Blog post templates– some would call them lazy shortcuts. But in this world of instant everything, where trending posts are there now and gone tomorrow, sometimes blog post templates are the keys to riding the wave, and riding the wave is one of the top secrets to gaining followers and traffic for your blog! You simply have to strike while the topic is hot.
When you have to act fast, a blog post template is handy.
There’s no shame in using a blog post template. Think of it like a tool, not a shortcut or a cheat. Sometimes, it makes all the difference between regular, lovely posts and intermittent, ineffective blogging.
Even the big-shots use templates! Or they provide it to their writers!
When do you use a template?
- When you’re not particularly inspired that day
- When you hate the confrontation with a blank page
- When you have to delegate the blog to someone else for a short or long-term duration
- When you’re a beginner blogger and need to get into the groove of writing effective blog posts that get interaction, not just views
- When you prefer a system that will give your readers a sense of brand and familiarity every time they read your blog
See? All benefits!
What are the best blog post templates that work?
1. The List
You see it all the time. This very blog post is a list! 10 Things I Learned… 18 Tips to Master… 3 Essential….
It’s easy. You open with a hook or a fun intro. And then you present your list. Depending on the topic, every item can even be Tweetable or Pinnable. There doesn’t have to be an image for every item, but the post is easy on the eyes, items interspersed with relevant pictures.
You close with a question, to invite contribution. “Did I miss anything? What would you add? What do you think?”
Someone well-known in your niche. An influencer. A big fish. Someone with something to say, and you’ve got it in your blog! Plus points if you headline it as a list. 15 Tips on Writing from Arianna Huffington. But a Q&A is just as good.
IF you do snag an interview with a Big Fish, lead up to the interview. You can either tell your readers outright about the interview and let them generate even more excitement about it and submit questions, or you can tease them about it and make them guess who’s coming for dinner! Winner wins something!
But don’t worry, you don’t have to be in the jet-setting or sweatshirt-wearing crowd to get a Big Fish. You can just study them! For example, 4 Habits from Steve Jobs You Should Learn From, or Stephen King’s Guide to Killing Your Darlings…
You don’t have to interview– you just have to research and talk the talk.
It’s a true-and-tested formula. First off, you score high in SEO with that in your blog title. But people are always curious on how to accomplish or avoid things. Every time you’re stuck on an otherwise good pitch, turn it on its head and see it from the how-to angle.
You can also add a promise, like in How to Increase Your Blog Traffic Fast.
If you’re not making an Instructable or a recipe, this is the No-Fail How-To Blog Template:
- Start with a story situation related to the topic.
- Highlight the problem in from the story, make it relatable to your readers.
- Write about the solution. Numbered steps, a list of options, or a checklist.
- Conclude and ask for tips. Have you been in this situation before? How did you solve it/get out of it/turn it positive?
Why I and Why I Don’t blog posts intrigue the reader. Why I (Do/Don’t/Use/Prefer/Applaud) (A Method/Someone Controversial). They click on your post to see how you present your case, whether they happen to agree or disagree.
These kinds of posts generate lively discussion. People ask questions, they give their two cents, they chime in, they agree and share or stay and argue! It’s great!
Stuck on what to write? Who says you have to when you and others have written plenty! Just round them up and present them as a package deal.
The round up goes two ways: external links and internal links.
Internal links: We all begin as beginners. Chances are, you have old posts who only got crickets before you found your audience. Let your readers know. Find a theme– or perhaps there really IS a theme! Create a round-up post where you gather all your posts on one subject.
External links: Curate! Some bloggers don’t want to do this: Why would you want to divert traffic away from you, right?
Wrong. In fact, if your blog regularly curates valuable posts from other sites and blogs, you demonstrate to your readers that you’re in-the-know, that you’re aware, that you have taste and intelligence to sift through the chaff and give them only the best.
Popular round-ups and curated collection posts: Tools of the trade, how-tos, ‘ultimate’ bests (and worst), recipes, anything that would be convenient to have all in one page! Getting ideas, aren’t you?
I talked about “riding the wave” earlier. Plenty of bloggers do it. Share the news. Comment on the news, the delightful and the devastating.
You just need to be tasteful and tactful in picking what hot topic to use and how you spin it. Here’s a guide on newsjacking from Spokal.
In your niche, there is bound to be new stuff every now and then (or every week, depending on your niche). Reflect on them, debunk them, review them.
When bloggers’ block sets in, talk in pictures instead! Sometimes you just need a refresher. If you usually create text posts like these, it’s a nice change to create short and witty captions for a change.
What you can cover with a slideshow: the-making-of (a project, a research with screenshots, etc), a case study (you need proof the study actually happened, or just that your success story really happened to someone!), anything else with visual appeal, perhaps you collection of different editions of The Little Prince, or your random photos of people distracted at the crosswalk (very dangerous).
In fact, everything in this list can be presented as a slideshow!
Pick something in your niche– it doesn’t have to be a product. It could be a philosophy, a method, or a template! Pit it against something in the very same category with equal, higher or lesser status.
That’s the fun part. You might discover you like one more than the other, or that both aren’t effective at all!
You can even ask your readers for what to pit against each other!
You’ll notice that these blog post templates resemble each other a lot. That’s because they work. Perhaps they’re just really ONE template with different incarnations. For example, a review battle could be your why-I-do/don’t post, or your round-up post can center around or be inspired by a hot topic!
Which of these blog templates is your favorite? Which do you most use? Which intrigued and inspired you right now and you can’t wait to get back to writing after you tell me which template it is? 🙂