The first rule of content is that it needs to be useful to readers, otherwise they’ll have no interest in it. The next rule, that is equally important, is that your content needs to be well-written and presented in a way that is easily consumable for your readers. On the web, there are a few styles of posts that work across a range of businesses.
How to get started creating content
What’s a pain point for your customer? That’s what your content should address. You may address this pain point through education, presenting your customers with a clear list of options or walking them through a step-by-step thought process. However you approach your writing, you should always be useful and bring value to your reader.
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Here are some tried and true post styles that we know people love.
There’s a good reason you’ll find list posts all over the internet: they work! Lists are easy to understand, kinder to the reading eye than slabs of text, and lead themselves to attention grabbing headlines (readers love to click stories with numbers in the title).
People are time-poor, so if they see a step-by-step guide that tells them how to do something they want to do, they’ll likely read it. Use headings to outline the process. Your reader should be presented with a clear, ‘start here, do this, then this, and this’ type of outline.
Case studies or customer stories
Potential customers like to read success stories from happy customers. Approach these articles like a before and after image. You’ll need to clearly illustrate the problems this customer had before they used your products and services, and how engaging you improved their business.
Highlight what you did to help, but the post should mostly be about your happy customer. The value you create will be implied.
An ultimate guide is an in-depth look at a niche topic. Be careful with the ‘ultimate guide’ headline and don’t use it if it doesn’t apply. If you’re posting an ultimate guide it should be a comprehensive post. These posts will be a deep dive into something that your customers are struggling with.
Your customers will feel cheated if an ‘ultimate guide’ is nothing more than a short blog post with some dot points, so keep this for longer-form articles, white papers or ebooks. The great thing about a well-written ultimate guide is that it can cement your business as the go-to expert on a particular topic.
A frequently asked questions post could be a standalone page on your website, or you could create a blog post answering these questions. If your customers are frequently asking you the same question, there’s a good chance they are also typing this question into search engines, so addressing it online will help your site’s search rankings.
Checklists are easy to digest and often popular with readers. Like the how-to article, you can save your reader time by walking them through a process that falls within your area of expertise.
Where appropriate, your checklist could be printable or downloadable (containing your branding) to subtly stamp your business name into areas of your reader’s life beyond the time they spend on your website.
It’s time to get posting
There are hundreds of other ways to present your content and this list is by no means the ultimate guide (see what we did there?), but it will get you started. You’ll get zero traction from the articles you don’t post, so get writing and get your content seen.
If you want more details about how to create these posts and pick up some other ideas, we’ve put together a guide covering posts your customers will love that. You can download the guide for free below.
Need some more content marketing ideas?
Download our free guide, Content marketing posts your customers will love, to learn what posts people actually want to read, and how this content can increase your sales.