It’s late in the day and you’ve just read another marketing post about the value of blogging.
So you’ve opened your post editor and your fingers are poised over the keys.
But you have no clue what to write. The cursor blinks at you, taunting you to write something, anything.
The ideas won’t come. So you grab a photo from your Instagram feed. Someone brought cake into the office – that’ll do as a post. It shows you as a fun-loving startup. And everyone likes cake.
You paste a few images into the post, and hit ‘Publish’. Phew!
Er, no. You check your Analytics the next week. Nothing. Nada. Crickets…
You’re not alone. When startups start to blog, they often ask what kinds of posts they need to include.
A lot of companies use their blog as a ‘news’ resource. They share photos of their launches or announce new team members. Which is fine – but it means absolutely nothing to new visitors to your site.
They don’t know who you are or what you do – so why do they care that you sponsored a talk near your office?
Don’t get me wrong, those posts can be a great way to supplement your blog – but they shouldn’t be all of your blog posts.
Instead, you can use these 5 simple posts to generate content, get attention from your target audience, and build your authority.
You’ll need a mixture of evergreen posts and ‘regular’ posts in your editorial calendar.
By evergreen, I mean those posts that people keep coming back to, even 6 months to a year after you posted them. The content is so fundamental that it’s always relevant.
But don’t discount those time-sensitive posts that respond to news in your industry.
So let’s see what 5 simple posts you can use to improve your blog.
1. Resource roundup/curated post
Really strapped for time and can’t pull a blog post out of thin air? Do a content roundup instead!
There’s so much content online now. Possibly too much content. So instead of adding to it, you can help a prospective client or customer to make sense of it.
Use a service like Feedly to subscribe to other blogs and news sites in your industry. Make a point of scanning new headlines. Then you can pull together relevant links into one post.
It’ll help to demonstrate how well you know your industry. And it’s always a good way to generate good link karma by linking to other people. (That makes them more likely to link to you)
Problogger do really helpful content curation posts, like this one.
Don’t create them too often or people will think you have nothing useful to say yourself.
But they are a great way to build links and generate inbound traffic. Or you can send a curated email to your list. Austin Kleon is an excellent example of a writer who sends valuable curated list-based emails.
2. How-to guides
Think about why you founded a startup. You thought of an amazing product or service. And you want to improve lives with that product or service, right?
So why not use that principle on your blog as well?
Your posts can be mini tutorials on topics in your industry. And sure, you can teach people how to use your particular product or service. I even wrote a how-to guide for hiring a blogger if you’re a startup.
So I can help startups find bloggers if they don’t have the time or inclination to create their own content.
And it doesn’t even need to be specific to your own product. Maybe your service is an email marketing platform. Teach people how to use email marketing on your blog.
You can always recommend they do their email marketing using your platform in your call-to-action.
Of all of these 5 simple posts, how-to guides are the easiest way to build evergreen content.
3. Thought leader posts
These are much more in-depth posts. They’ll need some research and stats to back up your points. But they let you establish yourself as an authority.
You can make predictions about your industry based on your own experience. Or you can discuss a news story in your trade press, and explain what effect a new piece of technology or even legislation will have on everyone else.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s a way to stake your flag in the ground and say “This is what I know about.”
There is the potential to post the occasional controversial post. Maybe you really disagree with the direction your industry is taking. Or perhaps you want to correct a common misconception.
Stirring the pot by openly posting dissent can be a good way to grab some attention, as well as some shares. Just be prepared for a negative reaction.
Don’t post controversial posts too often or visitors will think you just like being contrary.
Thought leader posts can take much more time to write precisely because they’re in-depth. But it’s always a good idea to have a few 1500-2000 words on your post for your SEO value.
And if you don’t have time? Send me the research and some thoughts, and I’ll turn it into a post for you.
4. Fun posts
I know what you’re thinking. How do fun posts fit into your content marketing strategy?
Simple. They grab attention. Remember, most people won’t yet know who you are or what you do.
Attention posts also form the start of an AIDA sequence – something we’ll go into at another time.
And by ‘fun’, I don’t necessarily mean ‘silly’. It’s just more accessible content. So videos, images, or infographics can all be really helpful.
They’re easier to share and quicker to digest. Plus you can always tie them into the time of year. So if your startup runs a new mobile dating app, then you could post something cute like ‘7 Films You Have To Watch On Valentine’s Day.
Then ask visitors to share the post and suggest any films you’ve forgotten. Remember, sharing is caring.
5. List based post
These are probably the most common of these 5 simple posts. Why? Lists are easy to scan and digest. They often get a lot of backlinks and they’re easy to share.
But ever since the likes of Buzzfeed jumped on the list post, some bloggers have been wary of them. Writers on Medium have openly condemned the so-called ‘listicle’ (an article broken into a list – much like this post).
Bloggers sometimes think they’re lazy, and they don’t contain enough substance. Maybe that’s true. But if you’re stuck for content every couple of months? A list makes a nice change.
And if you want to avoid the listicle format, you could also post a list that’s more of a checklist. That way, your list post is both a list and a how-to guide. Use the list to teach your reader how to do something.
Or you could be really clever and make the how-to guide that goes with the checklist a content upgrade. Why not gather more leads for your email list while you’re at it?
But whichever of these 5 simple posts you do, do them well.
These 5 simple posts will improve your startup’s blog. Your content can be more than just a collection of news posts about what you’re doing.
And your content should be more than that.
But make sure you don’t rely on just 1 or 2 of these post types. Cycle through all 5 across a few months. Readers like variety.
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, get in touch. I’ll help you devise an editorial calendar. We’ll turn your blog into a lead magnet, not a time suck.