5 Types of Blog Posts that Generate Traffic

5 Types of Blog Posts that Generate Traffic

In the never-ending quest to generate more traffic to our blogs, we are always trying to come up with better and more interesting blog posts. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to come up with new material, and that is when the pressures of blogging start to set in.

Traffic Is Unpredictable

Quite often it seems that there is no predicting what posts become your “popular ones.” In my five months of blogging, I have noticed that many of what I thought my better posts have gone completely overlooked while some of my “ordinary” posts have received a tremendous amounts of traffic, linkbacks, and comments.

One example is my recent article “7 Ways to Get Readers to Stick.” I wrote that article in less than an hour and I never thought that ProBlogger among many other blogs would link it and it would in turn receive over 1800 views within 24 hours. That was definitely one of my articles which helped my double my number of RSS subscribers in May.

Regardless of what specific topics you choose to address, I have found that a few types of blog posts have received more traffic compared to others. I would like to share with you the five types of posts that generate traffic and hopefully comments, linkbacks, and social media syndication.

  1. The How-To Post

  2. Everyone loves to learn something that could benefit them, especially if it is presented in a way which is easily replicable. One of my recent posts that was quite popular was “How To Sell Your Blog’s Advertising.” The fact is, selling our blog’s advertising is something a lot of us would like to do more of, but we don’t know how. Fortunately, I have had a lot of luck selling my blog’s advertising so I thought that I could pass my knowledge onto my readers. These kinds of articles provide a direct benefit to the readers and they are usually some of the most popular type of blog posts.

  3. The Controversial Post

  4. They say there is no such thing as bad publicity. I am not sure if I entirely believe that, but it can definitely be said there is a lot of power in writing about a topic that stirs people’s opinions. One issue that has been controversial lately has been the topic of blogging disclosure. That is, whether bloggers should disclose if they will be earning money from any affiliate links on their blog.

    The Controversial PostNever be afraid to share your opinion because that is what fosters conversation. I recently wrote about the topic of whether it is professional or not to disclose one’s online earnings. That post receive a solid amount of views and comments – enough that I may consider touching on the topic again in the future. If you write a blog post addressing someone else’s opinion on a certain matter, make sure you link to their original post so they know that you wrote about the same subject. That could very well encourage them to voice out about the topic.

  5. The Round-Up Post

  6. Round-Up posts can also be known as “list posts,” since they usually contain a list of ideas, topics, sources etc. The Round-Up post is a great way to collect information together and increase its usefulness. Round-up posts are also actually fairly easy to write. You could describe this kind of article as a “round-up” post.

    Last week I wrote an article “5 Tips To Make Your Blog More Readable” which received a ton of views, comments and linkbacks. The funny thing is that I had no idea whether people were going to find use in that article or just think it was common knowledge.

    A few of my other favorite round-up posts include:

    One thing to keep in mind when writing round-up posts is how much information you are summarizing. Whenever I write a round-up post, like this one, I like to keep it to a maximum of 5-7 key points. I fear that if my article was titled “50 Types of Blog Posts,” people would inititally be overwhelmed by the large amount of information and choose to either skip over or only partially read my article. Maybe some of you who have written large round-up posts can chime in on how much you think is too much information to include in a post.

  7. The Hot Topic Post

  8. Everyone loves reading about the latest “hot topic,” whether that be celebrity gossip or the latest Apple gadget. Recently, Shoemoney got into a debate with Rand Fishkin about the morality of blogging disclosure. Many other bloggers chimed in and Shoemoney linked to every blog that wrote about the topic.

    The Hot TopicIt’s pretty much guaranteed that if you write about Paris Hilton, your blog will get some search engine traffic. I can’t remember a time in the last 6 months where she hasn’t been on the list of Technorati’s Top Searches.

    Of course, just make sure that your hot topic post relates to your blog topic or else your readers will think you’ve lost your focus. That being said, there are many clever ways to blog about Paris Hilton, as Jane May showed us in her recent “What Bloggers Can Learn From Paris Hilton” post. You know she got a ton of linkbacks for that one.

  9. The Motivational Post

  10. My roommate and business partner, Josh, writes some great motivational posts. In a lot of ways, I think that a well-written and straight-forward motivational post is perhaps the most compelling type of post to blog about.

    The Motvational PostThe other day while chatting with Christine from Create Business Growth, we were talking about how motivational posts have the power to leave a much longer-lasting impression than other kind of posts.

    She had mentioned that my recent post about goals for June left her thinking about her goals for several days afterward.

    Any post that leaves your readers feeling motivated or excited is much more powerful that a post that only provides for some “in-the-moment” entertainment.


When it comes to generating traffic, there are many ways to do so, but often the simplest and most effective way is to write excellent blog posts. I am sure that there are many other types of blog posts that generate traffic, but these are the ones that have worked the best for me. Hopefully, by modeling many of these types of blog posts, you will start to receive more traffic, comments, and linkbacks.

51 thoughts on “5 Types of Blog Posts that Generate Traffic”

  1. Great post as usual Nate! And I’m STILL thinking about goals after your post last week. In fact, I just wrote another post about prioritizing goals, something that I had been struggling with and acutely aware of after reading your goals post. I’m happy to say that I’ve made a decision about which personal goal to pursue first – so yes, those motivational posts can be life changing!

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  3. The how-to and motivational posts have lots of del.icio.us traffic potential while the controversial and hot-topic posts are more digg oriented. A good mix of strategies.

  4. No wonder I keep coming back. Your particular brand of blogging advice really strikes a chord in me. I loved this post and I am naking it my goal to try out at least one each of the 5 kinds of posts you highlight here.

  5. Very original and informative post. I will need to vary my posts a little better. Oh and btw I added you to my viralink. If you wouldn’t mind returning the favor, I would be grateful. 🙂

  6. Wow, your blog have wonderful picture! But what I”m even more impress is your content! This post is really helpful.

  7. I can definitely agree with the controversial post. Here in Boston, a bar I worked at had a brawl which involved a fatality this past weekend. I wrote about how I thought the bar owners were being unfairly accused of working with the Irish Mob (the bar was once the Irish Mob’s stomping ground). Man, did I incur some wrath, as well as links from almost every Boston-related website around. I got lots of love, too, though.

  8. Great post! I’ll be using How-To posts, however, I think the controversial posts usually generate the most traffic. Although, from some of the ones I read, the discussion can get pretty heated.

  9. Our basic brain, the part of the brain we have in common with the most primitive animals, such as reptiles, controls three functions: Eating, sex and power.

    Sure if you touch any of this three basic instincts in your Blog, you get readers.

  10. Great post. I’ve found that competition or incentive posts are some of my most popular, but I’m still new.


  11. There are tons of ways to incorporate things that aren’t exactly your “niche” and making it your niche 🙂

    Great post Nate!

  12. Dead on about the learning and motivational posts. All of the blogs I’ve been reading lately usually have something that makes me want think and strive to do more. Learning is always great.

  13. I really like the motivational posts even though I’ve not yet wrote many of them. I think a lot of others like them as well. If it’s a good post and you motivate someone to better their blog or motivate them to better some part of their life, it could be a very popular post. That’s what people like.

  14. I think your list is accurate. I think its the controversial posts that reel in the most traffic. The more people you disagree with the more there will be to talk about in the comments section of your blog 😀

  15. Nate,

    Your post is very informative. I sure would love to try out writing different types of articles except perhaps controversial posts. I don’t really love controversies and it’s not just my thing just to get more traffic. I’ve learned something useful from your article though.

  16. Great post. These are very true. The thing that happens with a lot of blogs is that people just give up when they don’t get immediate results. You will see the fruits of your labor months after the initial work, and people (including me) tend to forget that. It’s a long term thing, but I think it can be very rewarding if you work hard.

  17. I like the way you break it down into the different types of post, it kind-of makes it easier to create post
    Right now there are plenty of hot programs and new products out there and there is a lot of controversy out there in the internet market to.

  18. And excellent post this is. From the five types you given, i would choose to believe blogging on an informative as well as hot topic blogs, that really attracts visitor to read and this way helpful for blog popularity.

  19. Having controversial topics is fine, as long as you believe in what you are saying, or at least believe that the topic is unresolved and a constructive conversation would aid to further crystallise the issue. Having controversy for the sake of it is picked up by many readers, and they may be turned away by this sort of behaviour.

  20. Such a nice post, one need to discuss hot topics and post the same, for which there are two groups may take place, one who is supporting the post and another one whose not. these kind of post really drives traffic, it will create a blogging debat which will be very helpful.

  21. Good info, I always try to create “Top 10” or “Top 5” lists myself. People seem to like them, especially the Digg crowd.

  22. Nate, There is no one post by you that I can consider to be out of usage or boring. Your work is really of big interests for us, users!

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