The Ultimate Guide To Editorial Content Types and Formats

April 1, 2014 Robin Good

I am often surprised when hear from web publishers, journalists and small web entrepreneurs about their frustration with finding ways to create valuable content that it is not just another article or blog post.

"content-formats-types-2014-450a.jpg"
Photo credit: Robin Good - Original full size table

Although there are more than 100 types of content that one can actually create, we dilute most of our energy and resources in producing what most others do, news and light article content, without ever considering that there exist a ton of other content alternatives that could be utilized.

This is why I have decided to create this catalogue of content types. To remind writers and editors, that there are a tens of alternative opportunities for creating valuable content and that it is only up to me and you to pick them up and use them.

While there have been other attempts at listing and cataloging formats and types of content that can be published online (which I have listed and referenced at the end of this article), I have tried to improve upon them, not just by extending the number of formats covered (over 100), but also by identifying relevant examples, and where possible, appropriate tools, that can be useful to create that specific type of content.

If you would like to help, feel free to contribute suggestions for additional relevant content types I may have overlooked, as well as for appropriate real-world examples and software tools / web apps that can be of aid in creating these.

The catalog is divided in 11 different general content categories to facilitate browsing and finding relevant alternatives and options for most content types.

Here all the details:







Synthesis - Reference

"guide_content_types_synthesis_ss_173069252_300.jpg"

Df - Definitions

Curated collection of the most relevant and diverse definitions of a specific subject, issue or topic Example: What Is Content Curation: Definition Relevant tools: Bundlr

Ck - Checklist

List of items, tools or resources to check to do something or to achieve a specific goal Examples: Relevant tools: Checklist.com

Ap - Action Plans

List of steps to be taken to do or to achieve a specific goal Relevant tools:

Gl - Glossary

Alphabetical list of terms or words relating to a specific subject, text, or dialect, with clear descriptions Relevant tools:

Di - Directory

Listing of resources, tools, companies, events or individuals for a specific use / application and organized around specific criteria (location, age, features, etc.) Relevant tools:

Lb - Links Bundle

Collection of web links to specific online resources that can be shared with just one link Relevant tools:

Pl - People List

List of individuals characterized by unique traits, skills, abilities - Who's Who - Expert List - Who To Follow Relevant tools:

Ca - Catalog

Comprehensive list of items, classified and organized around a specific topic Relevant tools:

Ct - Comparison Table

Tabular data organized to facilitate comparison between one or more items Relevant tools:

Cc - Collection of Collections

Collection of existing collections threaded together by a unique theme Example: Museum of Museums Relevant tools: Acrobat






News & Stories

"guide_cotent_types_news_ss_148356707_300.jpg"

Ns - News Story

Reporting of a news story already covered by others Relevant tools:

Nh - Newshub

Web page automatically aggregating news and stories coming from different sources Example: AllTop Relevant tools:

Nc - Curated Newspage

Web page aggregating and curating the most relevant news on a specific topic or for a specific audience Example: Techmeme Relevant tools:

Sc - Scoop

Break a story first by reporting or writing on something that has not been reported about by others Relevant tools: Medium

Tr - Tool Review

Written review of a new product or service providing information on its use, features, pros and cons

Op - Personal Opinion

Article expressing the author opinion on a topic, issue, person or event. Relevant tools:

Ps - Personal Story

Personal recount of something that happened Relevant tools:

Ol - Open Letter

Communication directed at a specific subject, person or organization and advocating a specific solution or course of action Example: Open Letters - Examples (Wikipedia)

Bo - Best of

List of information items, resources or tools ranked Example: Best Free Video Conferencing Tools 2014 Relevant tools:

Eg - Evergreen

Archived content that is still relevant today as it was when it was first published Relevant tools: Google Analytics (to find it)

Cu - Curated Story

In-depth analysis of a specific resource, content or story enriched by personal insight, explanations, quotes, annotations and relevant links Example: Maria Popova Brainpickings Relevant tools:

Ac - Articles Collection

Collection of selected best articles from one or more sources on a specific topic Relevant tools:






Data-Analysis

"guide_content_types_data_analysis_ss_170017661_300.jpg"

Da - Data Analysis

Written report focussing on the inspection, cleanup, transformation and modeling of (statistical) data with the goal of discovering useful information, patterns and trends Examples: Relevant tools:

Cs - Case Study

Analysis of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time Examples:

Lf - LongForm Article

In-depth news, analysis, report or opinion content articles exceeding 2000 words. Long-form articles take often the form of creative nonfiction or storytelling / narrative journalism Examples: Relevant tools for research:

Sf - SnowFallen

Long-format content augmented by video clips, animations, interactive maps and other multimedia elements Examples: Relevant tools: Exposure.so

Rr - Research Report

Authoritative report or guide helping readers to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision Relevant tools:

Wp - White Paper

Authoritative report or guide helping readers to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision Examples:

Ir - Investigative Report

A deep investigative research effort around a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing (Wkpd) Examples:

Ta - Trend Analysis

Report analyzing collected data to extrapolate and identify key patterns and to predict, speculate and anticipate future lines of likely change Relevant tools: Google Trends

Id - Industry Report

Comprehensive business information report, including research, trends and business growth data focusing on a specific industry sector Examples: Relevant tools: Marketing Zakta






Entertainment

"guide_content_types_entertainment_ss_171748802_260.jpg"

Fc - Fun Content

Humorous, ironic, funny content including jokes, short stories, photo-retouched images Relevant tools:

Co - Comics

Ironic, funny graphic illustration or visual Relevant tools: Pixton, Comic Life

Ca - Animated Characters

Animated video clip containing virtual characters that interpret a scripted story Example: GoAnimate Videos Relevant tools: GoAnimate

Cn - Contest Competition

Intellectual non-physical competition to identify the best performer / most informed person in a specific area Example: EmpireAvenue Relevant tools: ContestGen

Ml - Movie List

Annotated compilation of movie titles on a specific topic / theme Relevant tools: Collectorz Movie

Ap - Audio Playlist

Curated selection of audio tracks saved into a unique annotated sequence Relevant tools:

Vp - Video Playlist

Curated selection of video tracks collected together into one Relevant tools:






Visual

"guide_content_types_visual_ss_177923381_280.jpg"

Ig - Image Gallery

Annotated gallery of selected images accompanied by informative captions Relevant tools:

Pr - Slide Presentation

Deck of digital slides containing text and images Relevant tools:

Vm - Visual Manifesto

Illustrated manifesto of a company, organization or tribe representing its ideals, dreams, mission, objectives, common traits Example: Manifesto Relevant tools:

Mm - Mindmap

Conceptual map illustrating a series of ideas, a collection of resources, a plan, strategy, or a sequence of steps to follow Relevant tools:

In - Infographic

Information graphic synthesizing and highlighting key data, statistics, and other relevant info about a specific topic presented in a visually engaging way Relevant tools:

Sf - Social Flag

Visual content which generally include inspiring text citations, designed to match a specific community peculiar traits, ideals, fears and dreams Relevant tools:

Vg - Visual Magazine

Annotated collection of articles on a specific topic or theme Relevant tools:

Tl - Timeline

Visual display of a sequence of events in chronological order Relevant tools: Timeline Builders






Conversational

"guide_content_types_conversational_ss_60846562_300.jpg"

Ft - Forum Thread

Threaded discussion or mini-forum on a specific issue-topic Relevant tools:

Tc - Topical Chat

Chat page, twitter chat, or other real-time chatting venue on a specific issue-topic Relevant tools:

Wb - Webinar

Seminar conducted completely over the Internet Relevant tools:

Hg - Google Hangout

Collaborative live video event with multiple participants and hosts Relevant tools: Google Hangouts

Ai - Audio Interview

Spoken interview with someone, recorded over telephone or Skype and edited for final publication Relevant tools:

Vi - Video interview

Recorded online video interview Relevant tools:

Ec - Live Event Coverage

Live written coverage of an event Relevant tools:

Lv - Live Video

One-man program, event or ongoing live video broadcasted online Relevant tools:






Illustrative

"guide_content_types_illustrative_ss_75372856_265.jpg"

Mb - Mood Board

Visual collage consisting of images, text, graphics and other visual elements created with the purpose to more effectively communicate design concepts, atmospheres, general ideas Examples: Relevant tools:

Ex - Examples, Models

Collection of selected real-world examples, models exemplifying a specific subject Examples: Relevant tools: Pinterest

Am - Audio Mashup

Curated selection of excerpts and clips from longer audio tracks edited together into one Relevant tools:

Vc - Video Mashup

Curated selection of video excerpts and clips from longer videos edited together into one video Relevant tools:

Sc - Screencast

Recording of computer screen actions, events and sounds designed to create demonstrations, tutorials or presentations Relevant tools:

Vp - Video Presentation

Slide-based presentation with voice-over, saved as a video Relevant tools: Slidetalk

Sd - Animated Story

Speeded-up animation sequence where a hand draws and illustrates with words and images a story Relevant tools: Videoscribe

De - Demo Video

Live or recorded video demonstration of a tool, product or service Relevant tools:

Pd - Podcast

Series of subscribable audio recorded programs downloadable as .mp3 files Examples: Relevant tools:

It - Itinerary

Detailed plan for a journey providing specific route information, relevant resources and useful advice for travelers Relevant tools:






Institutional

"guide_content_types_institutional_ss_134136707_300.jpg"

En - Email Newsletter

Periodical email-based content delivery format designed to help organizations stay in touch with customers and fans Relevant tools:

Ma - Manifesto

Published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government (wkpd) Examples:

Pr - Press Release

Official statement issued to news media outlets providing information on a particular matter Example: Press Relase For Immediate Release Relevant tools:

Sp - SocialMedia PR

Social-media optimized content published across multiple channels and directed mainly to news media outlets providing information on a particular matter Example: Good example of a social media press release from ING How-to: Relevant tools:

Pc - Press Clippings

Collection of digital cutouts from different media sources talking about a specific topic, issue, person or event Relevant tools:

Mk - Media Kit

Curated selection of promotional and informative materials about an artist, company or service designed for the press Examples: Relevant info:

Pf - Portfolio

Curated selection of promotional and informative materials about an artist, company or service designed for the press Examples: Examples Relevant tools: About.me

Sh - Social Hub

Curated hub / stream of social content from users talking and sharing information about a specific brand / organization Relevant tools:






Informational

"guide_content_types_informational_ss_19731844_225.jpg"

Cr - Crowdfunding Page

Page dedicated to showcase, illustrate and explain a project while providing good motives to readers to sponsor and contribute to it Example: How to raise money from crowds: 11 crowdfunding platforms Relevant tools: 6 Top Crowdfunding Websites: Which One Is Right For Your Project?

Sv - Survey

Series of specific questions designed to gather preferences, expectations and needs from a selected group of people Example: Survey Examples How-to: Basics of Survey and Question Design Relevant tools:

Qz - Quiz

Challenge where one or more questions need to be answered

Pl - Poll

Simple survey consisting of only one or two questions accompanied by a selection of pre-selected answers. Those participating can generally see the poll results as soon as they have submitted their own preference Example: Saturday Survey by Jane Heart Relevant tools:

Ak - Ask the Experts

Curated selection of tips, advice or suggestions from experts, thought leaders in a specific area Example: Quora Relevant tools: POPexpert

Fa - FAQ

Curated selection of popular questions accompanied by relevant and exhaustive answers Relevant tools: FAQ Builder (for WordPress), FAQ Builder (Win)

Qa - Question & Answers

Collection of questions and answers Examples: Yahoo Answers Relevant tools: Uservoice

Oc - Open Clinic

Live online event where people can submit questions about their problems and issues and receive just-in-time suggestions and advice Relevant tools:

Rl - Reading List

Annotated sequence of selected articles about a specific topic or issue Example: Content Curation Guide Relevant tools:

Bl - Book List

Annotated compilation of movie titles on a specific topic / theme Relevant tools: Collectorz






Educational

"guide_content_types_educational_ss_153875879_250.jpg"

Rl - Resources List

Organized and annotated collection of useful resources on a specific topic Examples: Vivere a Malta Relevant tools:

Gu - Guide

Basic introductory instruction on a certain topic or tool Relevant tools: iBooks Author

Ht - How-to

Short course illustrating steps to achieve a certain goal for beginners Relevant tools: iBooks Author

Lg - Learning Guide

Reading list designed for a learning objective Examples: Content Curation Guide Relevant tools:

Tu - Tutorial

Medium-length format written instruction, often broken into chapters / classes, designed to achieve deep familiarity with a specific subject Relevant tools:

Bp - Best Practices

Collection of most effective practices within a specific area Example: UserOnboarding

Ss - Success Stories

Collection of positive stories from people who have been able to achieve something specific Example: Nomadi Digitali Storie di Successo

Sd - SlideDoc

Visual document created using presentation software, where visuals and words unite to illustrate one clear point per page. Example: Relevant tools:

Eb - eBook

A long-form, page-based, book-like publication format, in a distributable digital format Relevant tools:

Mo - MOOC

Massive Open Online Course - online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access Examples: Relevant tools:

Tk - Toolkit

Collection of different tools, contents, examples, templates and others instruments designed to help the user achieve a very specific goal Relevant tools: Acrobat






Instrumental

"guide_content_types_instrumental_ss_114622876_300.jpg"

Sb - Strategy board

Pre-designed canvas or template divided in sections that need to be filled out to protoype, define and simulate possible strategies and outcomes Examples:

Ca - Calculator, Estimator

Web-based simple calculation tool capable of calculating, estimating or reporting specific data about something

St - Script Tool

Hand-coded small software program capable of delivering a very specific service Examples:

Ce - Content Template

Ready-made content structure, providing questions / descriptions / or sample text to help author create quality content by answering questions, filling in the holes or replacing the original reference text. Examples: Relevant tools: Smore

Dt - Design Theme

Ready-made editable web site design template Example:

Bg - Buyer's Guide

Everything a potential buyer needs to know to make an informed choice before purchasing a specific kind of product Relevant tools: SocialCompare

Tc - Tools

Organized catalog of tools designed for a specific application use Examples: Relevant tools: Scoop.it

Jo - Job & Opportunities

Curated selection of job offers and opportunities in a specific sector Relevant tools:




See also:
"The_Periodic_Table_of_Content_Marketing.jpg"The Periodic Table of Content Marketing
"The-Content-Grid-v2.jpg"The Content Grid v2
"Content-marketing-matrix.jpg"The Content Marketing Mix




Originally written and curated by Robin Good and first published on MasterNewMedia on Tuesday April 1st 2014 as ">The Ultimate Guide To Editorial Content Types and Formats.

Photo credits: Synthesis - Drop from a dropper by Shutterstock News & Stories - Corporate work concept by Shutterstock Data Analysis - Icon of graph by Shutterstock Visual - N.A. by Shutterstock Illustrative - Watercolor pen set by Shutterstock Institutional - Greek ionic column by Shutterstock Informational - Information symbol by Shutterstock Educational - Graduation cap icon by Shutterstock Instrumental - Yellow screwdriver by Shutterstock
Previous Article
Boostrapping Startups: The Good Guide
Boostrapping Startups: The Good Guide

In the age of startups and micro-enterprises, the first thing you hear...

Next Article
Relationship Building: Facebook As A Social Bar
Relationship Building: Facebook As A Social Bar

What's the best strategy to adopt to market on social media? I have been...