A well put together website for a publisher or affiliate will have a number of different article styles. A site with the scores of the same structured product review would be pretty boring and not as likely to get a return visit.
Here’s a look at 10 tried and true article formats to spice up your site. All of these article styles will not work in every niche, but get creative and you will find many new ways to structure your content.
1. Best-of Articles
Best of articles are a typical review article. Best Baby Strollers, Best Toaster Ovens etc. They are a kind of product roundup article. The advantage is that they will typically have many products to describe and market. They are a money post not information post. The can even be a kind of pillar page for a topic silo with the Best of having all of the major players and a bit of a how to choose component to them. Linked below them are all of the individual product review posts. Link from it to each individual review post and link each individual review back to the Best-of post.
Here’s a good example of a Best of article at Wirecutter.
2. Buying Guides
A buying guide is a review of the top products in a category. Think of it as multiple review articles in one. In addition to have the best products for the category they will typically have lots of additional information about how to choose, safety, how to assemble, getting started etc. These are typically lengthy pieces that step a prospect through every phase of buying a product.
Sometimes they are even multi-chapter long-form content like this drone buying guide.
Checklists are great info pieces. They can even be used as lead magnets for email list building. They can be a companion for a How-to type article. It is a list of items needed to complete a task. A nice characteristic is that checklists are often reference items. People bookmark, share and return to them.
A good example is this startup business checklist.
Try to make your checklist feel legit and useful. No one wants to read a checklist of a few simple tasks that are not serving an end goal.
4. Comparisons … vs. Articles
Comparisons are typically Product a vs. Product B. They are often great long tail keywords, with decent search volume, but not as competitive as either of the head keywords. Ranking “Iphone 12 vs. Huawei P30” will be much easier to rank than “Iphone 12” or “Huawei P30”.
You can also use comparison articles for new releases. So iphone 12 vs. Iphone 11.
These are money posts that often convert well for affiliates.
Notice in this “Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D” post the in-depth details and a section on why to buy Canon and one on why to buy Nikon. The point is often to get visitors to follow the affiliate link to both products not having a winner and a loser.
These are not your companies FAQ page, which should be in your footer. These Frequently Asked Questions are the long form version TL/DR of many topics. If someone is looking for quick info to solve a problem an FAQ is the first thing they will click to. This makes them mainly info posts but you can have links to money posts in them.
They are often a beginner’s guide to a topic like this Sous Vide FAQ page.
FAQs also let you have information on many lower volume keywords that are not competitive. The traffic from these low-volume search queries can add up quickly with the FAQ format.
6. How-To Guides
Another great format for information posts. Remember that advertising revenue can ad up quickly and it’s these info posts that often bring in the traffic most easily.
How to guides can be long detailed articles on a complex topic like “How to Build your First Gaming Computer” to more compact topics like “How to Make the Perfect Martini”. In addition to these general How To guides you can create one for specific products like “How to Replace the iPhone 7 Display”.
Here is a nice example in this How to Clean a Fish article. They are a great place to find video opportunities as well.
You can great free How To ideas form a site like Answer the Public where you will see actual How dot I type search questions being asked of Google. These can also be useful entries in your FAQ Schema section.
Well this is post you are reading is a Listicle. Simply put, a Listicle is an article that includes a list items. Typically it is a numbered list but not always.Why are listicles so popular …
- They are orderly, concise and compact. Perfect for the typical “gisting” visitor.
- They make great titles. You know what your getting.
- Easy to start and stop reading
This also makes them very quick to share on social media.
8. Mistakes to Avoid Articles
Knowing what to avoid is a very strong topic. For a personal credit site having a list of ways to avoid losing points on your credit score is going to draw readers. On Prosociate we have a post Mistakes Beginning Affiliates Make. It is also helpful to be humble.
Have an article about mistakes you have made in your niche.
9. Product Reviews
Product Reviews are the bread and butter article type for niche affiliate marketers. It makes sense, when someone is looking for a product review they are in a buying mode. This is an important concept. Intent. Sure you can get lots of visitors to your “How to Assemble xyz” post but those visitors have an informational intent not buying.
Cnet is the King of tech reviews. Check out this How to Clean a Fish to see how the pros do it.
Expert Roundup posts are those that collect opinions and comments from niche industry leaders. Posts like “We asked 10 Singers for Their Favorite Mic Choices”. They may take longer to put together (good VA task) but are worth the effort. A couple of basics are …
- Choose your questions carefully, boring questions make for a boring article.
- Be selective but inclusive in company size with the experts
- Always have a strong introduction
- Promote the article heavily and reap the backlink rewards
These are great posts for a couple of reasons. First they can be money posts like the topic above. The mic discussed can be affiliate links. Second it is a form of social endorsement — these are all industry experts content on your site. Finally they are good backlink magnets. Most people will want to have a mention on their blog of comments in your article.
Here is a great example of a roundup post, Ten SEO Experts Reveal Their Keyword Research Techniques
There are lots more article types and many can be combined. Use these 10 article types to create some diversity on your site. Your visitors and Google will appreciate it.