You probably already know this, you little #girlboss you, but it bears repeating: the most important part of your blog is your content. I don’t doubt that you’re trying to put out the best content you can, but I have a few suggestions of ways that you can improve your content even more, in order to create high quality blog posts that get shared, pinned, and loved by your readers.
Today I’m sharing five innovative ways that you can up-level your content to create truly memorable and impressive blog posts that get people talking and set your blog apart from the rest.
1. Include Research
Including research, citing sources, and showing your readers that you’re not just sharing your opinion and assumptions, but the research and findings of others, is an excellent way to boost the quality of your content. It shows that rather than only sharing your own perspective, you’re also sharing the perspective and even studies that other people have done about your post’s topic. This makes your blog posts even more persuasive and trustworthy, since you provide research to support your ideas.
How to put this into action? Here are a few ideas:
- Interview several experts and include their thoughts. For example, let’s say you’re writing a post about “starting an online business.” You could ask several successful online business owners for one piece of advice they’d give to newbie entrepreneurs. Including all of their advice into your post would add plenty of extra value and credibility.
- Do case studies. Case studies are literal proof that what you’re saying is true. They’re also incredibly effective at getting people to believe and trust you.
- Include findings from a book you’re reading. I like to read lots of business-oriented and self-development books. These books are loaded with research and studies, which makes it easy for me to pull quotes and studies straight from the books I’m reading. I highlight things on my Kindle that I could later use in a blog post.
Here at TNC, we don’t currently add outside research to many of our posts, as they’re based on personal experience. However, this is definitely something I’m aiming to add more of in the future.
2. Use Screenshots or Images
By now you probably know that it’s important to include at least one image in your blog post. This keeps readers engaged and breaks up the large amounts of text in articles. However, if you want to up-level your posts, then try including screenshots or additional images, such as infographics, into your blog posts.
Screenshots can be especially helpful if you’re doing a tutorial. They’re a great way to show your readers how to do something step-by-step and they add a lot more value to your post than if you were only to describe each step using words.
Here’s an example of a Photoshop tutorial we did, which includes screenshots. Can you imagine if we did this post without these screenshots? It would have become more cumbersome and confusing to understand.
Also, here’s a post I did about social media scheduling programs. While this article could have survived without the additional images, it certainly adds value to the post (which ended up being one of the most popular posts I wrote last month with more than 500 shares).
3. Include Audio or Video
Different people like to consume blogs in different ways. While some people enjoy reading blog posts, others might benefit even more if they were able to listen to or watch them instead. Want to provide value to your readers? Then try including your blog posts in audio or video formats, too. You can embed the audio or video straight into your blog post, so that readers immediately have the option to choose whether they want to read your post, listen to it, or watch it.
Think this will take forever? It might! 😉 But here’s a thought: see how we divide our blog posts up into sections with different headings? Those section headings can be used as an outline to guide your audio or video. If you remember what you talked about within each heading, this step should only take a few additional minutes. At the very least, you could even record an audio of yourself reading your blog post out loud (so long as you aim to make it sound more engaging than if you were simply reading an essay). 😉
Very few blogs incorporate audio or video versions of their articles, so it would certainly help your content stand out. It would also give your readers the ability to listen to your posts on the go, which could add an incredible amount of value to your site.
While this isn’t something we’ve tried at TNC, it’s definitely an enticing idea we may incorporate. Would you be interested in audio or video versions of our blog posts?
4. Add content upgrades
Content upgrades refer to additional materials that you provide to your readers as a way to “upgrade” the content that they just read. For example, we recently wrote a post about how to write a killer “about me” page. At the end of that post, we offered free worksheets to our readers to help them write their own “about me” page, as writing that page is typically a struggle for bloggers. Not only did those worksheets provide more value to our readers, but they also resulted in 200 more email subscribers than we normally receive, since our readers were asked to subscribe in order to receive the worksheets.
Some examples of content upgrades you can provide?
- Worksheets that help your readers fully grasp and apply the things you talked about in your blog post.
- A mini-eBook with even more advice or content that is related to the post they just read.
- A printable checklist with each of the steps in a tutorial.
- An inspiring computer or iPhone wallpaper to accompany a motivational post.
- An audio or video version of the blog post (i.e. using #4 in this blog post as a content upgrade).
- An invitation to a webinar, which will elaborate on the blog post they just read.
5. Be thorough
All of today’s tips can be summed up with those two words: just be thorough. Each time you write a new blog post, aim to include all of the most relevant and useful information that you can. Be so thorough that you answer your readers’ questions before they even need to ask them. If you can surprise your readers, they will happily share, pin, and drool over your incredible content.