When it involves writing a weblog publish, there are a number of codecs you should utilize—and all of it is determined by the objective of your article and what your viewers is searching for.

Listed here are some standard varieties of weblog posts to know, together with examples of easy methods to use them:

  1. How-to guides
  2. Content material hubs
  3. Expanded definition posts
  4. Listicles, aka listing posts
  5. Expanded listing posts
  6. Information
  7. Information research
  8. Case research
  9. Cheat sheets and checklists
  10. Templates

A how-to publish affords a collection of particular, chronological steps on easy methods to obtain a objective. It’s usually structured like so:

Infographic showing structure of a how-to guide

As an example, this publish is titled “The best way to Select the Proper Phrases for Search engine optimisation” and reveals you easy methods to obtain that objective via a four-step course of:

  • Step 1 – Discover key phrases with search site visitors potential
  • Step 2 – Create content material that aligns with search intent
  • Step 3 – Make sure the key phrase has “enterprise potential”
  • Step 4 – Be sure you can rank for the key phrase

We then elaborate on every step by displaying you easy methods to execute it.

Within the case of the 1st step—discovering key phrases with search site visitors potential—we steered utilizing key phrase analysis instruments akin to Google Key phrase Planner and Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer and then elaborated on how every device works.

Excerpt of an Ahrefs article talking about GKP and Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Finest practices

  • When chronicling your steps, be as particular as attainable. Take into account that your reader could ask, “How? Why?” after which fill these gaps to make your how-to information substantial.

A content material hub is an interlinked assortment of content material a couple of matter. 

Typically, you could have a number of weblog posts in your web site a couple of matter—let’s say Search engine optimisation—however they aren’t housed in a single place. That’s the place a content material hub is available in: It’s strategically constructed to spice up your web site construction for extra site visitors, hyperlinks, and topical authority.

In easy phrases, a content material hub includes three components:

  1. Your hub web page – A high-level information in regards to the overarching matter (e.g., Search engine optimisation). It often consists of hyperlinks to subtopics which can be generally cut up into chapters.
  2. Your subpages – These are in-depth guides about components of the principle matter. Every of those guides is cut up into but extra chapters.
  3. Hyperlinks – These join the subpages to your hub web page. The hub web page hyperlinks to all of the subpages, and every subpage hyperlinks again to the hub.

It could be somewhat complicated, so let’s take the instance of our newbie’s information to Search engine optimisation. That is our hub web page:

Hub page of beginner’s guide to SEO

We first give the reader an summary of what Search engine optimisation is. That is adopted by six hyperlinked chapters (with descriptions for every). Clicking on every of those chapters brings you to their respective subpages.

So if we click on on chapter 1 (How Search Engines Work), the reader is taken to the subpage—which is cut up into but extra chapters with the intention to simply hone in on a selected subtopic.

Subpage of "How Search Engines Work"

We’ve additionally included a hyperlink for every subpage to attach it again to our hub web page.

Link that brings user back to hub page

Finest practices

  • Map out a construction to make sure your content material hub is properly organized

Example of content hub in flowchart form: "Keto Dieting" is in the middle and branches out to pictures of different fruits and vegetables

  • When you’ve got a subject in thoughts however aren’t positive easy methods to construction it, observe these steps:
  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content material Explorer
  2. Enter your search time period (e.g., “hyperlink constructing”)
  3. Take a look at the highest outcomes to see how different web sites construction their content material hubs/guides
Content Explorer search results

3. Expanded definition posts

Expanded definition posts are considerably much like how-to guides. The distinction is they begin by specializing in the what earlier than the how—as a result of generally, you wish to perceive a subject in higher depth earlier than attending to the actionable bit (i.e., the how-to).

Right here’s the way it’s structured:

Infographic showing structure of an expanded definition post

Our weblog publish titled “What Is a Backlink? The best way to Get Extra Backlinks” is one such instance of how this construction could be put to follow:

  • Introduction, then desk of contents—bulleted abstract of what you’ll study
  • [H2] Why backlinks are necessary 
    • [H3] Rankings (elaborate)
    • [H3] Discoverability (elaborate)
    • [H3] Referral site visitors (elaborate)
  • [H2] What makes a very good backlink? 
    • Elaborate with H3s as above
  • [H2] The best way to verify for backlinks 
    • Elaborate with H3s as above; add screenshots the place mandatory
  • [H2] The best way to get extra backlinks 
    • Elaborate with H3s as above
  • Conclusion: Your ultimate ideas

It’s pretty easy. Inform the reader what to anticipate, clarify why the subject is necessary and what they will do with it, then provide some steps on easy methods to obtain a sure objective across the matter.

Finest practices

4. Listicles, aka listing posts

Listicles—also called listing posts—usually function one tip, method, or level per paragraph. They’re typically used for non-chronological recommendation however, generally, have a poor popularity as a result of many publications use the format for clickbait tales.

This BuzzFeed article precisely captures one occasion of how the format is used:

Excerpt of a BuzzFeed article titled "32 Cheap Things To Treat Yourself To Right Now"

The descriptions under every subheading are saved quick in order that readers can rapidly seize info in a concise method with out having to remain on a web page for too lengthy. Listicles might also be image-heavy.

Excerpt of an image-heavy BuzzFeed article

Regardless of the poor rep that listing posts could carry, they are often helpful for readers who’re searching for fast solutions to sure questions—as within the case of this Search Engine Journal weblog publish titled “21 Net Directories You’ll Nonetheless Wish to Use.” It is a good instance of how an Search engine optimisation or advertising listicle ought to be written:

Excerpt of an SEJ article

Finest practices

  • We suggest not utilizing sensationalist wording in your headline (like this BuzzFeed article). As a substitute, guarantee your headline captures precisely what the weblog publish is about.
  • You possibly can study extra about one of the best practices of crafting listicles right here.

An expanded listing publish mimics the format of a listicle. The distinction is that this format is healthier suited to extra complicated matters—so every pointer on the listing is beefed as much as higher clarify a tip or thought.

Example of expanded list post about copywriting

It’s additionally why we don’t publish all that many listing posts on the Ahrefs weblog; Search engine optimisation is a fancy matter to unpack when in comparison with “lighter” content material, such because the “greatest cafes in Singapore.” 

The weblog publish you’re studying now can also be an instance of an expanded listing publish.

Finest practices

  • Since expanded listing posts are lengthier than listicles, use photographs and H3s (a subsection that sits underneath your subheading) to interrupt your factors up. This very subsection is a H3.

Newsworthy weblog posts comprise time-sensitive info that’s related to your online business and/or trade. This consists of industrywide modifications or developments which will have an effect on your readers (or be of curiosity to them), in addition to firm or product updates.

Naturally, the piece of stories you’d wish to share needs to be disseminated as quickly as attainable, and, ideally, earlier than different publications. That is particularly so in the event you’re masking industrywide modifications.

For instance, let’s say Apple intends to announce the launch of its Mac Studio and Studio Show by way of a press launch.

That very same press launch is first shared with a number of publications and saved on embargo (i.e., to not be printed till a sure date and time). Primarily based on the knowledge, media shops can construct a narrative and schedule the information for publication—within the case of “quickest fingers first.”

Except of Google SERP on Apple's Mac Studio

Being fast to publish a newsworthy story additionally places you in good standing along with your target market, who could over time regard your weblog as a dependable and credible supply of knowledge. To attain this, you want to be constant in publishing correct and well timed content material. 

Finest practices

  • Use the inverted triangle so your most necessary info is up high
Inverted pyramid. "Need to know" at top, then "nice to know" at bottom

Information research are an effective way to earn backlinks.

At Ahrefs, we’ve run greater than a good variety of information research through the years—lots of which have introduced us traction on our socials.

However don’t merely cobble information from a number of sources and declare it as yours. As a substitute, resolve on what you wish to first examine.

A method to do that is by recreating outdated research, which you’ll find utilizing Ahrefs’ Content material Explorer:

  1. In Content material Explorer, enter a search time period like [industry] + “examine,” [industry] + “survey,” [industry] + “analysis,” or [industry] + “information”
  2. Set the filter to an In title search
  3. Set the Printed filter to an older date vary (e.g., 2010–2015)
  4. Kind the outcomes by referring domains
Content Explorer search results

From right here, you possibly can determine standard and/or outdated research to recreate and write about as weblog posts.

Finest practices

  • Create graphs so readers have a concise overview of your findings

Pie chart showing 7.4% of top-ranking pages have no title tags

Extra Examples

Case research have a look at real-life experiments or companies which have succeeded in utilizing sure techniques or methods. They’re efficient as a result of readers are extra inclined to purchase into info when it’s backed by proof.

In this case examine of fintech firm Smart, we explored 5 explanation why its Search engine optimisation technique is so admirable:

Except of an Ahrefs article showing five reasons why Wise's SEO strategy is good

We additionally weaved in our product—the Ahrefs toolset—the place we may.

Excerpt of an Ahrefs article talking about content optimization for featured snippets

In your case examine to be efficient, it has to offer the reader some “wins”—clear takeaways that they will apply to their enterprise. Ideally, you need to function a enterprise that’s both well-known or has a singular sufficient promoting proposition to entice readers to click on on the weblog publish.

Finest practices

  • Give readers some clear takeaways (e.g., Oatly Search engine optimisation Case Examine: 5 Classes You Can Be taught From the Oat Drink Large and Its IPO) in order that they’re extra prone to learn your weblog publish

9. Cheat sheets and checklists

Cheat sheets and checklists are basically the identical factor and should embrace a transparent breakdown of the steps required to succeed in a objective.

In contrast to how-to guides, which can generally be ambiguous in explaining how one thing works, checklists and cheat sheets are efficient as a result of they let you know precisely what you want to obtain one thing.

Right here’s a concise Search engine optimisation guidelines we crafted for a weblog publish. We later repurposed the guidelines as a tweet:

Within the above weblog publish, we shared that our Search engine optimisation guidelines helped develop our weblog to over 640,000 month-to-month search visits. Then we shared that very same guidelines with customers earlier than going right into a breakdown of every of the weather within the cheat sheet.

Finest practices

  • Prepare your checklists/cheat sheets in chronological order in order that the reader is aware of precisely easy methods to attain a objective

Just like what the identify suggests, template weblog posts embrace templates on easy methods to obtain one thing—as within the case of this weblog publish on easy methods to create a one-page advertising plan.

We suggest utilizing this format:

  • What’s [topic]?
  • Why is [topic] necessary?
  • How can I make [topic] work for me?
  • Template

You possibly can share your template initially of the article, which is what we usually do, or on the backside of the weblog publish.

Excerpt of an Ahrefs article about a one-page marketing plan

There are additionally a number of methods to let readers entry your template: We often provide it as a free, copyable template (by way of Google Docs), however you could resolve to create a downloadable template as a substitute.

Finest practices

  • Maintain your template easy and arranged, with guiding questions or ideas for open-ended fields
Example of a simple and organized template

Ultimate ideas

These templates aren’t the be-all and end-all on the subject of writing a very good weblog publish.

Attempt to combine issues up relying on what you suppose works greatest. As an example, this information to creating Search engine optimisation-friendly URLs begins with a step-by-step information, then seems to be at some greatest practices in a listicle format.

It’s all about experimenting and determining what your readers need, so don’t restrict your self.

Have questions or feedback? I’d love to listen to them on Twitter


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