Different types of written content and how you should write them

When it comes to content writing, one formula doesn’t fit all.

Depending on what kind of content you are writing, and how you want your readers to act after reading it, you need to use different techniques to make it work. In this post, we will be discussing the most popular types of writing and what should be the optimal format and techniques to make them effective.

Types of content:

  • Web content
  • Blog post
  • News story
  • Listicles
  • Product/page description
  • Tutorial/How to
  • Academic
  • Press release

Here, I am covering only the types of written content that are published on websites. For more, you can refer to this excellent article that covers 113 different types of content.

Web content

This is pretty simple. Web content is what you see on a company’s website. Check out Whatsapp.com for example. They just have one product i.e. the Whatsapp app, and the entire content on the website is all about the app itself.

Web content should focus on communicating the benefits of the products or services that the company offers. Ideally, a web content is segregated into different sections or pages, highlighting different aspects, like an overview of the product, pricing, benefits, after sales support, about, contact etc. To make the pitch effective, try to add some reviews or testimonial of the existing users.

Blog post

A blog post is mostly about sharing your views and opinion about something. It could be a product, service, event, person etc.

People often confuse writing news with blogging. Writing news is merely reporting an event with facts. However, if you are reporting with your own views and opinions about the event, it can be considered as blogging.

Moreover, blogging also includes writing reviews, recommendations of best products (e.g. Top five articles), product comparisons etc. All of them include your opinion in one form or another. Every article published on this blog can be considered an example of a blog post.

News story

A News story should report about an event in the most unbiased manner.

News stories are often short. You should start with breaking the news in the first paragraph and then reporting the details in the following paragraphs.

Key news writing tips include using 5Ws (Who, What, When, Where and Why) and inverted pyramid format. According to this format, a news starts with the lede (breaking the news) and then presents facts in the descending order of importance.

Listicle

Listicle means ‘a list article’. As evident, it refers to presenting information in a list format. This kind of article has gained a lot of popularity in the recent years.

A listicle should start with an introduction paragraph, followed by a list on the topic. Make sure to keep the intro paragraph short and to the point, so that the reader can get down to the real business soon. A listicle should be easy on the mind to consume.

Product/page description

Product descriptions are mostly used on the e-commerce websites. However, with the increasing number of product comparison websites, the importance of product descriptions has become more significant.

For example, if a user is looking to buy a mobile phone, there are thousands of websites listing the same mobile phone with its images and specifications. The problem is, since the set of specifications are same on all the pages, the content is also more or less same. So how would you make your page stand out to rank it higher on Google? The answer is, write an informative description of the product.

A product description serves two purposes. First, it adds unique content to your page, which helps in improving its ranking on the search engine. Secondly, it makes the page more useful for the users.

While writing a product description, make sure to cover all the aspects segregated into different subheadings. For SEO benefits, try adding some relevant long-tail keywords.

Tutorials/How to

These kinds of articles are loved by search engines, considering the fact that they are providing a solution to some specific problems. Moreover, these kinds of blogs are easy to monetize through both advertisement and affiliate marketing channels.

  • Always write a tutorial in a step-wise format. This makes it easy to understand for the readers. If it’s a long tutorial, break it into multiple subheadings.
  • Use screenshots and GIFs as required to make the steps easier to understand.
  • If possible also post a video tutorial along with the content. This has two benefits – You can post the video on Youtube and get traffic to your blog via posting a backlink in the description. And a wide chunk of users prefer videos over written content
  • But make sure to include the written content as well. This makes the article SEO-friendly. Plus there’s another chunk of people who prefer written content over the video.

An excellent example of a tutorial post can be found here at WPbeginner.

Academic writing

Academic writing is a vast segment, which includes any kind of writing done for the educational purpose. Majorly it covers two things: A student making an assignment to submit to his professor, and A professor writing lessons for his students. But it includes a ton of other things as well e.g. creating an educational ebook, writing blog posts covering course lessons etc., can be considered as a part of academic writing.

There can not be a clear set of rules for content writing, but you need to keep the purpose of writing in your mind. Make sure it covers all the points required and is easy to read and understand.

Press release

In simple terms, a press release in an official announcement of an event by the company. It could be a product launch, annual report, shareholder’s meeting and a number of other things.

Writing a press release is very similar to writing a news. The first paragraph should announce the event, followed by further details in the following paragraphs. But a press release should include a couple of statements from the management-level officers. At the end of the press release, make sure to include a paragraph about the company and mention the details of the person that should be contacted by other media reports for further information.

Summarising

Having a clear idea of the different types of content could help you in formulating an impactful content strategy for your (or your employer’s) website. If you are (or planning to be) a freelance content writer, it will help you to understand what type of content you can write better and gain expertise quickly.

Whatever content you are writing, just make sure to follow the basics of content writing and you should be good.

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About the Author: Ashwini Sah

Ashwini Sah is a content strategist and developer. He has assisted various web-based start-ups with core content development and scale-up via adding more verticals of content. He blogs about content writing tips on ContentLane.com.

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