When you're an affiliate marketer, you're likely to be doing a lot of blog posts. And sometimes it's not a question of what to write about, but how to approach the topic.
What sort of blog post you choose to write can depend on several different things. How much you know about your topic, how in depth you want to go on a specific subject, what other priorities you have that determine the time you can afford to spend on it – these are all factors that will influence your decision on the way you want to go.
So what sort of options do you have?
Let's take a look at the many ways you can create your blog posts…
Different Types of Blog Posts
1. List Blog Posts
If you're new to blogging or want to increase your speed in writing posts, a “lists” post is great way to go. By making a number of different points on a topic, and putting them in a list, you can easily create an interesting post. And because it's developed from a list, you'll find you don't need to write as much bridging text to link paragraphs together.
In fact, one of the easiest ways to write a post is to make a list. Simply make a sentence from each main point, and then write a paragraph around this main point.
Post titles that have a number in their title are particularly popular because they offer something tangible and specific. Another reason for their popularity is that being in a bulleted format, they work with web users' behavior of scanning rather than reading online.
To give you an example, here is a list-type post that I did recently:
And another example is this post you're reading right now!
2. Related Series Blog Posts
Depending on the depth you go into on your topic, you can find you end up with enough different points to develop things into another related post, or even a series. This in itself can increase your output of posts. If you tend to get a bit carried away with a topic like I do sometimes, and do a whole heap of research on it that is way too much for one post – don't waste it! Simply find a natural divide in the information, and break it up.
Simply add something at the end of the post to let people know that it's part of a series, for example: “Next week: Look out for the top 10 ways you can boost your blog writing productivity.”
You can then add the links to related posts as you publish them.
Here's an example of a popular 8 part post series written by Jay Stockwell:
How To Make $1000 A Month Online From Scratch
3. Personal Interview Blog Posts
For a change of “voice” on your blog, it can be interesting to invite an expert in your niche to share their wisdom or point of view with your readers. An alternative slant on things keeps things fresh, and you'll not only assist in your audience's learning on a topic, you may also learn something yourself.
Don't forget that you can also do interviews as a video blog piece as well.
4. Instructional Blog Posts
These show people how to do something in a step by step way, and are extremely popular online. Finding out how to do things is one of main reasons people search online – in fact, about 2.6% of all searches have a “how to” component to them. Written well, these can provide you with traffic for a good length of time, especially if the information you provide is not something that will date easily.
5. News Commentary Blog Posts
Choose a hot topic that's got people talking, and do some research on the implications that this could have (or is having) on your niche or industry. For example, this could be the latest move by Google and the possible repercussions on affiliate marketing as a business, or the latest online advertising law changes. Because you know the choice of your subject is near to people's hearts (or pockets!), you're likely to attract comments from those who could be impacted by it.
6. Project Blog Post
Create a project and write a post that invites your readers to get involved. For example, you might ask for nominations for a special fun award, or written suggestions for the best caption for a photo. Or you could get your readers to send in a favorite link, or their own post for the topic you've created interest in. Having a survey or quiz can also be a part of this, and add to your site's interactivity.
7. Case Study Blog Posts
As a search term, “case studies” is one that gets a lot of traffic. One of the most all-time popular posts at Associate Programs is a case study post on Site Build It. It was written around the experiences of someone who had no real HTML experience, and their attempts to create a site for Allan using no resources other than those provided by Site Build It. Judging by the feedback, this seemed to strike a particular chord with people, and it continues to get very useful traffic to this day.
Take a look, and you'll see how this post was constructed:
Sometimes a “case study” post can also be blended with a review-type post as well. Whatever your niche, you can find a way to do a case study on it.
8. Specific Niche Info Blog Posts
This is where you offer readers good meaty info on an area of your niche. You can take a specific angle on this, a particular sub-topic, or provide a general overview of things.
For example, a specific post angle involving affiliate marketing might be on the difference between affiliate and multi-level marketing. A particular subtopic might be a post on how to get testimonials when you've just started out in affiliate marketing. And a general overview might be a post that explained the concept of online affiliate marketing and how it works.
9. Product Review Blog Posts
“Review” is another popular search term, as many people do research through reviews before buying something online, particularly women. (Men are actually more likely to be the impulse shoppers, but that's another post!) As an affiliate marketer for a product or service, it makes sense to create some posts that offer your opinion on a product or service, so that you can capitalize on this web user search behavior.
Make sure any review-type post you do is not “hypey”, or you risk losing viewers. Give your opinion on the product or service, and how it stacks up in terms of performance. It's also a good idea to do a comparison with similar products on the market – having a comparison on your site stops your reader from going off and trying to find this info elsewhere.
10. Link-To Posts
This is where you find a good post on another site or blog, and offer your own opinion or comment on the original topic. You can give a direct quote from the author of the post as well if you choose.
Let your readers know why you think the post is significant, and add your own comments so that you offer a new insight or perspective, or a differing opinion. The idea is to expand on the information provided, or provide otherwise useful content for your readers.
11. Personal Observation Post
This is often a more contemplative sort of post that shares with readers your personal observations or insights on something interesting relating to a niche topic. For example, you might offer your recent personal experience of trying to buy a car and the insights you gained from the process, and then relate these back to the importance of good customer service. Or you might observe something specific in nature, and relate this back to how some things work similarly in life.
12. Personality Profile Blog Posts
A personality profile post is a bit of hybrid post – it's kind of like a case study post crossed with an interview post. It's more about researching someone than actually interviewing them. This can be a good way to go if you don't actually personally know someone in your niche.
Personality profile blog posts feature a specific person. Choose an interesting, charismatic, or controversial personality in your niche. Then do some research on their road to achievement, and write about the things that helped them get into this successful position.
For example, if your niche was dog-training, you might do a profile post on someone like Cesar Millan for your readers. You could delve into his background growing up in Mexico and how he developed his love of dogs, how he began looking after dogs for people, how he launched his business and products, or the personal qualities he chose to develop for success.
13. Story Blog Posts – Anecdotes Are Powerful
These are similar to personal observation posts, except you're telling someone else's real life story or experience. You can use personal quotes from them, or even tell the bulk of the story quoted in the first person tense. People love personal anecdotes and stories, and using these as analogies can be a powerful way to use emotion and/or human interest to get a message across. Make sure you have the person's permission to use their name in any story you use about them, or change names to protect their privacy.
For example, if you were trying to get people to consider other things as a way to improve their lot, here's a true story that literally changed lives.
A friend of mine in New Zealand was a very successful young man. At 26, he had 27 investment properties, and he was the youngest manager his firm had ever employed in the senior role he held. He had all the toys he wanted along with the big house on the water, but never saw any of it during the week for the year he was there – it was always dark when he left for work, and dark when he arrived home.
While my friend knew all about how to make money, with relationships he wasn't quite so switched on. His first marriage ended because he was always so consumed in his work. He lost several girlfriends after this, once the novelty of being with such a powerhouse wore off to become a feeling of loneliness. He ended up marrying again, and luckily this time around, there was one female who gave him the biggest wake-up call in his life.
Early one morning, he went into the kitchen to get breakfast before he dashed out the door yet again. His own little girl, aged 3, turned around and saw him before clutching her mother's skirt and saying: “Who's that strange man in the kitchen, Mommy?”
This event and the realizations that came from it changed my friend's life forever. That very day, he handed in his notice. He then packed up everything and relocated to Australia, taking a year off work to get to know his family.
A post based around a story can help vividly illustrate a point you are trying to make.
14. Problem Blog Posts
“Problems” is yet another term that's commonly searched for in relation to product names.
These posts are a bit like a product or service review posts. However, in these you're actually pointing out the negatives of either a situation, or a product or service. Done carefully, this can be a subtle way of pointing out your competitor's product shortcomings, and positioning your own product as being more capable in that particular area.
An example of dealing with a frustrating situation and relating that to a product could be a blog post on the length of time it normally takes to create a successful pay per click campaign.
With everything that's involved to do this properly, it becomes relatively easy to position a product such as SpeedPPC as a solution to this common problem.
15. Passionate Blog Posts
If you're feeling all riled up about something in your niche, use that energy in your writing. Let things rip and have a rant!
Beware – having a real rant in your blog post can make fur fly!
For example, you could offer your opinion on a recent controversial law change. Or something that's happened in your niche, and how that will affect certain players in your industry.
A passionate blog post speaks the truth on how you feel about something, and can be really effective for sparking others' comments and feelings on the same subject.
Once you've let off some steam, just remember to check and make sure you're not going to do you or anyone else any damage from publishing what you've written!
16. Motivating Blog Posts
These are “good news” posts that are designed to inspire and motivate. When things feel a bit tough, it's good to hear of someone in your niche who went through the same struggles, and came out the other side smiling. Keep your ears to the ground for the gems of success that people are having, and let your readers know about them so that you can encourage their persistence.
17. Research Blog Posts
To do this properly, a research post can take significant time. You may need to go through heaps of websites and/or conversations with experts to be able to validate any useful conclusions. However, done well, such posts can attract a good level of attention as well as links for some time.
A bonus is that you also can use part of this research as a free report that that you give away for lead generation. (Plus you get to gain considerable knowledge in that particular topic by the time you've finished researching it.)
18. “Best of” Blog Posts
When you start to hear “Ho, ho, ho” from the big guy in the red suit, it's the time of year when you'll start to see a lot more of these sorts of posts appearing!
At the end and start of a year, many people look back at the past year, and make a commentary or recap of the highlights in their niche. List posts come to the fore, as people blog about the top 10 “whatevers” of that particular year in their area of interest. These posts have either a focus on the upcoming new year, or often have a nostalgic feel to them as people look back on things.
19. Crystal Ball Blog Posts
Leading on from the “best of” posts, many bloggers choose to predict what could happen in the new year ahead, either in their niche or in a more general way.
Crystal ball posts look to the future to see what's coming up.
Although “crystal ball” posts often turn up around this time, they're not confined to it.
For example, while not a post itself, you might recall an ebook called “The Death Of Adsense” which gave predictions of where things were going to going in this industry. It caused a major blogging post “war” in the internet marketing blogosphere for some time.
20. Compilation Blog Posts
These posts can be a good way to present a balanced overview of a topic, and learn a few new things along the way. You choose an interesting and target-market specific topic, and research it. You compile a whole heap of credible people's opinions, views, or ideas on this, and identify any common denominators or themes.
You then combine the insights you have drawn through your research process with the research material you've compiled.
For example, you could either research or interview various internet marketers to determine their particular take on the latest technological advance, and what impact they see this having on the internet marketing industry.
21. Hypothetical Blog Posts
These can be either a thought-provoking or even whimsical look at things. You take a possible or potential scenario and play the “What if?” game, exploring what the result of things might be if such a situation played out. For example:
“What if the Internet crashed?” and “What would happen if our brains could develop the memory and download capacity to take over from computer hard drives?
You can end up with some very interesting or even entertaining scenarios with these sort of posts!
22. For and Against Blog Posts
These debate differing points of view within the same blog post. You can either present two sides of some specific issue yourself, or present two people's opposing views. You can then invite votes from your readers on what they think of the subject, either through comments, or a poll. Doing this can give your post more longevity, as well as increase the interactivity on your site.
Here's an example of this type of post that shows two differing opinions on the subject of outsourcing versus hiring employees. In this post, Allan is on one side of the fence, while Jay subscribes to another point of view:
So there you have a multitude of different sorts of ways you can approach your blog post writing! Hopefully, it's got your creative juices going and you've now got a whole heap of new approaches you can think using with your next posts.
If you have any different approaches on writing blog posts, we'd love to hear them.