If you’re suffering from writer’s block or don’t know what to write about or how to research content for your next blog post, this guide will help you. There are just about 10 basic content-types or patterns around which weblog articles are written these days, and by creatively combining them with your subject matter expertise or your knowledge of hobbies, crafts or something else, you can potentially end up with a never ending or infinite supply of blog posts throughout the year!
- The 10 basic content-types.
- Your Interests, Hobbies and Subject Matter Expertise.
- Combine the 1 and 2!
- Static and Dynamic Post Ideas.
If this sounds very simple to you, that’s because it really is. Writing isn’t a rocket science, all you need is a little organization and you need to keep some time aside for it, and you need to keep practicing it until you gain perfection like any other art. Once you start getting into the “zone”, writing will feel as natural to you as photosynthesis!
The 10 content-types
- Listicle: A List formatted article or listicle is one of the most commonly found these days. The one’s titled like “40+ Ways of Doing Something” fall in this category. These articles are relatively easy to write because you’re typically only playing the role of “information organizer” here. It’s totally fine if you describe each item in the list only briefly and provide links to other resources like Wikipedia, etc. where subject matter experts deal with that item in much depth or detail. Checklists and Cheat-Sheets are also types of a Listicle.
- How-To Guides: A How-To guide (such as this one!) is also very common because these are quite informational and Googlers are always hunting for these! Blogging is still a relatively new and inexact science in the digital world, even the best SEO and Internet Marketing companies are always struggling for eyeballs by constantly improving content quality, gathering street cred on social media, creating backlinks, etc. While these techniques seem to work to a limited extent, it’s not an exact science and there is no guaranteeing that a given blog post is going to bring eyeballs for lifetime once written (despite all the SEO/SEM tactics).
Gone past are those days when people actually used to read the “user manuals” that came with their products, these days most of them simply Google that information and typically land up on a “How-To” article that describes that product. And it could well be yours if you’ve dealt with the subject thoroughly and it happens to be an in-demand topic or niche.
- Infographics: Infographics is the modern way of enhancing the content quality and improving the information value of an article. If you’re creative with graphics software like Inkscape or Gimp, you can design infographics which is nothing but a summary of what you want to say in picture format with words creatively sprinkled here and there!
- Comparison — X vs Y: Comparisons are also as commonly looked up by Googlers as How-To Guides! I myself remember the countless times I’ve run searches like “PHP vs Python”, “Wordpress vs Drupal”, “Django vs Flask”, “WinForms vs WPF”, “MySQL vs PGSQL”, etc. You may be a programmer but the informational article you’re writing doesn’t necessarily have to be about programming. You may well decide to write a technical article pertaining to your subject matter too, of course. But you may as well compare just anything you may come across or want to compare, even Apples vs Oranges or Democrats vs Republicans!
- Ultimate Review: Review posts are also highly sought for these days for almost same reason as Comparison posts. Was a new product or service recently launched in your area of expertise? Or even a drastically changed new version of an existing product or software? If yes, write a post about it and it’ll be in high demand because a new product typically arrives with lots of bugs, issues, doubts, new ways of doing existing things, etc. and users are always looking for a helping hand there.
- Ultimate Guide: Ultimate guides are detailed write of a particular idea or process which people often find difficult or confusing because there is never one straightforward or easy way of doing things.
- Case Study: These are the ones titled, XYZ Program: How to make 15K or More, or similar. It could be a Udemy course or an IT project or even an infrastructure project implemented somewhere or anything else of interest. People are always looking for case studies in order to study them and learn from them. Agile and Software Engineering is another area where constant improvement is needed, relatively new field, inexact science and all.
- Personal Story: Most personal stories these days feature along the lines of How I moved from 1K to 10K in 18 Months but they don’t necessarily have to be. Making money online is just one of the hot topics out there and frankly, it’s highly over-saturated! In fact, you’ll have a far better chance of ranking and getting page-views in that little niche or expertise area you might be having than here. A story could be about anything, it could be about the struggles of your life in childhood, school and college days, etc.
- Informational Story (Industry News, World Events): The blogger can occasionally wear the journalist’s shoes too by writing informational posts! Industry news relating your subject matter is something you’re most naturally equipped to write a lot about, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. You can write an informational post about just any and every topic on earth from politics to weather. The dinner table conversations going on in your home (mostly about politics!) are an ideal thing you can convert into an informational article and publish on your blog.
Your Interests, Hobbies and Subject Matter Expertise
These can be almost anything but generally fall in the following broad categories:
- Technology: Whether you’re a programmer, tester, QA/QC analyst or designer, you’ll definitely have lot’s of things to write and share about your field and even workplace, a weblog is an ideal platform to do this. It doesn’t even have to be about IT, you could even be an Auto Engineer or Aeronotics Engineer or someone else. Each person has a unique story to tell and so do you, and the Internet is always all ears for that!
- Finance: If you work in the finance industry as an accountant or book-keeper or even a clerk, you’ll still have a lot to share about the changing dynamics in your field, the computerization and use of open source software, changing policies of the government and due to effects of COVID, etc. Personal finance, and tips on saving money are also great topics to write on.
- Politics: Politics is almost like the bread and butter of netizens who read blogs, there are no other kind of articles that go viral in such a short time as those relating to politics! If you have a flair for writing creative and interesting matter on this topic, you’re definitely going to have a field day here!
- Food: There are millions of food blogs out there already and yet, some new content turns up every single day! Some new delicious recipe or a variant of existing recipe or something different you tried out today? You can also blog a lot about topics relating to cuisine like health effects of various spices and vegetables, veganism and vegetarianism, etc.
Combine the 1 and 2!
Now, the real magic happens when you apply the basic content types to your knowledge or what you already happen to know! For example, do you shop a lot? You can then write a comparison post on say, Walmart vs Tesco or Big Bazaar vs Reliance Mart! If you’re a Python engineer, Flask vs Django is the ideal post in that case. And how about Veganism vs Vegetarianism! The possibilities of doing this are almost infinite!
Static and Dynamic Post Ideas.
The above process of creatively combining your knowledge with basic content types will give you what is called static posts. They’re called as such because the content is mostly static in nature (though their relevance will progressively get lower with time), and hence such posts can be planned in advance and organized using what is popularly called blogging calendar.
Now, because of how the Internet works, you’re only allowed to share a couple of posts each day on social media platforms at most, so you must plan your content accordingly. Writer’s muse typically doesn’t work evenly, they come and go in leaps and bounds. But you can’t afford to don’t interact at all for a week and then dump all articles at once on Twitter, that will most likely flag you as a spammer! What bloggers typically do is they write their drafts in advance (leaps and bounds creativity!) and then schedule to publish them evenly.
Apart from these static posts which you can plan in advance, you can also write a dynamic post which can be written and published any time. Some big event took place in your field all of a sudden, yesterday? You’ll have a lot to say about that topic, so you can come up with a new post and publish it immediately.
Your content strategy should involve publishing a mix of both static and dynamic posts frequently. Having only dynamic posts won’t give you much content at all because there will be only so much happening in your given field every day. On the other hand, having static posts only will make your blogging process feel more monotonous and less creative. So, having a mix of both is a good ideal.