The most essential thing for you as a content creator is that you understand the way users approach your content. There are 3 things you should pay close attention to:
The average reader spends only about 15 seconds reading blog posts, and that’s quite a short amount of time to truly grab someone’s attention.
Whatever the length of your content, you do have to work hard to grasp your readers’ attention, you have to provide them with valuable information, and you have to present your content in a satisfying manner to engage them.
Your posts have to be easy to go over. Remember when you were still in school and had to prepare for a history exam? The authors of those textbooks rarely remembered to hit “enter”.
Big blocks of text seem time consuming and dull, and they do not increase your readability. Always keep that in mind, keep to short paragraphs, use headings, sub-headings, bulleted lists, anything that will break up the content and make it easy to scan.
The Rise of Visual Content
Text-based and static content is a thing of the past. Readers’ preferences today are shifting towards interactive and visual content. And studies have shown that visual content can influence website traffic, social media engagement, brand awareness, and more.
Introducing more visual content can broaden your audience and increase your clickability, so take a look at the kinds of visual content you can add to your posts:
1. Blog Branding
You want your content to stand out from the crowd, you want to make a good first impression, and you want to make it a lasting one. Adding a brand to your blog does this for you, it makes you distinguishable and recognizable to your readers, old and new. It shows ownership and makes you look much more professional.
Now, choosing a brand can be an especially hard thing to do. And one of the easiest ways for you to find a good brand that matches your personality, and is in line with the message you want to send to your readers is to create a design contest. This can get you in touch with dozens of talented designers, and in a matter of hours, you can find the branding that suits you best.
2. Stock is Out, Originality is In
How many times have you spent hours searching for just the right photo, and then had no choice but to settle for a second-best? And you know the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Whose words do you think the stock photo is conveying? Not yours I’d say.
With custom photographs, you can convey exactly the message you want to send to your readers. You can choose to hire a professional photographer and make the pictures absolutely perfect. And you can use your own photographs, even if your pictures are just mediocre. If you’re still not completely satisfied, there are ways to find better ones.
Our readers today are a lot more invested in the people behind the blogs. They want to get to know the real author, and photographs can help them get to know you. Whether it’s photos of yourself, or simply the photos that you took, the readers will appreciate the intimacy that comes from them, and you will be recognized for your originality and authenticity.
Incorporating infographics in your content makes your blog posts more shareable on social media. People often spend more time looking at the images than reading the text itself.
Anatomy of an Infographic
First things first, your infographic should be simple, readable, and attractive. And when making it, start from the basics. Create a skeleton, outline your goal, and always keep your audience in mind.
An infographic should be comprehensible, so stick to 4-5 key elements, and create the basic structure of it. Remember to keep everything short and simple, and stay focused. If you need to discuss a few different points, it’s better to have a few different infographics than try to squeeze everything into a single image.
Don’t forget about the visual side of the infographic and include illustrations and icons.
Always proofread, cite your sources, and doublecheck the facts.
Tools for Creating an Infographic
Creating infographics is sometimes easier said than done. There are free sites which make it easier for you to create them, however.
You can always rely on Google Charts as well. They are free, easy to use and offer you a variety of charts and designs that can be perfectly suited to your aesthetic.
Screenshots are an excellent tool to use when creating blog posts that call readers to action. They are simple to take and available on all your devices.
You can use screenshots as clear visuals for tutorials and show your readers how to do something. They are also great for showing statistics that back up your claims and giving your audience analytics reports. Instead of just linking lengthy reports, add a screenshot of the part that’s necessary for your post. It makes it much easier for your audience.
Just take a look at YouTube if you’re not sure how popular videos are among content consumers. They are an excellent addition to your blog posts, but as always- keep them short and simple.
Tutorial, or how-to videos, call your audience to action and make them more engaged. They are sometimes easier to follow than simple pictures with some instructions. You can also use them to promote and sell a product while you’re showing your audience how to use the said product.
Traditional Commercial Spots
Traditional Commercial Spots are the easiest way to make money off your blog posts. Look for an affiliate product that makes sense for your blog post, and incorporate it into it.
Getting an interview with an influencer or an expert in the field you’re writing about will increase the value of your content. You could put part of the interview in textual form, and let the readers watch the rest. You should choose dynamic guests, think about what would be interesting to your audience and ask relevant questions.
Company Story and Culture Videos
Likeability has a great influence on how loyal the readers will be to you. Introducing company story and culture videos will explain where you started and how you got to where you are. It will increase the emotional involvement of content consumers and makes you stand out.
Vlogs are a way to connect more personally with your readers, you can reach a wider audience and connect with people who prefer more visual content. It’s also a great way to attract advertisers.
When introducing product tours, it is important to know your audience. Start with explaining the value of the product before you get into the product tour itself.
Presentations can be used as teasers for your posts. Keeping the form short and answering the most burning questions will make the readers want to read the rest of your story for a more in-depth explanation. Make your presentations engaging by adding pictures and illustrations.
Adding visual content to your blogs will allow you to be more appealing to your readers and expand your influence. It will increase your views and shares, and boost your audience engagement.
Anya is a part of the Content Team at DesignContest, a website with a community that’s shaped by the joint efforts of talented designers and contest holders. It is created to connect people who are looking for any kind of web design services with professional designers.