Tuesday 24 September, 2013
Want to create content faster? The way to do it is to use templates. A template is an article format into which you plug your content. Using templates, you can take the same tips, points, or bits of information, and repurpose it in different ways by giving it a new spin.
I recommend starting your own templates file. Make a list of all the templates you’ve recognized and a few examples of each. You can refer to this templates file whenever you’re stuck on ideas for content or you want to repurpose.
To get your list started, here are 16 commonly used templates.
X Tips – Give the reader a handful of tips and number them (as I’ve done with this article) because numbered titles are more noticeable.
How To – The How To Article explains how to do something from beginning to end. You’re probably already using this template without realizing it.
Step By Step – Like the How To Article, the Step By Step Article walks the reader through the process of doing something and it’s broken up into numbered steps.
List – People love lists and you can list just about anything related to your niche.
FAQ – Take tips, list items, best practices or whatever and turn them into answers. Then, create questions that ask for those answers. Put them into a logical order and you have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Right Way vs. Wrong Way – Take a few mistakes people commonly make and explain why it’s bad to make these mistakes. Then, tell the reader the ‘Right Way’ to do it. You can take any kind of tips and reverse them to make ‘Wrong Ways.’
Old Way vs. New Way – This is actually the same as the Right Way vs. Wrong Way Article, but it introduces a time element. The old way is the wrong way.
Common Mistakes – This is also a variation on Right Way vs. Wrong Way, but instead you call them mistakes. Like Right Way vs. Wrong Way, you can start with the right way and reverse them to make mistakes.
Common Myths – The Common Myths Article presents misconceptions about a topic and then explains the truth behind them. Again, you can start with the truth (tips, tricks, best practices, etc.) and reverse them to create myths.
What I Learned – The What I Learned Article is a personal story that starts with you doing something wrong, and through some experience, you learn how to do it right. This is a great article type because it resonates with your readers. They’re probably experiencing the same problems you were.
News Story – To write a News Story Article, find a recent news story in your niche and summarize it. Then, add your own opinion or tips.
Quiz, Test or Poll – Take your content and make test questions out of them. At the end, let your readers see how well they did and offer an action step to help them solve their problem.
3 Reasons – Take one tip or idea and explain in three reasons (or whatever number is suitable) why it’s good.
3 Examples – Take one tip or idea and write out three examples (or however many) to illustrate how it works.
Things To Look For – The Things To Look For Article helps your reader make a purchase or decide on something.
Is This For You – The Is This For You Article helps the reader decide whether to pursue a certain path or not.
For each of these article templates, you’re plugging in the same tips and ideas but presenting them in different ways. Using templates doesn’t just help you create content faster but also gives your audience a variety of ways to consume the information.