20 Types of Blog Posts that Drive Traffic (With Examples & Templates!)
Blogging can be a huge challenge when you’re juggling multiple priorities in your business. After years of trial and error, we discovered the secret to staying consistent and getting results is all about choosing the right type of blog post before sitting down to write.
Yup, there are different types of blog posts and when you understand what they are, it takes the guesswork out of what to write and when and makes it possible to dedicate a realistic amount of time for blogging.
This simple strategy we’re about to share with you will help you plan writing blog posts into your routine and create the type of posts that consistently attract and convert your ideal customers.
- What Do We Mean by “Type of Blog Post”?
- The 3 Blog Post Buckets
- [Bucket #1] Foundation Posts: Answer a Specific Question
- [Bucket #2] Authority Posts Go Into More Detail on a Topic
- [Bucket #3] Domination Posts are a Deep Dive into a Competitive Topic
- 52 Blog Post Templates You Can Use to Implement this Strategy
But before we break it all down, you might be wondering…
What Do We Mean by “Type of Blog Post”?
There are dozens of different types of blog posts with proven post structures that keep readers engaged. In fact, you’re probably already familiar with many of them even if you’ve never thought about it this way before!
For example, there are…
- List posts (“Top 10 Ways to Make Extra Money”)
- How-to Posts (“How to Plant a Rooftop Garden”)
- Informational Posts (“What is a Brand Identity?”)…
- And so on…
We analyzed the different types of posts that delivered the most traffic and conversions and then broke them down into predictable formulas. We wanted to stop “winging it” with our strategy and be able to choose the right post type for our needs and the time we have available.
The 3 Blog Post Buckets
Once we had an exhaustive list of all the different post types, we then sorted them into 3 larger “buckets.” Each bucket includes post types that vary in length and detail including:
- a strong foundation of short posts that answer a specific question
- authority posts that go into more detail on a topic, and
- domination posts that take a deep dive into broad, competitive topics.
Thinking about it this way helped us to first consider our goals…
- Do we need to build credibility and authority around a new topic area?
- Do we need to create awareness about a new product or service?
- Do we need to drive more traffic from search?
- Do we just need to create a post as quickly as possible to stay visible with our audience?
And then, looking at the goal for the post through the lens of these 3 buckets, we were able to remove the guesswork from the equation so we always knew exactly what we needed to write and why.
An unexpected benefit of following this strategy is that by pulling from each of the three categories, you end up with the perfect mix of specific, broad, and deep-dive blog posts that build authority with your ideal customers (and Google too). So…
The rule of thumb is that 1/3 of your content should come from each bucket.
(Keep in mind we’re talking about the number of words. You’ll be creating a lot more shorter posts than lengthier posts.)
This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but approaching it this way will keep you from overworking yourself and keep you focused on your goals.
Now, let’s look at each of these categories in more detail with examples you can pull from to put this strategy into practice…
⚠️ Important note before we dive in: We use “target word counts” as a way to gauge how much time you should allow for writing the post. But, do not worry about hitting some arbitrary number. The goal isn’t a number of words, it’s to be helpful to your audience. If you need to write more or less in order to be helpful, that’s what you should do.
[Bucket #1] Foundation Posts: Answer a Specific Question
What is a Foundation post? A foundation post answers a specific question your target audience has, addresses a topic that has low competition in search, and should be in the 1000-1500 words range.
When to write them and how long it will take? Foundation posts are great to write if you’re a new blogger or if you’re covering a new topic category. Ideally, you want to write lots and lots of foundation posts before you move on to more competitive topics. You can also write them at any stage of your blogging journey when you’re short on time because they just take an hour or two (tops) to crank out.
While these are fast and easy to write, don’t underestimate foundation posts, they also play a crucial role in your blogging strategy…
Writing lots of foundation posts on a particular topic will help your readers understand what your blog is about and helps Google understand your niche. This is important because “topical authority” is a key Google ranking factor every small blogger should be paying close attention to – it’s the one that allows you to compete with bigger sites in search.
The best way to explain this is with an example:
Say you’re a professional baker specializing in “realistic cakes” and you blog a ton about realistic cake baking. Google will begin to see you as an expert on this topic. Then, say a big fashion blog decides to write a one-off post called “How to bake a realistic cake shaped like a designer purse” and you’ve written a post on the same subject. Which one will Google rank higher? Even though the fashion blog may be more established, and even if your domain authority is lower…because the topic is outside of their expertise and you’ve earned credibility with Google along the way, Google will consider your content to be more authoritative.
Foundation Post Examples
Post Type #1: “WHAT IS”
Sometimes readers just need a quick answer to a specific question. Imagine them typing it into Google: “What is [X]?
You’ll answer the question directly and then dig into more details so they get the full picture.
“What is?” posts can also answer other types of questions that require a quick response like:
- When is…?
- Who is…?
- Why is…?
- What does…?
They all follow the same format, intent, and structure.
“What is” posts are perfect when you want to:
- Define one simple niche term or concept (e.g. What is a long-tail keyword in SEO?)
- Share your “recipe” for success (e.g. What is the most effective at-home workout for stay-at-home moms? What is the best content mix for a healthcare business?)
The key with these posts is to get really specific and niche down who you’re writing it for. That way, you’ll have less SEO competition and be able to write the posts quickly.
Post Type #2: “MY TAKE”
With a “my take” post you want to choose something that’s currently being taught by pretty much everyone in your niche and find a flaw in it – there’s always a flaw. Or maybe you just have a better way to get the results your target audience is looking for. Either way, play off the existing flaw(s) in the strategy and tell your readers what they can do instead.
What you’re doing here is creating interest by going against the current wisdom. You’re also showing your readers that:
- You know why conventional wisdom may not be getting them the results they expected
- You’re an authority on the subject and not just repeating what others recommend
- You’re giving them great value and a better way to help them get the result they want
- You can help them achieve greater success by thinking outside the box
Post Type #3: “REASONS WHY”
Think about your target market, your niche, and your specialty offering. You know your ideal customer inside and out. You developed your technique, program, service or product because you know it will make a difference in their lives. Right?
You know you have what they need, but they don’t know it yet. So, they need a reason to apply what you teach, sign up for your email list, and ultimately, buy from you.
In these blog posts, you’re going to give them the reasons that show them why they need what you offer and why you’re the best person or business to help them.
Make sure you give specific examples from your experience (or your clients/customers) to show how your technique solved the problem.
Post Type #4: “THE ONLY THING”
In these posts, you’re going to share your unique strategy to help your readers reach a big goal they have – one that you’ve already achieved. You’ll be framing it as the ONLY strategy they need to see success.
This is a perfect opportunity to “brand” your strategy with a unique name – e.g., The Runner’s Roadmap to 10K.
In your posts, give them an overview of your strategy with just enough details to get them started.
Then, include a more in-depth freebie they can download to get even more results.
This can be a great jumping-off point for a new product or program about your strategy!
Post Type #5 “BREAKING NEWS”
These posts answer the question, “What’s changing in my niche?”
You’re going to write about a recent event or breaking news your readers need to know about. It doesn’t have to be “news” news, it just has to be current and BIG…something that will interrupt the way they’re doing things right now…something they can’t (or shouldn’t) ignore.
Good or bad, they’re probably confused about it and need to know more. So in these posts, you’re going to get them up to speed on the changes, help them make sense of it all, and share your takeaways & next steps.
Post Type #6: “MYTH SLAYER”
In these posts, you’re going to debunk common myths to help steer your readers back on track so they can get the results they want.
These are common myths in your industry that are likely holding your readers back because they’re confused or simply going down the wrong path and wasting precious time.
You’ll share up to five myths, then tell them what the “truth” is and what they should focus on instead.
Not only will you be helping your readers get on track, but you’ll also stand out as an expert with a fresh approach.
Once you have a number of Foundation posts on a topic, you’ll want to move on to broader questions and more competitive keyword phrases with…
[Bucket #2] Authority Posts Go Into More Detail on a Topic
What is an Authority post? Authority posts allow you to go into more detail and depth on a subject and address more than one related subtopic. These typically fall into the 1500-4000 words range.
When to write them and how long it will take: Authority posts can be written at any time in your blogging journey but have a better chance to rank with related Foundation posts ranking first. Plan to set aside 2-5 hours to write them.
If you’re confused about the difference between Foundation and Authority posts, this should help:
In Foundation posts you’re giving a quick, focused answer to a question and in Authority posts you’re answering the question by tying together multiple related ideas (think: How-to and List posts).
The great thing about Authority posts is they’re just long enough to show your audience you really know you’re stuff but they’re not so long that it takes you forever to write them. In fact, we think of Authority posts as the “bread and butter” of our blog content. Most of our posts fall under this category.
Authority Post Examples
Post Type #7: “HOW TO”
Think about one really specific task your ideal client is trying to do and create an epic step-by-step ‘how to” tutorial for it.
The key here is to keep these posts simple and practical. Pick a problem they may be having, a technique they may be trying to master, or a strategy they’re trying to understand.
Whichever topic you choose, be as clear and detailed as you can. So you’re not just telling them, “Do this, then do this.” You’re “showing” them each step by using examples, graphics, charts, anything you can think of that will help them follow along.
One trick we use when we’re stuck for words is to simply write:
Here’s what I mean…
That usually triggers ideas for examples, visuals, etc. Give it a try!
Post Type #8: “LIST POSTS”
List posts are a popular go-to staple for every blogger because they’re an easy way to organize educational content whenever you want to share a collection of tips, techniques, strategies, and ideas.
Readers love them too because they provide options for different ways to go about achieving their goals and allow them to pick and choose what works best for them.
Post Type #9: “TOP RESOURCES”
In these posts, you’re going to share your ultimate list of # BEST products and resources to help your readers achieve a big goal.
Think about something they’re struggling to do right now, then list all your favorite tools to help them do it.
For example, if you’re a social media expert, you can share tools for creating + sharing content. If you’re a health coach you can share your favorite resources for eating better. And if you’re a travel expert, you can share the best places to skydive.
They can be free or paid tools: books, apps, templates, freebies, podcasts, guides, videos, blogs, ebooks, courses…anything that will save your readers time, money, frustration, stress, and so on.
If it makes sense to include your own resources, products, or affiliate products, go for it! Just make sure any tool you include is the “best of the best” and ultra-relevant to the specific topic you’re covering.
Post Type #10: “WHAT’S NEXT”
The What’s Next post gives your readers an action plan of steps to take before they complete a task or right after they’ve just finished a critical milestone.
There are two types of What’s Next posts:
- What to Do Before
- What to Do After
For your “before” post, you’ll talk about something your audience either needs to do or is already doing but could use improvement. For example, if your audience is bloggers, you might share the steps they should take before they write their posts. Should they research keywords? Create a list of topics to write about? Help them prepare so they have the best chance of success.
Your “after” posts are similar, but cover the steps they should take after completing an important activity. For example, if your audience regularly does push-ups, what should they do after completing them to get the most out of their workout? Should they rest? Eat? Stretch? That’s what you’re going to clarify to help them visualize finishing the push-ups the right way.
Post Type #11: “TOP MISTAKES”
None of us likes to make mistakes. We want to avoid failure at all costs, mostly because we’re busy and don’t have time for anything less than the fastest, shortest route.
So when you point out common mistakes, your readers are going to pay attention because they want to know what NOT to do. More importantly, they’ll want to know what they SHOULD do instead. And you’re going to tell them!
As an expert who’s “gone before them,” you’ve done it the wrong way and you’ve done it the right way. So you’re also positioning yourself as an expert who can help them fix the mistakes – even before they make them.
And you may offer a course, program or service that can help! 😉
Post Type #12: “EXPERT ROUND-UP”
The goal of this post is to build backlinks, increase your authority and visibility, showcase your expertise, and empower and inspire your readers.
You’ll be reaching out to influencers in your niche and asking them to answer specific questions, then “rounding them up” in your post. Then, once you publish the post you’ll let them know so they can share it with their audience (hence, the backlinks!).
Just be prepared to spend more time on it than other posts. It will be worth it! Not only will it benefit your readers but will also do a lot for you.
Post Type #13: “PRODUCT REVIEW”
This post is a peek-under-the-hood of two competing products, an in-depth review that’s jam-packed with value.
When customers are ready to buy, they’ll need help choosing the right brand. And your Product Review post will help them decide.
They’re going to love you for this one! You’re going to save them tons of time (and money) on a product that may not work for them, and help them get going with the right product.
Post Type #14: “THE INFOGRAPHIC”
It’s easier to grasp big ideas visually, which is why everyone loves infographics. Even in the context of long-form content, our brains are wired to focus on graphics first.
So with this infographic post, you’re going to make it super easy for readers to engage with your post. You’ll also help generate traffic because infographics are super shareable on social media.
(Extra credit if you add an “embed code” below your infographic so others can add it to their website too. That way the links will point to your post and you’ll gain SEO superpowers.)
There are 3 types of infographics we recommend:
- List infographics – 8 tips for saving money, etc.
- How-to infographics – 5 ways to cook potatoes, etc.
- Statistical infographics – great for an overview or trends in your niche
To create your infographic, you can use Canva or other graphic tools like Venngage and Visme.
Post Type #15: “FAQ POST”
Think about the most common questions you get asked by clients and others who are trying to learn about a specific topic you teach. Ever notice how the same questions pop up?
In this blog post, you’re going to tackle them all in an epic FAQ-style post.
Spend some time brainstorming questions your readers may have, and don’t be afraid to include questions they haven’t necessarily asked but you know they’re secretly wondering. Think about the questions you had when you were first starting out. There’s a good chance your readers are asking them, too.
While there’s no “SEO trickery” you can do that compares to putting out very helpful content on topics people are searching for, once you get some Foundation and Authority posts ranking, you’re in the game, friend. That’s when you stand a much better chance at going after more competitive topics and you’re ready for the Mac Daddy of all blog posts…
[Bucket #3] Domination Posts are a Deep Dive into a Competitive Topic
What are Domination posts? These are intended to become the voice of authority on your niche topic. The reader should never need to read another thing about this topic again; that’s how knowledgeable and complete it is. They’ll even want to bookmark it so they can refer to it again and again.
- The Beginner’s Guide
- The Ultimate Guide
- Everything you need to know about [topic]
When to write them and how long it will take: Get ready to make some time in your schedule for these because you’re going deep. 🙂 But, it’s worth it if they rank and can bring in a lot of organic traffic.
One way we approach writing Domination posts is to work on them little by little behind the scenes (posting Foundation and Authority posts in the meantime) as we have time.
Many posts for broad, competitive topics that rank high on Google are 6k-8k words! So the time it takes you is however much time you need to make it the most helpful content out there. We’ve spent as much as 20 hours on a single post but when something like this ranks it’s worth it – especially when you consider how much ads cost.
And even if you invest your time in a domination post and it doesn’t go anywhere, you’ve done the work to get clear about this topic and you can “spin off” many other pieces of content (webinars, long-form videos, paid trainings, email sequences, and of course lots and lots of social media posts, etc.)
Domination Post Examples
Post Type #16: “BEGINNER’S GUIDE”
These posts are for beginners as well as experienced or advanced professionals, so don’t assume your reader knows anything about the subject. Insert examples where appropriate and be sure the terms and concepts you use in this guide are included in your table of contents, using keywords throughout.
Beginner’s guides are chock full of information and your chance to create an incredible and comprehensive reference for your readers, old and new!
Post Type #17: “ULTIMATE GUIDE”
These posts provide a comprehensive resource; an in-depth, complete reference that readers will want to bookmark and refer to again and again. You’re going to take your readers from the very beginning to the very end here.
When you do these right, you have a greater chance of ranking high in Google and establishing yourself as an authority.
Post Type #18: “EXPANDED HOW-TO”
Expanded How-to posts are similar to the How-to posts you’ve written in the Authority bucket. The big difference is that these are much more in-depth, include more links to other posts and resources, and give more examples.
When you write these, you want to be thinking, “What else do they need to know in order to implement what I’m showing them?”
Post Type #19: “EXPANDED WHAT-IS” POSTS
These versions of What Is posts are longer than the typical version you’ve seen in the Foundation templates. That’s because you’re going after broad questions that require complex answers.
If you remember, the typical what-is post answers a very niche, specific question such as “What is a Brand Promise?”
Expanded What Is posts answer bigger questions like “What is Branding?”
Your answer will include multiple subtopics, mini-sections, definitions, and so on.
Post Type #20: “THE EVERYTHING POST”
The Everything Post is all about telling your readers everything they need to know about a specific topic.
They’re similar to the Expanded What Is and Ultimate Guide posts with a subtle difference:
These are “hub” posts that link to other posts you’ve written that zero in on a specific keyword related to your main topic.
So in these posts, you’re going to incorporate other keywords and terms related to your main topic to help you get “low-hanging fruit” SEO traffic.
The idea is to break your post into subtopics (e.g., the 10 “things”, 10 “secrets”). Each thing will mention a specific keyword and talk about it, then link to another post you’ve written on it.
So you’re mentioning specific keywords in each of the 10 things, then linking to another post. In this way you’re letting Google know that your main topic or term is a niche that you dominate so you have a better chance to rank for it.
52 Blog Post Templates You Can Use to Implement this Strategy
If you’d like to give this strategy a try, we have good news! We’ve created plug-and-play templates for each of these blog post types to save you dozens of hours each month blogging.
The Blog Post Vault is 52 pre-written blog post templates completely organized into the Foundation, Authority, and Domination buckets:
20 Foundation Posts, 20 Authority Posts, and 12 Domination Posts
You’ll have over 500 pages of blog post templates ready for you to pull from — simply follow the prompts, plug in your expertise, and hit publish!
Every template follows our proven post structure so you don’t ever need to worry about forgetting important details that encourage your readers to stay engaged and take the next steps with you.
They’re also formatted for SEO with loads of tips and tricks for best practices with your posts.
Pro-tip: use the templates in combination with ChatGPT to supercharge your productivity!
You deserve a stress-free way to get your business visible and reach your financial goals and blogging is still the best way to build your email list and drive traffic back to your website.
So we hope this post has given you the inspiration to take control of your blogging strategy and we hope you’ll join us in The Blog Post Vault, too!