We recently ran an internal blog writing competition for Sage CRM staff and had a sweet incentive for participants - some cupcakes. This got me thinking about the similarities between blog writing and baking. So what are the ingredients that make a good blog?
The essential ingredient is of course the text – you should write about something you are passionate about, that will be of interest to blog readers. This should be explained clearly in your own style/language, with some formatting to make it easy for the reader to digest. But what about the frosting on the cupcake - what makes a good blog better? Here are five tips to help take your blog idea to the next level - by adding the visual frosting: images, video and more!
Getting the basics right
The first thing about blogging is to choose the website where you will create your blog – there are many sites that allow you to blog for free, including Wordpress, Blogger, and LiveJournal. Each website will provide options on the WYSIWYG interface for adding multimedia elements to your blog text – you can insert images, video, audio, and presentations. Adding one or more of these to your blog can help to explain simple or complex processes better than text, and can make a blog more engaging.
How to… add a multimedia element
When you find an appropriate point to insert an image, video, or other multimedia element in your text, click the appropriate button on the interface. In Wordpress, you can select the Add Media button as seen below -
Then you simply browse to the element you want to add.
For the established blogger...
You won't always have access to ready-made images or video, so why not make your own! There are many online tools you can avail of to help you produce your own multimedia elements. Screenhunter is a screen capture tool from Wisdom Software and is available as a free download - there is also a more advanced solution available to purchase. To produce video captures from your screen, you could try Camtasia or Captivate – both offer a 30-day free trial. You can then upload your videos to hosting sites such as YouTube or Vimeo and insert the video link into your blog.
Watch all the Sage CRM video content on our YouTube channel.
And for all those bloggers who like their frosting with added sprinkles...
Why not share your Powerpoint slide decks in your blog? Slideshare, Slideboom, and Brainshark are just three of the many options available to you – simply upload your files and share the link in your blog.
One tool that really impressed me recently is Soundgecko - a fantastic free site that produces an audio version of your blog automatically from your blog URL - you can even select the type of voice to use and allow others to listen to your blog on the go. Take a listen to the audio version of this blog and let me know what you think.
These are just a few of the many resources available online to add multimedia elements to your blog. It would be great to hear about the tools you use to keep your blog followers engaged. Do you have any other tips to share with the Community?