Blogging – one of those activities that every marketer knows they need to do but often doesn’t know where to start.
Although some people seem to have a real knack for it – writing essentially just boils down to common language knowledge and a whole load of confidence.
Those who know me and those who have read my recent article on free writing are aware that I like to structure my writing at the end. Get the words down on the page and draw it all together once you’re done.
No need to mess around formulating your ideas too much - this is where you confuse yourself!
Although I’m against structuring at the beginning of an article, understanding the different blog formats and having one in mind as you write will definitely help in guiding your writing.
That’s not to say you should be putting clear headings in, for example, a numbered list article. Even the action of ordering the list will confuse your points and change your conclusions. Instead, identify that you’re writing a list article and just get your arguments down on the page in no particular order.
Remember, you can always structure at the end. If you can’t work out which way round the second and third ‘most important sales tips’ are in your latest article, just write both sections as if they’re equal and decide at the end.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT BLOG ARTICLE FORMATS?
We’ll be discussing these different blog formats in much greater detail in a future blogging series (although they should be relatively self-explanatory from the titles), but here are some of the most widely recognised and engaging blog formats when done correctly:
Thought Leadership Articles
All of these blog formats have enormous crossovers. Thought Leadership articles are often very opinionated. You can’t have a ‘what’ without a ‘why,’ so they end up crossing over too.
This is why it’s not worth getting bogged down over the format before you have anything to say. However, having these formats front-of-mind before and during your writing will provide so much clarity for your writing. The beauty of these formats is that they can be applied to just about any topic.
LET’S CREATE AN EXAMPLE
You’re writing an article on the future of renewable energy. You could take the stance of being a thought leader in your industry – making bold claims on the direction of renewable energy based on your extensive knowledge and track record.
You could break down the future of renewable energy to into an aggregated list. Perhaps putting a spin on the title and creating ‘Five Renewable Energy Predictions for 2017.’
Other blog formats could change the article to ‘Why is the Future of Renewable Energy Unclear,’ or perhaps even ‘The Future of Renewable Energy: Perspectives from Across the World.’
We’ve managed to create so many different angles on the same topic, simply by understanding the different formats and slightly restructuring the titles.
As with anything, you need to do it for a reason. You’re not writing an article for yourself to read. You’re writing an article for someone else to read and subsequently act upon. Whether this is to understand more about what you do, become aware of a problem that your business can solve or provide value in solving a problem for your potential customer.
Even if two people seemingly have the same problem, underneath the surface, their problems are probably completely different. People have different motivations. These are known as ‘personas,’ and you can learn more about developing personas here.
A Marketing Director and a Sales Director, although sharing the same core value of attracting and retaining more business, will each have completely different intent and purpose behind their goals. With these different intentions comes a differing receptiveness to messaging.
Blog article formats are a simple way of shaping your article content and messaging to influence a response from your reader. Whether this is to read more about your business, to learn more about the problem you made them aware of or to contact you directly.
Pretty clever, right?
If you would like to learn more about effective copywriting, speak with one of the Intergage Nerds!