I talk a lot about the importance of content in blogs, as well as websites, but I want to point out the different types of posts found on blogs to help you understand a little more about what they are, how they work, and whether or not they are effective content styles.
There are four kinds of content found in most blogs. While some blogs will overlap content styles, many will also specialize in one of these kinds. They are links content, blockquote or reference content, feed content, and full content.
Links Content is post content that consists of a link, a group of links, or a sentence describing and including the link to an external blog or website. These are blog posts which are short and to the point. All they offer are the links.
Link Content style posts are fast to read. Many people follow such sites because of the quality of links to other sites with information they want and need. This puts pressure on the blogger to present one or more links which encourage visitors to leave the site. Quite the reverse of most website goals.
Yet, visitors expect consistent and reliable links to information, so they will return to such sites for those pointers. Maintaining such a blog means constant research into hot or specific topics that establish your blog as a key resource for these types of links. This encourages visitors to return.
Blockquote or Reference Content
Blockquote, or more appropriately called Reference, content styles are the next step above the links content styles. These posts offer a link to the offsite resource, but they also contain a paragraph or two from the external site as a teaser of what is in the post you will visit.
Again, these post content styles encourage visitors to leave your site to visit another to get the information they need. Visitors will return if the blog consistently presents solid reference material that will catch their interest.
Bloggers who specialize in reference content often scour the web looking for information related to their topic, consolidating what is spread across the net into one resource, earning respect from users looking for similar information and resources.
I call Feed Content the “resource for content that isn’t yours”. In other words, feeds fuel the site rather than the blog owner or administrator actually finding the information, links, and content from other sites and posting it. Feed content is post content that comes from other sources.
Feed content style blogs are not good or bad, unless they are poorly executed. They just are another form of content choice. Successful blogs which use feeds as their sole source of content are usually ones which use paid feed services that allow filtering to the incoming feeds, keeping the feeds isolated to a specific topic. Feed services, free or paid, which bring just about anything onto a blog rarely attract a consistent audience.
Some blogs will use feeds to enhance their own content style, often showcased in the header or sidebar. They add to the overall information available to their readers.
Full Content post styles are posts written entirely by the blog author(s). While there may be links to external sites and reference, the blog is dedicated to providing “original” content for their audience.
While many think that this is the ideal type of blog, there are pros and cons to full content post styles. They can be very time consuming, as the author must generate the content, research, and possibly substantiate the material. The writing style needs to be consistent and good quality. Frequency of posting may be less than faster link and reference style posts.
Yet, full content posts offer more information and resources for the audience. Well written blogs will hold a reader on the site longer, encouraging them to read more. Such bloggers, especially those who specialize on a specific topic, tend to be seen as “experts” or at least “informed”. Readers return because they know this is where they will get “all” the information, not just part of it. Some call this style the “one stop blogging shop” where people come to get the news they can use, not just a reference to news somewhere else.
Keywords and Post Content Styles
In Keywords Help You Write Your Blog and Listing the Keywords Inside, I talk about how keywords play an important role in writing your blog and improving your search engine page rank as examples of how critical is your blog content. Understanding your post content style helps you to better understand how content helps page rank.
Search engines need content in order to rate your site. This is a fact. A bunch of photographs are pretty to look at, but they don’t offer much content to fill up search engine databases. The same for links. Links help the interconnectedness of the web and by linking to other sites, you increase their link popularity, but links alone also won’t help your SEO status.
Content matters. But so does style and consistency in style. You need to choose your blogging style, and keep it consistent, or allow it to develop into a consistent form. It can be one of the above styles exclusively, or a combination of them.
There are times when I find information that I know will be of value, and there is little I can say to add to the material. It is my style to offer reason and incentive for you, my reader, to leave my site to find other content, so I make sure that the content I refer you to is good and that you have an idea of what you will be reading on the other site.
And there are other times when what “I” have to say is more important for me to say and you to read, after all, I am considered an expert on
all, most, many of the topics I write about. ;-) Isn’t that why you keep coming back for more?