to them) but also in the longer term (ie one of the reasons people search the web is to find out how to do things and if you can rank highly with your tips post you can have traffic over a length of time).

• Informational – This is one of the more common blog post types where you simply give information on a topic. It could be a definition post or a longer explanation of some aspect of the niche that you’re writing on. This is the crux of successful sites like wikipedia

• Reviews – Another highly searched for term on the web is ‘review’ – I know every time I’m considering buying a new product that I head to Google and search for a review on it first. Reviews come in all shapes and sizes and on virtually every product or service you can think of. Give your fair and insightful opinion and ask readers for their opinion – reviews can be highly powerful posts that have a great longevity.

• Lists – One of the easiest ways to write a post is to make a list. Posts with content like ‘The Top Ten ways to….’, ’7 Reasons why….’ ‘ 5 Favourite ….’, ’53 mistakes that bloggers make when….’ are not only easy to write but are usually very popular with readers and with getting links from other bloggers. Read my post – 8 Reasons Why Lists are Good for Getting Traffic to your Blog for more on lists. One last tip on lists – if you start with a brief list (each point as a phrase or sentence) and then develop each one into a paragraph or two you might just end up with a series of posts that lasts you a few days. That’s how I started the Bloggers Block series.

• Interviews – Sometimes when you’ve run out of insightful things to say it might be a good idea to let someone else do the talking in an interview (or a guest post). This is a great way to not only give your readers a relevant expert’s opinion but to perhaps even learn something about the topic you’re writing yourself. One tip if you’re approaching people for an interview on your blog – don’t overwhelm them with questions. One of two good questions are more likely to get you a response than a long list of poorly thought through ones.

• Case Studies - Another popular type of post here at ProBlogger have been those where I’ve taken another blog and profiled them and how they use their site to earn money from their blogging (eg – one I did on Buzzmachine – the blog of Jeff Jarvis). Sometimes these are more like a review post but on occasion I’ve also added some instructional content to them and made some suggestions on how I’d improve them. Case studies don’t have to be on other websites of course – there are many opportunities to do case studies in different niches.

• Profiles – Profile posts are similar to case studies but focus in on a particular person. Pick an interesting personality in your niche and do a little research on them to present to your readers. Point out how they’ve reached the position they are in and write about the characteristics that they have that others in your niche might like to develop to be successful.

• Link Posts - The good old ‘link post’ is a favourite of many bloggers and is simply a matter of finding a quality post on another site or blog and linking up to it either with an explanation of why you’re linking up, a comment on your take on the topic and/or a quote from the post. Of course adding your own comments makes these posts more original and useful to your readers. The more original content the better but don’t be afraid to bounce off others in this way.

• ‘Problem’ Posts – I can’t remember where I picked this statistic up but another term that is often searched for in Google in conjunction with product names is the word ‘problems’. This is similar to a review post (above) but focusses more upon the negatives of a product or service. Don’t write these pieces just for the sake of them – but if you find a genuine problem with something problem posts can work for you.

• Contrasting two options – Life is full of decisions between two or more options. Write a post contrasting two products, services or approaches that outlines the positives and negatives of each choice. In a sense these are review posts but are a little wider in focus. I find that these posts do very well on some of my product blogs where people actually search for ‘X Product comparison to Y Product’ quite a bit.

• Rant – get passionate, stir yourself up, say what’s on your mind and tell it like it is. Rants are great for starting discussion and causing a little controversy – they can also be quite fun if you do it in the right spirit. Just be aware that they can also be the beginnings of a flaming comment thread and often it’s in the heat of the moment when we say things that we later regret and that can impact our reputation the most.

Inspirational - On the flip side to the angry rant (and not all rants have to be angry) are inspirational and motivational pieces. Tell a story of success or paint a picture of ‘what could be’. People like to hear good news stories in their niche as it motivates them to persist with what they are doing. Find examples of success in your own experience or that of others and spread the word.

• Research – In the early days I wrote quite a few research oriented posts – looking at different aspects of blogging – often doing mind numbing counting jobs. I remember once surfing through 500 blogs over a few days to look at a number of different features. Research posts can take a lot of time but they can also be well worth it if you come up with interesting conclusions that inspire people to link up to you.

• Collation Posts – These are a strange combination of research and link posts. In them you pick a topic that you think your readers will find helpful and then research what others have said about it. Once you’ve found their opinion you bring together everyone’s ideas (often with short quotes) and tie them together with a few of your own comments to draw out the common themes that you see.

• Prediction and Review Posts – We see a lot of these at the end and start of the year where people do their ‘year in review’ posts and look at the year ahead and predict what developments might happen in their niche in the coming months.

• Critique Posts – ‘Attack posts’ have always been a part of blogging (I’ve done a few in my time) but these days I tend to prefer to critique rather than attack. Perhaps it’s a fine line but unless I get really worked up I generally like to find positives in what others do and to suggest some constructive alternatives to the things that I don’t like about what they do. I don’t really see the point in attacking others for the sake of it, but as I’ve said before this more a reflection of my own personality than much else I suspect and some people make a name for themselves very well by attacking others.

• Debate – I used to love a good debate in high school – there was something about preparing a case either for or against something that I quite enjoyed. Debates do well on blogs and can either in an organised fashion between two people, between a blogger and ‘all comers’ or even between a blogger and… themselves (try it – argue both for and against a topic in one post – you can end up with a pretty balanced post).

• Hypothetical Posts – I haven’t done one of these for a while but a ‘what if’ or hypothetical post can be quite fun. Pick a something that ‘could’ happen down the track in your industry and begin to unpack what the implications of it would be. ‘What if….Google and Yahoo merged?’ ‘What if …’

Satirical – One of the reasons I got into blogging was that I stumbled across a couple of bloggers who were writing in a satirical form and taking pot shots at politicians (I can’t seem to find the blog to link to). Well written satire or parody can be incredibly powerful and is brilliant for generating links for your blog.

• Memes and Projects - write a post that somehow involves your readers and gets them to replicate it in someway. Start a poll, an award, ask your readers to submit a post/link or run a survey or quiz. Read more on memes.

As I wrote above – this is not an exhaustive list but rather just some of the types of posts that you might like to throw into your blog’s mix. Not every one will be suitable for all blogs or bloggers but using more than one format can definitely add a little spice an color to a blog. Lastly another technique is to mix two or more of the above formats together – there are no rules so have a bit of fun with it and share what you do in comments below.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Wow! Nice post, Darren! I’m bookmarking it for next time I have trouble writing (probably tomorrow).

    One tip: I try to make a list like this one specific to each weblog – for example a gadget blog might list “gadget review”, “new gadget announcement”, “link to a review”, “gadget tips”, “feature comparison”, etc. – it helps remind me of post styles I haven’t tried for a while.

  2. Darren Rowse says:

    Great tip Michael – I might try that myself.

  3. Dehumanizer says:

    Great post, indeed. And it certainly gives one a lot of ideas. :)

  4. jesse says:

    satire…yes…scrappleface is the best out there

  5. Mia says:

    Great post Darren! as a newbie blogger, this post was extremely educational for me. Your post inspired me to do a ’20 Types’ Marathon on my blog, http://sofantastic.wordpress.com/. Go check it out!

    -M

  6. mazatlan says:

    What do you think of ‘fiction’ as a type of blog post? For instance, a short story or perhaps even poetry? People might like to read this.

  7. Hi! I am from Brazil. May I to adapt this post to portuguese and put it in my sites (www.cracatoa.com.br and alessandromartins.blogspot.com)?

  8. Pinoy Stupid says:

    Sometimes this is what most specialty blogs lack – variety. I think I’ll keep all this in mind so my readers won’t get too bored with all my “attacks” on Filipino culture. LOL.

  9. [...]24. Diversify your types of blog entries
    Darren Rowse lists a total of 20 types of blog entries for you to switch from time to time. A change like that can probably result in new ideas for writing.[...]

  10. Lorel says:

    These are really awesome tips.

    I just started a blog a couple of weeks ago, & I like to write about everything, and this is going to help.

    Thanks

    Lorel :)

  11. brVince says:

    • Inspirational – On the flip side to the angry rant (and not all rants have to be angry) are inspirational and motivational pieces. Tell a story of success or paint a picture of ‘what could be’. People like to hear good news stories in their niche as it motivates them to persist with what they are doing. Find examples of success in your own experience or that of others and spread the word ——-

    Maybe I can categorize my blog entries with this? Thanks a lot for this, sir! :D

  12. Darlene says:

    Excellent post Darren. I am just getting around to reading your b5 training newsletter. This is a great list to help give me additional types of post to write in my niche.

    Thank you!

    Darlene
    Interview Guru
    http://www.interviewchatter.com

  13. Bob says:

    Some great advice on what to blog about and how to set up blogs for a particular topic like reviews etc.

  14. John says:

    Some great advice here for bloggers. Many people are looking for information on how to do something.

  15. There are very helpful tips; in many ways just what i was looking for. Thanks!

  16. Abi Carmen says:

    Darren,

    Great Post. Couldn’t come at a better time. Just yesterday I was trying to explain to a potential partner that blogs weren’t just diaries anymore and the different business models that can be achieved using yours specifically as an example.

    Thanks again for your continued greatness.

    Regards,
    Abi

  17. A cool post Darren. I wasnt aware of a few of these types of posts until reading your post, but ill certainly be giving a few of them a try. Hopefully they do well for me, as im sure they have done for many others.

  18. LM says:

    Very helpful & inspiring.
    Thanks.

    LM

  19. Thank you for doing the work for me, was just about to go write down all the types of blogs but your post saved me.

  20. Tom Lee says:

    What work is to do something else, go for a walk, shopping etc. Anything else and you come refreshed back and can blog again without any problems at all.

  21. Maxwell says:

    Yet another great post. THANKS for these most excellent tips!

    Max (aka MaxTheITpro)

  22. jp_zer0 says:

    Wow, bookmar’d.

    Every time I’ll be looking for an idea to post, I’ll just look up that list! Thanks a bunch!

  23. Darren, great ideas for different ways of presenting a topic. I always appreciate your wrtings and quoted you in my article Blog About Everything or Find Your Niche? http://www.thisishowyoudoit.com/blog/blog-topic-specific-niche-general/

    In fact, Lorelle corrected my mispelling of your name :)

    Anyway, thanks again for articulating these different types of posts.

    Cheers,
    Richard

  24. Daniele says:

    What about polls? Are there a kind of blog post? And blog carnival?

  25. I’ve just printed this off so I can refer to it often.
    Thankyou for this information.

    Barb

  26. Naveen says:

    This is really a good information about blogs and types of blogs. Its really a detailed information where every one should have look in. the 20 blogs name which are listed are the blogs searched every day
    I would like you to write such a blog which will fetch information to online readers

  27. Seth says:

    Not exhaustive, It seems like there can’t be more than these 20 posts. I have now been trying to get a variety of posts at my new blog “Wait Wait… Do Tell Me” to increase traffic and interest my readers. Thanks for your great information on building a better blog.

    Seth
    http://dotellme.blogspot.com

  28. Bookchick says:

    Great post. Really informative and useful. Cheers!

  29. Sue says:

    Great list Darren! This is why I follow you. I can always find just what I’m looking for! Thanks!

  30. Tadukau says:

    A lot of space to think about… Posts like this tend to attract more thoughts what to write about…

    Good job, Darren!

  31. You covered the blog do’s and don’t from A to Z.Thank You!

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  11. [...] Mia, whose blog is called “It’s So Fantastic ” was inspired by a series of posts on Problogger, Darren Rowse’s business blog, about “battling bloggers block,” when you’re feeling less than inspired and all out of ideas. One post listed  20 different types of posts you can use on a blog. Looking at the list can help spark your imagination, and get your subconscious to kick out something that’s been hiding in the back of the mental closet. [...]

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  14. [...] Well, i finished the 20 Types Marathon! Here’s a cheesy trophy for anyone to use as they cross the finish line as well. It was a great experience, and I have to thank Darren at Problogger for his post on 20 Types of Blog entries for the inspiration and Tutu Rah for helping me with post ideas. I heartily recommend the 20 Types Marathon to anyone who is new to blogging, or anyone who is going through an extreme dry spell in their blog writing. The whole marathon was a great exercise in discipline and I also learned which types of writing i enjoyed, which post types i excel at and which ones I should stay away from. thanks to those who joined me on the marathon. feel free to post comments on your experience running the 20 Types Marathon! [...]

  15. [...] There are many, many types of posts. In fact, Darren Rowse, at problogger.net has identified 20 specific types. We won’t touch on all of them, but I highly suggest you familiarize yourself with them all. I’ll touch on some of my favourites. [...]

  16. [...] 20 Types of Blog Posts – Battling Bloggers Block (tags: blogging ideas writing tips) [...]

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  19. El Intruso says:

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  20. [...] 9 Feb 2006 Los 20 no son nada. Posted by evera under General  Darren Rowse  es Australiano y maneja ProBlogger. A fines deNoviembre de 2005 publicó una nota en su página sobre el estudio que realizó sobre tipos de Blog. Basándose en la Competición al mejor Blog de Australia encontró nada menos que 20 tipos de Blog y la lista no termina. Los datos están en: ProBlogger (accesible en Inglés) Acá va la traducción de alguno de los tipos. 1- Instructivo 2- Informativo 3- Evaluativos 4- Listas 5- Entrevistas 6- Estudios de Casos 7- Perfiles 8- Enlaces 9- Comparativos 10- Predictivos 11- Criticos 12- Debates 13- Hipotéticos 14- Satíricos 15- Proyectos 16-…….. ………………… y no termina.   [...]

  21. [...] Para quem lê em Inglês, gostaria de recomendar um artigo: 20 Types of Blog Posts – Battling Bloggers Block. Trata de vinte tipos, identificados pelo autor, de artigos que se escrevem em blogs. “Qual a relevância disto em termos de ganhar dinheiro online?”, pergunta-se o leitor. [...]

  22. [...] 7) Start Typing:: Read this article first, which explains the different types of post genres that exist and now, open Notepad or some other Word Processor, decide which genre you are gonna post about and start typing about the first thing that comes in your mind, just type.. whatever crap that comes into your mind. After typing for 5 minutes, review it and expand on some part of the post that you have typed, to blog about. [...]

  23. [...] Adaptación del artículo 20 types of blog post, descubierto gracias a Luis Rull. [...]

  24. Newsletter says:

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  26. [...] Study the popular bookmarks on del.icio.us to get a feel for what people are linking to Such things as HowTo’s and Lists are always good fodder for linkbait and you should be aiming to get onto those pages Use html lists, headlines and other visual means of breaking up posts in order to make them easier to read and skim Link out, link often and link generously — Really, forget any rubbish you may have heard about depleting page rank, or any concerns you have over sending away traffic, and work on providing links to great resources your readers will love — they’ll thank you for it, and link to you for it. Fight bloggers block by getting inventive, and doing some research.Some of the best blog specific resources for copy writing, and linkbaiting are: [...]

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