How to Spice Up your Blog Posts with GIFs, Videos, & More!


Boost article engagement with these 7 tips

Wanna hear a secret? 

The first blog articles I was paid to write were terrible! It’s true.

One of my very first clients was a business owner who had a blog dedicated to marketing and he wanted me to ghostwrite it for him. It was something I knew nothing about and I had to learn what SEO, KPI, and B2B meant. 

He was a great client and I learned a lot from him, but looking back, my blogs were far from the best. Luckily, he wasn’t overly concerned with quality because I was new and affordable. The writing itself was well-researched and well-written, that hasn’t changed much.

However, they were lacking other elements to make them easier to digest and more engaging. We did use the odd GIF, but that was about it. Since then, I’ve learned a lot more about blogging and content writing so I wanted to share some tips to help boost your engagement and make your articles more appealing. 

Here’s my advice for you on 8 different elements to incorporate into your content writing routine, whether it’s a short blog or an in-depth article:


1. Eye-Catching Images

I know this is obvious, but hey, if you’re a total beginner it might not seem that way. A client might not even ask you to do this if they don’t know. Still, I would make sure to have at least one image.

Be sure to include graphs and other images as well and not just a poppin’ header image. Visualizing your data is super important. It makes it really clear and helps your reader understand what your saying in another format.

A good main image is also helpful because it will show up in your link preview. 

A link preview is the small preview text and image that appear when you share a link on social media. 

Here’s an example from a recent post I shared on Twitter.

Screenshot by Author

2. Animated GIFs

I love adding GIFs because they add some personality and catch the readers’ eye. Sometimes, I’ll watch a gif on repeat if it’s funny… I’m sure I’m not the only one. 

Try using a website Giphy to find plenty of options to choose from.

Pro tip: Download the image and then add it into the post. If you use just a link and let a website like Medium embed it automatically, you run the risk of the link breaking. That means the image will disappear if something changes.

Image via Giphy

3. Embeds Videos

As marketers have been saying for a while, video marketing is at the forefront. We saw this with the growth of Youtube and we’re seeing it again with Tiktok as well. 

Throw in some visual sources! Here’s an example of a short video I posted to my (very new) Youtube channel for a podcast I host. It’s just a highlight from the podcast, but now I can add that video to the blog and podcast show notes I write as well. 

4. Embed Podcasts 

Another area with a lot of growth is podcasts. I learn tons of things from podcasts and you can always use that as a secondary source for your articles. They can often dive into topics more in-depth than you may have done. 

Here is an example from a podcast I love that debunks tons of Science myths! 

5. Music

If you’re writing a review of a song or even just a list of your favourite artists you can add a Spotify link to your article. You can easily embed it like I just did with the podcast above.

Here’s a quick breakdown of where to find the link for podcasts or songs — just right click on it to get an embed code or the direct link:

Screenshot by Author

6. Lists & Charts

Bullet points are a must! Obviously, you can’t write everything in bullet points, but when possible I highly suggest it. Here are a few reasons you should be using lists in your articles: 

  • Makes the information easier to read
  • Keeps your writing more concise
  • Optimizes your article for Google Snippets

There are actually different types of snippets, but a list snippet is one of them. When people search for something that might have a list as an answer, the results will look like this at the top. 

Screenshot by Author

7. Iconic Quotes

If you’re pulling sources from others, make that information into a quote! It’ll pop out and you can use it as an opportunity to add a hyperlink and improve your SEO performance. 

Here’s a great quote from one of my favourite Sci-Fi authors: 

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” — Orson Scott Card


Summary

And that’s a wrap! Use these 7 strategies to make more dynamic blog posts and articles that your readers will enjoy. While words are important, adding other elements can boost your engagement and make it a more pleasant experience for everyone. 

Here are the 7 things in a quick list: 

  • Images
  • GIFs
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Music
  • List & Charts
  • Quotes

For more articles with marketing and writing advice feel free to follow me here, on Medium or hop over to my Twitter! I share articles, tips, any freelance job opportunities I see, and of course my silly thoughts.

Thanks for reading! 

Published by Victoria A. Fraser

Freelance writer, podcast producer, and comic artist.

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