When you’re writing your blog posts, you’re probably trying to make them as attractive as possible so that they bring you more traffic. Using rich content such as different forms of images, videos and sounds along with your text can greatly help with that. This post will now attempt to tell you exactly how to do so.
This post is part of the Write Them Right series that started with this post and slowly got out of hand. There have been 7 posts so far in the series and this post is the 8th one, with a lot of links in them pointing to both external and internal resources. While writing them, I’ve tried to keep them as simple as possible, with my own ideas on expanding them further to cover every practical thing worth knowing about when starting a blog. You can always find all the posts by accessing the “Blogging” category section in this blog.
What is Rich Content?
Rich content is any type of content that consists of different media formats such as images, videos and sounds and is used at a single central location at any given point of time, along with plain text content.
In the case of a happy little blog post, rich content is the images added to it or the videos and sounds embedded to it. They can be of many different formats. Chose any format that feels right to go with your text.
Different Formats of Rich Content
- Charts, Tables and Slides
- And many more..
Using Rich Content: WHY
You may wonder exactly why do you need to use these rich content when you can write beautiful, catchy text to capture the attention of your readers. Well, SEO benefits aside, using rich content in your blog post will make your post more attractive to your readers, imbibing that inherent element of beauty which not only captures their attention but sort of hypnotize them into coming back to you for more.
Yeah, that last sentence did not very well explain the WHY. Let me try again:
Makes Your Post Attractive
A blog post is dull when it only uses text to convey its message. Relevant rich content along with your text makes your post beautiful and also help your readers to better understand the point you’re trying to make with your content.
Decreases the Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your post who leave rather than read your entire post. Using rich content is a proven tactic to lower the bounce rate.
Gets More Shares
Blog posts with the right type of rich content gets shared more compared to their text-only counterparts.
Helps in SEO
While rich content themselves do not carry much direct benefits to support your site’s SEO plan, the alt-texts and captions used to describe them gives you one more chance to improve your overall SEO by justified use of your focus keyword.
Moreover each type of rich content has their separate search engines. Images have Google Image Search, videos have YouTube search etc. With a little bit of tinkering, you can capture a load of traffic through them from a single location i.e. your blog.
Statistical Proofs That They Work
- Blog posts with images get 94% more hits than those with no images.
- 82% of all consumer traffic is likely to be through video.
- 45% of bloggers noted better results when they added audio content (mostly podcasts) to their blog posts.
- Infographics are 30 times more likely to be read in its entirety than a blog post.
- GIPHY serves over 2 billion GIFs daily.
- 65% of humans are visual learners, so using charts, graphs, tables etc. seems like a good idea.
Using Rich Content: HOW
Each type of rich content has its own characteristics and therefore requires different strategies on how to use them.
How to use Images
- You can add images to your post by typing “/image” in your WordPress editor.
- Images need to be resized as per your requirements before being uploaded to WordPress. True that the editor has capabilities to resize the image for you but your blog will still carry the original images and over time will get slow. There are plenty of free online and offline solutions for this. I mostly use LunaPic, an online free photo editor.
- Images need to be compressed as well. I mostly use ShortPixel for this.
- Using own images and screenshots is the best option. The next best option is to use copyright-free images. Pixabay is a site that offers a lot of copyright-free images for you to use. If you’re using Google Images and changing the “usage right” option from “Tools” menu to find Creative Commons licensed images, it’s better to cite the source to avoid legal problems.
How to use Videos
- As videos are relatively larger than images, you should not directly upload them on your site. Rather you can simply copy the direct URL of the video from any video hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo and paste it in WordPress editor. The video will be automatically embedded.
- Video tutorials, video summaries of your post itself or video reviews of something that excites you are some of the most popular ways in which you can use video within your blog post.
- Short videos with less than 3 minutes duration get the most engagement. In case of longer videos, post a shorter summary and then link to your full content in the description.
Here’s a video of Rocky Walls of 12 Star Media about the four common mistakes people make when they embed videos in their blog:
How to use Audios
- The most common way to use audio within a blog post is through a podcast channel. You’ll also need a good quality microphone and an audio recording software. WordPress has a native audio player that will solve most of your needs.
- You can create your own podcast by the help of any audio recording software or use sites like SoundCloud. You can directly embed audio podcast by typing “/audio” in the editor. In case of SoundCloud or similar sites, you can copy the embed code to the editor and the audio file will be embedded just fine.
- Using rich content in form of an audio version of your blog post or an interview with someone from your industry can bring both traffic and that extra edge to your site.
How to use Infographics
- Infographics are getting more and more popular for their ability to give a brief but compact overview of any given subject. Content creators are loving them because they are getting easier to create. Content consumers are loving them because they provide a lot of information in a visually appealing manner.
- There are a lot of resources that will let you create your infographics for free. Venngage and visme are just two of them.
- Anything you do when writing your blog post also needs to be followed when creating your infographic, such as having a catchy headline and a good introduction. Last but not the least, never forget to put your brand on the infographic you’re using.
How to use GIFs
- Though GIF or Graphics Interchange Format has been in circulation since 1987, it was with the birth of Giphy in 2013 that their popularity skyrocketed. Alex Chung, CEO of Giphy stated that “the average GIF contains 60 frames, making it capable of transmitting up to 60,000 words.” Proper usage of these animated monsters can certainly be an effective content marketing strategy.
- You can easily create original GIFs from the Giphy GIF Maker. Upload a video or paste the URL of a video from YouTube into it and then follow the simple instructions to create your own original GIF. CloudApp is another company that lets you create GIFs from your screenshots, making them extremely helpful in your how-to guides and tutorials.
- There’s a shady area between using rich content like GIFs and copyright violation. So be careful when using GIFs, especially those created by other creators. Always cite the source of your GIF to be on the safe side.
How to use Charts, Tables and Slides
- Charts, tables and slides are those tools that take visual learning to an easier level. You can add tables by typing “/table” in the WordPress editor. If you type “/slide” you’ll see two options – Slideshare and Slideshow. Slideshow lets you select the images to be used as your slides. Slideshare is a third-party website that lets you create professional slides. WordPress can recognize Slideshare links and display them perfectly well in your content.
- Whether you’re writing a tutorial post with a lot of explaining to do or a technical review, using charts, tables and slides along with your text is highly recommended. Your readers will be able to understand your content better and are more likely to share it across their networks.
There are certainly a lot of things to keep in mind while trying to properly use rich content in a blog post. I try to include at least two images, with careful consideration about what to use as their alt-texts and captions, with each of my posts. Find out what works best for you and follow it on a regular basis. But as the time and opportunity comes, don’t hesitate using different approaches with different types of rich content along with your blog post. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll make a mess; but then again,
Talent is a pursued interest. In other words, anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.