If you run an established blog, one of the best ways to attract greater readership and increase engagement is by adding topical, educational content to your site. This might consist of videos, PDFs, podcasts, or other high-value materials for onsite use or download. You already have the necessary expertise; now it’s time to share it in a consumable, even portable, way.
So how do you add this material to your WordPress? The process is simple – if you can create a PDF or a video, you can definitely handle the upload process. In a few easy steps, you’ll have dramatically increased the value of your website to your readers.
Know the Value
Before you even begin adding educational content to your WordPress, it’s important to spend some time reflecting on how this material will add to your business strategy. After all, your blog isn’t just a place to post reflections or updates, but has the potential to be your core point of connection to clients, and can even be highly profitable if you can monetize educational added-value materials.
Many companies and entrepreneurs have successfully turned their knowledge base, some simple educational content, and a blog into profit powerhouses by attracting an audience. For Sam Ovens, a young New Zealand entrepreneur turned consultant, his online educational course, filled with the best of what he learned as a consultant, has become the main part of his business. Considering that Ovens made $10 million consulting before the age of 26, this speaks volumes about how valuable online educational materials can be.
Similarly to Ovens, Design Pickle, a subscription-based graphic design service, turned an educational service into a core part of their overall business structure. Because Design Pickle offers unlimited graphic design services in return for a monthly subscription fee, clients would often sign on for only a month or two and then cancel when they felt the job was done. Clients didn’t realize how much a gap this left in their strategy.
In response to these cancellations, Design Pickle developed an online educational program, Pickle University, designed to teach clients about the value of quality marketing. Pickle University expanded the company’s offerings by keeping clients onboard longer and helping them move forward more successfully.
Once you’ve put some thought into what kind of educational materials you want to add to your site and how they’ll benefit your business, it’s time to get to work. Here we’ll focus on adding two high-value educational formats to your WordPress: PDFs and podcasts.
When adding PDFs to your blog, there are two approaches you can take. First, you can upload a downloadable PDF. To do this, all you need to do is add a PDF to your site media and then click the add media button on your post, title the file, and select “link to media file.” Readers will be able to download the file, but they won’t be able to view it on your site.
One alternative to linking to your PDFs, if you want readers to be able to access them without leaving your page, is to add a PDF viewer. To do this, you’ll need to install the PDF viewer plugin and activate it for your WordPress page. This plugin features customizable dimension settings, so make sure you adjust it to match the PDF you’re uploading.
From there you’ll follow similar steps to the above, but you’ll change the URL code so that it’s contained within the “[pdfviewer]…[/pdfviewer]” shortcode. Now when readers click on the file, it will appear on your site in a popup viewer. You can also override the dimensions in the shortcode using basic HTML if the particular PDF doesn’t fit within the default settings.
Besides PDFs – which are perfect for users on the go, as they can be read, downloaded, and printed out – podcasts are very popular with blog consumers today. They can listen to them onsite or add them to their phone to listen to while commuting or doing chores. Podcasts are also an easy way for companies to add a personal touch to their educational content, as clients can get a greater sense of your personality through a podcast than a written blog.
So how do you add a podcast to your WordPress site? WordPress makes the process simple, compared to many other platforms. Still, you’ll need a microphone and software to record it, and a plugin like Blubrry PowerPress that’s designed for podcasts. By using a specialized podcasting plugin rather than simply uploading your audio as an MP3, you can set up your site to notify iTunes of new episodes.
After recording your podcast, you’ll want to upload it to a separate file hosting site to protect your site bandwidth. Then use the link provided by the file host to add your podcast to a new blog post using the plugin. It’s as simple as that. Your clients will now be able to listen to your podcast right on your site.
Is your blog ready to join the educational content scene? With a few great ideas, well-produced content, and these added plugins, your WordPress can be an informative content hub for your business. Educational add-ons could be what set you above the competition.