Tips on Taking Your Blog to the Next Level With Embeddable Content
Today I am talking about an opportunity to lift the quality of your blog posts using embeddable content. I also list a heap of resources for finding great embeddable content, and deciding which resources to use.
Using embeddable content is a great opportunity to lift the quality of your blog. Many bloggers take it for granted and overlook using it, but this content can increase the quality of your work. It will potentially serve your readers better and even help your blog to rank higher in search engines.
I was recently asked to help judge a blog contest by my friend Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner. The blogs that stood out to me were ones that were using embeddable content to really make the posts dynamic.
This is something that is often done on social media blogs and blogs about blogging, but there is a real opportunity to take advantage of this concept on blogs in other niches.
Last week, I was speaking at a conference in Sydney, and this concept was fresh in my mind, so I produced this slide on the 17 types of embeddable content.
Reasons Why Smart Use of Embeddable Content Can Lift Content Quality
- It lifts the usefulness of the content
- This content can appeal to different learning styles and personality types
- Plus it shows your readers that you are willing to go the extra mile
- It can also add other voices, opinions and experiences to your blog
- It increases page time – gives you more time to create an impression and build your brand
- Page time also helps with SEO – longer page time is a signal to Google to rank higher
17 Types of Embeddable Content
- Video – YouTube etc. easiest and best way to add audio and visual
- Slides – Slideshare easy way to turn list post into slide deck
- Tweets – Every tweet can be embedded in a blog post
- Facebook – posts, status updates, videos and images
- Audio Files – Anchor – file to quickly put thoughts out and reply
- Cartoons – Andertoons
- Live-Streaming or Replays – Periscope, Blab
- Instagram – Pictures and videos
- Slideshows – Flickr and from other photo sharing sites
- Infographics – Infogr.am
- Bookmarks – Pinterest and pins
- Google – Maps or Google Earth
- Polls and Quizzes – Qzzr
- Mindmaps – MindMeister
- Google – Docs, forms and PDFs
- Podcast – Podcast players
- Animated Gifs – GIPHY
You can create or curate embeddable content. I challenge you to create one blog post this week that uses embeddable content. Share your post links in the comments below or share any other ways you use to create this content.
Before you publish your next blog post, ask yourself these questions:
- What can I create or curate that will add value
- Make sure it is useful quality content
- Don’t over do it. One or two embeds are fine, you don’t need 20
- Think about what additional content would enhance the topic
You could also start with a piece of embeddable content and put it into a blog post and add to it. It becomes the “hero” of the topic. You can also curate and summarize someone else’s content with further reading etc.
Resources and Examples Mentioned
- Example of adding to someone else’s content – 9 Composition Techniques to Use to Improve Your Photography
- The blogging competition I judged – Top 10 Social Media Blogs the 2016 Winners
- Using a livestream replay – How to get your Readers to become more Engaged, Loyal and to Share your Content
- Post using Anchor – 5 Ways Bloggers and Content Creators Could Use Anchor
- Quick post published using SlideShare – 10 Quick Tips for Entrepreneurial Bloggers
- A post turned into a SlideShare and then embedded – What it Takes to Go Pro – Lessons from 10 Professional Photographers
Darren: This is ProBlogger. Hi there and welcome to episode 97 of the ProBlogger Podcast, where today I want to talk about an opportunity to lift the quality of your blog posts using embeddable content or to give you a whole heap of resources that you can use to find the right embeddable content and help you to make a decision about which ones to use. First, I want to talk a little bit about problogger.com which is the sponsor and the host for this particular episode.
If you go to problogger.com, you’ll find our latest blog tips and tutorials on the blog, new podcast episodes, the latest jobs on our job board for those of you who are looking for writing opportunities and freelancing work, and you’ll also find the latest news on our upcoming events here in Australia for bloggers. We are expecting this year over 750, maybe even more than 800 attendees, fingers crossed, and you’ll also find our latest ebooks, including the bestselling 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. You can find all of that on problogger.com, but now let’s talk about embeddable content.
Creating great content, finding an audience, building engagement, monetizing your blog, this is ProBlogger.
Today, I want to talk about embeddable content, because I think it’s an incredible opportunity for bloggers and it’s something that I think most of us overlook and take for granted, the fact that we can but we don’t actually use it. I want to argue today that using embeddable content has the potential to increase the quality of what you’re doing with your content. Also, it has the potential to help you to serve your readers better and potentially to help your blog rank higher in search engines. What put me on to this kind of train of thought was an invitation I received recently by my friend Michael Stelzner, from Social Media Examiner, to be one of three judges in a blogging competition that they ran on Social Media Examiner.
I’ll share a link in today’s show notes over at problogger.com/podcast/97 of the final 10 blogs that won that competition, but I was given a short list of 20 or 30 blogs, all on the topic of different aspects of social media to judge. It was no easy task to complete and the standard was really, really high, but I did notice something interesting. That was that a lot of the blogs that I felt most drawn to and that I felt produced the best content were using embeddable content in a lot, if not all, of their blog posts.
This is something I’ve noticed in the niche that I operate in blogging about blogging, or blogging about social media, a lot of blogs in this industry are using embeddable content from different social networks. That makes sense in some ways because we are writing about things which have a lot of embeddable content.
I actually think it is an incredible opportunity outside of the niches that I operate in to use this type of content and it’s something we’ve been doing on Digital Photography School for a while, but even there I think we could do a whole heap better. One of the things I noticed as I was doing that judging was that the content I felt most drawn to often had these embeddable content. When I looked at the results of the competition as my results got put in and collated with the other judges was that those blogs that used embeddable content kind of rose to the top. In the list of the 10 winners, I think you’ll find that a lot of them are using a bit of content in at least half of their blog posts, maybe even more.
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Last week, I was speaking at the super fast business conference in Sydney from James Schramko. I had a great time there by the way. If you do get an opportunity to go to it, it’s really got some great content, going way beyond blogging into online business. As I prepared my talk and I was asked to talk about doing great content, producing great content, I found myself thinking about embeddable content a whole heap. I produced this slide which I’ll share in the show notes today with 17 different types of embeddable content to choose from, and I want to work through each of them in a moment.
Before I do, I want to talk about why embeddable content can lift the quality of your content. Why it’s something you probably should consider on almost every post that you write. The first reason I think it’s really good is that it can potentially lift the usefulness of your content. You have to choose the right content to add into your blog posts, by adding a video, by adding a slide show or by adding something else into that blog post you’re about to get hit publish on, you could just make it more useful to your content, to your readers in a number of ways. I’ll talk about why that is, right now actually.
The second point I want to make is that using embeddable content can actually appeal to different learning styles. Each of us learn differently. Some of us learn through visual, some of us learn really well through the written word. Some of us need to watch something and learn a lot better if someone’s talking to us or someone’s showing us. Using different types of embeddable content can open up your blog to different learning styles and different personalities. I discovered this quite recently, six months ago, when I started a podcast. It brought a whole heap of new people into the ProBlogger brand, people who I had been just not serving because they like audio content. By adding audio, it opened up my audience.
The same thing happened years ago when I started doing occasional video, it drew a whole heap of a different type of people into my blog. By adding in some embeddable content, you might just find yourself appealing to different learning styles and personalities. It also shows your readers that you’re willing to go the extra mile. Adding embeddable content, it’s easy, but it does take some work. To actually go to the extra effort of finding a video or finding a SlideShare or embedding some tweets or some of the other means that I’m going to share with you in a moment, actually shows your readers that you care. It shows that you’re willing to go a little bit further with your content, to find extra opinions or extra ways of exploring a topic.
One of the other things I love about embeddable content is it’s a very easy way to add in other voices, opinions and experiences into your blog. If you’re anything like me, you teach people on your blog or you share news on your blog and that comes from your perspective, it contains your opinion, it contains your experience, your story. But by using embeddable content in a smart way and using the right pieces of content, you can actually add to your voice. This can make your content more useful and more interesting. Adding in a piece of content from another expert or someone who’s just starting out, even in your field, can actually add another dimension to your content.
The last reason I think embeddable content is really useful is that it keeps people on your page longer. If someone comes to page, they read your blog post, they might be there for a minute. If you add a video add a SlideShare or something else, you might keep them there for two minutes.
Now, this has a number of flaws and effects. Firstly, it keeps people on your page longer, being exposed to your brand for longer, gives you a longer period of time to create an impression upon people, but also—a lot of people argue—impacts your search engine optimization. Google has announced that the amount of time that people spend on your page is one of many signals to Google about how engaging and how useful your content is. If Google sees people staying on your page longer, that’s a signal to them that maybe they should be ranking your content a little bit higher.
There’s a variety of different reasons there about why you might want to consider embedding content. Now, I want to run through some of the different types of content that you might want to choose from. Most of us know about YouTube and we can embed any YouTube video, but what are some of the other types of content that go beyond YouTube?
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Okay, so let’s look at some of these different types of content that you might want to choose from when you’re thinking about embedding extra content into your next blog post. The first one is video, that’s the most obvious one, it’s the one that most of us as bloggers are familiar with. Most of us have either created a video or gone and found someone else’s video and featured that in our content. You could do the same thing on Vimeo or any of the other video providers out there. It’s probably the easiest and one of the best ways to do it, because it does add a visual element to your content, but also an audio-based piece of content, but there’s a whole heap of other things you can do.
Another one that many of you, I know, experiment with and I’ve done this from time to time in the past, is using slides, using a tool like SlideShare. Again, it’s very easy to turn one of your list posts into a slide deck. For example, you might have a list post that has nine different ways to use eggs, I don’t know, I just came out with that randomly, but you could very easily take those nine points and create nine slides that show the different ways that you use eggs. That might be a boiled egg, a scrambled egg, a fried egg, a baked egg, and you might even include a little recipe on each of those slots, that’s a very easy way to turn a blog post into a second piece of content and then you can embed that piece of content using SlideShare into the blog post as well, giving your readers an alternative way to consume that content. Slide is the second one.
The third one is tweets, every tweet that you do to be embedded into a blog post, every tweet that that I do could be embedded into one of your pieces of content. Every tweet that anyone does can be embedded into a piece of content and this opens up a whole heap of very easy ways to add other thoughts or other voices into your content. For example, you might be writing a blog post about nine ways to use eggs and then tweet out to your followers, “How do you like to use eggs? What’s your favorite type of egg?” And then you take some of the tweets that reply and you embed those things into your content.
It just adds another visual element, but also shows that you’ve got people engaging with you and that can be quite useful. Alternatively, you might approach a few high profile people who are on Twitter and say, “Hey, do you have a quick tip on this topic?” and then embed their responses into your blog post. That could actually become the whole blog post. You could just have embedded tweets as your post, but I’d also encourage you to mix it up, add some of your own thoughts as well.
Twitter is another way that you could use embeddable content in all kinds of different ways. Facebook, very similar. You can embed Facebook posts, your status updates, videos, images. You can also embed audio files using a tool like Anchor. I’ll give you an example of a post that we did on ProBlogger just last week where I embedded anchors. Anchor is like an audio file where I quickly put my thoughts out onto these social networks called Anchor and then people reply using their voices to my recordings, and you can embed either just yours, or you can embed yours and the replies. Really interesting way of using embeddable content that appeals to a different type of learning to people who respond well to audio files.
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You could use cartoons using a tool like Andertoons, you could use a live streaming actually and embed replays of your periscopes using a tool like Catch Me or even in embedding Blabs into your content. You can embed pictures from Instagram, videos from Instagram, you can embed slideshows from photo sharing sites like Flickr. You can embed infographics from services like Infogr.am, you can even embed pins on Pinterest. You can embed Google Maps, Google Earth if that’s relevant to your topic. You can embed polls, quizzes, using a tool like Qzzr. Mind maps from a tool like MindMeister. Google Docs, Google forms, PDFs using Google services. You can even embed podcasts if you have a podcast into your blog. You can embed animated gifs using give GIPHY.
These are 17 different ways that you can use embeddable content and I’m sure if I thought longer, I could come up with more, and I’m sure you could come up with more and add them into the comments on today’s show notes. There’s a whole amazing array of pieces of content that you could be adding into your blog post. It’s not a definitive list, but I wanted to run them by you just to open your mind to the different types of content that you could be creating.
It’s really worth noting here that even within all these categories, you could be the one creating that content to embed, or you could be curating content from other people. You might get to the end of a blog post and say, “Hey, I really want to embed something there. I’m going to go and create a SlideShare document to add in, or you can go to SlideShare and do a search for what else has already been created. You’ve got two options with most of those different 17 types of embeddable content.
Here’s my challenge for you and I would love it if you took this challenge and then came back and share the results of the challenge with me. The challenge is, over the next week, to publish a blog post that contains at least one piece of embeddable content. Before you hit publish on your next blog post, ask yourself the question and you need to get in the habit of asking this question, “What could I create or what could I curate that could add value to my blog post through an embeddable piece of content?” What could you create or what could you curate to add value to what you’ve written in your blog post by embedding something else in there.
Obviously, you need to make sure that whatever you embed is of good quality, that it comes from a reputable source, and that it’s not just in there for the sake of just to say, “I’ve done an embeddable piece of content.” It’s got to add value, it’s got to make your blog post more useful, it’s got to enhance it in some way. The other little piece of warning I’ll give you is not to overdo it, but I did see one piece of content that a blogger produced recently that had three videos about 10 different tweets, two Facebook updates, an Instagram picture, and a cartoon, and an infographic all in one piece of content. It got a little bit crazy and a little bit overwhelming.
You want to think about how it comes across. You want to think about the visual appeal of having so many different types of mediums. In most cases, you probably want to stick to one or two types of content to add to your blog post. There’s another alternative that you might want to consider for this challenge and that is to start with a piece of embeddable content. I’ve been talking about adding an embeddable piece of content to support a blog post that you’ve written, but you could really make that embeddable piece of content the hero of a blog post, and there’s a variety of ways that you can do this.
For example on ProBlogger, some of you would have seen me doing this recently, I would go and do a Periscope where I talk about a particular topic. I take the embed of that Periscope using Catch Me as the service to get that embed, and I put that into a blog post, and then I add to it, and it gives some further reading, or maybe summarize my main points. The embeddable piece of content becomes the hero of the post and then you might add some text underneath it.
Another way to do that is to curate someone else’s piece of content. On Digital Photography School, I’ll give you a link in today’s show notes to a post that I created last year that went viral and I didn’t really have to create much content at all because I used someone else’s video. I found this great video on YouTube that went through nine different compositional techniques. It was a beautifully shot video. I embedded that piece of content, that video, into a blog post on Digital Photography School, and then I summarized the video.
I went through the nine different points and just said, “Here is what the video goes through and here’s some further reading on each of those.” Now, I gave credit to the creators, I linked to their website, I made sure that everyone knew where they could find that clip on YouTube. Then, I added something to it, and I made it in my mind I think, more useful, by giving people further reading, places to go to learn the principles that were kind of glossed over in the video.
The video was quite quick, and short, and sharp, but if anyone wanted to dig deeper into any of those nine points, I gave them further reading underneath. That post was a very shareable piece of content. It went viral like I said before, but the better thing about it was that it created a whole heap of people being sneezed deeper within the content on my site. You might want to try that technique as well. Find something that someone’s created that they’ve allowed to become embeddable, and then expand on it. Make it even more useful. Make the curated content more useful than it was.
I’ve gone through a whole heap of stuff there. I’ve mentioned 17 tools that you could use and a few different ways to use them, but really what the point of this podcast is about is to challenge you to do something with it, and I would love to see the piece of content that you publish on your blog that uses embeddable content. You can go to problogger.com/podcast/97. We’re getting close to 100 here, 97 and leave a comment there on the piece of content that you have created or maybe something that you’ve created in the past.
I’d love to see your links. You can leave links there. I’m more than willing to check them out and to be inspired by what you’ve done. I’m sure other listeners of the podcast would love to see what you have done as well. Again, it’s problogger.com/podcast/97 all the links to the tools and some of the example posts that I’ve mentioned will be there. I’d love to see what you create. Thanks for listening. Look forward to seeing what comes out of this podcast for you.
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