Breathe life into your blog

Six blog structures that any business or brand can use to liven up their content today.  

Most businesses and brands now understand the importance of regularly posting content to their news sections and blogs if they are to drive awareness among clients and consumers. But it is not enough to simply publish one post a week and sit back as your readers roll in.

Content hubs and blogs must be packed full of high-value information that engages, educates and entertains your target audience. This requires a detailed content plan that maps out the themes and topics to be covered over a set period of time.

You must also consider what format posts will take. From step-by-step guides to Q&As via features and analysis, it is important to mix things up in order to interest readers and keep them coming back for more.

But generating ideas can be easier said than done, which is why we have done some brainstorming on your behalf and come up with the following formats and frameworks from which you can create content.

Top tips:

These articles are super easy to put together, and simply consist of tips your readers will find useful. They usually come in batches of 5s and 10s, but we have found that six tips works nicely too – five is a little thin on the ground, but 10+ can take a while to read through.

The important thing here is to leverage your knowledge and expertise as a business or brand to help the reader. For a restaurant, this could be six top tips to making the perfect soufflé, for a hot tub retailer, it could be six top tips to keeping your Jaccuzzi clean.

Guides:

Guides should be detailed posts that take the reader through a particular task, process, activity, etc from start to finish. Here at ghostfoundry, we have created a do it yourself guide for writing a press release, for example.

Once you have published your guide, post it on social media, too. Well written and detailed guides are highly shareable, and can easily go viral.

Interviews:

Interviews make for great blog content, so long as the person being questioned has something interesting to say. Depending on your business or brand, interviewees could be founders and CEOs, ambassadors, experts or even celebrities.

Interviews with high profile individuals often generate a high number of clicks, but that’s not to say Q&As with lesser know people aren’t of interest, too – it all comes down to the value their answers provide your audience.

In terms of how to write interviews, they can either be published as flowing copy with quotes interspersed, or as a question and answer format. The former is ideally suited to longer reads, while the latter works best if you are keeping the post short and punchy.

Features:

Think of your favourite magazine and the insightful and interesting features it includes – you should do exactly the same for your blog. Use your own experience and knowledge, but also speak with other experts to add even more authority and value.

Features can vary in length, but should be creatively written and really immerse the reader in the story. For example, a luxury hotel in the Lake District could write a feature on the locally sourced food used in its restaurant, including input from each supplier.

You should also think about accompanying images to really bring the feature to life.

Analysis:  

As a business or brand, you will be an expert in your industry. You will understand emerging trends, and what impact they will have on your sector. A recruitment agency, for example, is well-placed to analyse the affect Brexit will have on freedom of movement and the job market.

Analysis pieces work best when a news story is used as the hook. For example, an estate agent could analyse what impact news the Bank of England has increased interest rates will have on mortgages and borrowing.

Reviews:

Readers love to learn about the pros and cons of products and services before they buy them, and reviews are one way they can do this. Depending on the nature of your business or brand, you can provide unbiased reviews to help your reader with their decision to buy.

A car dealership, for example, could create reviews of the various manufacturers and models for sale on its forecourt. In this scenario, it is best to work with an independent third-party reviewer so that readers know their thoughts and opinions are genuine.

Publish reviews to a schedule – once per week, twice per month, whatever works for you – so that readers know to return on a specific day to read the latest review. Newspapers do this with restaurants, hotels, cars, etc.

These are just some of the formats you can use to breathe life into your blog posts and better engage, educate and entertain your target audience. If you’d like to learn more about successful blogging, contact a member of the ghostfoundry team here.

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