25 Different Types of Epic Content for Your Blog

Writing every day (or nearly every day) can be challenging. It takes a lot to create useful, fun content that is unique and will draw in readers.

Having a backlog of content can be extremely helpful for those days when you just don’t have the inspiration or energy. But in order to create a backlog, you need to write even more!

Yeah, seriously. That sounds rough, doesn’t it?

No need to fear, friends. Here’s a list of 25 popular, interesting types of content to get you going. Pick your format, then plug in your niche and boom! Inspiration strikes. Give it a try. I dare you.

  1. Interview or Q&A. Chat with an interesting person in your field to get your audience interested in your topic.

  2. A list. Much like this one, lists are quick reads, which usually makes them pretty popular.

  3. A case study. Pick something that relates to one of your products or services.

  4. A styled photo shoot. Could be anything from flat lays to photos of your products or anything in between.

  5. An event recap. Go to a local networking event in your industry and post photos and a review of the event.

  6. A product review. Get specific about details of a product and how it works.

  7. An infographic outlining information about how your product or service can help. Or just about your niche or blog topic.

  8. A podcast. You don’t have to do a whole series. You may not be the next Sarah Koenig, but you can guest star on someone else’s podcast or do just a single episode of your own. But who knows? You might love it!

  9. A vlog post. Maybe you find it easier to talk than type. Turn on your camera and try it out.

  10. A quiz. Remember those amazing love quizzes from the old Cosmo copies you had stashed under your bed for, like, eight years? Yeah, make one of those about your topic.

  11. A quote and analysis. People love quotes. Talk about what means to you and why it’s important.

  12. A tutorial. You know how to do stuff. Show people!

  13. A current event article. Talk about your take on what’s happening right now. Check out the trending hashtags to get some ideas.

  14. A round-up. Pick a topic and create a round-up of resources that help educate your audience on that particular topic. Or pick a bunch of products that go together somehow.

  15. A BTS post. Go “behind the scenes” and let your readers in on what the actual photo looks like prior to cropping on Instagram.

  16. A guest post. Truly stumped? Feature a guest post by someone whose creative juices are actually flowing right now. Here's an example of a guest post that I did for Arts & Budgets.

  17. A checklist or cheat sheet. Give your readers information and motivation to help them accomplish a task or goal.

  18. A how-to article. Much like the tutorial, take people through the steps of how to do something, and how to do it well. Here's one of my how-to articles.

  19. A do-good post. Share information about an amazing non-profit you support. Explain their mission, link to them, and share why it’s important to you.

  20. A template. Show your readers how to do something with a fill-in-the-blank style template.

  21. A survey/results post. Ask your readers a few survey questions through your social media pages, then report on the results in your blog.

  22. A resource guide. You’re not the be-all, end-all when it comes to your topic. Help your readers find more information with a list of helpful resources that you love to look at for inspiration.

  23. A Dictionary. Get back to basics and introduce readers to some of the confusing terminologies that you might be using throughout your posts.

  24. A before and after post. This can be about any transformation: weight loss, taking a course, applying a certain technique, etc. The key is to show a major difference.

  25. A post about you. Whether you choose a “day in the life” look or a more all-encompassing take on your story, share information about yourself. Readers love to get to know the people who write fascinating posts for them to read.


What are your favorite types of posts to read or write? Let us know in the comments and let’s keep this list growing!

How to Build a Media List that Rocks

By Kelsey O’Shaughnessy Podgorski

Want to get amazing media coverage? That starts with building a media list that rocks.

How to Build a Media List that Rocks

So you’ve started your freelance writing business and you’ve gotten a few clients. Maybe you’re writing a guest blog post or a press release for them. One great service to offer your client is a few hours of research into the right media where you can send that collateral.

For instance, if you write a guest post for a client who makes kids products about the safest materials for a plush toy, you could put together a list of mom bloggers who often talk about toys and playing. Then you can actually submit the story on behalf of your toymaker client.

See how that can really add value to what you’re doing? Plus you increase the likelihood that your work gets picked up in media by controlling who the information is sent to and what’s included in the pitch.

Creating a media list is not a new thing. People have been doing this forever. In fact, there are quite a few ways to go about this, and not all ways are created equal. Let’s chat about a few.

1. CISION
Cision is a well-known tool in the public relations industry. Using a tool like Cision can really make your life easy—if you can afford it. For a price (usually one that only a full-on PR agency can pay), Cision will allow you to pick and choose from a number of filters, making it easy to narrow down what type of media and niche you’re looking for. It will essentially do the work of finding the contact for you.

This is a powerful and pretty amazing tool. However, for most small business owners, it’s a bit inaccessible. Cision does have a few other competitors, like Meltwater and Babbler, but they are not cheap either.

2. HARO
HARO, standing for Help a Reporter Out (now owned by Cision), is great for one-off opportunities. Reporters tweet or post about a story they are writing (#HARO) and what type of interview or expert they are looking for. People respond and the reporter can reach out to them if it seems like the right fit.

This is a cool system that can really help you, providing that you catch a reporter soon after they post and you fit exactly what they’re looking for. It’s a great idea to check in on regularly, but it’s not going to build you a media list. Some other hashtags to follow on Twitter are #JournoRequest, #PRRequest and #ProfNet.

3. GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED STALKING
I say this in a joking way, but also I’m pretty serious. The best way to build a media list, without a costly subscription, is to put some time and effort into it.

First, research the type of media you’re looking for. Then check out their staff and contact information. Give them a call and start trying to connect with the editor you’re looking for. Building a relationship before you pitch is always preferred.

This is honestly the best way to start building a contact list that will get you results. Here are a few tips on how to get to the right person for your topic.

-Start broad and get specific. Seriously, type “Magazines for moms” in google and see what pops up. Then go to each magazine’s page and start looking for contact information.

-Target writers and editors who write stories that relate to what you’re pitching. If they’ve done it once, they’ll probably do it again.

-Don’t just stick with traditional media. Magazines are great, but blogs are, too. So are podcasts, Instagram influencers, and so much more. Get creative.

-Update your list all the time. People move departments and change jobs constantly. Your list will be out of date almost as soon as you put it together. Make sure you keep up with staff changes before sending out new material.

-Read it first. If you are going to pitch a media outlet, read some of their articles first. Get a feel for their tone, content, and style. You’ll be able to tailor your pitch and increase your likelihood of getting picked up.

-Send each pitch individually. This is not a BCC type of scenario. Each media is different. Treat them as such.

Now that you have an idea of how you’ll be gathering information, it’s important to keep it all organized and divided by niche.

I like to use a spreadsheet to keep things organized. I have columns for things like media name, media type, contact name, contact phone and email, notes. Then I also include columns for when I’ve reached out to them and their responses.

To continue our Mom Media example, here’s a sample of what that spreadsheet might look like (note my sweet made-up media options):

Sample Media List Spreadsheet

Creating a media list isn’t as complicated as it seems. It’s about taking the time to research and determine which contact at which media will be your best bet when submitting a story idea.

And the great news is, once a list is created, all you need to do is keep updating it. You’ll never need to start over. That’s pretty great in an of itself. There’s nothing better than finding ways to do less work.

 

Share your tips on building a killer media list in the comments below! Let us know what challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them.

How to Write the Perfect About Page for Your Blog & Business

By Kelsey O'Shaughnessy Podgorski

I was recently lucky enough to be asked to create a guest post for the Arts & Budgets
blog by Latasha Peterson. I am thrilled that they featured my article about
How to Write the Perfect About Page for Your Blog and Business!

Click here to see the article in it's original setting! Otherwise, read on to get the info!

 

At the risk of sounding a little existential, your About page begs the question: “Who am I?” Many, many people find that question a very difficult one to answer. Whether you’re a newbie to the business world or this is something you’ve been doing for a while, one of the most important tactics you can employ to ensure you are putting your best brand foot forward is to make sure your About page is up-to-date and amazing.

When clients come to you, they want to know who they’re giving their money to. Show them your personal side with an About page that really gets to the heart of your businesses – and yourself.

The key is to always remember that your About page may be about you, but it’s for your target audience. What do they want to know about you? What information are they looking to find? And what do you want them to see when they do find it? If your current About page doesn’t answer these questions, you need to update it right away.

Making a killer About page starts with honing in on some of those key questions and fitting them into a tried and true formula. Is it mandatory to stick to this method? No. This is a starting point. I encourage you to be creative and tell your story in your own unique way.

START WITH A PHOTO
We all know the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, no one wants to read a thousand words about your life, so give them a photo instead. This should be bright, well-framed and positive. I get the pensive look, really I do. But this is the first impression people will have of you. Be positive, not moody.

I’m not saying you need to have a traditional headshot – I think that’s up to you. Is your target market more of a professional, suit-and-tie set? Choose a photo that reflects that. Marketing to a more offbeat group? A silly shot might speak volumes about your brand. Targeting hipsters? A coffee shop background with a full-bearded barista is perfect.

INTRODUCE YOUR BUSINESS
Some people say you should never begin with “Hi, I’m_____.” Some people swear by it. I think it’s totally up to you. What I will say is that I find it’s usually best to answer some questions up front. Think business first, and then you.

In the first sentence or two, make sure you’re explaining what you do. People come to the About page to learn more about the company and those who run it. Give them the important, heavy-hitting info first and add the details later.

Make sure you answer the questions you’d want to know if you were visiting a company’s About page. Who is this company? What can they do or change for me? What makes them different from all the other companies out there who do the same thing?

TELL YOUR STORY
Here’s the part where you get to talk about yourself. I know some of you may be thinking, “Get to? More like have to.” I promise it’s not that bad. And if you truly feel that it is, there are lots of amazing writers out there who can help.

Forbes found that “forty-three percent of millennials rank authenticity over content when consuming news. They first have to trust a company or news site before they bother reading the content that it produces.”

This means in order to reach your audience, you need to be true to yourself and your story. Be real. Be authentic. Share. If you allow your readers in with open arms, they will walk right into them.

Explain what happened in your life that made you decide to start this business. What was your goal or mission? What has the journey been like? You don’t need to tell your whole life story, just give readers a taste of the parts that relate to your business.

Need a few more ideas? Try answering these questions:

  • Did you always know that you wanted to be in this business? If so, what were the steps you took to get there? If not, what inspired you to change direction?
  • Why do you love what you do? Where does that passion stem from?
  • What does it mean to you to do your job? How does it help others?
  • Has your mission changed at all as you’ve developed your company? What drove that change?
  • What is your favorite part of doing business? What’s your favorite moment of interaction with customers?
  • Where do you hope to go next with your business? What will it look like ten years from now?
  • What do you like to do when you’re not working? Who are you as a person rather than as a businessperson?

CALL TO ACTION
Believe it or not, you need to tell people what to do next. After they read your About page, do you want them to click over to your list of services? Want them to reach out through your contact page? Ask them to do it and provide a button or link to help direct them. Providing a specific call to action makes it more likely they’ll follow the flow you’ve built into your site.

ADD ANOTHER PICTURE
The more the merrier when it comes to pictures. Just make sure it’s a good, clear, beautiful shot. Maybe the first image shows your whole team and the second one just shows you, owner and CEO. Maybe the first image shows your brick-and-mortar building, while the second shows a product. Maybe it’s just two different pictures of you rocking out. Either way, make sure both images are impactful and memorable. In fact, make sure all of the images on your website are impactful and memorable.
 

See? Creating a solid, useful About page isn’t as hard as it sounds. By breaking it down into sections, you take the wide-eyed “oh, crap” feeling out of it. Think of it as another sales page that needs the proper time and attention dedicated to it. Then do it.

The key is to always be you. Be candid and allow your personality to shine through. Emphasize how you live your brand and people will understand why it’s important.

Let us know in the comments how your About Page is set up and whether it's working for you or not!