You’re probably aware of how important it is to keep your blog updated regularly with new content. But did you also know it’s just as important to vary the types of content that you include on your blog?
When you’ve been blogging for some time, it’s easy to fall into a rut and produce the same type of blog post over and over. While the information contained in these posts may be interesting and relevant, you will no doubt start to lose readers when they see the same text-based posts multiple times with no variations.
To make your blog as successful and varied as it can possibly be, you should consider other types of content that will continue to engage your readers and keep them coming back to your site.
This guide will provide you with lots of ideas to fill your content calendar, shake up your blog content and engage your readers.
First, let’s take a look at the vital reasons why you should aim to provide a wide mix of content types.
Why is a mix of content types important?
- Good for SEO purposes – search engines appreciate sites with a wide mix of content, as they provide value to visitors. You’ll be rewarded with higher rankings and increased visibility and traffic. Every time you add new content to your site, it will also be indexed again.
- Keeps readers interested – a wide variety of content will appeal to more people. Human beings also learn in different ways – one person may find they retain information effectively from a list-based post, whereas others may prefer images or videos. You have a much greater chance of turning one-off visitors into regular readers with an appealing mix of content types.
- Traffic from new sources – uploading media to sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and iTunes means there’s more chance of attracting regular visitors to your blog from these high-traffic sites. Every time you include new content, ask yourself where it could be re-uploaded to maximize your blog’s exposure.
What different types of content should you consider?
When you’re thinking about the different types of content that might be a good fit, remember that not every type of content is suitable for every blog. Some types will simply not fit your image or brand. Always keep your readers in mind when thinking about your content, no matter what sort it is.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to experiment if you feel something might be popular with your readers. You won’t know if it works until you try, and unless it’s offensive, you’re unlikely to lose fans from a piece of content that simply falls a little flat.
If a piece of content doesn’t resonate with your readers as you hoped it would, don’t be discouraged – move on and try something else. There’s a whole world of content types out there and you’ll find other ideas that work for you.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at some popular types of blog content that will achieve the three goals mentioned above.
A podcast is a very personal way of reaching your fans. Audio and video podcasts are popular as they’re very accessible – they’re easily downloaded to be listened to, or watched, while on the go.
Don’t be overwhelmed at the thought of producing your own podcast. There are many helpful resources available that are easy to use, and often free or very cheap. All you need to get started is recording software, such as Audacity, and a high-quality microphone.
There are also lots of online guides available to help you with the first steps, and the iTunes website has a wealth of tutorials and other resources to help. You’ll also need to read their submission guidelines. Once you’ve uploaded your podcast to iTunes, you’re likely to see a visitors coming to your blog from there.
Make sure to promote each podcast episode with posts on your blog and social media channels. If you have a WordPress blog, you can publish each episode to your blog with SoundCloudautoembeds.
You should also consider offering a transcript of each episode on your blog. This will offer additional content for search engines to index.
Did you know that YouTube is now the second-largest search engine? If you don’t take advantage of this fact, then you could be missing out on huge numbers of new readers and fans. And other social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook also have increasing numbers of videos and images, year after year.
Producing a professional video can be an expensive project. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of high-end equipment to produce your own; you can get started with a smartphone and some cheap editing software such as Machete Video Editing Software Lite for Windows, or Avidemux, for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Producing your own videos is a lot of fun, as they show your personality in ways that other media doesn’t. They can also be used in conjunction with other types of posts to improve visibility and rankings. Videos don’t have to be long – between 3-4 minutes is ideal.
Make sure you accompany each video with a blog post and a transcript for increased SEO opportunities.
Curated content involves a round-up of the most interesting news in your area of interest. How often you publish this type of post will depend on how much share-worthy content is available, and how often is appropriate for your particular needs.
Including this sort of content on your blog is a good idea for two reasons. Firstly, it shows that you are aware of the latest news in your niche – this helps to establish you as an authority. Secondly, it takes some of the pressure off you when you’re trying to regularly fill your blog with interesting content.
Always choose quality over quantity when it comes to curated content.
There are lots of easy to use tools available to make curating content easy and fun – try Nuzzel or Storify to get started.
Concept Visualizations and Infographics
Infographics work well when you have a lot of information and statistics to convey. It’s been proven that humans are much more likely to remember information presented in this way. They are also often considered share-worthy; infographics can be shared up to three times as much as other types of content.
Don’t panic if the cost of hiring a graphic designer is too high for you – you can create your own with a working knowledge of Photoshop.
You can also share other infographics that you think your visitors will enjoy and find useful – use Google to search for the topic you’re interested in +infographic.
Finally, don’t just post the infographic alone – you’ll need a short post of a paragraph or two, explaining the purpose and value to your audience.
This type of content may take a longer time to plan than others, but the results are worth it. Live-streaming an event on your blog will bring you increased traffic in several ways;
- During the video – you’ll have increased numbers of people on your site watching the live-stream
- After the video – email a link to all your subscribers for anyone who couldn’t watch the live version
- Upload – to Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook with a description and a link back to your blog for further visibility
Don’t forget to promote the event on your blog in the weeks beforehand. Include a call to action where people can subscribe for a reminder, and a link to the video for those who can’t watch the live-stream.
There are lots of programs available to stream your video – try XSplit which is easy to use for beginners, and also has both free and paid options.
Original Data and Statistics
Your audience will appreciate well-researched data and statistics, and it’s a great way of getting your reader’s attention.
However, carrying out research and presenting all your findings can be a time-consuming project. If you don’t have the time for this, consider a post that summarizes the findings of others in your particular niche. This presents your audience with high-value and relevant information which they will enjoy, but won’t be as time-consuming for you to produce.
Curating the findings of others also gives you opportunities to link to high-quality resources, improving SEO value.
You should also consider presenting the data as an infographic. Combining post types wherever possible is a great way of keeping your content varied and interesting for your audience.
Slideshows and Presentations
These are popular formats for information, as humans retain more information from them than they would from a plain-text post.
To ensure your slideshow or presentation is popular, you’ll need the right balance of information and humor. Pay attention to how much information is contained on each slide. You should try to make only one point per slide, or you’ll risk losing your reader’s attention.
There are a number of useful tools to help you share your presentations on your blog with a minimum of effort – try Slideshare to get started.
Interviews with people in your field of interest can be an effective way of gaining new fans and showing that you are an authority in your field. It can be surprisingly easy to find well-known personalities to interview, as the coverage and publicity are reciprocal.
Before the interview takes place, generate lots of interest and engagement on your site by asking readers to send in any questions they may have for the person you’re interviewing.
When it’s completed, upload the interview to your blog as a media clip, along with a transcript for increased SEO.
Memes can be popular and very shareable. Although they’re not used to make serious points, they can be a fun way of letting your audience know how you feel about a particular topic.
Don’t overdo it – one or two worked into blog posts occasionally can be a fun way of breaking up your content with a little humor.
If you’re not sure how to start creating your own memes, Meme Generator is free and easy to use software.
Alternative Text-Based Posts
As well as all these different types of content, there are some text-based posts which, when combined with lots of high-quality images, videos, audio clips, and other media, can attract high numbers of readers and social shares. Let’s take a look at these popular posts types.
In-Depth How-To Guides
When individuals have a specific problem to solve, the first place they turn to for help is often the internet. In-depth guides in your particular niche are a great way of providing high-quality content that your readers will appreciate.
To create a successful and popular how-to guide, you should first think of some particular problems that your readers and fans may come across. Ideally, it will be a problem that you think many of them may face. When you’re developing your guide ensure it’s at least 3,000 words long, with lots of images, screenshots and other visual media for additional SEO value.
Make sure you provide clear step-by-step advice that’s easy to follow. You could even include a short instructional video to explain a complicated step.
Be as thorough as you can – the more people you can help, the more likely they are to share and comment on it, increasing the visibility of the post.
Tool Lists/Resource Posts
Lists of tools, also called resource posts, are a really useful way of increasing the number of outbound links on your blog. Search engines will reward you for linking to high-quality sources, and your readers get a highly useful post with lots of resources that they will appreciate and share.
Don’t just list the tools and links. Provide a compelling introduction to hook your readers in. Add a description to each tool and explain how your readers will find each one useful.
Round off your post with a strong conclusion and a call to action, encouraging your visitors to add comments to the post with their own useful tools. Remember, the more value you provide for your readers, the more they will share and link to it.
Series of linked posts
A series of linked posts around a central theme is an efficient way of filling your content calendar and maximizing your research. Add lots of images and other media types to maximize effectiveness and visibility.
Posts that take the form of lists are popular and shareable. This is because the information in them is easy to remember, and they provide value for the reader.
The most popular lists are paired with a compelling headline that your readers can’t help but click, so spend some time ensuring that you get it right for maximum impact.
As with tool lists, you should provide a strong introduction and conclusion, with a thorough description of each item in your list.
Plain, text-based blog posts are useful to start your blog off with. However, once you’ve been established for a while and have started to notice increased subscribers and visitors, it’s the perfect time to start experimenting with other types of media and content.
Including these different types of content in your blog will result in improved visibility in search engines, as well as happy and satisfied readers. Not all types of content will work for all sites – but if you think something might be a good fit, don’t be afraid to try it.
Every time you add a new type of content to your blog, carefully consider where you could re-upload the content for added visibility. Spreading your content around sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, iTunes, and YouTube can bring you many more visitors and hugely increase the exposure of your blog. When you do this, make sure you include thorough descriptions, as well as a link to your original post.
Why not try picking some different types of content that you’ve never tried before from this guide? Add them to your editorial calendar to be worked on over the next couple of months, and promise yourself, no matter how difficult it feels, that you’ll give them a try.
You could also ask your readers what they think. Asking them to leave comments about what they would like to see more of is a great call to action, and will show your readers that you want to make them happy. You may even end up with ideas you hadn’t thought of before.
Above all else – have fun with the content you create! It’s your blog, and your place to let your personality shine.
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