In my last post, I alluded to some different types of articles you might write for your blog. Every blog post doesn’t need to be instructional or inspirational, although those are two of the most popular types. Depending on your blog’s purpose and audience, you may want to specialize in a particular kind of post, or you may want to mix things up with a variety. Here are just a few options.
Entertain by recounting personal experience: This could be something that happened to you (first person) or to someone else (third person). It can be humorous, informative, or inspirational. Example: “Lessons Worth Writing Down,” from my friend Heather Iseminger, about her experience as a teacher and parent. Note her use of bullet points.
Educate about a topic or issue: Analyze some aspect of your field by drawing on your own expertise. You can interview others for a balanced perspective, or write an opinion piece. Example: “Violence In Speculative Literature” by Rebecca LuElla Miller.
Follow a trend: Show readers how trends in your industry relates to them. The earlier the better. You want to be driving the bandwagon, not jumping on it. Example: “Rise Of Women Transforms Defense Industry,” Loren Thompson, Forbes, July 30, 2012. Note: this article uses an anecdotal lead, with a global perspective close.
Review a book: Help your readers winnow through the mounds of books being published by providing reviews of the good ones you’ve read. Example: “Lean, clean, simple, direct” by John E. McIntyre, This is an especially useful technique for novelists, who should be reading and reviewing books in multiple genres, not only their own.
Describe a how-to process. This usually involves a step-by-step process, with illustrations or photos for each step, if applicable. Example: “How to Write an Article in 20 Minutes,” Jim Estill, Copyblogger. Tips articles are a popular subset of how-to: ten steps to better article-writing, 8 things you need to know about heart disease, and the like. Example: “7 Ways to Improve Your Writing … Right Now,” James Chartrand, Copyblogger. The difference between a how-to and a tips article is that a how-to describes steps that need to be done in order. Tips articles offer a list of things you can pick and choose from.
Share information gathered through research. This is kind of an advanced technique, but can be very valuable if you provide reports that your target market needs. Example: Pretty much everything on Hugh Howey’s Author Earnings site. Here’s one, “Bookscan Report – Print vs Digital.” Notice that Howey makes good use of graphs to convey his data. Visuals help break up stretches of text and make data easier to understand. Howey and his colleague Data Guy use primary research, but you could do this with secondary research as well, by reading research reports in your field and consolidating the results.
This is just a sample to get you thinking. There are as many ways to write a blog post as there are writers to write them. Probably more. Feel free to invent your own, and take inspiration from the blogs you follow.