14 (Downloadable) Blog Post Templates to Use Right Away

Georgios Chasiotis

Georgios Chasiotis

One of the things that we do most often here at MINUTTIA is prepare the structure for blog posts both for our clients and for our brand. This part of the content creation process is one of the most important ones as — up to a certain point — it can determine whether or not a piece of content will perform well on the SERPs. 

As with every repeatable task, we understand that creating a tight process around structuring our pieces of content is essential. Thus, we created 14 free blog post templates that you can download in Google Docs and in PDF format to start using right away. We hope that these templates will help you take your blogging and content creation efforts to the next level. 

Choose Your Blog Post Template

Template #1: How to Post Template

The first blog template in our list is the “how to” post. Let’s see some basic things regarding this template.

What’s the “How to Post”?

This is one of the most common blog content formats and one that is often used to acquire top-of-the-funnel traffic. These pieces of content are usually competitive and have a high search volume. For example, you can see that the search term “how to write a blog post” has a global monthly search volume of 11K searches and a keyword difficulty — according to Ahrefs — of 65.

This means that this is a blog post that a) has a decent search volume and b) is pretty competitive. This is something that we see for most blog posts that include the “how to” modifier within them. Regardless of how difficult it is to rank for such terms, “how to” posts are an integral part of any successful content strategy. 

It isn’t difficult to write a great blog post that will work as a “how to” guide, but you have to be prepared to dedicate a fair amount of time to creation because this post format usually requires a long length to be competitive on the SERPs (search engine results pages). 

What’s the search intent behind it?

“How to” posts are among the first ones we identify when doing keyword research for a new client. The search intent behind them is, in most cases, informational. The reason for this is simple: people who are using the “how to” modifier on Google are usually looking for information on a certain topic. 

Thus, serving them great content that satisfies their intent of acquiring new information on a given topic is a way to get them to stay on your page and explore your website even further. In the example that we saw earlier of how to write a blog post, the average CPC (cost per click), according to Ahrefs, is $2.5. 

This means that, even though the intent behind the query is informational, there might be some advertisers or brands bidding for that term on Google. To identify opportunities for “how to” guides, all you need to do is start with a broad topic, or seed term, and filter results on a phrase-match level using the “how to” modifier. 

For example, assuming that you’re running an eCommerce platform and want to write a new post that’s relevant to your product’s capabilities, you’ll search for the term “eCommerce” on Ahrefs, click on “Phrase Match” and then filter results that include the term “how to” inside them. 

Not all of these terms will be good opportunities for a new blog post, but there will definitely be some terms from the list that can. Now, let’s see what you need to include in your how to blog post. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

When creating how to blog posts, you have to be prepared to go deep with your content creation. Usually, these posts require a fair amount of words to be competitive – not that the number of words is a definitive ranking factor – and an in-depth analysis of the process you’re trying to break down. 

Not every “how to” post has to be “the ultimate guide” on the topic, but in general, bloggers and brands usually cover the topics in-depth in their “how to” guides. Make sure to set up your writing process accordingly and don’t forget to satisfy the intent behind the term that brought someone to your post. 

Also, the right use of entities is essential here. What does that mean? The way search engines get context on a certain piece of content nowadays is through entities. Thus, it’s really not as important to include the target term, e.g. “how to write a blog post”, as many times as possible, as it is to be contextually relevant. 

For example, for the term “how to start an online business”, you can see that some relevant terms or entities that we need to include are:

Of course, this applies to all the blog post formats we’re covering in this post and all pieces of content that have the goal of acquiring organic traffic. Simply put, concepts like keyword density aren’t as important anymore and others like entities are becoming increasingly important when it comes to creating content that performs well on search engines like Google.  

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Author’s Note: If you’re on WordPress, you can use a plugin like to implement Schema Markup on your page with ease. 

Download

Download in Google Docs Format

Download in PDF Format

Template #2: List Post Template

The second blog post template that we have is the list post template. Let’s take a look at what this format is all about. 

What’s the List Post?

As the title suggests, list posts, or listicles, are lists of objects, businesses, solutions, or anything else that’s relevant to what a business does. This format of blog post is particularly popular when it comes to content marketing since these posts can help you; 

  1. Acquire organic traffic
  2. Generate backlinks
  3. Get shares on social media such as Tweets and Facebook shares

Relatively easily. The good thing about list posts is that they’re also easy to create. You don’t need to have a sophisticated writing process in place and, in most cases, you don’t even need in-depth knowledge on the topic you’re covering. An example of a great list post is the “online learning platforms” one by LearnWorlds — one of our clients. 

This is a post that, according to Ahrefs, ranks for more than 550 keywords and gets more than 1.4K organic traffic on a monthly basis. What’s even more interesting is the fact that the traffic value — as estimated by Ahrefs — is more than $11.6K per month. 

This means that there are advertisers and other brands who are actively bidding on some of the terms this piece of content is ranking for. This shows us that list posts can be really helpful at driving traffic that translates to revenue for your business. After all, the target term itself – online learning platforms – is $14, which proves our assumption that such terms have a commercial value. 

Even though it’s not directly evident as to what terms require a list post based on the industry or vertical you’re in, using modifiers such as “best” can help you get a nice list of topic ideas for lists posts. In the example that we used earlier of eCommerce, using the “best” modifier on a Phrase Match level in a keyword research tool like Ahrefs can give you a nice list of ideas for list posts. 

One of the most prominent ideas in this list is the “best eCommerce platforms” one, which requires a list post with the best eCommerce platforms. The term is competitive, like with most terms that require a list post, especially if we’re talking about lists of B2B solutions or software. Let’s get a bit deeper into the intent behind such terms.

What’s the search intent behind it?

When it comes to list posts, the intent isn’t always clear right away. For example, we can see that for the target term “best podcasts”, it seems that the search intent is informational, since people using that query are looking for a list with the best podcasts out there.

On the other hand, someone looking for the term “best eCommerce platforms” is also looking for information, but may also be in the mood to try an eCommerce platform, even if it’s with a free trial. This is why the average CPC for that term is $20, even though the search volume on a global level is below 900 searches per month. 

Thus, when it comes to list posts, the intent will most likely be informational, while there’ll also be some hidden commercial investigation in it. Let’s take a look at what you need to include inside a list post. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

One of the main things you need to keep in mind when creating a list post is to keep the number as close as possible to the number you can see on the top results on Google search results. If you take a look at the top results on the SERPs for the term “best eCommerce platforms”, you’ll notice that most results have around 8-10 ecommerce platforms in their list. 

You won’t see a list of 100 eCommerce platforms because that doesn’t satisfy search intent. Of course, that may be different based on the intent behind the target query. For example, you can see that the top result in the SERPs for the term “search ranking factors” has 200 ranking factors. 

This means that different queries have different requirements when it comes to the number of items you’ll include in your post. Thus, if you want to satisfy search intent and make sure you can be competitive and relevant, always take a look at the SERPs to see what Google considers to be relevant for the term you’re covering. 

One additional thing to consider is that if the intent behind the target term is commercial or, at least, if there’s some commercial intent hidden behind the term, make sure to include a relevant call to action (CTA) that calls visitors to try your solution. 

You don’t want to be salesy, but there’s nothing wrong with giving visitors what they already had in mind.  

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Template #3: Step-by-step Post Template

This one is similar to the “how to” blog post that we saw in the beginning of this post. Let’s see what this blog post format is all about. 

What's the Step-by-step Post?

The main difference between the two blog post formats is that the step-by-step one has steps as headings while the “how to” one can describe the process in a different way. For example, as you can see in the screenshot below, in this guide by Backlinko, each step is a different section with its own subheadings and multimedia.

Image Source: Backlinko

Similar to the “how to” posts that we saw earlier, “step-by-step” guides are very good at driving top-of-the-funnel traffic. Let’s see What’s the intent behind this format of blog posts. 

What's the search intent behind it?

The search intent behind this format of blog post is mostly informational. This means that people searching for such posts are primarily looking for information and are not in the mood to buy or even conduct commercial investigation. This explains why a post like the following by Hootsuite has a traffic value that — according to Arhefs — is $249. 

So, when you’re creating such content, you have to be prepared to primarily drive traffic and raise awareness rather than get people to sign up for a free trial and try your product. 

However, what we see very often is the fact that this format of blog post attracts many links. This is why the post that we just looked at by Hootsuite has links from 68 different referring domains.

In general, it’s not easy to identify opportunities for step-by-step guides using modifiers, like with other blog post formats. For example, let’s take a look at the term “eCommerce”, putting it into Ahrefs’ keywords explorer Phrase Match function. We can see that there aren’t any prominent, or even promising, opportunities that we could cover with our content. 

Finding opportunities for new content can’t happen on a phrase match level using search modifiers. It happens while we’re classifying search intent for specific terms we’re interested in. 

This means that, when trying to understand what Google wants to see in order to consider your piece of content relevant for your target term, you have to identify whether or not this “what” involves a step-by-step guide. For example, let’s take a look at the top search results for the term “how to create an online course”.

It’s evident that not only users and, by extension, Google itself, expects to see a step-by-step guide for this target term, but this has to be an element that needs to be included in the title tag and other meta elements of the blog post as well. 

Thus, Google’s basically telling us that if we’re considering creating something around that term, it has to be a step-by-step guide and it also has to be highlighted in the meta data such as the title of the post. 

To sum it up, the intent behind step-by-step guides can be identified through search intent classification and not through search modifiers such as “{target term} + step”. Let’s take a look at what you need to include in this format of blog posts. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

Like with all blog post formats included in this post, what you need to pay attention to when working on such posts is satisfying search intent in the sense of not adding as many steps as possible, but including only the absolutely necessary ones. 

In other words, there’s no rule saying that “whoever has the most steps wins”. Once again, you have to find out what users expect to see and try to give it to them by satisfying search intent. In the example that we saw earlier, the average number of steps in the top 10 results is 8.4.

Thus, creating a post with 20 steps wouldn’t make sense and would most likely have the opposite results to what you’d intend. People want to get the sense that this is something they can do as well, ideally just by reading your post. 

This is why a good selection of steps here would be anything between 8 and 10. This, a) satisfies search intent and b) makes users understand that this is something they can apply right away. 

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Template #4: Beginner’s Guide Post Template

The fourth template in our list is the beginner’s guide. Let’s take a close look at the template and see what it’s all about.

What's the Beginner’s Guide Post?

The beginner’s guide, as the title indicates, is a guide for beginners. One of the most historic and popular beginner’s guides in the marketing world is the “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” by Moz. 

Image Source: Moz

This is a powerful guide that, according to Ahrefs, gets more than 148K monthly visits and ranks for more than more than 30.9K keywords, many of which are in positions 1-10. 

Interestingly enough, none of the keywords that bring the most traffic to this piece of content include the word “beginner” or “beginners”. The piece does rank for the term “seo for beginners” which has the term “seo” as a parent topic. This happens because, usually, users don’t search for beginner’s guides using the “beginner” modifier. 

Thus, beginner’s guides are most appropriate for terms and topics that are broad, such as SEO. What’s worth noting is that in our example the main page works as a pillar, while the individual pages covering the main aspects of SEO, e.g. CHAPTER 3: KEYWORD RESEARCH, work as topic clusters for the main page. 

The reason why this approach works in this example is because someone looking for the term “SEO” — which is among the top terms for this great blog post — is obviously looking to acquire general knowledge regarding SEO. Thus, breaking down the piece into different pages makes sense and seems to be working well for the company. 

In general, you always have to identify search intent behind the terms you’re thinking to create a beginner’s guide for and make sure that this is actually what the searchers are looking for. Let’s see how you can do that. 

What's the search intent behind it?

In the example that we discussed earlier, the target term is “SEO”. Let’s take a look at the SERPs for this term. 

What’s clear is that users searching for that term aren’t familiar with SEO and basically want to start learning about it. Thus, we can safely assume that they’re just starting out with SEO. This is why “beginner’s guides” and “What’s” pages dominate the SERPs. 

In this case, creating a beginner’s guide makes perfect sense as Google’s basically telling us that users searching for that query are pretty new to the topic – beginners – and want to educate themselves around SEO. 

The search intent behind the query is obviously information as it’s highly unlikely that someone looking for such a broad topic is in the mood to buy or conduct a commercial investigation. This is why the average CPC—according to Ahrefs—is just $11.

Some of the search modifiers you can use to identify opportunities for beginner’s guides are: 

  • What
  • What’s
  • Beginner
  • Definition
  • Easy
  • Essential
  • Learn

When conducting search intent classification using any of those terms, make sure that what searchers expect to see is indeed a beginner’s guide. Let’s take a look at what you need to include in your beginner’s guide blog post. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

The only thing you need to pay attention to when creating your beginner’s guide is that the content has to be created with actual beginners in mind. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this something that will benefit someone who’s new in {topic}?
  • Are there any concepts or definitions that aren’t clearly explained?
  • Can someone apply what they learned for {topic} right after reading the post?

If you feel that you can’t answer the questions above with confidence, make sure that you revise your piece of content and make any adjustments necessary so that it’s a blog post that is indeed targeted to beginners.

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Template #5: {Product A} vs {Product B} Post Template

The fifth template in our list is something we get to see very often when it comes to SaaS companies. Let’s take a look at what this format is all about.

What's the “vs” Post?

The “vs” post is a blog post that compares two solutions or products of the same category. The two products have to be very close when it comes to their capabilities so that the comparison makes sense. For example, the following piece on Visme’s blog compares Visme and Piktochart, since those two tools are very close when it comes to their product capabilities. 

According to Ahrefs, this piece ranks for 491 keywords and brings in 269 monthly visitors. However, what we need to consider is that the goal when it comes to such pages isn’t always to drive organic traffic. These pages can be useful in many other ways, such as to support your sales operations and customer success teams. 

As we covered earlier, in order for the comparison to make sense, the two products have to be very close when it comes to their capabilities. For some products, especially for category creators and industry leaders, there may be many opportunities for comparison pages. For example, you can see that for a product like HubSpot, there are many comparison terms that people are interested in and search for. 

You can’t expect the same for smaller companies or companies in their early stages. Regardless, a “vs” is a great opportunity for you to illustrate the differences between your product and other products in your category. 

What’s the search intent behind it?

The intent behind those terms is commercial. People comparing solutions are obviously in the mood to buy. For example, someone comparing LearnWorlds with Teachable knows what their problem is, what the solution to that problem is, and that those two products may be a good solution to that problem. 

At this point, they’re comparing solutions and since they’re using branded terms to do that comparison, it means that they’re well aware of the products they’re comparing. The fact that there is commercial investigation through comparison in those terms can also be explained from the fact that the average CPC for those terms is usually high.

For example, you can see that most terms comparing a competitive product to HubSpot have quite a high CPC. As expected, this is happening because there are advertisers and brands — in most cases, the brand that is included in the comparison — that bid for that term.

Thus, it is evident that the intent behind “vs” pieces is commercial and that to satisfy it, you have to give to visitors as much (and as accurate) information as possible based on what they’re looking for.

What to include

What to pay attention to

The first thing that you need to pay attention to when it comes to “vs” pages is that you need to compare only points that you know interest your target audience. To do that, you can use comparison tables like LearnWorlds does in it’s comparison guide with Thinkific.

When it comes to SaaS, there are some specific things that people are comparing and are thinking about. Things like: 

  • Pricing
  • Support
  • Online reviews
  • Educational material
  • Add-ons

Meaning these are some of the things that you need to include in your comparison guide. Of course, those points change based on the vertical or even industry you’re in. However, if you want to create a successful blog post that’ll work to your benefit, you have to identify and include them in your piece. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that everything you write has to be as unbiased and accurate as possible. To do that, you can add a small disclaimer at the beginning – before the intro or at the bottom of your post – like LearnWorlds does in the comparison guide that we just saw. 

In general, you have to be ethical and honest with everything that you write. You don’t want to do anything that could harm your brand reputation. If you want to learn more about comparison pages, make sure to take a look at the following video on our YouTube channel:

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Primary: Article Schema Markup (for blog posts)

Secondary: Web Page Schema Markup (for landing pages)

Author’s Note: Depending on the structure and format of your page, you can choose any of the above Schema Markup formats for your “vs” page. 

Download

Download in Google Docs Format

Download in PDF Format

 

Template #6: {Product} Alternatives Post Template

The next template in our list is the “product alternatives” one. This is a template that’s particularly useful and popular among SaaS companies. Let’s see what it’s all about. 

What's the Product Alternatives Post?

To understand what this blog post format is all about, let’s use a popular SaaS as an example: Slack. For the sake of example, let’s assume that you’re looking for an alternative to Slack, after having used it for a while to communicate with your team. Naturally, you’re going to search for it on Google, using the “slack alternatives” query. 

One of the first search results comes from Chanty, a communication tool that’s similar to Slack. This is what the post looks like:

Image Source: Chanty

This is a post that has perspective in it — the team at Chanty has actually tried and tested Slack alternatives to come up with that list. This can help a lot when it comes to getting clicks on the SERPs. Diving a bit deeper, we can see that this piece of content ranks for more than 850 keywords and brings in traffic with a monthly value of more than $2.3K.

We’re basically talking about a list post which brings in valuable traffic that, we assume, could be translated to a good number of sign ups for the tool. 

The purpose of this format of blog post is to present alternative solutions based on a competitive product that’s usually the leader in its market. Creating a piece of content for Slack alternatives is worth it exactly because Slack is one of the most popular products in this category. According to Ahrefs, there are more than 4.7 million searches for the term “slack” on a monthly basis.

Thus, it makes sense that some people will be looking for alternatives to Slack, and it also makes sense that there will be some pages around that topic. Having said that, product alternative pages are great in the context of creating them only for competing products for which there is sufficient demand. Let’s see what the intent is behind such terms. 

What's the search intent behind it?

It’s obvious that the search intent behind such terms is commercial. People searching for “product alternatives”, a) know what the product is all about and b) have probably used it and weren’t happy with the experience they had and thus are looking for an alternative solution. 

In the example that we saw earlier, it’s more than evident that some of the top ranking terms have commercial value, since there are advertisers bidding for those terms. 

This means that, when creating product alternative pages, you should expect to get some commercial value out of it. Of course, the value that you can expect to get is based on several factors, such as the average lifetime value (LTV) of every new user or customer acquired in your niche.

To identify opportunities for such pages, you can make a list of the top players in your industry or niche and use Ahrefs’ Phrase Match function to discover keyword opportunities with sufficient search volume. First, make a list of the top players in your industry and insert them into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. 

Next, use modifiers such as “alternative” or “alternatives” as shown below.

Based on the quality of the list of competitors you’ve inserted, you’ll get a list of terms that you can cover through your content. 

Some of them will be worth covering and going after, while some won’t be as good. Choose the ones that seem promising based on your qualification criteria and create a great content piece using our template.

What to include

What to pay attention to

The main thing that you need to pay attention to when creating such pages is to include your product as an alternative to the product you’ve created the page for. You can position your product either in the first place or in as last one so that it stands out from the rest of the recommended solutions. 

For example, in its “teachable alternatives” page, LearnWorlds included itself as one of the alternatives to Teachable. 

Of course, LearnWorlds is in the position to do that since it has reached a certain level of product maturity and can easily compete with any of the products in its category. Having said that, avoid creating an alternatives page if you haven’t reached a certain level of product maturity or if you’re at an earlier lifecycle stage in general. 

Compare your product with anything that’s equal and always be upfront as to what your product’s true capabilities are. If you want to learn more about comparison pages, make sure to take a look at the following video on our YouTube channel:

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Primary: Article Schema Markup (for blog posts)

Secondary: Web Page Schema Markup (for landing pages)

Template #7: {Product} Review Post Template

The seventh template in our list is the “product review” one. Let’s see what this template is all about.

What's the Product Review Post?

A product review post reviews a specific product. For example, the following post by EmailToolTester reviews Mailchimp, one of the first email marketing softwares.

Image Source: EmailToolTester

As expected, one of the main keywords and main drivers of traffic, according to Ahrefs, is “mailchimp review”.

This is a term that has a global search volume of 800 and an average CPC of $7. 

This means that a) the term has a decent search volume and b) the term has commercial value. Since this is a term that includes a branded term, Mailchimp, it’s only natural that there will be advertisers bidding on that term. 

However, we can see that even for Mailchimp — one of the most popular SaaS with over 4.8M monthly searches according to Ahrefs — the search volume isn’t as high as we’d expected. 

This means that, unless you’re at a more mature lifecycle stage, and your company is among the top competitors in your niche, you can’t expect to get organic traffic from such posts since, most likely, there will be insufficient demand for your target term. Let’s get a bit deeper when it comes to this blog post format.

What's the search intent behind it?

The search intent behind product review posts is mainly commercial. People looking for reviews of specific brands are obviously conducting commercial investigation since they’re clearly familiar with a specific product and want to know more about it. 

To identify such opportunities, you can use the “review” modifier on a Phrase Match level on a tool like Ahrefs. Here’s what that looks like for one of our clients, LearnWorlds. 

Author’s Note: Another modifier you can use when searching for opportunities for product reviews is the “teardown” one, which is particularly useful, especially for SaaS businesses. 

Let’s see what makes a great product review post. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

What you need to pay attention to when looking for opportunities for product review posts is avoiding posting such a piece of content on your own blog. Simply put, you can’t review your own product. Additionally, in most cases, you won’t be able to review your competitors’ products, as your post will be biased and this is something your readers and potential customers will know. 

What you can do is search for review websites that have already reviewed some of your competitors and ask them to do a review of your business as well. For example, let’s assume that we want to uncover opportunities from review sites for one of our clients, LearnWorlds. What we’d do is to make a list of the company’s main competitors and use the following search operators to come up with a list of opportunities. 

  • Intitle: “competitor review”
  • Inurl: competitor-review

Here’s how that looks for one of our client’s competitors, Teachable:

As you can see, in an instant and without using any other tools or software, we get a nice list of websites that could be open to writing a product review for our own client. From there, it’s only a matter of using personalized email outreach to build relationships and communicate our request. 

Remember: you can’t directly control what’s being said about your brand when someone is searching for it online, but you can indirectly control it. So, unless you’re running a review website, you need to be careful with your product review posts. 

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Primary: Article Schema Markup (for blog posts)

Secondary: Web Page Schema Markup (for landing pages)

Template #8: What's {Concept} Post Template

The next blog post template in our list is the “What’s” one. Let’s take a look at it. 

What's the “What's” Post?

The following post by LearnWorlds, explains What is an LMS (Learning Management System). 

The piece explains what a learning management system is, what the advantages of an LMS are, what the essential features of an LMS are, and also gives recommendations for readers who want to choose an LMS for their business. 

The target term in this example is “what’s an lms” which is a term with 600 monthly searches, according to Ahrefs. In addition to that, it seems that this is a relatively difficult term to rank for, since, according to Ahrefs, you’d need links from 53 different websites, or referring domains, to rank for the target term.

All in all, we could say that this is a good term to go after. Besides being a good opportunity though, it’s also essential on a business level. In the first stages of the user’s lifecycle journey, the user is searching for solutions based on their problems and needs. One of those solutions may be an LMS. 

Thus, if you’re running an LMS – software that helps businesses with their training needs – this is a page that you should have on your website. It’s easy to understand that “what is” pages aren’t good solely for the purpose of driving traffic to your website through organic search, but also for educating your potential customers about your products and services. 

In all these cases, you should be thinking of yourself as Wikipedia for your niche. Can you provide an accurate answer for what an LMS is? Can you do it so that the reader, who has just read your piece of content, won’t look for answers elsewhere? If so, you’ve achieved your goal and you’ve educated your visitor. 

These pages may not be good in terms of their commercial value,  which we’re going to talk about next, but, they’re an essential part of your content and SEO strategy. Let’s take a look at the intent behind those queries.

What's the search intent behind it?

The search intent behind “what is” queries is, most of the time, informational. We say “most of the time” because, in various cases, when the user has moved some steps forward in their lifecycle journey, they are using “what is” queries to express their commercial interest in a product or service. 

In the example that we used earlier, the average CPC for that term, according to Ahrefs, is $7. That’s not bad at all considering that we’re covering a term that includes the “what is” modifier.

Author’s Note: The average CPC here may be affected by the fact that advertisers and brands bidding for the target term haven’t set the term “what is an lms” as a negative keyword. 

This may indicate that some of the searchers using that query to conduct a search may be at a later stage in their journey, and thus the term has some commercial value. This doesn’t happen with all terms, of course. 

For example, we can see that top results on the SERPs for the term “CTR” are “what is” results — in other words, results that explain what CTR is. This also means that if we were to target that term, we would have to create a piece of content that answers the question, “what is CTR?”

As expected, the average CPC for that term, according to Ahrefs, is $1.20

The average CPC for the same term using the “what is” modifier is even less, $0. 

In other words, when targeting the term “what is ctr”, which has the term “ctr” as a parent topic, you can’t expect to get any commercial value. This happens because, as we explained earlier, not all terms with the “what is” modifier are the same. Some of them indicate a deeper knowledge and thus may hide some commercial interest on the subject matter. 

Some additional modifiers you can use to identify opportunities for “what is” blog posts are:

  • Definition/s
  • About
  • Basics
  • Essential
  • Learn
  • Meaning

Let’s see what you need to include in your “what is” post. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

When it comes to “what is” content pieces and doing research to identify such opportunities, you need to keep in mind that the intent won’t always be visible using the “what is” modifier. Most of the time, you’ll have to identify such opportunities by doing search intent classification on the SERPs. 

When the SERP for your target term includes results with definitions e.g. from an encyclopedia, Wikipedia pages, or support pages with answers, then that’s an indicator that what you need to create is a “what is” page. We saw earlier what the SERP for the term “ctr” looked like above the fold. Let’s see how it looks below the fold, 

All of the results above and below the fold answer the same question: “What’s CTR?” Thus, it is evident that the SERP is basically “telling us” that what we need to create to be considered as a relevant resource for that term is a page that clearly explains what CTR is. This won’t always be visible, but you can identify it by taking a close look at the SERPs for your target term.  

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Primary: Article Schema Markup (for blog posts)

Template #9: Case Study Post Template

The next blog post template in our list is the case study one. This is particularly useful when you’re at the early stages of running a business, where you basically have to prove the value of your product to get more customers or users on board.  

What's the Case Study Post?

A case study is a piece of content breaking down the process behind an achievement, something that’s noteworthy, and that usually illustrates the value of a product or a service-based business. For example, you can see that the following post on Backlinko’s website explains how Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, increased his website’s organic traffic by 652% in one week.

Image Source: Backlinko

As you can imagine, this format of post is very important and can be very successful in trying to prove the value of your offerings. In our example, Backlinko is a business that offers training for SEO professionals who want to level up their skills. What’s a better way to provide someone with a reason to buy your online course than explaining how you’re doing what you’re teaching on your own website? 

When it comes to case studies, the goal isn’t always to generate organic traffic — in fact, that’s rarely the case with case studies. As you can see below, Backlinko’s post doesn’t generate organic traffic for the website. However, it generates backlinks; 

Social shares:

But, most importantly, proves that Backlinko is a website where you can actually get valuable information on SEO. 

Having said that, don’t expect to get organic traffic from your case studies — not that it would be bad to do so — because the intent and purpose behind these pieces of content is different. Let’s dive a little deeper into the intent behind case studies. 

What's the search intent behind it?

First of all, it’s important to understand that, in most cases, searching for case studies isn’t something that happens on search engines like Google. It happens on the website, for a company that you know and want to evaluate. For example, let’s say that you’re interested in conversational marketing and decide to add a chatbot on your website, one of the first tools you’re going to check is Drift. 

Among the first things you’d want to check whilst on Drift’s website is case studies and success stories of companies that managed to generate more leads and money using Drift. 

Image Source: Drift

Searching those case studies can be a great lever to convince someone to take a step further, such as booking a demo or signing up for a free trial for your product. 

Even though the research for Drift’s, or any other business for that matter, case studies could start from a search engine, it usually doesn’t. Users search for case studies after visiting the website of a business they’re interested in. Visiting the website means that they have awareness of what the business is and does. 

Thus, as you can understand, case studies are great, but it’s definitely something that users will search for after learning about you and your brand and they’re usually going to do it on your website. This means that you have to make it easy for them to find and visit your case studies. 

The intent here is obviously commercial, and this is why case studies are so valuable for businesses — especially for those ones in their earlier stages. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

If you’re serving different customers in different markets,, like a marketing agency may be doing, you want to show different case studies from the different target audiences that you have. A great example of this is Klienboost, a PPC and CRO agency that breaks down it’s case studies into three categories:

  • SaaS 
  • Lead Gen
  • Ecomm

Image Source: Klientboost

This makes it easier for the visitor to find the case studies they want, based on the format of business they’re running and their specific needs. Thus, if you’re serving different customers in different industries, we’d recommend that you break them down per industry, vertical, or even service, to make it easier for your visitors to navigate on the page and find what they’re looking for.

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Primary: Article Schema Markup (for blog posts)

Secondary: Web Page Schema Markup (for landing pages)

Template #10: Opinion Post Template

The next blog post template in our list is the opinion one. Let’s see what this is all about. 

What's the Opinion Post?

The following post by SparkToro explains how content creators and brands should think when it comes to creating content. 

Image Source: SparkToro

As you can see, the post has a provocative title, which sparks interest and makes you want you to read the rest of the piece. This happens — or at least, should happen — with all opinion content pieces. 

When you’re writing a blog post that expresses your opinion on something, you have to basically “sell” your opinion, thoughts, and ideas. If you can’t be provocative about it, chances are that people aren’t going to buy into your story, statements, or whatever is that you want to say and won’t read your story. 

As you can see below, this piece by SparkToro doesn’t get any organic traffic. 

However, not surprisingly, we can see that the piece has 83 links (referring domains) in total;

It also attracts many reactions and comments. 

Image Source: SparkToro

This is something that happens with most opinion-based pieces. The goal here isn’t to generate organic traffic, at least not primarily, but rather to spark interest and initiate conversations about topics that, in many cases, are a bit controversial. 

The reason why those pieces can be successful is exactly because they share the opinion of the author or writer in a simple and straightforward way. Let’s see what’s the intent behind this format of content. 

What's the search intent behind it?

As we mentioned before, when it comes to opinion-based pieces, people aren’t searching for them directly using modifiers, unlike most other formats of blog posts in this list. In other words, it is more likely that readers will discover your opinion-based piece on social media or through online communities, rather than seeing them somewhere on top of the results. 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t expect or you won’t get organic traffic from your opinion-based piece. It just means that, in most cases, generating organic traffic or even ranking on the SERPs shouldn’t be your primary goal. 

In most cases, people consuming opinion-based content are looking for information on a certain topic. For example, someone reading an opinion-based piece on “SEO vs PPC” is obviously looking for information on the topic — the differences between the two channels as well as how they could be used together to help a business grow. 

This doesn’t mean that the reader wouldn’t look further into your website for your products and services. However, in most cases, the intent is purely informational and very often, it generates reactions such as comments, shares, and likes. That’s not the same as generating revenue, but not everything that you’re doing can have generating revenue as a goal . 

Let’s see what you need to include in your opinion-based piece of content. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

What you need to pay attention to when creating opinion-based pieces of content is to know exactly what you’re talking about. For example, a while back, I published a post on LinkedIn with the title: You’re Doing SEO Wrong (Here’s Why)

Image Source: LinkedIn

The truth is that LinkedIn is a place full of SEO experts and people who have been working in the field for many years. Now, imagine if some of the information I’m writing about was inaccurate or not well-backed. Anyone would have the right to call me out and debate me. However, until today (Mon 17 Aug) no one ever did, so I assume that my provocative LinkedIn article doesn’t contain anything that’s not accurate. 

When it comes to opinion-based content pieces, you have to be very careful with what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Anything can be misinterpreted and can easily put you in the spotlight. Also, you have to be in a position to answer questions and debate with people on the things you’re writing about since not all people are going to like what you published.

Even though, in general, I feel very confident with my knowledge around content and SEO, I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m far from it and in no case I can consider myself an expert. One thing I did before sharing this piece on LinkedIn was to share it with friends and partners whom I trust for feedback. The feedback was positive, so I decided to publish it. 

Make sure to always ask for early feedback and double-check everything before publishing your opinion-based piece. This may save you a lot of trouble and sometimes unproductive debates later.

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Primary: Article Schema Markup (for blog posts)

Template #11: Infographic Post Template

The next blog post template that we have is the infographic one. Let’s take a look at what this format is all about. 

What's the Infographic Post?

According to Visme, an infographic is “a visual representation of any kind of information or data”. Some people argue that infographics don’t work as well as they used to, but that’s far from accurate for two main reasons: a) you can’t be sure until you actually try this format on your own website and b) in many cases, infographics are still very successful in terms of helping you acquire links, get social shares, and generate buzz about your product or service.

Let’s see an example. Back in 2015, SiegeMedia published a post on the most popular keywords, based on data from Ahrefs. 

Image Source: SiegeMedia

As we can see below, this post has backlinks from 161 referring domains and ranks for more than 2.1K organic keywords. 

Not surprisingly, some of these 2.1K organic keywords are keywords with a high search volume and the piece by Siege ranks in the top positions for those terms. 

This is a great example of how an infographic post can help you acquire links and also generate organic traffic. This traffic may not drive business for you, meaning that it may not help you acquire clients, but that’s not the goal here. 

Infographics aren’t created — at least, not primarily — to generate new business, rather they’re to help you acquire links and get social shares. Let’s take a closer look at the intent behind this blog post format.

What's the search intent behind it?

Similar to other formats in this list, people are usually not searching for infographics using modifiers. Even though that’s not definitive, it applies most of the time. We can see that even though there is interest for very specific terms using the “infographic” modifier, this doesn’t happen often.  

For example, the post that we saw earlier by SiegeMedia doesn’t seem to be ranking – according to Ahrefs – for any keywords that include the “infographic” modifier. 

This is expected, of course, because as we just mentioned, people aren’t using the “infographic” modifier very often. However, this doesn’t prevent the piece ranking for hundreds of keywords and growing its organic footprint as time passes. 

Regardless, when people are using the “infographic” modifier for something they’re interested in, they’re most likely going to use it in something they’re creating or going to create. In other words, people using the “infographic” modifier are more likely to use this resource as a reference for something they’re creating.

This partially explains why infographics attract so many links and get so many shares on social media. It also shows that — even though search intent classification is, of course, important when it comes to understanding what people expect to see for a given term — when choosing the format of your piece, you shouldn’t be expecting to see other pieces of content that are infographics to conclude that what you need to create also has to be an infographic. 

You have to create something that’s valuable for your audience, knowing that it is highly likely that, if they find it useful, they’re going to share on social media and link back to it in their blogs. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

What you need to pay attention to when creating an infographic is to present information that is accurate, up to date, and give credits to all the sources used to gather the data presented in your infographic. For example, a while back Visme published an interactive infographic on COVID-19

As you might imagine, gathering data and discussing such an important topic is a serious thing. You have to be able to not only provide accurate information, but also prove the validity of the information you provide. This is why Visme included a section with all the references and sources used to create the infographic.

This is very important both for copyright reasons and to prove that the information you provide is accurate, even for such an important issue such as the pandemic. 

Thus, unless you’re using proprietary data, that is data owned by your company, for your infographic, you have to be in the position to show where you found the information that you’re presenting and give credit back to the websites and businesses who own that information. 

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Primary: Article Schema Markup (for blog posts)

Template #12: Expert Roundup Post Template

Before explaining what an expert roundup post is, I just want to mention that this isn’t a format we’re using for our clients nor would recommend very often when it comes to content creation. 

What's the Expert Roundup Post?

An expert roundup post is a curation of expert opinion on a very specific topic. For example, our friends at Digital Olympus — a trustworthy link building agency — published this expert roundup on traffic acquisition a while back. This is a curation of opinion by more than 40 experts based on a specific topic: how to acquire traffic for your website. 

Image Source: Digital Olympus

As you can imagine, creating a roundup post isn’t easy. For starters, you have to make a list of experts in your niche, which is always tough. However, the most difficult part is to reach out to those experts and actually get them to send over their answer. 

Very often, expert roundups attract many links. This means that, in most cases, they can be a linkable asset on your website. For example, the expert roundup we just saw on Digital Olympus’ blog has links from 42 different domains, according to Ahrefs.

Of course, to acquire links back to your expert roundup post, you should promote your piece of content. The people participating in your post will most likely share it on their social media and even return the favor of adding a link back to their website, by returning a link back to your website. 

In general though, you have to keep in mind that the purpose of creating such a blog post is to generate some buzz and draw some attention. I’d say that links are just a by-product of that. Now that you know what the expert roundup is all about, let’s take a look at the intent behind it. 

What's the search intent behind it?

The intent of an expert roundup post is primarily informational. Let’s use the following roundup on Robbie Richard’s blog as an example.

Image Source: RobbieRichards

As you can see, this is an expert roundup covering the best local SEO tools based on the opinion of 59 experts. According to Ahrefs, the top keyword for this piece of content, based on the amount of traffic the keyword brings in, is “local seo tools”, which is as you’d expect. 

As we can see below, the result stands out since it’s the only one that is a roundup and not a list post. 

What’s interesting in this particular example is the fact that, even though the intent is informational — people looking for “local seo tools” are basically looking for a list of the best local seo tools — there is also some commercial intent hidden behind the term. It isn’t evident right away, but it’s there. 

The reason for that is because the average CPC, according to Ahrefs, for the target term “local seo tools” is $13. 

his means that advertisers and brands are bidding for that term which, by extension, means that they’re getting value out of it. This is the perfect example of writing an expert roundup post — where in most cases, the intent is informational — and combining that with a term that also hides some commercial intent into it. As you can imagine, that’s not an easy thing to do. 

One thing that you have to keep in mind is that, mostly, people aren’t searching for expert roundups online, meaning that there aren’t any prominent modifiers such as roundup that you can use to identify opportunities for expert roundups. You have to be the one who creates those opportunities. 

Like Digital Olympus and Robbie Richards, our two examples, you have to feel confident that you can offer something different on the SERPs and that people will find it useful and interesting, even if all the top results of your competing pages for the target term have a different format like list posts.

Let’s move forward with what you need to include in your expert roundup post. 

What to include

What to pay attention to

When writing an expert roundup post, there are two things you need to consider:

  1. You’re going to need to include many experts, which means outgoing links to many different websites.
  2. You’re going to need something to offer in return for getting the quotes by the people participating in the post.

Regarding the first one, you have to keep in mind that the more outgoing links on a particular page, the more link equity that is being passed from that page to the pages you’re linking back to. 

This, of course, applies to all pages that include many links, such as list posts, in them. A way to save link equity, and prevent it from being spread and passed away to other websites, is to add a nofollow tag to the outgoing links on that particular page. For example, you can see that the following link to Google Trends on one of the pieces we created recently for one of our clients is nofollow. 

A valid argument here is that those links are given as an “exchange” for the quotes you’ll be receiving from the experts. This brings us to the second thing you need to consider when creating an expert roundup. 

You have to avoid direct link exchanges with the websites participating in your roundup. Unfortunately, it means that the very common I’ll link to you and you’ll link to me has to be avoided. Find something else you can offer, but avoid a direct link exchange with your participants. 

According to Google’s policy, this can be considered as a link scheme and thus hurt your website. 

There is nothing wrong with giving something back in exchange for the quote you got — after all, that person dedicated some time to give you that quote — as long as that “something” isn’t a direct link.

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Primary: Article Schema Markup (for blog posts)

Template #13: Survey Post Template

The second to last blog post format in our list is the survey one. Let’s see what this format is all about. 

What's the Survey Post?

A survey post is presenting the answers to specific questions given by a group of people. For example, in the following survey, SparkToro’s Co-Founder Rand Fishkin asked 734 marketing professionals to share how they’re hiring in the 2020 recession. 

Image Source: SparkToro

The post presents the answers that participants gave using charts, tables, and other visualizations. For each of the questions, there’s a short comment and analysis by the author of the post, Rand Fishkin. 

Surveys are great at helping your business connect with other professionals in your industry, but they also generate social shares and backlinks for your website. If you think about it, by design surveys are linkable since they present exclusive information that other people can reference when discussing a given topic.

For example, the survey that we just mentioned has links from 31 referring domains, according to Ahrefs. 

It may not be ranking for many keywords, but that’s not the goal here. In addition, the piece has 42 responses, which means that people have actually read and interacted with the piece. 

Image Source: SparkToro

This is something that we see very often when it comes to surveys. Even though, as we mentioned earlier, by design surveys are linkable and shareable, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to promote them. After all, people have to see your survey to link back to it and share it online. All in all though, even if surveys are among the most difficult pieces of content to create, the outcomes of creating a survey are noteworthy. 

Let’s see what’s the intent behind surveys. 

What's the search intent behind it?

The intent behind surveys is purely informational. People reading a survey are basically searching for information on a given topic. When searching for SEO-related content using Ahrefs’ Content Explorer; 

We can see that most of the surveys found in Ahrefs’ index — sorted by the number of referring domains — have many links pointing back to them. 

This shows us that when people are searching for surveys, they’re obviously looking for information on the topic they’re interested in, but also are looking for a resource they can reference to back up their statements. 

There isn’t commercial intent — at least not in most situations — behind survey-related searches. Thus, when creating a survey, make sure to make it as interesting as possible and easy for someone to link back to it, by having aesthetically appealing graphic designs presenting your data, for example.

What to include

What to pay attention to

The main thing that you need to pay attention to when creating your study is the accuracy of your data. Make sure to give an end date for when you’ll stop accepting new responses and take enough time to evaluate and analyze the responses you’ve gathered. Passing on wrong information could harm your reputation and business integrity. 

One more thing you need to pay attention to is to create graphs and charts that are truly linkable and shareable. After all, you made all this effort to gather and analyze data, why not allocate time and resources to presenting them in an optimal way? If you don’t have an in-house designer, make sure to hire an agency or freelancer. 

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Primary: Article Schema Markup (for blog posts)

Template #14: Original Study Post Template

Original studies are probably the most interesting blog post format among the ones that we covered throughout that post. Let’s see what it’s all about.

What's the Original Study Post?

An original study is an analysis of a dataset conducted by a company based on a specific topic. For example, the following study by Backlinko is an analysis on 11.8 Google search results with the goal to understand what makes pages rank higher and perform better organically. 

Image Source: Backlinko

Similar to other formats that we saw throughout this post, studies are particularly linkable, meaning that people tend to refer to them and link back to them very often. Understanding why is obvious. By design, original studies include linkable elements that people can use to back their statements. 

For example, while creating a piece around backlinking, it only makes sense to add a graph that presents the fact that most online pages get very few backlinks. 

Image Source: Backlinko

What’s interesting though, is that studies aren’t only good in helping us generate backlinks; they can also help us generate organic traffic. This doesn’t apply to all cases, but it applies in many cases. An example of this is the study by Backlinko we just mentioned; this study ranks for over 4K keywords according to Ahrefs.

Original studies are great from an organic perspective. They’re important for an additional reason though: they can help you establish yourself as an authority in your niche and improve your business credibility as someone who knows what they’re talking about.  

Let’s see what’s the intent behind studies.

What's the search intent behind it?

Generally, people aren’t looking for studies in the sense that they’re not using search modifiers like “study” when they’re searching for content online. In that context, you shouldn’t expect targeting a specific term that reflects the interest for a study on a given topic. Let’s take our SaaS study as an example. 

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It’s highly unlikely that someone would look for a study on how SaaS companies perform organically. However, it is likely that people are going to be interested in such a study when they discover it through organic search of relevant terms, or through social media, and anyone who might have shared it online. 

It’s obvious that the intent behind studies is informational. However, you shouldn’t expect that when publishing your study, people are going to search about it. They may help amplify it by sharing it online and linking back to it. 

This means that, if you’re going to allocate time and resources to create such a resource, you also have to have a plan to promote it. Otherwise, you can’t expect the piece to be found, let alone be shared and linked back to.

What to include

What to pay attention to

Knowing that by design original studies are linkable pieces of content, you need to pay extra attention to two things:

  1. Everything that you say has to be accurate. Check and double-check the numbers so that there aren’t any data discrepancies that could lead to mistakes in your study design.
  2. Create great graphs and charts that will present your findings. Everything in your study has to be linkable and ready to be shared on social media. That’s the main purpose of your study, so do your best to create graphics that are aesthetically appealing.

Besides those two things, you also have to keep in mind what we discussed earlier: you have to be ready to promote your study after publishing it so that you can justify the time and total investment in creating it. If you’re not willing to promote it, then don’t bother creating it at all. 

Examples

Schema Markup to use

Wrapping Up

This post has the goal of filling in the gaps and to help you streamline your content creation process. Regardless of whether you’re a blogger or a business owner, we believe that our downloadable blog post templates will save you time and resources.

However, even the best templates can’t help you get the results you deserve if you don’t put in the work needed and dedicate time and resources to create great content. Of course, having a blog post template for each occasion isn’t the same as starting from a blank page. 

These templates should be treated exactly as they are: templates. Be sure to make adjustments as you see fit and add your own personal touch to your content creation process. 

Note: We’ll be updating this guide regularly and will be sure to add more blog post templates if we believe it’s necessary.