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7 Types of blog posts that drive sales

11 min read | Last updated on

There are many different types of blog posts, and indeed many different types of blogs. And you’ve probably read that your business needs a blog because it helps with SEO, it will help you promote your business, it’s a good way to connect with your customers and find new clients, or just because everyone else is doing it so you can’t be the only one that’s not.

But in reality, unless you particularly enjoy blogging, the only reason to have a blog is that it will drive sales. The thing is, not all business blogs do drive sales. In fact, many are nothing but a drain on resources.

So how do you make sure your business blog will help you win more sales and boost revenue? One piece of the puzzle is choosing the right types of blog posts that will push buyers through the sales funnel.

Once you understand what different types of blog posts can do — how they contribute to each part of the sales process — you can start creating content funnels that efficiently convert members of your target market into loyal customers that make lots of repeat purchases and tell all their friends how awesome you are.

Sounds useful right?

There are three ways you can learn about these types of blog posts: you can watch a video of this content, listen to the audio or keep reading…

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The 7 types of blog posts that push buyers through the sales funnel and boost revenue

Aggregated-content blog post — create an instant hit

The first type of blog post is the aggregated-content blog post which is great when you want tocreate an instant hit. Featured image includes a screenshot of a typical aggregated-content blog post.

Do you want to create a blog post that’s pretty much guaranteed to please your target audience and Google? Are you a little short on time? If so, the aggregated- or curated-content post is a great option.

This kind of post groups together content that is already popular with your target audience — hence why ‘aggregated’ or ‘curated’ is in the title. By taking existing content that you know is popular, you can create new blog posts that are sure to be a hit as well.

Benefits of aggregated-content blog posts

  • Quick to write
  • Popular with the target audience
  • Rank well in Google search results (SERPs)
  • Highly shareable on social media

List-based blog post — give your audience something easy to read

The second type of blog post is the list-based blog post which is great if you want to give your audience something easy to read. The image includes a screenshot of a typical list-based blog post.

List-based blog posts or ‘listicles’ are incredibly popular at the moment. They’re easy to read and they’re easier and quicker to write too. As with the aggregated-content blog post, they’re a great option if you’re short on time. Importantly, list-based posts could improve your chances of achieving a featured snippet in the Google search results for keywords related to your blog post.

This kind of post, as the name suggests, is based on a list of information. It could be a list of the best places to visit in Italy or a list of things you shouldn’t do during your graduation ceremony. It could be a list of the most inspiring podcast episodes or a list of the winning photographs in a photography competition. A step-by-step guide could technically be classed as a list-based blog post, but this kind of post is better classed as a ‘how-to’ blog post.

Benefits of list-based blog posts

  • Quick to write
  • Popular with the target audience
  • Easy to read
  • Highly shareable on social media
  • Increase the chances of being included in a featured snippet

How-to blog post — teach your audience something

The third type of blog post is the how-to blog post which is great if you want to teach your audience something. The image includes a screenshot of a typical how-to blog post.

How-to posts are another incredibly popular type of blog post because, unless readers are procrastinating, they’re often reading blog posts because they want to solve a particular problem. And what better way to learn how to solve a problem than to read a how-to explanation that guides you step-by-step through the process of solving that problem?

How-to blog posts are sometimes lumped in with list-based blog posts. But, while how-to blog posts are often written in the form of a list of steps, the way you need to go about crafting the two types of blog posts is quite distinct. How-to blog posts work really well when you want to describe:

  • how to solve a finance, maths or science equation
  • a methodology, approach or way of thinking
  • how to accomplish a task with step-by-step instructions

Benefits of how-to blog posts

  • Answer a specific question (which is a popular search term)
  • Rank well in the SERPs
  • Demonstrate authority and expertise
  • Increase the chances of being included in a featured snippet

What-is blog post — answer your target market’s questions

The fourth type of blog post is the what-is blog post which is great if you want to answer your target market’s questions. The image includes a screenshot of a typical what-is blog post.

A what-is post answers a ‘what is’ question that your target audience might type into Google or might ask themselves when they first start reading your posts. There are thus two main reasons to write a what-is blog post:

  1. You need to define or explain a term you use regularly
  2. You want to answer a specific question that you know your target audience is searching for, usually when they’re at the beginning of their sales journey

What-is blog posts answer a specific question but they’re not always ‘what is’ questions — ‘when is’, ‘where is’, ‘who is’ and ‘why is’ are all types of questions that fall into the same category.

One other great thing about what-is posts is that they’re useful if you’re trying to get more featured snippets.

Benefits of what-is blog posts

  • Can be quick to write
  • Answer a specific question (which is a popular search term)
  • Rank well in the SERPs
  • Increase your chances of being included in a featured snippet

Ultimate-guide blog post — become the go-to source of information for your target market

The fifth type of blog post is the ultimate-guide blog post which is great if you want to become the go-to source of information for your target market. The image includes a screenshot of a typical ultimate-guide blog post.

Have you ever seen a blog post that was called ‘The ultimate-guide to V’ or ‘The definitive guide to W’, or maybe ‘The X handbook’ or ‘The Y playbook’, or maybe ‘Z 101’? Those kinds of long blog posts, when done properly, cover pretty much everything the target audience wants to know about a topic of particular relevance to the brand. That’s what an ultimate-guide blog post is.

Benefits of ultimate-guide blog posts

  • Demonstrate your authority on a topic
  • Offer a complete source of information on a topic so your target audience needn’t go anywhere else for answers to their questions on that topic
  • Provide a comprehensive solution to a prospect or customer problem
  • Can be repurposed into a variety of other marketing assets including a print booklet or brochure, a training mini-course, or an ebook
  • Offer the best chance of ranking at the top of the SERPs

Newsjacking blog post — take advantage of news hype

Image features the text ’newsjacking blog post’ and ‘take advantage of news hype’ and includes a screenshot of a typical newsjacking blog post

Do you remember when iPhone 6 came out and there was lots of hype around it bending if you kept it in your back pocket? KitKat capitalised on that news really effectively with a newsjacking twitter campaign.

A KitKat has been snapped in half and the caption reads ‘we don’t bend, we #break. #bendgate #iPhone6plus’

Newsjacking blog posts do the same thing. They take advantage of popular news to drive website traffic. The idea is to take a current news story that’s trending and then write your own article about that news and how it affects your target audience so you can attract people searching for information about the piece of news and turn them into new leads.

A newsjacking blog post can take two forms:

  1. A short blog post that gives a summary of what’s happening now. This kind of post needs to be produced as soon as possible after a newsworthy event occurs.
  2. A more detailed blog post that looks back on what happened and gives readers an idea of what to expect once things settle down again.

Many brands choose to write an initial ‘breaking news’ type post to alert their audience to the news and then edit that post as more details are available.

If you have the time or resources to constantly monitor news sources that are relevant to your target audience, then you have the option of writing a type 1 newsjacking article. If your resources and/or time are more limited, you’ll probably need to stick to type 2.

Benefits of newsjacking blog posts

  • Capitalise on existing news hype
  • Can be quick to write
  • Add spice to your blog post mix
  • Tell your target audience how breaking news affects them, positioning you as the go-to source of information
  • Prove you keep up to date on the latest industry changes

Infographic blog post — give your audience something special

The seventh type of blog post is the infographic blog post which is great if you want to give your audience something special. The image includes a screenshot of a typical infographic blog post.

An infographic is an image that presents information or data in a visually appealing way. Charts and graphs are one form of infographic, but these days infographics usually comprise a series of images that convey more information than can be delivered in a single graph.

Check out the bottom of this post about how to promote a WordPress blog for an example of a particularly detailed infographic. And here’s an infographic about why people love infographics.

Infographics are really popular and are a great way to deliver information. If you have a lot of information to convey to your audience, an infographic is a particularly good way to summarise it so that your reader can quickly refresh their memory of key pieces of information at any time after the first read.

Some so-called experts say that infographics should do most of the talking in an infographic blog post. I disagree. If everything you want to say can be said in the infographic with nothing more than an introduction, then what’s the point of writing a blog post about it? Just share the image.

Instead, I think the best infographic blog posts go into a lot of detail and use one (or more) infographics to provide a succinct summary.

Benefits of infographic blog posts

  • Summarise key information
  • Make information easier to remember
  • Make brands more memorable
  • Particularly powerful on Pinterest
  • Can be combined with most other blog post types
  • Highly shareable on social media

Next steps

These seven types of blog posts are the cornerstone of building your brand’s identity. With these, you can fill your blog with interesting and varied blog posts that are truly useful to your target audience, enabling you to take members of your target market by the hand and lead them all the way through the sales process until they’re loyal customers that keep buying from you again and again.

Now you understand the value of each type of blog post, your next step is to learn to create your own SEO-friendly, conversion-driven blog posts in each style. To do just that, check out this step-by-step guide to writing all seven high-performance blog post styles.

7 Effective blog post formulas to help you get more blog traffic, win more sales and grow your business. Grace the swipe file and guide

Dr Kelly Wade

Hi! I’m a full-funnel marketing specialist and my mission is to build a better tomorrow by helping organisations that solve crucial problems, efficiently generate sustainable growth with strategic marketing assets that attract, nurture, convert and retain the target market.

4 thoughts on “7 Types of blog posts that drive sales”

  1. Great article! I definitely agree with the ultimate-guide being the type that has the best chance to rank on SERP. I wonder if writing ultimate-guide targeting long tail keywords is a good way to go?

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Hazel, I’m glad you like it 🙂

      Writing an ultimate-guide blog post targeting long-tail keywords is an excellent option if lots of people in your target audience have questions/problems related to the long-tail keyword/s. Usually, the best way to go in this instance is to target several closely related long-tail keywords in the same article —- often they can form the subheadings. This makes for a more robust blog post and also improves your chances of ranking well in the SERPs.

      But if no one is searching for any of the long-tail keywords you choose, an ultimate-guide post can be a lot of work for little gain. Search volumes are often quite low for long-tail keywords so as long as the cumulative search volume is ok (the sum of the search volumes for each of the keywords you choose), then you should be right. Of course it’s possible to create a really valuable ultimate-guide blog post that’s super popular with your target audience even if they’re not searching for the long-tail keywords (e.g. if the topic is a huge issue for your target market but they’re too embarrassed to seek help) —- you’d just have to do more promotion of it.

      So, as is often the case with these sorts of things, the answer to your question is ‘it depends’. But hopefully that makes sense and helps you answer the question for your own specific circumstances? If you have a particular topic and long-tail keywords in mind, I’d be happy to help you decide —- just email through the details 🙂

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