Remember when Val talked about why you need an editorial calendar? Yep, creating a content calendar is still necessary to get ahead of the game, to make sure you’re giving your readers top-notch content, and to stay away from the chaos that is day-of-posting.
Have you given it a try yet?
As a new blogger and even as seasoned pro, coming up with new ideas for posts can be a struggle some days. And filling a whole calendar with content – talk about overwhelming. So here’s a little tip to jump start your next content calendar planning session:
Make sure you mixing up your blog post types.
When you’ve been in the rhythm of writing a certain way (or have never written anything at all), it’s easy to forget that there are so many different types of blogs. Knowing these types will help you think outside the box for your content strategy, so here’s six blog types to help get your brain in motion.
How-tos and tutorials
Eighty-five percent of the time I get on the Internet, it’s to learn something (the other 15 percent is spent scrolling Instagram, looking at before and after pictures and finding new “Carpool Karaoke” clips). When I can’t figure something out on my own, the first thing I do is hop on Google and type “How to – get fluffier chocolate chip cookies, -fix my printer, or -have Michelle Obama arms”. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
How-tos and tutorial blogs are a big deal and a great way for you to gain authority in your niche. People are looking for answers, and if you build the solutions, they will come. The more you help, the more they’ll keep coming back to you for all their How-To needs. You just never know what someone is willing to learn until you put it out there.
Try something like:
How to Increase _____in ___ Days.
________ for beginners.
Your blogs don’t need to be completely original! There are so many blog posts out there that are simply pieces of content from many sources collected together in one spot. Because let’s be real, you and I don’t know everything. Sometimes we need to look to other professionals for the best information, like when we asked professional bloggers for their expert advice for newbies.
Curated content posts are also great for your readers. When you take the time to pull everything together in one place, they don’t have to. But if you do this, you have to promise me that you won’t get lazy. Curated content can sound like the easy way out of creating a post, but if you do it right, you are provided some top-level value.
Oh that funny, funny word. These posts were made popular by Buzzfeed, but really, the “listicle” has been around forever. List articles are the best for quick skims and streamlined information. Brevity is king here and your readers will love digesting info in this rapid, bulleted fashion. They can be as long or as short as your information demands and are also super popular to share around.
Here are a few examples:
Top ___Reasons Your ______Isn’t ________
___Way to Add _______to Your ________
____Things I _____ About _________
Everyone loves checking boxes right? It’s so satisfying. When I’m checking things off my to-dos, I feel accomplished and pumped to take down the next task. Sure, readers are also looking for this sense of accomplishment, but they also might be looking for a checklist to just to find out what to do in the first place.
Personally I love adding checklists as a content upgrade in my blog posts. They can be made into super fun downloadable prints and are a sweet little incentive that can increase your opt-in rates.
___ Point Checklist to More _____ Posts
Sometimes the best way to get a new reader to believe in you or your product is to show them real-life examples of your success. Case studies are a tried and true way to attract new readers. People want to know that what you’re selling, saying, or teaching works before they buy in. By showing them what you did, how you did it, and the results, it will be easier for new readers to trust you.
For the ConvertKit blog, we’re always adding case studies to our “How Bloggers Earn a Living” category. By showing how some of our clients live off their blog, we’re hopefully encouraging newer clients that it’s possible for them to do the same.
How _______Can Help
From _____ to ______: ______'s Story
You’re a blogger because you’ve got something to say, right? You’ve got ideas, beliefs, and a voice you’re not afraid to use. Your blog is your space to put it all out on the table. Op-ed, or opinion, blogs are where you give your personal stance on something going on in your industry. Be strong in the sides you fall on and you’ll find that you are not alone and will ruffle some feathers – but isn’t that what the Internet is for?
Why I Never _______ After 5pm
Mix it up!
There are so many more different types of blog posts out there, but I figured this would be a good amount to get your going now. Mixing up your blog types will not only be good for your creative brain, it will also keep your audience on their toes. They’ll be excited to find out whether they’re learning a how-to, getting a list of your top 10 new favorite books, or hearing how you feel the new trends.
So when you sit down to plan out your next content calendar, don’t forget to keep variety in mind. It is the spice of life after all.