Long-form content is all the rage these days.
People are starting to realize that creating fewer articles per week while having a quality word count is the best way to go. But what if you’re at a loss for how to make your content more valuable?
My friend Amanda Cross is spotlighting today to help you make your blog post more robust by beefing it up with some extras. Over to you, Amanda!
10 Ways to Make Your Blog Post More Robust
Today I’m going to walk you through ten things that you can add to any blog post that will make it more valuable, shareable, and comment-worthy.
1. Video Tutorials
Video tutorials can be extremely helpful for your brand. People want to be able to see how you are doing what you are doing. For example, if you are a designer discussing how to make a Pinterest image, it would be great if you can hop on Photoshop and show your readers exactly how you design an image.
Video tutorials do take some time to produce, but they can take your blog post to the next level because you will be able to attract a different kind of reader–one who learns by seeing and doing versus one who learns by reading. We all have different learning types, so if you can add that aspect to your blog, kinesthetic learners will rejoice.
2. Audio Companions
One of my favorite ways to make my posts more robust is via an audio companion to my post. In my opinion, there are a couple of ways that you can create these:
Reading the blog post verbatim
I hardly ever read the post verbatim, but this is a possibility for you if you want the audio to be another version of the blog post
Using the blog post as an outline
When I add audio to my blog posts, I like to make them extra special. So, I use my blog as an outline, but I often go off-script and share more details and examples throughout my audio.
I love audio because it does add a layer of closeness to all the content you post, while at the same time being one of the easiest ways to add content to your posts. Audio companions are much easier than filming and editing a video. Plus, with the rise of services like Anchor, it’s becoming even easier to add audio companions to your content.
3. Worksheets or Workbooks
Action is important when it comes to learning from the content you read online. So many readers look at your content, but they don’t truly digest it. If you are teaching something, offer a worksheet or workbook as a download within the blog post or as an opt-in incentive. This will take your blog to the next level and make your readers do something with all the things they just learned.
You can create so many different types of worksheets. It can be as simple as a worksheet they fill in as they are reading your post or a worksheet that helps them complete the task you talk about within the blog. For example, if you teach your audience how to plan their Instagram on your blog–create a worksheet that helps them do the planning in real life.
4. Swipe Files & Templates
People love being able to see what makes other businesses and blogs successful. If you are showcasing something like how to pitch clients and companies or even what to send your email list, a swipe file can be a handy tool.
Your swipe file can give your readers inspiration for how they want to accomplish a task and make them more money! You can even share a fill-in-the-blank style document that helps them take your material and make it their own.
In a similar vein, you can create templates for all sorts of things:
+ Instagram images
+ Social media captions
+ Scholarship letters
+ Donation solicitations
+ …and so much more
Templates help us create things much quicker than what we could ever do on our own so if you have some tested templates that work, share those with your readers!
Ebooks are a great tool for your audience, and they don’t have to be as complicated as you think. In the past I have done ebooks in a couple of ways:
A collection of my best posts about a subject
Over time, depending on your niche, you have probably talked about a similar topic in a lot of ways. For example, if you are a food blogger you may have a ton of chicken recipes or a ton of desserts. When you post about desserts or a chicken recipe, add your recipe ebook devoted to that topic to add more to your blog post.
A collection of more tips
Sometimes I get carried away with my writing. I often offer TONS of value, and sometimes it’s too much even for me. Often, I break the post into two parts, but sometimes I just offer more tips as an ebook for my readers to download in exchange for their email address.
You could also offer a traditional ebook that you spend a lot of time on. If you have a niche blog, any ebook that you write for that blog will probably apply to many posts that you put on your blog. If you have a related ebook, don’t hesitate to showcase that ebook heavily in those blog posts.
6. Quotes From Other Relevant People
You are the main reason that someone comes to your blog, but having other opinions on a topic never hurts. When you can back up what you have to say with quotes from other’s in your industry, it can make a difference:
You can do this in many ways:
Ask for quotes
If you have a blog post you are writing, ask an expert to contribute a quote to the post. In this case, the majority of what is shared will be your opinion, with your guest expert chiming in their thoughts with a quote or two throughout.
Second, you can do a full-fledged collaboration post. In this post, you will share your own opinion, but it will be brief. You will also ask an excellent list of 10-20+ relevant experts to offer their thoughts on that topic. This is an inherently valuable post because you get so many opinions (and those featured will probably want to share your content!)
Here’s an example of this type of post on Blog Beautifully.
However you decide to offer the opinions of others in your posts, it’s sure to help your readers get a better understanding of the topic and learn from a variety of people that you trust.
7. Extra Resources (Books, Links, Tools)
What other resources can you link your readers to that will help them create a better understanding of the content you covered? Often we seek out resources while we are learning how to do something, so if you can share that with your readers, it will help them take the next step in acting on the content you share.
Another great thing about linking to extra resources? Often you can find affiliate links for those additional resources.
Many books are available on Amazon (where you can use your Amazon Associates affiliate links to share the resources with your readers.) Most tools have an affiliate program you can join as well so you can recommend them and get money in the process. Any courses you link to may also have an affiliate program.
Think about the resources that you used while learning about the topic you are discussing. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you probably used some products like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Adobe has an affiliate program you can link to.
You may have also taken an online course about a particular element of graphic design, see if that course creator has an affiliate program, and link that class in your post. These extra resources, while pricey, will be helpful to any reader who is invested in learning about your craft the way that you did.
8. Case Studies
Case studies can be super beneficial for your readers if they’re detailed and actionable. For example, if you share a post featuring 10 Pinterest tips, showcase precisely how those tips helped you or someone you know grow their Pinterest account.
Case studies need to be as detailed as possible, meaning they need to show facts and data. You can’t say this trick helped me run 10x faster, without some facts to back up how fast you ran before and how that method specifically helped you run 10x faster.
You can create case studies about pretty much anything you can think of. As long as you have detailed data, you could talk about things such as social media, exercise, studying, etc.
9. Pre-Recorded Webinars or Livestreams
If you’ve gone through a webinar or a livestream, you probably have a ton of video footage laying around collecting dust. It doesn’t have to, though!
Those pre-recorded videos are a goldmine for making your content more robust. As we discussed earlier in the video tutorial section, these can be beneficial for your brand as they are way more personal. Best of all, these are pre-recorded, and therefore you don’t have to create separate content.
I would make sure that you are recording all the webinars that you do and publishing them to a site like YouTube or Vimeo. You can keep them private or password protected until you need them. Do the same thing with any livestreams that you do. Then as you write content, see if you can add any of your past livestreams or webinars to that post as appropriate.
10. Pictures & Gifs
Last, but certainly not least, pictures and gifs can make your blog posts stand out and make them more robust. Text is great, but sometimes your readers need to be able to see something different. I am not talking about just your Pinterest image, but pictures that help you tell the story.
It could be a screenshot of something relevant or just a fun comic that makes sense for what you are discussing. If you choose the right pictures, you can create more context for your content.
On the other hand, gifs can also be very important. If I am showing my readers something, I love to use the Recordit website to make my own gifs from screenshots.
For example, a few weeks ago I was showing my readers how to make their Smart Feed work for them. To show my readers that I was an expert worth listening to, I used Recordit to share a gif of my Smart Feed. Gifs don’t have to be serious to be helpful though, sometimes sharing a funny gif is just as helpful at telling your story.
There you have it: ten things you can add to your blog posts to make them longer, more helpful, and more robust. You don’t have to stop at just words, and when you add in these extra layers you create easily-shareable blog posts that get people excited to read your next one!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda Cross is a blogger and freelance writer from Arkansas. She started blogging from her dorm room in her freshman year of college, and has since received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Sociology. During her degrees she realized her love of writing and storytelling, and she now works on two blogs and with a wide variety of clients and brands.
You can find her on her blog, Amanda Cross Blog, where she helps writers and bloggers produce generous content that gets them noticed online. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
For more tips on creating long-form content, check out Amanda’s post featuring 10 tips for creating remarkable long-form content!