Visual content should be an integral part of your online marketing strategy. Adding visual content to your blog is a fantastic way to do that. Not only will it look good…
Coloured visuals increase people's desire to read content by 80%.
Posts with images produce 180% more engagement.
91% of people like visual content over written content. Source
Add an Image
One of the easiest ways to add visuals to your blog posts is to add an image to it. Simply choose an image that is relevant to what it is that you are talking about and add it to your blog post. There are many different free photo sites you can choose from. I personally either use Canva for my images or Deposit Photo but the free ones can be a great choice as well.
Create a Quote Graphic
Quote graphics are great visuals for supporting and encouraging people. You could also quote someone in your industry about the topic you are writing on. Quote graphics are super quick to create.
You can add a picture or a border, or just leave it blank
with the words on it.
I use Canva for pretty much all of my graphics. If you haven’t used it, you should definitely check it out. There is a free version – which has loads of features – and also a paid version.
Share a Tip
I am sure your blog posts are full of words of wisdom. Pull out a sentence and create it into a tip graphic. It doesn’t even have to be your tip. Again, you could add it to an image or just write it on a plan background.
Screenshots are particularly great for ‘how to’ blog posts. Snagit is a tool that I use to take screenshots. If you are looking for a free tool, there is a chrome extension that I sometimes use called Awesome Screenshot. It has loads of different features as well.
Embed Social Media Posts
If you've posted something on Facebook, or one of the other social platforms, you can embed the post right inside your blog post. What's fantastic about that, is people can also interact with your post right inside of your blog. If people like it or comment on it, all of that also shows up in your social media feed. It's kind of like a two for one. Here, I have embedded a FB live that I did about why you should be using visual content in your marketing.
As you will see here, you can also easily embed a video into your blog posts. I took the content from this video and turned it into this blog post. You can use other people's videos as well, if you like. If you are using WordPress, all you need to do is grab the link to the video and paste it into the editor when you are writing your post. A lot of people prefer to watch than read.
I invite you to try at least one of these ideas to keep people’s interest when they are reading your blog posts.
Not sure how to plan blog post topics? Well, it is actually really quite an easy process to go through, once you know how. (If you'd prefer to watch, you can do so here.)
ONE: Decide on the overarching content theme of your blog.
I’m sure you already have a good idea of what you want to blog about.
The main idea of your blog is, of course, going to be whatever your area of expertise it. Are you a doctor, nutritionist, coach…?
My main theme is ‘helping people to take their expertise and turn it into a business’.
I have created a few sheets you can use to help you write this out.
TWO: Know who you are creating content for.
If you are a nutritionist, who do you want to help? People with diabetes, mums that have just had a baby, people in business who need to move more often? It is easy to think that we can help everyone but we need focus on a slightly smaller community, than everyone.
My ideal client is – women who have a job, that are looking to build a business using their knowledge and expertise. It is either what they have been doing in their jobs or what they have been studying for.
THREE: Work out the main topics for your blog posts.
Now you want to decide the main topics you are going to talk about.
If you have a product idea you can work backwards, like I have and will show you how to do shortly. Before I knew what my main product was going to be I just used the main content ideas that I wanted to talk about.
Take a bit of time to write down what your main topics are going to be.
(Remember to grab the sheets if you want to use those to plan this out.)
Let’s have a look at how I worked out the main topics for my blog posts.
I have a program called ‘From Idea to Open for Business’ where I take you through the 7 steps of creating a business online, serving people with your knowledge and expertise.
The areas covered in the 7 steps are the main topic ideas I use.
The 7 steps are Gaining Clarity, Branding, Website, List Building, Content Creation, Packaging Your Knowledge and Marketing.
I also talk about mindset and having a full time job while running a business. I don’t talk about all the topics in an equal amount. But that is what forms the basis for all of my content.
Take a bit of time to write our your main topic ideas.
FOUR: Decide on your sub topics.
Once we have the main ideas then we want to go a little deeper.
Let's have a look at the marketing topic from my list.
Marketing is the main topic.
Email Marketing is then a subtopic.
Then I start to consider what, inside of email marketing, I might want to talk about.
I use ActiveCampaign as my autoresponder service provider, so I might create some content around using ActiveCampaign. Why I use it, how to use it. I could do some ‘how to’ videos about that.
As you can see, I've taken the main ideas and then broken them down again.
Let’s look at one more example:
Gluten Free (main blog theme or it may be that, if you have a health blog, it could be one of your main topics, not the main blog theme itself).
Benefits of going gluten free
Signs you might have a gluten intolerance
Guten free recipes
one pot recipes
recipes to do with the kids
Now, if you're not sure, or you can't think of any content ideas inside of a topic, then maybe that topic isn't a main topic that you want to use for your website.
It might be something that you talk about every now and then, but it mightn't be one of your main content ideas.
Go back to the sheets and add in your sub-topics. There are multiple layers you can go down. Even inside one pot recipes, you could go deeper with vegetarian or family recipes.
Stuck for ideas? Included in the template are a list of ideas you can use if you are stuck.
Ever found yourself stuck for blog post ideas? It is something all bloggers experience at some point.
Here are 7 ideas that will get you out of trouble:
1. Share your Favourites: Share your favourite book, website, podcast or movie that would be relevant and valuable to your readers.
2. Social Media: Social media is a great place to find content ideas. Have a look at accounts of other people in your niche and see what is being talked about. You can also ask if anyone on your page has any questions they would like answered.
3. Share Worksheets and Checklists: Everyone loves a checklist. There is scientific evidence that you release some feel good hormones when you tick off something on a to-do list or checklist.
4. Teach Something: People always want to learn something new. What is something new and relevant that you could educate them about.
5. Interview Someone: Interview someone interesting in your niche. You could interview them on audio or host a written interview. You send the guest some questions by email – they respond – and then you post the questions and their reponses to your blog. Easy Peasy!
6. Share a Video: With literally millions of videos on YouTube, you would surely be about to find something of value to share with your readers.
7. Invite a Guest Blogger: Invite someone to write a blog that is relevant for your niche.
I would love to hear how you generate ideas. Leave your tips in the comments below.
Have you heard of Paper.li? You may have seen it and not known what it was. Have you seen these posts on Twitter? This is an automatically generated tweet that goes out notifitying me that someone has included my in one of their editions.
When I click on the link and go to see what it is that he shared, it looks like this. This is what a tweet shared looks like. If it was a blog post then you would see an image or an image with a summary.
So, what is Paper.li?
Paper.li is a content curation service that let's you turn socially shared content into beautiful online newspapers and newsletters. But more than that it's an easy to use, powerful tool that helps you save time by surfacing content (blogs, articles, sites, video,images) and people who are interested in the same topics that you are!
It is a really great content creation tool. You can pull content from anywhere you want and have it appear in your paper.
This is a Google hangout that I did with Carol Bremner who has been having some good success with publishing Paper.li papers.
This video is longer than my usual short ones. I watch a lot of videos and find it handy to use the video speed setting options in YouTube. Click on the little cog wheel to the right on the video toolbar and find ‘speed'. Click on that and you can watch the video up to two times faster. I have definitely found this handy when watching videos.
What topic could you do a Paper.li paper about? Comment below.
As many of you know we are taking the book ‘Build Your List with 30 Daily Doables‘ on a blog tour. Some of the blog hosts have kindly donated prizes to give away to people that have taken part in the tour. We are using Gleam as the system to run the contest. We are running it on the blog posts but you can also put it in an app on Facebook.
Here you will see a run through of the app and how to set up a contest.
Running contests or competitions is a great way to build your list and expose more people to what you have to offer. Make sure what you give away is relevant to what it is that you want to be known for. Don't give away a course on gardening when you teach people how to fish. It has to be congruent with your message. I usually give away prizes from my own business – coaching, products or programs. But for the blog tour I wanted to showcase some of the people that hosted us along the way.