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Anatomy of Blog Posts

May 12, 2009

1593375891.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpgThe folks at Typepad (blog publishing tool) published 10 Ways to Find New Blog Topics. I've written extensively about how to blog for business including chapters in my book The Everything Blogging Book. I thought I'd riff off of the tips from Typepad and some of the suggestions in my book as well as a few new ideas.

 

First, let's look at some of the different types of posts - or posting styles - you can use when developing content for your blog. These basic blog post formats are commonly used and can add variety to your blog.

 

From The Everything Blogging Book:

Narrative content. This essay-style post can be either long or short, but since it often takes longer to compose, it can be time consuming.

Compiled content. By excerpting and properly citing sources from experts, you can quote other blogs or content online or offline.

Linked content. This style involves linking to content that supplements your content. There can be less narrative in linked content posts.

Link lists. The original Web logs were lists of links to other sites with a minimum of commentary. It can take a while to locate and organize the links.

Collaborative content. In this style, you share the posting load with others and alternate posting schedules. (Also referred to as multi-author blogging and guest blogging).

What makes a blog post work? An ideal blog post:

Draws attention to useful information. Whether that information is on your blog or site or on someone else's blog or site, make your blog a valuable resource to build your following.

Compels others to link. Give other bloggers a reason to link to your blog or include you in their "blogroll." That includes returning the favor, if relevant.

Influences visitors to subscribe. Make the "subscribe" feature to your blog obvious and prominent. Let visitors subscribe by either RSS feed or email. But ease of subscribing is only part of the equation - make sure your content is worth receiving on a regular basis.

Gives calls to action. Lead your readers to take actions of some kind. These actions can help you measure the effectiveness of your blog and increase engagement.

Invites comments. Phrase your posts to encourage others to respond. Start a conversation.

 

Where else can you get ideas for blog posts?

Here's a quick list of easy-to-access ideas for blog posts that you just might be overlooking:

  • Emails - Scan your emails, including the email newsletters you subscribe to, for topics.
  • Web sites - Peruse other people's sites and blogs and find something to comment on. Link back to their article or post to expand the conversation.
  • Media - Yes, even traditional media including radio, TV, magazines and newspapers can still spark discussion. Look for interesting trends or Op-Ed pieces you can debate.
  • Conversations - Recap a compelling conversations (be careful not to reveal identities of those involved unless you have express permission) to get additional perspectives.


Sometimes, good blog content is right under our noses!

 

What do YOU feel makes or breaks a blog? What kind of content is most valuable to you?


Aliza Sherman



Tags: Blogs
Category: Marketing

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