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image by haleymarketing.com

image by haleymarketing.com

When I was considering starting a blog, I worried that I would run out of ideas pretty soon.  Somehow, I still manage to find something to write about almost every day.  The other day I read a post on Jeremiah Walton’s blog called “10 types of blog posts for writers to increase traffic, and realized I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface! He lists ten different types of blog posts, and I have added a couple more at the end.

So, what are these, in the format of a handy list, and how can you use them to improve your blog?

  • How to/tutorials/tips and advice
    How to write, how to promote, how to market … you get the idea.  I tend to post a lot of these. Images and videos are an added bonus as Walton points out, and I think that they add in terms of style – remember that blog posts, just like Facebook status updates, do much better when they have an image, a picture or any other visual component such as a map, a graph or a comic.
  • List posts
    7 ways to improve your writing, 13 ways to promote your book, 26+1 ways to get over a publishing disaster…  Generally speaking, a bullet point list that is easy to read and people just glance through in order to get the gist of. Not to get too self-referential, but this very post is an example.
  • Stories
    You might want to publish in your blog a short story, a little poem, a novella, a little adventure you had.  I think that stories do their magic in many ways:

    • they give readers a sense of your writing, your style and your themes
    • they offer a more personal touch to your blog
    • they provide a change from the usual things you might find in a blog
    • they are original art
    • for us authors, they are a wonderful way to connect with possible readers. Who knows, maybe they will enjoy your post so much that they’ll even buy your book!
  • Definition posts
    I really don’t do that, and I should!  My wife has been pestering me to do a blog post regarding all the services, websites, apps etc that new authors should know and how these work (what is Createspace and how it works, what is DRM etc).  Due to lack of time, I haven’t yet, but I promise I will at some point!
  • Links and other resources
    It’s a bit linked to the above.  Blog posts with all the necessary (or funny, interesting, amazing etc) resources an author might need.
  • Rants
    You may remember yesterday’s Tao Te Ching post; it’s as close to a rant as I’ll ever come. I don’t usually write rants, as I am generally a happy person. Still, some of the best and funniest posts I’ve read can be classified as rants!
  • Controversial
    Not much of a controversy guy here, so I have absolutely no blog post with a controversial issue.  I understand that they can increase your followers and your visibility rapidly, but I think there are enough divisive voices out there already.
  • Series post
    The Sunday post, the weekly review post, the guest post of the week.  Blogs that have a repetitive frequency encourage readers to come back. It’s best if you can publish on a regular day, even on a regular time.
  • Reviews
    Review books you have read, a film you watched, a show you attended.  This is particularly important for us authors, as readers always want to know that you as an author actually read (otherwise it’s like a cook not eating his own food – kind of suspicious), plus it brings extra traffic to your blog because the book you are reviewing will be redirecting your way.
  • Inspiring posts
    Little inspiring quotes, images, personal feelings and achievements.  People want to see that you are a normal human being with a personality: show them that! Some of my most popular posts (like my Things Happen for a Reason) are inspiring posts.
  • Guest posts
    I love guest posts! Having people write guest posts on my blog is, to me, the equivalent of having friends over. It is very good for your visibility, too, as their friends will visit you, too, therefore mixing the two groups together, and hopefully enlarging both circles.
  • Blog hops
    Blog hops are kind of a guest post-lite.  The idea is that, by featuring other people, you expand your network to include them and their friends. I like them because I get to spice up the theme of my blog with topics I don’t usually deal with.

Following up on these, I would like to add a couple of ideas that people enjoy, in my experience:

  • People like funny things: a funny image, a comic that illustrates your point, a funny story.  Our life is serious enough, so funny things just relieve the day of its tension.
  • Avoid politics or religion: these are issues too contentious and, as I have said before, I dislike controversy.  Plus, there is no point to talk about these, unless something huge has happened.
  • Something completely unrelated to your usual themes: it just rounds up your personality and brings out your multifaceted self.
  • Personal experience and anecdotes: People respond to what happens in your daily life, especially if it has to do with books.  It’s OK to share your joy at winning a competition, your hopes at entering one or your disappointment on losing one.
  • Helping others: apart from good Karma, helping others will always be reciprocated, at the most unexpected of times, so keep doing it!

What did I miss? Can you think of any blog topics I should have added?