This is a guest post by Elena Vakhromova.
Content is king and always will be, especially for bloggers who earn their living by providing valuable information. Indeed, content is the first thing your blog visitors notice and the only thing they come back for.
Many people join the blogosphere because they feel strong about writing and want to say something new to the world. However, bloggers often get stuck to their posting schedule and write the same style of articles over and over again. This can get dull for both you and your readers. Text posts are great, but they are not the be-all-end-all of blogging. Don't be afraid to experiment and try to diversify your content with something that will surprise your readers and make them coming back for more. Here is a roundup of five original ideas how your blog content can be diversified and what tools may be helpful to achieve that.
Infographic is an awesome way to deploy complex information in visually attractive datasets. It may consist of annotated charts, graphs, visualized maps, diagrams, circles, timelines and other stuff of the kind. Infographic can make your blog post more eye-catching and get bigger coverage on the Internet. A lot depends on the topic you pick for an infographic: it must be new, fascinating, well-grounded. It's better if you provide not just your in-house stats but trace some global trends. No doubt, infographic development requires much time and effort and the outcome is often unpredictable. Still it's worth trying since there's a great deal of free resources assisting with infographic creation. Have a look at Google Public Data, ManyEyes and Stat Planet. They give you access to the libraries of publicly available data and the ability to upload your own datasets and turn them into attractive infographics in a variety of forms. Alternatively, you can repost a ready infographic from Visual.ly with your own interpretation and all credits observed.
Slideshows can be of two types: educational presentation and photo slideshow. Both suit perfectly to display series of meaningful information and engage your blog readers. If you feel skilled enough to make your own research, PowerPoint is the best option to start your experiment with. Keep your slides simple, clear and informative, use bullet lists, graphs and diagrams and of course don't abuse effects and animation – they may distract and annoy your readers. Slideshare is a good resource to host your presentations with the ability to get embed code for your blog. With photo slideshows you can tell your readers about some meaningful event or your daily routine. To create a slideshow in a web-ready format, use Freemake Video Converter. This free tool allows users to turn any massive photo content to Flash videos with provided embed code or upload ready photo slideshows to your YouTube channel. You can add background music and switch on the panorama effect. The whole process will take a couple of minutes.
The power of video is often underrated. Indeed, bloggers often forget that video can deliver a message more effectively, key points accentuated and emotions well-observed. Plus, videos save visitors from reading long passages. Video interviews are the content you can easily do with the help of Skype and a video recording software like Snagit or CamStudio. The challenge is to find the right person for an interview. This person should be an expert in your niche, someone who can really provide a fresher look at the topic and share expertise. Thoroughly prepare questions and post them to the speaker beforehand. While interviewing, keep the talk interactive, don't forget that you arrange all this for your readers who are may be not acquainted with the topic at all. The interviews can add definitely add credibility to your resource since people appreciate such arrangements.
People love having a wide range of items to choose from. All these "Top-10", "Best-100" or “A to Z” lists contribute to better post structuring and let readers compare items within one list. You can make a list of whatever concerning your blog niche: helpful resources, tools, videos, tips, workarounds, or tricky ways to do something. People often scan through posts – give them reason to to pause and take a second look at the items they got interested with. Use bullets or numbers, insert pictures and always put the names in bold. Still keep in mind that using lists is not a replacement for relevant and thoughtful content. If you get too gimmicky with lists which do not relate to the main focus of your blog, people will be just as turned off as when a post is too long and complex to read all the way through. So give only relevant information about the item, e.g. enumerate its main pros and cons and give advice on how to benefit from it.
If your blog is strictly niche-oriented and you receive tons of emails and comments, assign a post to frequently-asked questions. An advantage of such posts is that you have a chance to speak on multiple topics of little significance. Q&A posts also give a perfect opportunity to build internal linking: just mention previous posts related to the question and make anchor text with targeted keywords. Don't forget to put questions in bold so that readers could scroll down and start reading with the questions they are most interested in. Be open to your public – publish questions that people ask about your hobbies, interests, jobs you did.
About the author
Elena Vakhromova is a guest blogger, freeware fan and social media marketer. She writes about Windows multimedia software and takes a part in their promotion in Web 2.0. The last contribution was for YouTube video converter.