July 7, 2016
Inbound links matter. They matter to search engines that determine the relevance of a website and resulting page rank. And, so, they matter to you. Inbound links, especially those from “high authority” sources, build your brand and your authority. There are two ways in which to get inbound links – link building and link earning. Link building is a campaign that you control by placing links to your site and content on external sources. This can be effective so long as you aren’t spamming and the sites where you place your links are really relevant to the product or services you offer. The other more valuable method of getting inbound links is through link earning – your content is so good that others are linking to it in their content.
The key, then, is to produce amazing content that others love. When you are producing blog posts, it is not just what you have to say but how you say it that attracts readers and links.
What You Say
Before discussing how you say something, let’s spend just a minute on what you should be saying in your blog posts. In general, great posts involve the following:
- Content that presents new ideas and information;
- Content your target audience wants and needs;
- Content that sticks to your niche and others that are closely related;
- Content that has good detail, has emotional appeal, and/or is based upon research/reliable sources.
Most Popular Types of Blog Posts
Now, on to “how” you say it. Here are seven types of posts that tend to gain traction, based upon general characteristics of today’s Internet audience.
Anything visual attracts attention, of course. But in recent years, videos have become perhaps the most popular form of content presentation, and for good reason. People are using mobile devices more than PCs, and they do not want to struggle to read text. Videos also engage people far more than text. They tend to remain focused and stay to watch the entire video. When they are facing only text, they tend to lose focus and bounce. Anytime you can produce a video to replace text, do it. Explainers and how-to’s are great examples of content that lends itself to videos.
Stories do not have to be complicated or long. And they can have great emotional appeal if they are humorous, poignant, or surprising. Here are a couple of ways that stories can be used effectively.
- Case studies, if written well and accompanied by visuals, are a great way to inform your target audience about how others are using your products or services and benefitting from them.
- Some companies support causes. Stories of people or animals that have been helped. Headbands of Hope supports children with cancer and accompanying cancer research. The blog is filled with their stories. Toms Shoes donates a pair of shoes for every one sold, and its blog has great stories of the recipients of its giving.
- Jack Daniels publishes submitted stories about weird bars and bar experiences. People love to check out the latest stories and then share them. The more shares, the more inbound links they get.
For a while, it seems that infographics were declining in popularity, but content marketers have found ways to improve upon them. The appeal of infographics is obvious – they condense a lot of information into visual presentations that are easy to digest and, just as important, to share. Videographics can now be added as a great new way to present an infographic in motion. Creativefreedom.co.uk creates some amazing videographics for its clients, such as this one demonstrating the future of energy.
4. Interactive Visuals, Infographics, Slides and Videos
People love to participate. That’s why they take so many of those quizzes and surveys on Facebook. You can use your blog to present interactive posts too. Here is an example from Podio.com on the daily habits of creative people:
By hovering over each colored rectangle, the viewer gets more detailed information. This is a great way to get lots of information onto a single infographic without cluttering it up. And visitor will enjoy the participation.
You can interview people with video or audio, and if that person is an influencer in your niche, great. And that interview can be publicized all over the place within your industry, bringing inbound links and then plenty of shares to generate even more.
6. List Posts
These have never declined in popularity. In fact, you are reading one now. Put a number in that title with a valuable list of “ways,” “features,” etc. and you will increase a readership that will also share.
7. Opinion Posts
While I wouldn’t recommend politics, there are still many issues within your industry or niche about which you can have a strong opinion. If, for example, you own a flooring company, you might write a post with a very strong opinion about one type being better than another. Of course, you must back up your opinion with research and facts, but, within your industry, you will definitely stimulate some conversation. Conversation draws more people in who are more likely to share the link to your post.
Remember: These 7 types of posts have a natural attraction and are far more readable and shareable than just text, even if you break that text up into small chunks. People want to be entertained, amused, surprised, or given great information in visual ways. If you can do that with your posts, your blog will become known as one that always has good stuff.
Jonathan Emmen is a junior SEO specialist and a passionate blogger from Copenhagen and regular contributor for different educational and entertainment blogs. His articles relate to the marketing sphere and development of writing skills. Follow him on Twitter to find more.