This week, we're reviewing some of the different types of blog posts. Hopefully, this will give us all some fresh inspiration, and additional writing ideas.
Yesterday, we discussed the essay, which targets academics and is good for submission for op-ed syndication (cross-posting). Today, let's talk about four types of posts that are specifically designed to attract traffic from the search engines: review, list, link posts, and polls
New products, services, sites, books, movies, etc., are often used as search words on the search engines. People are searching for information about these products or publications, and timely review written with SEO in mind can attract readers from the search engines and social news sites. This is an area in which if you're a new blogger, you might want to focus on the "long tail," (more niche specific, less popular) topics, as with these, you'll have a better chance of making it to the top of the search results (SERPs), because there is less competition.
Lists are especially good for attracting readers on social networks. We don't know why. Maybe it's because of David Letterman. Maybe it's because you're telling your readers up front exactly how many points you're committed to making. We just know they often work.
Link posts are designed to attract traffic (and hopefully reciprocal links) from other bloggers. Some bloggers do a periodic roundup of some of their favorite posts on other blogs. This is a quick and easy way to do a blog post on a day when time is short, and a productive way to network with other bloggers.
People LOVE to give their opinions, and polls are a great way to solicit the opinions of your readers. Some bloggers use polls as a way to build their e-mail list (by requiring readers to provide an e-mail address to answer the poll). Others use polls to find out more aobu their readership. Note that if a poll is on a highly controversial topic, such as a political issue, it is likely that readers will e-mail their friends, or post the poll link to their social networks and discussion forums, and you may actually get more traffic than you wanted. A successful poll will pique interest, but not be so controversial as to invite "spamming" the poll.
Also see: Problogger - 20 Types of Blog Posts - Battling Bloggers Block
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.