Last year, I shared 38 favorite content marketing resources and so you know I’m not cheating on revealing my age, I’m back with a new “Things” list and now we’re up to 39.
When it comes to content, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and many of our readers and customers ask:
“How can I write content, so it stands apart from everyone else’s?”
Or they ask, “How can I write on topics that have already been written by others and not have it seem exactly the same?”
It’s a problem, but not one you can’t get around and this year’s list should get those creative ideas flowing because it’s easy to stand out and provide extra value to your readers. Just pick a way and run with it…
39 Things to Make Content Better
Sometimes all it takes is adding a little something to make your content easier to understand, helping your readers visualize something or giving them a tool to use your information
1. Photos: Photos can be visually appealing, draw the eye in at key places or illustrate an idea. Add them to contact to add that little extra something.
2. Screenshots: Screenshots are a great way to illustrate a process, show a reader what they should expect after doing certain actions on a computer and more.
3. Examples: People never seem to provide enough examples in their content. Examples make your content easier to understand, visualize and help show you know what you’re talking about.
4. Your Experience: Adding your experiences with certain methods, products or even your client’s experiences (without divulging confidential information) also makes your content easier to understand and showcases your real-life knowledge on the subject at hand.
5. Case Studies: Showing how your clients or customers have succeeded with your product is extremely valuable and informative for your readers.
6. Video: Whether it’s your own video or a YouTube video you embed, video can add to content you’ve already created or serve a conversation starter for the content you create.
7. Humor: Sometimes a little humor is in order and making your readers laugh now and then can go a long way.
8. Stories: Sharing information through stories is powerful and creates a more vivid picture of what you are trying to convey.
9. Quotations: Whether it’s a thought-provoking quote or a quote that supports the argument in your content piece, quotations add more depth to your content.
10. Statistics: Statistics are perfect for establishing credibility and for providing a mental picture for the information you are sharing. You don’t have to bore your readers with a math lesson, but do use simple statistics readily.
11. Worksheets: Help your readers put your good information to use by creating a handy printable worksheet. Add your logo, a promo, PDF it and go!
12. Calendars: Help your readers get on schedule. Whether it’s a gardening calendar to keep your readers veggie planting on schedule or home waste reduction plan, a printable calendar to help your readers accomplish their goals is always appreciated.
13. Checklists: Another handy tool to keep your readers organized. A checklist is always a great printable to keep on hand.
14. Spreadsheets: Whether it’s a budgeting spreadsheet or a scrapbooking inventory spreadsheet, your readers love tools that help them keep on track.
15. Comparison Charts: Product decisions aren’t always easy. If you review like products, make a comparison chart so you readers can easily compare the features.
16. Software: Simple software doesn’t have to be expensive to develop. If you can automate a process for your readers, consider putting together some software to help them do it.
17. Plugins: Plugins are big. Whether it’s for WordPress or other software, helping your readers do things better is always a good thing.
18. Mobile Apps: If you have any databases, calendars or other information/processes that lend themselves to a mobile app, consider creating one.
19. Flowcharts: For your visual learners, flowcharts a great way to illustrate a process. Use them where appropriate.
20. Mind Maps: While our own personal mind maps can get quite complex, a simple mind map linking concepts together can be a powerful visual.
21. Recommendations: If you show how to do something and there is a product that can make it easier for your readers, recommend it!
22. Demonstrations: Show your readers how products work, how to accomplish something by showing them, instead of telling them. You can use screenshots, photos or even video.
23. Ask Questions: Instead of just talking, ask your readers questions? Let them shape your content and take the reigns once in a while.
24. Fill in the Blanks: Help your readers discovery what they want by giving them a fun fill in the blanks sheet.
25. Patterns: Sharing craft, sewing or other handy tips? Give them a downloadable pattern.
26. Coloring Sheets: Let them, or their kids, have some fun with cool coloring sheets.
27. Quizzes: Help your readers discover something about themselves through a helpful or fun quiz.
28. Illustrations: Got drawing skills? Use them!
29. Infographics: A visual representation of information you’re showing goes a long way to drive your point home.
30. Audio: Let your readers take your content on the go by providing them with audio.
31. Interviews: Interviews are easy content…make use of them.
32. Expert Opinions: Have a question your readers are wondering about? Ask a few experts and publish their answers.
33. Transcripts: Give your readers extra value from your audio recordings by providing the transcripts.
34. Reader Feedback: Received a comment through email, Facebook or Twitter? Publish it and respond.
35. Shopping Lists: Shopping lists are the perfect complement to how-tos. Don’t leave your readers hanging…tell them what they need.
36. Social Sharing: Make it easy for your readers to share your content by including social sharing buttons, etc.
37. Part 2 and More: If your readers crave more info…give them more in-depth info on certain aspects of your content.
38. RSS Feed: Make sure your readers can access your content wherever they are by providing an RSS feed.
39. Email: And even more important than RSS, give your readers an opportunity to stay up-to-date via email. Email is still #1 and don’t you forget it.
Just some thoughts for you on standing out from the crowd. Hope that’ll keep you busy, while I go eat some cake!