As bloggers, we are very focused on trying to improve the way we write. Which is as it should be, considering this is the primary focus of a blog; to give people something to read and inform them through this medium. Is it any wonder we find tips all over the web on how to improve written content? It is the main charge to write the most high quality posts we possibly can.
However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t put some focus on the other side of things: media. Embedding things like videos, photos, polls, slideshows, comics, quizzes, games and more is a simple way of improving your content immediately. It is also a better way of engaging the focus of a reader and getting them to return. The more you include them in your content, the more loyalty they are likely to build to your blog.
Keeping It Simple
One thing to keep in mind is that when you add multimedia to a post, you shouldn’t go overboard. It can be so easy to start incorporating too much into a single post to pander to your readers. Especially when it comes to games and polls.
Try not to mix and match too much. Having a photo for the post header along with some other embedded content is fine. But having, for example, a header photo, a couple of in text photos, a few videos, a poll and a quiz is going to overwhelm the post and probably isn’t needed.
You should attempt to balance it all out into a professional looking article that only uses what is needed to enhance it.
Also, if the post is long, image heavy or has a lot to load, you might want to consider putting it behind a cut tag.
How To Embed Content
There are two main ways of doing this:
- Use the blog tools associated with each form of media, and provide the URL for the content you wish to use. Images can also be embedded from a photo sharing site, such as TinyPic or Photobucket. Or you can use the original source, as long as they have not blocked it.
- Find the embed code from the actual content, which is often provided on the source site. For example, YouTube allows you to click on Share > Embed and copy the code. If you have an older version of your blog platform you may have to check the box that says to use the old embed code. Go to the HTML section of your post draft and paste it where you would like it. Then go back to the Rich Text version of the post. You should see a box representing the video. Once you publish, it will show up as playable. Most content, such as polls and games, can be embedded the same way.
Tools To Embed In Your Posts
There are a ton of fantastic tools out there for you to embed. Here are a few sites to check out.
This is technically an education tool made for teachers who want to create comics to help teach their classes. But it can be used by anyone for information purposes. It allows you to make various activities, as well as comic strips online, then embed them in your posts or save them as a jpeg. There is also an avatar builder, which I found fun for making an animated “me” for my blog layout.
I love showing off my mental processes and how I came to conclusions in a visual way. This is a fun way to do so. It allows you to brainstorm and create full color mind maps that can be shared with others. You start with a single bubble. You type in the starting topic and create ‘child bubbles’ connected to it. You can change the color to whatever you wish, and before long you will have a bright, cheerful looking trail of thought.
No matter what kind of media you are looking for, you can probably find it here. Wikimedia is (obviously) connected to Wikipedia. It is full of nothing but Creative Commons items like pictures, sound clips and videos. Many of them are entirely public domain, and others are useable with proper credit being given to the creator. They have a ton of stuff, so it should always be on your bookmarked sites list.
Everyone knows this one. You are probably intermittently watching someone’s parody of Gangnam Style while reading this right now. But it can be a great place to find clips to embed into your blog posts. I already mentioned above how to put in the clip, which should show you how easy it is. Just keep in mind that some of it does violate copyright, so you might be asked to take something down, or it could be removed by the site itself.
This is another – slightly less known – video site. I have been noticing a lot of people choosing to use Vimeo instead of Facebook, and a lot of blogs have been using it as well. It is certainly easier to sort through search results, and there is some fantastic instructional content on there. You can embed the videos in the same way as you do YouTube clips, by clicking on Share > Embed and copy/pasting the code.
Do you know of any good tools for embedding things into blog posts? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: 1.