Content Types to Feed the Hungry Follower

It’s probably been about 10 years, maybe more, since HubSpot did a post on 5 different types of blog posts that every blogger should use. They used food analogies to explain and define them, that’s how I remember the post. (I love food analogies for anything!) And while content marketing has come a long way in the intervening years, those analogies, those types, of content, are still working today.

I don’t remember the exact analogies they used anymore, so I’ve come up with my own food comparisons to describe and define the 5 ideal content types every content marketer should be using, whether blogging or vlogging or podcasting or whatever your choice of content makes you you.

Content Types #1: Toast and Orange Juice

I could have easily called this content type eggs and bacon, or bagels and cream cheese, or oatmeal. We’ve heard all our lives about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Your “breakfast” content offerings are the most important to your efforts, too.

They are your every day, run-of-the-mill post or cast or video. The content typically teaches or encourages or engages. It’s the stuff you can talk about or do for 20 minutes or more without notes or hesitating.

It’s what keeps your audience coming back for more. And it’s the content type that appeals to new followers and creates loyal audience members out of them. To take the breakfast analogy one step further, it’s the content that gets them up, going, prepared to go further with you, your content, and your biz.

Content Types #2: The Main Dish Salad

Taco salad. Spicy chickpea salad. Steak and spinach salad. (Make mine a portabello steak, please.)

Menus are full of healthier, better-for-you meal choices these days. And who doesn’t love a good, hearty, healthy salad? It’s not something we want for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it’s a nice change of pace every now and then. We make even make it a habit if we think it’s important enough to our health.

And that’s just what salad posts are – a nice change of pace from your everyday fare, with a bit more thought and purpose added to them. They may take a bit more time to create. They certainly are good for you and your audience, too.

Consider them “thought” leadership content. Encouraging content. They could be empathetic, too. It’s the kind of content that goes beyond a simple lesson or single concept. It speaks to the heart of your topic, of you, your biz, your audience.

Content Types #3: A Bowl of Chili

A bowl of chili on a cold winter’s day warms you up on the inside. A bowl of fiery-hot spicy chili warms you up inside and out, setting your mouth and your world on fire.

Chili content types fire up your audience, too.

It’s the rant you go on over some inexplicable change to policy or law that affects your biz. It’s the controversial stand you take against some sacred cow in your field. And it can be your own social and political beliefs, honestly and unashamedly shared with your followers. That’s when the chili is too hot and all that heat isn’t necessarily what they want.

Chili content can also fire them up in a good way.

It’s the content about your upcoming book launch. Or a new product. Or team member. It gets them excited for your latest achievements, your latest offers, your latest collaboration.

In short, a chili content type creates a fired-up emotional response. The choice of response – positive or negative – is up to you. And just like how you don’t want salad at every meal, chili content is best used sparingly, too. Too much heat can be a turn off, especially when the chili starts to get cold.

Content Types #4 – Sunday Dinner

This is the full-meal deal, here, folks. No simple sandwich or salad or bowl of cereal. It’s a feast that takes time and effort to prepare. This type of content is in-depth. It takes research and resources to make it something to talk about for a while to come.

And like a good feast, it has many separate parts that all blend together. Each has its own flavor and purpose, and can stand on its own, but together, they create something magical.

The Sunday dinner content type is the ebook. The blog series. The course you create. The seminar you host.

It’s not the sort of thing you want everyday. It’s a big, heavy, stick-with-you meal. But once in a while, just like once a week or so at Mama’s house, Sunday dinner content is necessary and satisfying.

Content Types #5 – The Ice Cream

Ice cream is fun. It’s frivolous. No one needs ice cream, and yet, we all like to have some now and then. I’ve even seen keto ice cream and non-dairy ice cream, and sugar free ice cream, to accommodate those with special dietary or lifestyle demands. That’s how much we like ice cream.

Ice cream style content is just as fun. Just as frivolous. And just as necessary.

It’s the meme or funny video you find or create and post. It’s the industry-related jokes you share on every Friday’s podcast. The wacko survey you decide to do, like which flavor of ice cream is liked best by your followers. The “office pets” photo content you encourage on your social media. And it can even be the “900 Mistakes We’ve Made This Week and How to Avoid Them” story.

Delivering up ice cream type content isn’t something you want to do every time you sit down to create content for your audience. But just like dessert at the end of the meal, or an ice cream cone in the middle of running errands on a busy day, it can be, and is, a welcome treat.

An Extra Content Type: Fine Wine

HubPsot stopped at 5 content types all those years ago. And if those five were all you ever created for your blog or podcast or social, you’d be better off than about 85% of content marketers who never really mix things up.

I happen to think, however, that one more addition to our smorgasbord of good content should be served up to our guests. Fine wine.

This is content that only gets better with time. Some call it cornerstone content. Others call it anchor content. Still others, “hub” content. And others, evergreen.

Whatever you call it, it has a lasting appeal. It is so fundamental to your industry, your field, your unique biz, that it never goes out of style. You can open it today and enjoy it, or at least get as much out of it, as you could last year or last decade. (I know wine has to age, but I think you get my gist here.)

And like fine wine, it goes well with your other offerings, too. It may stand out on its own every now and then, but when taken as a whole with the rest of your content, it becomes an integral part of it all.

There is no one specific kind of post that can be called a fine wine content type. It may be a series that explains who you are and what you do. It could be an ebook, or a podcast that establishes your brand. A course that teaches the basics of your field. A meme that becomes so ingrained with your biz and brand that even you can’t think of it without it.

That is to say, you can create fine wine content intentionally, but sometimes it just happens. You realize that a piece you published or a post you created is now considered an “essential” for new followers to consume, whether you intended for it to be so, or not.

Content Types – Where to Go From Here?

Now that you know about the feasts that can be created for your content marketing efforts, what do you plan to do with them? One thing you can do is to add them into your content marketing strategy plan. Decide to thrown in a Sunday dinner series. Or some ice cream for dessert. (By the way, ice cream is quite often a very engaging content type as the audience loves to react and share in the fun.) How about a bowl of chili to spice things up? Your oatmeal will most likely take care of itself.

Oh, and please do drop a line in the comments with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Mine is vanilla bean with caramel sauce and cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Till next time, bon appetit!

Why I’m a Health and Wellness Content Writer

Hi, I’m not a doctor, and no, I don’t play one on tv. What I am is a health and wellness writer, and that’s possibly the last thing I ever intended to be.

For years and years in this freelance game, I was a “generalist”. I would write about anything for anyone. Real estate. Law. Insurance. Cryptocurrencies. Education. Software. Web dev. Business coaches. Weight loss. Political campaigns. CBD and hemp. Even “sexy” men’s under garments and swim wear. (Maaaaaan, was the research fun for that one!)

Maybe it’s my slight touch of ADHD, or maybe it’s just because I’m a hopeless autodidact always craving to learn about new topics and share new-to-me findings, but the idea of “settling” into a niche never appealed to me.

I’ll get bored. I’ll get burnt out. I’ll become stifled and find nothing but the damn blinking cursor every time I sit down.

Happy Birthday, Health and Wellness Writer!

And then, several things happened:

  1. I ended up in hospital with my own health crisis. Business fell completely apart and, to be honest, I’m still rebuilding 2 years on. I could easily make any change, take any “pivot” I chose because in many respects, I was given the chance to start over.
  2. I was asked by a freelance writing coach to look back on the non-writing jobs I’ve had in the past and choose which ones I liked the best. And then to do the same with the writing gigs and clients. A pattern soon emerged. (More on this in a moment…..)
  3. My birthday in 2020 was the very day the national emergency over the coronavirus was declared and the entire world suddenly became obsessed with health and wellness. Suddenly, I was having articles featured on The Odyssey Online magazine and being asked to give Zoom room talks to fellow entrepreneurs and instant work-from-home folks.

So, a health and wellness content writer was (sorta) born.

A Health and Wellness History

Why “sorta”? Well, remember #2 up there? Looking back, the non-writing gigs I had enjoyed the most were:

*training and working as an EMT
*working for a hospice
*working in an assisted living home for seniors
*working in an assisted living home for disabled teens and young adults

And my favorite writing clients and gigs were:

*a cosmetologist (plastic surgeon) in Beverley Hills
*an oncologist in DC
*a chiropractor in NYC
*a massage therapist in CO
*a marijuana campaign in CA (we lost, but we fought the good fight)
*a spa in OR
*a dentist in MD
*an herb farm in Australia
*a mental health group in Canada
*a nutritionist in FL
*a healthy lifestyle coach in GA

I had accidentally, over the years, found my niche. My people. My tribe. And I had never realized it.

I had also been really bad about keeping up with any health and wellness related portfolio or testimonials, because I didn’t really think of it as “work”. I was “helping” those who help others. It didn’t seem right to ask them for favors.

My Favorite Health and Wellness Topics

I prefer the “softer” side of health and wellness. To be honest, while I enjoyed the “hard medicine” of the plastic surgeon and the oncologist and the dentist, they weren’t exactly the easiest jobs in the world.

Too technical. Too many “big” words. Too much Latin to decipher. I spent half my time writing for those guys decoding the medical jargon so their readers and patients could understand what they were saying. I was only part writer. The rest was translating and defining.

My “softer” health and wellness peeps, though, were wonderful clients and easy to work for. Looking back, those jobs flew by, because I was just enjoying every minute of the work. It showed, too, in the quality of the work and in their satisfaction with it when our time together was over.

Narrowing things down a bit more (what do you call that, a sub-niche?), I’ve concluded that these are my favorite things to write about, and why.

Mental Health, especially for my fellow biz peeps out there.

I come from a long line of flakes, fruits, and nuts. And produced two more. Everyone in my immediate family has dealt or is dealing with some sort of mental health issue. The self-education alone that I’ve gained from my family members (and myself) on various issues like anxiety, depression, dysthymia, PTSD, ADHD, OCD, chronic stress, and manic-depressive disorder has been extensive.

I also believe, and know first-hand, that if you aren’t mentally healthy, your biz won’t be financially healthy. Your biz success really is all in your head.

Nutrition, especially plant-based and vegetarian lifestyles.

I was the kid who would rather feed her meat to the family farm dogs than eat it. I much prefer beans to burgers. Cheese to chicken. I also believe that a great deal of our society’s and culture’s health issues stem from what’s on our plates. We rely on medications to fix what our mouths have messed up. Our plates can, and should be, our apothecaries.

Healthy lifestyle practices.

Massage therapy. Acupuncture. Yoga. Chiropracty. Walking. Running. Daily vitamin and herbal supplements. Meditation. Why? Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Again, if you are suffering, your biz will suffer, too. Oh, and I practice and support most of these, myself.

Disability advocacy

I have two genetic “defects” that affect my daily life and work. One is neurological, and the other is hematological.

The neuro issue affects my hands and arms, legs and feet. It is degenerative and progressive. How disabled will I be before I leave this earthly realm is yet to be seen, but there are a whole host of things I can’t do now that I was perfectly capable of 20 years ago.

The blood disorder means I have to take a very expensive medication every day of my life or risk life-threatening blood clots that have hospitalized me twice already.

I’m also a body image advocate.

And yes, a real one, who believes that it’s not body positivity, but rather body neutrality we should be striving for. I also believe that being body neutral doesn’t mean you have to settle for the body you’ve got. You can strive to make changes. It’s just that those changes are because you want a healthier body, and not because some magazine or website or other person says you need a thinner or more muscular one.

What This Means for Your Health and Wellness Biz

So, what does all this mean for you, Dear Reader? There’s an awful lot of stuff about me in this post, after all.

What it means for you is that you can rely on me to understand your health and wellness biz. I’ve probably worked for a biz similar to yours, even if my portfolio doesn’t show it right now.

You’ll be getting a writer who cares. You can count on me to share your desire to help others. It’s what makes me get up in the morning and hit the keyboard.

You’ll be getting a writer who has a varied, but patterned background. While the topics listed above are my loves, my passions, the things I could give that “20 minute talk with no notes” on, they aren’t the only health and wellness topics I can write about. Hit me up if you’re curious to know if I can help you, too. I’m always ready for a change of pace.

Till next time, Dear One…..stay healthy!