Four Types of Blog Posts

There’s been much ink/bytes spilled about the right way to write a post or the best way to write a blog entry. Usually the fretting is from bloggers that are just getting started and are scared of screwing it up.

When you first start blogging, simply write.

Show up at the entry form and type something funny, something profound, something nagging you or something you found.

I’ve been thinking about my own blog taxonomy lately and am leaning towards four main categories:

1) News, alerts, updates and upgrades

Every topic has announcements and new releases that might age quickly but can still be a part of a blog’s overall coverage. The posts might be out of date but if you are following a certain industry it might be important to keep currecny. Sometimes I think it is pointless to try and keep up – I’ll login to my Google Reader and see hundreds of updates and alerts and simply click Mark All Read. This kind of coverage might not be approriate for more relaxed audiences.

2) How-to’s, tutorials, techniques

The so-called ‘evergreen’ content that will age well and still apply years from now. For tech-based topics evergreen might mean 1-2 years. This is where you can really shine in providing useful content that can live on long past it’s intial delivery. This is where you’ll have what I’ve heard called your ‘flagship content’ or ‘pillar content’ – the main posts/essays that express your position and platform in the marketplace.

3) Resources and links

Often I’m pointing to a resource or tool or book I found online. It isn’t necessarily a tutorial on how to do something and it isn’t exactly evergreen because it’ll be useful longer than that. These might be better posted in a Del.icio.us account or your blog’s sidebar.

4) Thoughtful/essays

Not sure the best name for this yet. Often, I find myself doing more ‘thoughtful’ pieces on trends or macro-views of the world around me and how it relates to my business or life. This might be the traditional journal-ish or diary-esque pedigree of a blog. For those blogging as ‘thought leaders’ you’ll spend lots of time here.

Possible 5) Offtopic

A blog that never goes offtopic is a bit inhuman I think. This is where you can post jokes, Flash demos, other stuff that isn’t directly connected to your topic but is entertaining or a diversion that shows a bit more warmth a boring normal website.

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About Andy Wibbels

Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Get Satisfaction, SAY Media, InMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

8 thoughts on “Four Types of Blog Posts

  1. Yu^2

    What about introductions? Like a post for “About” this blog, or about yourself. So people get to know you a little bit better since you’re a new kid on the block. And manifestos are nice too.

    Reply
  2. Mark Alan Effinger

    Hi Andy,
    First, nice list. This is pretty all-inclusive, even for us seasoned bloggers and forum post champions.
    I guess the only thing possibly kissing might be Rants and Best Of’s.
    Now I know, you could probably fit those into one or more of your topics above.
    but if you use Craigslist as a sort of benchmark, you’ll find those areas have a significant amount of organic traffic.
    Also: Regardless of the types of blog posts you create, we make it a habit around here to ensure that we add value to both the discussion, and to our audience. if we miss that, we reduce the value of our collective voice in the blogosphere.
    You do amazing work, my friend. Keep it up.
    Warm regards,
    Mark Alan Effinger
    http:/www.RichContent.tv

    Reply
  3. barbara nelson

    Whatever you call it- entertainment is essential! I read Guy Kawasaki’s blog for many reasons, but I read it first and consistently because I know he’s going to entertain me. Didn’t you always flip to “Laughter, the Best Medicine” when you turned to the Reader’s Guide magazine in grandmom’s house?

    Reply
  4. Barbara Shapiro

    Simple and helpful as always, Andy. How about also making an invitation or posing a question? A question is an invitation to conversation!

    Reply
  5. Sharon Sarmiento

    Hey Andy–
    Great list and very helpful!
    You’ve pretty much summed it all up, although I have been trying to do the “conversation starter” (as Barbara just mentioned) post lately, and it’s been working a pretty well. Those take much less work (less writing than my usual HowTo posts, Top 5 lists and essays) but they seem to generate just as many comments (or more).
    There is also the photo post, such as the type of post that CuteOverload or ChocolateChipped.com does, with a photo and brief commentary. I like that one cuz I’m a very visual person, plus it’s easier to look at a photo than to read (yes, I’m getting lazy over here!).

    Reply
  6. Michelle Huse

    …And then there’s the “mistake” post made by newbies like me! 🙂
    I was demonstrating to someone new to blogs how easy it was to make a post, so I typed “yada yada yada” and then hit publish! I immediately went in and deleted it, to demonstrate how easy it is to delete a post.
    I was horrified the next day when my own blog feed emailed me the “yada yada yada” post and wondered how many other people saw that! :-O
    Live and learn! 😀

    Reply
  7. Comedy Blog

    Not a bad post, but as an individual blogger, I think you need to have more focus on your own specific niche. I think you will also gain more faithful readers this way as well.

    Reply

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