I’m a fan of measuring success. When we started measuring which blog article Tweets got the most clicks, we were interested to discover that the posts with multimedia nearly always got more clicks – sometimes 8 times more clicks than the average post without.
Writing alone is not the best formula for attracting new visitors through social media. While written content is understandably the “main course” of most blogs, imagine how your visitors would respond to some tasty “side dishes” and “dessert” with a greater variety of content.
If you’re ready to kick your blog up a notch, take note of these 5 ideas for multimedia content that will keep your blog buzzing:
One thing that makes makes blogging so great is a sense of anonymity. One thing makes blogging so awful is a sense of anonymity. Yes, we have the whole world at our fingertips, but we’re human, and humans need connection with other humans. An audio podcast serves to help visitors make an emotional connection with you, the faithful writer.
Not only do those connections foster loyalty and repeat visits, they can be more “viral” within social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The term “podcast” encompasses both video and audio releases, which can be used effectively in certain niches that focus on sound (i.e. music), but are generally less captivating than videos.
Since it was discovered that online readers generally “scan” text, there’s little doubt to why infographics have been so successful. Infographics tap into our inner “picture readers” (who says adults have to read boring text all the time?) by delivering information in a visually compelling way. Whether you’re digesting a study on the best timing of social network posts, or learning how to prepare for a marathon, it’s just a little more enticing in picture form.
Creating an infographic can seem a little daunting. Keep in mind, however, that yours doesn’t have to be incredibly long to be effective (see the “best timing of social network posts” link above). What’s important is that you gather credible information from personal case studies or reputable websites, cite it correctly, organize it, and present it with an imaginative design. If you aren’t much for the artsy-fartsy part, pass off your information to a worthy designer, or consider using an existing infographic with permission and a link to the original author’s website.
Sure, pictures are good. This isn’t news. What’s amazing is the number of blogs that don’t utilize this basic, powerful media on a regular basis. No matter what your niche is, there’s usually room for some creative imagery. The recipe/cooking niche has demonstrated this through the raving success of bloggers like the Pioneer Woman, who went above and beyond a simple end photo to create step-by-step images. Now, it’s rare to find a cooking blog without step-by-step photos.
Sometimes a relevant stock photo will suffice for visual stimulation. But, I think you can take it a step further and provide your own pictures. Whether you’re taking screenshots of the mobile apps you’re reviewing, or showing a photo of your workspace as you’re blogging about home offices, personal photos are both free and unique. It’s a win-win!
Why are so many news sites and blogs displaying their list articles as slideshows? Clearly there’s an audience appeal that keeps this multimedia blog layout growing in popularity. It could be the “chunking” of information that makes it appeal less overwhelming, or the visual appeal of large photos, or perhaps even the interactive button-clicking.
Personally, I would prefer to view an article in a traditional way rather than by clicking through a slideshow, so I appreciate when blogs give the option for slideshows to be viewed as an article. That way, users get the best of both worlds! If you choose to implement a slideshow on your blog, there are a number of plugins available that make them easy to implement, like the Content Slider by SlideDeck for WordPress.
If your audience is growing and your feedback is positive, readers might enjoy extra resources you could give out. Free E-books and Whitepapers (PDF downloads) can be enticing incentives for visitors to sign up for your newsletter list. Or, if your content is in high demand, you can charge a small fee and make decent money with the publications.
If you’ve never released a publication before, the easiest method is creating a PDF Whitepaper for users to download. If you’re not good with graphic design, it’s best to have a designer lay out and export the pages for you — there’s a certain art to creating a professional, easy-to-read piece. If you’re ready to take it a step further and create an e-book, services like Smashwords will create e-books from Word documents for you.
Now, it’s time to go liven up that blog!
This guest post was written by Marjorie Yao, who has been the Assistant Website Manager for SmallBusiness-Domain.com since 2006. SmallBusiness-Domain.com offers reviews and coupons on domains and hosting, including a selection of yahoo store coupons.