5 Types of Blog Content That Drive Engagement

5 types of blog content that drive engagementIf you write content—whether for yourself or for a client—then you’re well aware that writing can be tricky—heck, even downright challenging. But it’s what comes after you hit “publish” that can be even more daunting for marketers. If no one reads, shares or comments on your blog post, you’re not likely to get much leverage from your content—and that doesn’t bode well for your content marketing strategy.

In an ideal world, we’d all be able to crank out piles and piles of witty, informative and compelling content that’s so amazing it automatically makes readers want to share and distribute it far and wide. In reality? Even your best writing might not drive much engagement.

Before you swear off blogging forever, let me share a valuable tip with you. Just as certain types of Facebook posts spark a higher number of comments, likes and shares, certain types of blog content inherently drive more engagement. As you brainstorm and write blog posts, try incorporating a mix of the following content types into your editorial strategy. Then take note about what your audience responds to and tailor your posts accordingly.

5 Types of Blog Content That Drive Engagement

Trends. Regardless of what industry you’re in, there’s always something going on—and that means you have timely, relevant blog fodder ready and waiting. Writing a trends post isn’t only an effective way to showcase your area of expertise, but it’s also a chance for you to put your own distinctive spin on a topic, even if it’s something that’s been discussed ad nauseum.

Interviews. Readers respond well to conversational pieces, and nothing’s more conversational than an interview or Q&A. Plus, interviews lend themselves to different types of media, which means they’re an ideal way to include more video content on your blog.

Book reviews. Writing a book review is a great way to demonstrate your industry smarts and discuss information that’s particularly timely. Check out some of the newest releases in a category related to your industry and share your opinion with your readers. Another tip? Before you publish, reach out to the publisher and/or author and see if you can snag a review copy that you can offer as a giveaway on your blog. Contests are (almost) always a hit! After all, who doesn’t love #winning?

Lists. Talk about some Jedi mind tricks—you’re in the middle of reading a list right now! And you’re loving it, aren’t you? Readers respond well to lists because they’re concise and to-the-point. Plus, they deliver a, well, list of actionable tips that readers can immediately implement.

Rants. Peeved about something? Can’t imagine why—that never happens to me. Funnel your anger and irritation into a thoughtful blog post. Before you hit “publish,” however, be sure to take a step back and make sure your post isn’t riddled with nasty language or name-calling—those unsightly additions won’t do anything to strengthen your position. Be respectful toward the person or organization about which you’re ranting, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to share your true feelings—the ideal result is that your rant will spark some sort of change. And in the meantime, you’ll likely fuel a lively discussion in your blog’s comments section, so be prepared!

The ideas are already flowing, aren’t they? Don’t be afraid to experiment with content formats that work best for your writing style, subject matter and voice. And be sure to keep a close eye on your analytics so that you can see which posts are driving the most traffic and distribution. That way, you can be sure to incorporate those types on a more regular basis and help fine-tune your larger content strategy.

What type of content have you found to be the most successful for your blog?

Image by Search Engine People Blog via Creative Commons

  • http://twitter.com/ianmcleary Ian Cleary

    Hi  Shelly, Blog posts from Guest bloggers bringing a new perspective can be very effective.  I love the video interviews and plan on doing lots more of these!

  • Anonymous

    Nice tips. Thanks for the advice. You bet I’ll be practicing some of your recommendations.

    In the case of my blog, I know readers are motivated by one type of product, so I try to give them a good piece of that product that does a terrific job driving traffic to the site while levering with other type of content so the site isn’t a one-way type of content.

    Thanks again!
    Pablo

  • http://www.darryljonckheere.com/ Darryl

    Hmm..interview a trend-setter who’s written a new book who does a lot of ranting in the form of lists.

  • http://soulati.com/blog Soulati

    I have a Q&A today, and it’s rare I do that, but suited the topic and the subject. I think people like seeing that mix up, too. When you always have the same style happening in the writing, it’s time to shake it up a bit. I also like to use hot news, which is not a trend. Take news of the day and spin it with your own opinion or tips list. That works extremely well; I find people gravitate to my tips more than most content. Educational in nature. 

  • Theprayerregistry

    Really liked the article, thanks. I will use some of your suggestions for sure!

  • http://twitter.com/suddenlyjamie Jamie Wallace

    I dabble in all the content formats you describe above, but I’ve found that what drives engagement best for me (whether I’m writing about marketing, writing, or parenting) is the theme – the message – of the post. I’ve had success with lists and rants and trends, but I seem to get the best traction with posts that go out on a limb a little bit. In fact, the posts that usually generate the most engagement are the ones that I wasn’t 100% sure I should post. It’s when my finger hovers over the “Publish” button for a few extra seconds that I can be pretty sure that I’m going to see some good interaction. 

    I don’t do a lot of ranting, so I wouldn’t call these posts rants. I think of them more as “soapbox” posts. I get inspired, climb up there and let ‘er rip, and then I come back down again. 

    It’s fun. ;)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed :)

  • Anonymous

    I feel the exact same way, Jamie. In fact, it’s those “going out on a limb” posts that I’m unsure about that ultimately make me feel really, really good that I actually published. And climbing out on a limb also manages to help you bare a little bit of your soul — always the best ingredients for wonderful posts.

  • Anonymous

    All great ideas, Jayme … I love Q&A (and we’ve got a video Q&A series in the works, which I think is also pretty cool – and effective) and tips always produce great results for us, too. I love your brain … thanks for coming by and sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/geoffreiner Geoff Reiner

    Hey Shelly,  great post!  I think the most important thing you said was to keep an eye on your analytics.  So many times people just write and have a very narrow understanding of who their audience is.  Understanding what readers enjoy (depending on the industry or subject matter) is crucial to build an authentic and loyal following!  Thanks again :)

  • http://twitter.com/geoffreiner Geoff Reiner

    I think pushing the envelop (or going out on a limb) is such a great thing.  We have all been in that position hovering over the enter key and I think more and more people should have the confidence to just go for it! 

    There is so much more room for great people out there.  @suddenlyjamie I really appreciate your perspective.  Thanks :)

  • Anonymous

    I’m a data geek, Geoff … so analytics are my crack cocaine. And yes, you are correct. So many people write without ever understanding their audience and their needs/interests, etc. as well as never looking at their analytics to help drive their content strategies.

    Sigh.

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    Any time I blog about blogging it drives engagement but I try not to focus solely upon that. It is low hanging fruit and everyone writes about it.

    So I try to mix it up with whatever interests me. I usually find that when I write something filled with passion and personality people respond, doesn’t matter what the topic is.

  • http://twitter.com/JoinRitu RituS

    Good Article. Quick Lists are sure shot attention grabbers.

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  • http://twitter.com/jvanrijn Jordie van Rijn ✰✰✰

    List books that rant about interviews on trends

  • Anonymous

    This? Cracked my you-know-what up! Thanks for the laugh, Jordie.

  • Van Heerling

    Hi Shelly, I enjoyed your article. I must say you are spot on regarding interviews. I am a writer and I interview fellow writers and artists. My activity went from an average of maybe twenty hits a day to several hundred. My best one day total was fifteen hundred. Not bad for an unknown blog. Thanks for the tips. Van

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  • Glenn

    Hi Shelly,

    Nice post, thanks for sharing.

    I’d say the list one is great, just gotta be careful not to over do it. I mean I’ve seen sites that have tons of these up, after a while they can lose their impact.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/china.newz China Newz

    Don’t forget to put an Amazon Affiliate link on that book review.

  • http://www.facebook.com/china.newz China Newz

    Very funny.

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