21 “Content Enhancers” that Takes Content from Drab to Fab
I’m not terribly good at most things online except one.
I’m not a crackerjack marketer. I can’t write sales copy. I have no eye for graphic design. I can’t code.
It’s surprising I’ve been able to carve out a living online.
Yet despite all my weaknesses, I’m fairly good at one thing. That one thing is being able to come up with tons of sound content topics within my niches and then put together in-depth outlines so that the topic is covered well.
Some of this content I write entirely; most I outsource. I’ve learned over time that the better the instructions and more detailed the outline, the better outsourced content I’ll receive.
Fortunately, content is an important part of websites and so it’s served me well.
There are times I wish I could write better copy or code better or design better websites because there may be a better business opportunity with those skills. However, those aren’t my strengths so I focus on what I’m good at which is planning out and publishing lots of content (and I mean lots of it).
Another important point is I’m certainly not the best writer. I’m a passable writer, yet that’s sufficient. In fact, it works well in non-fiction content (i.e. niche sites) because people visit and read websites for information, and providing information in an organized and thorough manner is my strength.
Over time, I strive to publish the best content possible and do so in as systemic way as possible, I’ve come up with several “content enhancers” that can be applied to most content.
The following I set out and explain 21 of these content enhancers.
20 Content Enhancing Ideas
Here are some ideas on how you can enhance your content:
1. Add Facts
I love this technique. I forget to do it way too often, yet as a reader of websites, I love it when they toss in some interesting facts regarding the topic. You’ve probably seen this done… you’re reading along and then there’s a little box or highlighted text with an interesting fact on the subject. I love this and so I do it occasionally. It’s a great way to enhance your content.
Mind you, this won’t add piles of words to your content, but it will make it more interesting.
Here’s an example:
2. Add a quote or two
If you can find a terrific quote or two relevant to the topic, put it in the article. This is an easy and fast way to make your content more interesting.
TIP: you might consider putting the quote in an image so that people can pin it. Quotes are a very popular type of pin.
“Making money from blogging requires you to do only two things: drive a lot traffic, then maximize the income from that traffic.” John Chow
3. Data (Charts and Tables)
This is something I’ve added to quite a bit of content in my niche sites extensively in 2017. In fact, when I can get my hands on enough data, I create dedicated data-focused articles.
TIP: Leverage data by adding it to many blog posts
If you’re able to get plenty of data in your niche and create dozens or hundreds of tables or charts, you can incorporate bits and pieces in many articles. This enhances each article.
What is data?
Data is usually in the form of numbers such as statistics, volume, percentages, etc. Within every niche there is loads of data. The trick is finding accurate sources.
Collateral benefit of data
Charts and tables can attract links. I publish my charts as images and if another site uses it, chances are they’ll source it with a link.
What if you can’t find data?
Get your own.
Create piles of polls and collect responses. Use those responses as your data from which you can create tables and charts. If you have an email list, you can create surveys and have them fill it out. That too is excellent data.
Each niche is different, but when you turn your attention to gathering and finding data relevant to your niche, you’ll soon learn that there is a goldmine of information you can use, leverage and publish about that your audience will love.
The amount of interesting data you could write about is crazy. You could compile tables of vehicle sales volumes, recall information, car accident data, horsepower comparisons, 0 to 60 mph comparisons, popular colors and so much more. All of this is information people interested in cars would want to read.
Each niche is different, but turn your attention to what kind of information the industry would collect. A really good starting point is the annual reports produced by publicly traded companies within the niche. These reports are a wealth of information. Get all the annual reports for all the companies in the niche and you’ll be swimming in reliable data (unless they’re cooking the books).
- Cost to implement: $0 to 1,000s. Depends on how much research is involved and who does it. If you outsource it, it could cost a lot of money but it could be worth it if you get a lot of data that you can incorporate into many posts.
4. “Pros and Cons” Section
You can add a Pros and Cons section to many article topics. What I like about the “Pros and Cons” addition is it’s a very high-value snippet of info.
You can keep it short or make it expansive.
If you find the Pros and Cons section turns into 350+ words, you might consider publishing a stand-alone article focusing on the pros and cons. You can link to it from the article in which you considered inputting the pros and cons.
5. Photo gallery
If you’re in a visual niche, add a photo gallery if possible. If it’s a massive photo gallery, you may want to add a few images and then link to a dedicated photo gallery.
Cost to implement: $0 to $100. Depends on which photo gallery tool/plugin you use.
6. Additional Resources Section
This chunk of info could be many things including:
- Links to cornerstone content;
- Links to related articles on your website;
- Links to related articles on other websites;
- Links to relevant products and/or services; and/or
- Suggested books for further investigation.
Cost to implement: $0
7. Poll and/or Quiz
I love polls and quizzes on websites. I enjoy taking them and I enjoy offering them to readers. Fortunately these days there’s many software options to create really good polls and quizzes. I like Opinionstage, but Thrive Themes and MyThemeShop also have solid options.
I have polls and quizzes displayed site-wide as well as very specific polls and quizzes for individual articles. My site has tons of these. To date, I’ve had 92,000+ poll votes plus thousands of people take the quizzes.
Here’s a poll example:
Here’s a recent summary screenshot of my Opinionstage polls/quiz software account:
- Cost to implement: $0 to $100+. It depends on which software platform you use. I have a business subscription with Opinionstage which costs me $99 per month which is probably a lot more than you need to get started.
8. Table of Contents
Whenever I have more than 5 headings, I add a table of contents toward the top of my posts. I use Table of Contents Plus plugin. I love table of contents as a reader of longer articles and so I figure my readers will appreciate it as well.
At the top of this post you can see an example of the Table of Contents Plus plugin in action.
- Cost: $0 (free plugin).
If your article is extensive, it never hurts to write a summary at the top. That’s a nice way to give readers the bird’s eye view of the article.
10. Social Media Embeds
Plenty of large sites do this regularly, especially for news. They’ll include Twitter posts or FB posts or Instagram posts that support or enhance the news item.
Twitter embed example:
Content is King! How to write better content in 13 steps. #DigitalMarketing #SocialMedia #ContentStrategy #storytelling #ContentExperiments pic.twitter.com/louwEA3PhA
— FireTap (@FireTap_Digital) May 9, 2017
This is too obvious, but I’ll include it because it really is a great way to add a ton of value to an article. You can embed YouTube videos anywhere to make your article better.
YouTube embed example:
12. “Cost” Section
You can discuss the “Cost” of a topic more often than you think.
For example, I could finish this article with a “How much does doing this cost?” or I could add that to each individual item in this list. For this article, the best option would be to add the “cost” to each item in the list because each will vary.
However, if your article discusses something in a more singular fashion, you can discuss cost generally at the end
Example: Auto niche
Suppose you cover cars that go from 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds, you could discuss cost extensively. In this case the cost will be high because those are mostly high performance cars which cost more. You could present cost as a range and explain briefly the differences in price. If you get sufficient data, you could create a chart measuring cost agains 0 to 60 mph. I’m sure there’s a correlation that could be charted between the higher the cost, the lower the time for a car to get to 60 mph.
13. FAQ Section
This is a classic and it’s one I do a lot, including on Fat Stacks.
Almost any topic could have an FAQ section added. In some cases you’ll regurgitate information buried in the article and highlight it as a question and answer. In other instances, your questions and answers may be information not included in the main article.
Regardless, the FAQ is a great way to provide concise and helpful information to readers.
14. “What is it?” or Definitions Section
You never want to assume your readers know what you’re talking about. Many article topics could include a “what is it?” or “Definition” section to help clarify the concept or terms.
Content (def.): something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any of various arts [source: Dictionary.com].
15. “How-To” Section
Usually this would make up an individual article because how-to topics are usually fairly lengthy; however, in some cases it may be simple and may fit in nicely in a longer article.
TIP: Any time you want to include a how-to section, check YouTube for a video too. I find there are how-to videos on pretty much everything.
16. Personal Story / Anecdotes
I think this is a highly overlooked way to personalize what are usually fairly mundane topics. My niches aren’t super exciting but the information helps people. Most websites offer the info in a fairly dry manner so one thing I do often (not always, but often) is kick off the article or gallery with a personal anecdote or example of how the topic applies to me. This turns dry content into something more personal. I also enjoy writing these types of intros much more than the usual boring intros.
In fact, I instruct all writers to not include an intro. This saves me money on word count and it gives me a chance to personalize the article, which only takes a few minutes to do.
Frankly, writing services are decent at writing on concrete topics but are usually bad at writing engaging introductions.
17. Dress Up Images so They’re More Informative
If your article is even a bit visual, you can mark up photos with arrows and text to help explain or inform. This takes a bit of time to do, but when it’s applicable, it’s a huge value-ad.
I actually do these myself. I don’t worry about making it beautiful. I just open an image editor on my Mac and add text with arrows.
If you’re a perfectionist (I’m clearly no perfectionist) or you’re way too busy to do this, then hire a graphic artist or get on board with DesignPickle to do this for you.
Cost to implement: $0 to $370 per month+. DesignPickle costs $370 per month, but if you cranked out several of these each month it could well be worth it. Hiring a graphic designer could cost more (or less).
18. Graphic Version of the Post
I’ve started doing these for my longer posts with plenty of images and sections. The graphic is a synopsis of the content with a focus on the images but includes the headings and in some cases some of the text.
I pin these. I guess you could call this an infographic, but my approach is to basically turn the post into a graphic.
Cost to implement: $0 to $1,000s+. It all depends on who you get to create the graphics.
19. Editor’s Comments
I noticed that Authority Hacker does this when they have guest writer do the content. I think it’s super smart and highly effective because it reads a bit like a conversation.
Obviously this only works when it’s a guest post or it’s publicly made known that it’s not you who wrote the article. Of course you could make it look like 2 people contributed as well to incorporate this effect.
Basically you just add highlighted sections, often in the form of a content box where you indicate it’s an Editor’s Comment and then you add your own insight or praise or criticism or personal story to that part of the article.
This could easily be done for every article simply by manufacturing the effect. You the writer write the article. You the editor, comment on it. It’s a great format and technique.
20. Expert Opinion or Quote
Almost any article could benefit from the input of an expert in the field. It could be a short answer or longer contribution.
One huge benefit about links being so valuable for SEO is that whenever you need a contribution to your article, your offer of a link to the them is a very good incentive. Unless they are totally clueless about SEO, most people will be delighted to provide a 2 paragraph answer to a question in return for a link.
When you contact experts, especially if small business owners or professionals, you might consider briefly explaining that you’ll provide a link to their site and that such links are good for helping getting ranked higher in Google search rankings.
21. Embed a Map
If your content includes mention of a location, why not embed a Google map? It’s free and takes about 30 seconds yet can be a very helpful chunk of content for your readers.
How long should your content be?
As long as it takes for it to be great. I routinely publish 400 word articles as well as 4,000 word articles. It all depends on the content and its purpose.
Chris Lee wrote a terrific article on content length here.
The longer that I build my niche content business, the less I follow purported “rules” and instead just do what makes sense. When content needs to be extensive in order to do what I intend it to do, I publish long, detailed articles. When 400 words does the job along with a few photos, so be it.
FYI, in my niche there’s a new big player that is absolutely killing it in the search engines with 350 to 500 word content. Granted, they were able to leverage tens of thousands of links from other sites they control which kinda sucks to be up against, but I appreciate noticing that they’re killing it with short content. While it’s short content, it’s still very good and almost always delivers on the the title, so it deserves solid rankings.
2,000 Words Ain’t that Hard Now, Is It?
If you incorporate all of the above plus the actual meat of your content, you can see it isn’t all that hard to write expansive, high-value content each and every time.
The above is my laundry list I incorporate over and over and over. Mind you, I don’t incorporate all of the above in every article; I only include what makes sense to include. I often use much of the above to enhance guest post contributions as well as content written by other writers. Because I have a list of content enhancers at my disposal, it doesn’t take all that long to dramatically improve my content.
21 “Content Enhancers” that Takes Content from Drab to Fab
21 “Content Enhancers” that Takes Content from Drab to Fab