Any blogger who says that they know exactly what makes a blog post successful is a liar. People are fickle and tastes change rapidly, so knowing what is going to go viral and what will only be read by your Mom is as much a matter of luck as your hard work.
However, that doesn’t mean that you are completely at the mercy of the whims of the online reading public whenever you publish. There are a few types of posts that have a consistent track record of popularity.
Try including these in your blogging repertoire to make yourself stand out from the ever-growing sea of online content.
1) Huge, Definitive, Exhaustive Posts
“People have the attention span of a gnat!” experts on web writing can be heard any time they are given the opportunity to speak. “Keep your posts brief, to the point, and easily scannable.”
While there is no denying that people on the web don’t have the patience of people reading a book or magazine article, completely avoiding longer posts is shortsighted.
There is a sizable audience of blog readers who want to see meatier content that provides them with more complete information. You can only read so many 400-word posts before you realize you aren’t getting the complete picture.
Cater to those who crave more substance by researching and writing a huge, 2000+ word post that covers virtually everything about a given topic.
While these posts typically take a lot more time than your typical blog post, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts by lots of links from other bloggers who appreciate the time and thought you invested.
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2) Contrarian Posts
Do you agree with all of the mainstream, conventional wisdom in your niche? If you are an expert (and don’t be modest, because you are), then there are probably some things other experts in you field say that rubs you the wrong way.
Don’t keep your contrarian views to yourself — spill everything in a big post that details why you think the commonly-accepted truth is wrong. Your unique perspective will prove that you are an independent thinker and inspire a firestorm of debate in the comments.
To make these type of posts really successful, get angry. Readers love it when it’s obvious a blogger has a fire in their belly about their unconventional point of view.
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3) Timely Posts
Lots of bloggers focus entirely on producing “evergreen” material. That is, stuff that people will find useful and interesting no matter what date they see it. But that ignores the fact that blogs and other social media are designed to provide a constant stream of new information.
In a fast-moving world, people seek out information sources that provide them with the most current knowledge.
Plus, reporting on recent developments will establish you as someone who is so knowledgeable they can immediately learn and interpret the most recent trends.
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4) Multi-Part Posts
Have a topic that is way too expansive for a single blog post? Just break it up into a lot of smaller topics and turn it into a multi-part post you can continue to write for weeks.
The main benefit of this strategy is that it will keep you readers hooked. Assuming you start out with quality information in post one, they will be sure to subscribe to your feed or return just see what else you have to say about the topic.
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5) Comparison Posts
Making a decision between two or more things can be scary. People are constantly worried that a wrong decision will lead them down a wrong path and cause them to lose lots of time and money.
Ease the fears of your audience and show off your knowledge by comparing two similar things. Clearly explain how they are similar, how they are different, and provide all the information someone would need to know in order to make a decision between the two.
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6) Celebrity Posts
Cash in on pop culture by tying your topic to a big star. People love celebrities and admire their success, so the lives of famous people are a fantastic hook to draw in readers.
As long as you back up your celebrity tie-in with a lot of quality information, these can be an incredibly simple way to get more traffic and new readers.
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If you want to make your blog a success, give the people what they want. And what they want is quality information that really helps them become more educated and more effective in their lives.
The more value you provide your readers in the form of quality posts, the more you will be rewarded with traffic and links.