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Want to know what type of writing works best online? Wish you knew how to win over readers? Take heart. The truth is, attracting an audience isn’t as hard as it sounds, particularly if you know what content styles work best. From vulnerability to expert how-to advice, here are several key blog formats to try, along with examples of each.
Think about it: Why do people watch the news on TV or read newspapers? What sort of topics often trend on Twitter? People like to know what’s happening right now. So when you write about legitimate news—whether big-time news like world events or personal news like what’s launching soon in your company—you draw in your readers. The blog Tech Crunch is a good example of this sort of news-centric journalism: It features stories about new funding, new product launches, new changes, and so on.
Vulnerable First-Person Stories
Touch people’s hearts, and you earn loyal readers. So if your style is to share a personal experience or story, do it. Be like blogger Kelle Hampton, who wrote about the emotional birth of her second daughter—with 3,800 comments and counting; that 2010 post is still drawing readers today. As a word of caution, however, be careful not to write vulnerable stories if they won’t square with your brand.
Other People’s Stories
Whether in an interview or a guest post, sharing someone else’s story is not only interesting for readers, but also a great way to build connections. Because the human experience is filled with shared emotions, any time you share someone’s experience, you open up opportunities for meaningful connecting. Plus, a new voice also qualifies as something unique and fresh, which fits the “news” format above, instantly drawing attention. For examples of doing this sort of guest posting, take a look at this post from Will Write For Food, in which blogger Dianne Jacobs has a colleague share her experiences as a food writer.
Expert How-To Advice
Teach your readers how to do something, and you become a valuable resource. The Internet is filled with wildly popular, high-traffic blogs that are based on the classic how-to. From food blogs like Simply Recipes that provide photographs and directions for recipes to home DIY blogs like Young House Love that show readers how to paint wood paneling or remodel a bathroom, advice-focused blogs are an Internet staple.
Facts and figures are often compelling, but never more so than when in infographic form. Infographics package data in a way that makes them easier to understand and share—and they work for many different industries and subject matters.
Consider the types of content you usually post on your blog. Do any of them line up with the list above? If not, and if you’re looking for ways to increase engagement, try the formats above. You might be surprised about what happens.