It doesn’t matter how many blogging ideas you’ve got stacked up. Sometimes you just get in a rut. You feel like you’re writing the same thing over and over again. You feel like you’re not providing any value and you’re so bored with what you’re writing that YOU don’t even want to read it, let alone anyone else. So what do you do? How do you get back in your blogging groove?
You put some spice back into it by getting out of your comfort zone and incorporating different kinds of blog posts. You give readers something fresh and that they maybe weren’t expecting.
Here are some different blog post varieties that you can count on to put some flavor back into your blogging.
- Lists: List posts have become something of a blogging clichÃ© because everyone does them. But they do them because they work and readers respond to them. These posts are attractive to bloggers because they’re quick to write, have an easy structure and they allow for a bit of fun. Readers love them because they provide information in bite-sized, scannable chunks. If you’re looking to quick start some fun in your blog, write about the 10 things you can’t live without, the top 5 mentors who have inspired you or the 20 things you’d like to see happen in your industry this year. The possibilities for what you can write about in lists post are endless. And that’s why they’re great.
- Rants: Rant posts allow you to let your hair down a little and talk openly and honestly about whatever is on your mind. If you’re worried about causing a stir, your rant doesn’t have to be overly controversial. Maybe, as a florist, you just want to rant about Valentine’s Day. Or perhaps you want to ‘rant’ about how much you love a certain type of flower. Rants give you the opportunity to get a little fired up and a whole lot passionate about whatever it is that’s on your mind. And when you get fired up, you give your audience license to do the same. They’re sure to jump start conversation.
- How-To Guides: Creating a How-To guide for your industry helps build authority, attracts links and extends your reach in the community. These posts are often instructional in nature and explain, in detail, how to do whatever it is you’re an expert at. How-To guides are different from regular posts in that they can usually stand the test of time, meaning that they become evergreen content pieces that your audience can bookmark and continually look back on. It gives you a chance to offer free information to your community, while also branding yourself as the go-to person for that topic.
- Conduct Interviews/ VIP Profiles: A fun way to add some life back to your blog is to introduce new voices to it by conducting interviews or profiles on people who provide value to your audience. When looking for people to interview or profile, don’t be afraid to step out of your immediate bubble. A person doesn’t have to do what you do in order to be relevant to your conversation. The more differing voices you can add, the better.
- Collaboration Posts: An offshoot of doing interviews with noted people in your industry is to ask a bunch of people a series of questions and post their responses as a collaboration post. The work involved in putting it together is fairly minimal (you just come up with the original questions) and in return you get a bunch of new voices for your blog and some added exposure through their communities. And if you’re worried that people won’t want to participate – don’t. The Internet loves talking about itself. Promise. 😉
- Reviews: Even if they’re not related to your business, you use products every day to help make you more efficient. Well, your audience does too and sometimes they may need advice on which are the best ones to buy. Why not break up the monotony by writing reviews about your favorite ones? Doing so will increase your usefulness to your audience, and may also bring you new customers who are searching for [keywords + review]. Review-based searches are notorious for bringing in high search volumes.
- Personal Posts: If you’re in a rut and having a hard time feeling inspired, consider blogging about it. Or if not about that, blog about something else that’s personal to you. Opening up your blog and getting personal every now and then is a good way to recommit yourself to your audience and to let them feel closer to you. It helps spice things up after you’ve been nothing but business for the last month. After all, you’re supposed to be creating relationships, right?
- Video Posts: Some people find it a lot easier to talk to their audience than to write something out. And thanks to the rise of low cost video equipment, we’re seeing more and more bloggers adopt a multi-media approach to blogging. Just because you typically write your posts doesn’t mean you can’t fire up the Flip camera and post a quick video hello to your gang. Actually, it means that you probably should. Changing mediums is a fun way to spice things up and lets your audience connect with you in a new way. Maybe a video tour of your audience is in the works for today. Or a quick chat with a new employee. The office dog, perhaps?
- Link Posts: I’m a sucker for a good link post. In fact, over at my other blog, Outspoken Media, we do link posts every Saturday morning to share content that our readers may have missed otherwise. A link post isn’t much more than a collection of links from around the Web. It could be stuff related to your industry, things they should be aware of, or even just a silly list of things to laugh about at the end of the week (that’s what we do on Saturday’s). I’m a big fan of Link posts because they can help expose your audience to content they may not have seen otherwise.
The posts types listed above are the ones that I know I can always turn to when my blogging is feeling a little tired. Which ones work for you? Which can you not believe I missed and can’t wait to correct me on?
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Nice post – thanks for sharing. Good info for every blogger with a loss for words.
This is a great post: I really like fueling your blog with rants: well written and controlled outbursts definitely encourage some great conversation in blogs. The only real issue to think about is often rants do not translate well into written word, so you really have to spend some time converting what is in your mind to what is on the page.
I always thought it important to also develop a commenting policy. How active do you want to be in the comment section of your own blog? It can be a real time sink, especially if you’re given to debating. Before you even start a blog, figure out how involved you want to be in the comment section and stick to it. My feeling is beyond correcting factual information, for anything that’s not a personal blog, leave the comments open for people to have their say.
Hector V. Herrera
Great Article Lisa. The information was quite complete. I plan to put several of these actions steps into practice. Thanks for sharing the info.
Lisa: Great tips as always. I will check out your reading nuggets and link to it in my mid-week wrap link post on Wednesday.
Also consider combining how-to posts with video so people can see exactly what you’re doing. If you reinforce the learning process with visual cues, your readers will be more likely to succeed. And if your how-to video is explaining something you do on the computer, use a screencasting software like Jing or Camtasia so people can see exactly what you’re clicking & typing while you narrate.
Thanks for the thoughts Lisa,
My favorite is the Video Log because you get so much more opportunity to put personality into the post. We started doing this about 8 months ago with a series called The Melbourne Tour where we go and find an interesting place around Melbourne, set up our portable white board and then answer a business question we’ve picked up from small business owners. Have a look at http://www.onesherpa.com/melbourne-tour and other readers may be able to get inspired to do their own version of this in their city.
Bravo. Great post. Here’s a variation of one of your tips: blog about blog postings like this one. Share your views about that post and before you know it you’ve got a blog post of your own. That’s what I just did! http://bit.ly/adMLdi
The information was very useful. I plan to take this to my team and put several of these actions steps into practice. Thanks for sharing.
A nice list you compiled. I have been trying to post more often and incorporate lists, personal and reviews. Some of my posts get more comments and so I’m working out what works on my blog.
You covered the topic well. Just to add to what you said I also find that by keeping updated with what’s going on in the industry in which you blog about, makes it easier to come up with a blog post without too much difficulty.
I do this by having Google Alerts sent to my Google reader. Every day I open it up, scan the alerts and generally find something that sparks a post idea. I also have blog posts, video and tweets sent to my reader to so I get a lot of useful information.
In my experience it is not so much the type of post bloggers have difficulty with it is what to put in them!
This is great. It pulls so many things together and is exactly what I need to read to get organized and start writing.