Different Blog Writing Formats and How You Can Use Them to Engage Your Audience

14 min readMay 11, 2023

Have you heard the saying, “Different strokes for different folks”? Well, the same goes for blog writing formats.

When you start your blog, you will have a wide array of blog post formats to choose from. Each format will have its own purpose and function, and will appeal to different audiences, based on their reading style, interests, and level of engagement. Some of your readers will prefer long-form content, while others would like to consume information through bite-sized posts, infographics, or visuals. So, knowing which format to use for different topics will make all the difference in the success of your blog strategy.

Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting out, it’s important to understand the different writing formats available to you and how you can use them to engage your audience. In this article, we’ll explore 10 such blog writing formats for taking your blogging and digital marketing game to the next level. We’ll also provide you with some useful tips for leveraging the best blog format for different topics.

What you’ll learn in this article -

Understanding blog writing formats

10 Blog Writing Formats + Tips to use them

  1. How-to posts
  2. Listicles
  3. Checklist posts
  4. Curated posts
  5. Thought leadership posts
  6. ‘What’ posts
  7. ‘Why’ posts
  8. Case studies
  9. Beginners guides
  10. FAQ posts

FAQs on Blog Writing Formats

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Understanding blog writing formats

Have you noticed how some blog post formats just seem to be more popular than others? There will always be a few formats that can really click with your readers. Understanding the purpose and scope of each blog writing format is very important for several reasons -

  • Different blog writing formats can give you an opportunity to come up with fresh and interesting ideas to create engaging, informative, and entertaining content
  • Certain types of blog posts possess a unique marketing potential that can be leveraged to enhance your blog’s growth
  • Certain types of blog posts have a predefined structure that makes them easier to create
  • Diversifying your format for blog writing contributes to the blog’s appeal, as opposed to solely utilizing one type of blog post repeatedly.
  • Familiarity with the different types of blog posts enables you to discover new ideas and determine the most suitable format for a particular topic.

With that, let’s get straight to the different blog formats.

10 Blog Writing Formats + Tips to use them

1. How-to posts

Blog post format: Practical guides that break down the process of doing something into manageable steps

How-to blog posts are one of the more popular blog writing formats, and it’s understandable why. It is the preferred style of writing when you want to educate your readers on a ‘how-to-do-something’ problem. And if you’re able to create a comprehensive guide that provides actionable solutions to your target audience’s problems, it can increase your website traffic significantly.

Your how-to post can be a tutorial on your product, or a troubleshooting guide providing a step-by-step solution to common problems. It can also be a ‘Tips and Tricks’ kind of blog, providing innovative ways to approach a problem.

Since the focus of how-to posts is on educating your audience on something that they might not know how to do, it’s important to do audience research. Creating a blog audience persona can be incredibly useful here, as it will help you identify their specific problems and pain points.

Here is a blog format example of a how-to post, in which we provide our readers with a step-by-step guide on hiring copywriters.

Tips for writing engaging how-to posts

  • Choose a topic that addresses a knowledge gap or capitalizes on a trend
  • Create a rough structure for the blog post using the ‘Blog Post Outline’ use case on Narrato AI writer
  • Guide your readers with clear, concise and simple steps
  • Include real-world examples to demonstrate how the knowledge you’re sharing can be put into practice
  • Strengthen your blog post with images, videos and other visual aids to help readers better understand the steps involved

2. Listicles

Blog post format: A collection of related items or concepts presented in the form of a list

Listicles are one of the most effective blog writing formats for boosting traffic. According to a Semrush report, list posts receive 80% more traffic compared to other types of blog posts. And that’s probably because the organized structure and skimmability of listicles makes them easier for readers to consume. They also do quite well on social media platforms, so content distribution and promotion becomes a lot easier.

List posts can be easily identified by their titles, which generally feature a number, like ’20 popular summer holiday destinations’ or ‘5 must-try skin care products’. And because they’re formulaic in nature, they’re the perfect blog post format if you’ve just started out.

Just do a quick Google search and you’ll find many blog writing format examples for listicles. Here is one listicle we did at Narrato, which was a compilation of AI image generators.

Tips for writing engaging listicles

  • Use a clear and catchy headline that tells your readers how many items they can expect to find in your blog
  • Don’t forget to number your list items
  • Make sure there is logical order to the list
  • Use visuals to break up the text and make the listicle more scannable
  • Stay away from fluff and provide real value to your readers
  • For longer lists, consider creating category buckets
  • Maintain consistency in header style, section length, bullet points, and image placement
  • Make sure that you optimize the content for search engines. Narrato’s SEO content brief generator can be useful here, as it will provide you with comprehensive content brief, complete with keyword suggestions, references, and more. This tool also provides you with dynamic updates on keyword count as your optimize your content.

3. Checklist posts

Blog post format: A list of things to complete in order to achieve a specific goal or objective

Checklist posts are a lot like list posts, but the idea behind this blog post format is a little different. Instead of creating a list of separate items, you’d be listing items or steps towards achieving a goal. This type of blog post is also educational in nature, providing the readers a list of items or steps they would need to cross off, while working towards achieving an objective. People usually make a checklist for themselves before performing any important task. This blog post format does that for your readers.

Creating these types of blog posts is fairly easy. All you would have to do is take common task, question or problem, and break it down into easy-to-follow steps. You can also turn these types of blog posts into lead magnets.

Here is an example of a checklist post we created -

Tips for writing engaging checklist posts

  • Identify audience-specific goals and problems to choose a checklist post topic. You can then narrow down your topic using an SEO tool like Semrush, which can help you determine which keywords would be easier to rank for.
  • Start with a ‘brain dump’ and list every point that pops into your mind
  • Arrange the items on the checklist in a logical sequence to provide organized value to your readers
  • Make your checklist even more useful by adding examples and additional resources in each step
  • Include how-tos and insider tips
  • Add images, graphics and icons to increase the visual appeal and make the checklist more scannable

4. Curated posts

Blog post format: A curated post takes the best bits of external content and puts them together to form a collection

A curated post is usually made by aggregating content from external sources. This content can be in the form of statistics, videos, quotations, industry examples or anything else. The goal of this blog writing format is to provide your readers with all the resources they need on a topic, in a single place. Besides, curated blog posts also give you a chance to build partnerships with the businesses, brands, or bloggers your link out to in your post.

When creating curated posts, your main task will be collating the research and presenting it in an engaging manner. This is what we did here for this curated blog post on content SEO statistics -

Tips for writing engaging curated posts

  • Choose your theme and identify which type of content your want to curate (charts, graphs, videos, slideshows, etc)
  • Identify the core set of sources you’ll use to curate content
  • Make sure that you attribute properly and link to the original content source
  • Prioritize your prospects and partners while curating the content
  • Invite contributions from team members
  • Don’t think of it as a quick repost. Always try to provide your readers with additional value through curated blog posts

5. Thought leadership posts

Blog post format: Content that showcases the author’s expertise, experience, and insights on a particular topic

Thought leadership post is a blog writing format that is not exactly easy to write, but it can give you great results if you get it right. Thought leadership-style blog posts can be excellent for explaining how things are changing in a particular industry or field. It gives you chance to show your expertise on a topic, and provide your readers with ideas or opinions on state of an industry/field, new trends, etc. The goal of this blog post format is to spark discussions.

Since these types of blog posts are usually speculative (and sometimes controversial) in nature, you have to take a stand. It should challenge the readers to think. It’s also important to look for ways to empower your audience with insights derived from your own personal experiences.

Here is an example of a thought leadership-style blog post from Narrato. In this blog post, we invited marketing leaders to share their opinion on AI writing tools.

Tips for writing thought leadership content

  • Choose topics that have a low keyword volume, since the goal is to develop new ideas. You can also use an AI content idea generator to come up with interesting topics.
  • Build a story to make your thought leadership content more compelling
  • Share fresh and unique insights gleaned from your experience in the field. Don’t regurgitate what has already been said
  • Show consistent values through your thought-leadership content to build trust
  • Avoid being overly promotional and try to remain genuine
  • Encourage feedback and aim to engage your audience into a conversation
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6. ‘What’ posts

Blog post format: A blog post that explains a particular concept or answers a specific question

This is another blog post format that can be a great option if you’re just starting out. You can think of ‘What’ posts as content meant for top of the funnel (TOFU) audience. The goal is to explain and introduce the audience to a concept, whether it is a tool, tactic, or industry trends.

‘What’ posts tend to perform well in search engine results, as people often use “what” questions when searching for information online. They are also useful for establishing yourself as an expert or a thought leader.

What’ posts can take various forms, such as how-to guides, listicles, and explanations of complex topics. This is an example of a ‘what’ post, in which we try to introduce the readers to ChatGPT.

Tips for writing engaging ‘what’ posts

  • Write your ‘what’ post in a conversational tone and avoid technical jargon
  • Link out to a more in-depth blog to provide your audience with additional reading material
  • You can use AI blog post writer to assist you in content creation, as ‘what’-type blogs are usually not very technical in nature
  • Include tips, statistics, insights, examples and everything else to provide your readers with more value
  • Don’t forget to use blog SEO best practices

7. ‘Why’ posts

Blog post format: A blog post that explains the relevance or importance of a particular concept

While the ‘what’ post seeks to introduce the audience to a concept, the ‘why’ post explains why they should care about the concept. This blog writing format is also meant for TOFU audiences, but the purpose is different. Instead of educating the audience, your goal here is to persuade them. This is why these types of posts often include data and examples to support the author’s arguments.

‘Why’ posts are great for drawing new readers to your blog. Plus, this type of content is inherently shareable, so it can be easily repurposed for social media platforms. Here is an example of a such a post, in which we try to cover both the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of product-led content marketing.

Tips for writing engaging ‘why’ posts

  • If there are common doubts or misconceptions about your topic, make sure you address them and provide evidence to back up why your opinion is right
  • Use plenty of subheadings (H2 and H3) and bullet points to make the content more scannable
  • Provide facts, statistics, and examples that show why the topic is worth paying attention to
  • Make sure to include a call to action to engage your readers at the end of the content piece

8. Case studies

Blog post format: A case study provides a detailed analysis of a specific case to a particular product, service, business, or industry

Case study is the perfect blog writing format to showcase your company’s expertise, highlight its successes, and provide inspiration and insights to readers facing similar challenges. It tells the story of how an organization/business/individual dealt with a difficult scenario and what they did to overcome it. Case studies are great for showcasing success stories and demonstrating how effective your product or service has been for your client.

A case study blog post usually consists of an introduction, a brief background of the company, the problem/challenge they faced, the steps taken to address it, and summary of the findings. It might also include quotes from clients/stakeholders. Here is an example of a case study we did on Park+, which explains the company’s content marketing strategy and how Narrato helped it in the process.

Tips for writing case studies that work

  • Do thorough research and conduct interviews to understand the client’s perspective
  • Do some digging to uncover valuable data to present in the case study
  • Use storytelling techniques to make the case study more engaging and relatable
  • Try to be descriptive and disclose relevant numbers
  • Write shorter paragraphs to enhance the readability of the case study

9. Beginners guides

Blog post format: A beginner’s guide provides an introductory overview of a particular topic or concept, and explains it in a step-by-step process

Beginner’s guides are an excellent resource for those new to a particular topic. It offers more information and insights than the typical ‘what’-type blog post. These types of blog posts can also make good pillar posts to build your content around, and they are also good for attracting new people to your blog.

This blog post also follows a structured format that includes -

  • An introduction to the topic
  • An explanation of key concepts or terminology
  • A step-by-step guide to getting started
  • Additional resources or recommendations for further learning

Tips for writing beginner’s guides

  • Structure your blog so that it is easy for readers to follow
  • Define any industry-specific terminology you include in the content
  • Break down complex topics into smaller, manageable parts
  • Avoid packing in too many complicated terms that need explanations
  • Use images, infographics, or videos to illustrate key points

10. FAQ posts

Blog post format: Blog posts that address common questions and concerns about a particular topic, product, or service

FAQ posts provide answers to questions that potential customers or readers may have about a product or topic. The purpose of this blog post format is to supply readers with accurate, easy-to-understand information that will help them develop a better understanding of a specific subject.

If you’re looking for questions to create compelling FAQ posts, consult with your sales and services teams. These are the individuals who have direct contact with current and prospective customers, so they can provide insight into common questions they receive. Additionally, you can collect FAQs from blog posts, webinar Q&A sessions, and social media comments.

Here is a blog format example of an FAQ post -

Tips for writing FAQ posts

  • Organize your questions into categories or sections to make them easy to navigate.
  • Provide detailed answers to each question, addressing all aspects of the question.
  • Avoid technical jargon or overly complicated explanations
  • Don’t add fluff; provide direct answers to questions
  • Regularly update your FAQ post to ensure that it reflects any changes or updates to your product or service

FAQs on Blog Writing Formats

Q. What is the best format to write a blog?

A. As is evident, many of these blog writing formats share some common features. To decide which blog post format is the best for you, it is important to consider why your readers would visit your blog, what they hope to gain from it, and how you can best fulfill their needs when they arrive. By understanding these factors, you can ensure that your blog posts provide real value to your readers.

Q. How do I use ChatGPT for blog writing?

A. Blog writing can be a tedious task, requiring extensive research, outlining, writing, optimization, and editing before it can be published. ChatGPT, combined AI writer tools, can streamline this process, providing assistance at every stage of blog production and content optimization. Use it for -

  • Keyword research
  • Topic ideation
  • Creating blog content outlines
  • Conducting topical research
  • Paraphrasing content

Here’s an in-depth guide on How to use ChatGPT for content creation.

Q. How do I incorporate visuals and multimedia into my blog post to make it more engaging?

A. Incorporating visuals and multimedia into your blog post can definitely make it more engaging for your readers. Here are some tips on how to do it effectively:

  • Use high-quality, relevant images from stock photos, or use an AI image generator to create custom images
  • Include videos to provide additional information
  • Use infographics to present complex information in a simple and easy-to-understand format
  • Create charts and graphs for your content using tools like Canva
  • Create interactive elements like polls, quizzes and surveys to include in your content using a tool like Typeform
  • To guarantee the best experience for users, optimize all visual and multimedia components for mobile devices.
  • Add captions and alt text to all images

Wrapping Up

Incorporating different blog writing formats into your blog strategy will not only allow you to cater to various reader preferences but also help increase the engagement levels on your blog. Whether it’s a how-to guide, a listicle, or a case study, each format will have its own unique strengths that can help you connect with your audience and establish your authority in your niche. The key is to experiment with different blog post formats and find what works best with different topics.

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Originally published at https://narrato.io on May 11, 2023.