Four Easy Ways to Create Innovative Content With Interactivity

Four Easy Ways to Create Innovative Content With Interactivity

Reader Comments (52)

  1. One of the most powerful tools for the online crafts blogging community is Reader Activities. I’ve seen lots of these – from weekly and monthly challenges to Robin Atkin’s year long commitment to a “Bead Journal Monthly” in which ~250 subscribers create a piece of embroidery work for their own 12 page “journey”. The reward to the reader comes in the form of engaging in a group activity, creating a personal work of art, and the possibility of the collection of works becoming an exhibit. Pretty cool I’d say!

    Thanks Copyblogger, you’re always spot on!

  2. Brian — great demo with the sales funnel. I’m not quite sure where/if this fits in your four ways, but I know some bloggers who run contests by telling their readers to comment and point out their comments on other stories.

    Perhaps that’s using great content to create interactivity, though.

  3. This might be categorized under Interactivity, but what about introducing a chat module with a blog. Maybe every Friday at noon Pacific time a blog post is put out on, well . . . my site 🙂

    Then for comments, a chat module is used where I can interact with site visitors and we can comment together.

    The blog owner could then assign certain usual readers to be fill-in chat lead (takes my place, for example) for a number of days following. The fill in would be something like a moderator in forums.

  4. Each of these four points comes down to one simple concept: getting personal with your reader. Interaction means that you have to step out and be a real person to connect with your readers as real people. Through video or through commenting, it’s all part of becoming part of the crowd and not just standing aside leading the group.

    Another strategy? Asking people to give their advice and opinion on something you struggle with. They’re thrilled to be the expert telling the pro what to do!

    (And thank you. I didn’t hit 371 comments but I’m darned pleased with the 100 that thread got!)

  5. A twist on #2.
    Read the comments you’re getting and base your content on that. It’s amazing the things I learn from my users on my work at home blog. You get your usual, great article comments. But then someone ask something really compelling or responds with a point you never considered and bingo you have new content ideas.

    Some of my best post have come because of that and the response is great because it usually means that other people were thinking the same thing but failed to mention it.

    So that’s a great way to run with content. If you have hundreds of comments you probably have a wealth of content for weeks or months. Don’t let it go to waste.

    Eddy Salomon

  6. I used a combination of all four items above.

    I’m a publicity expert, and came cross an interesting video of a TV news team’s investigation in Atlanta. They learned that three hotels in Atlanta never washed the glasses and coffee cups in guests’ rooms. Instead, housekeeping simply wiped them clean for the next guest to use over again.

    When the news team contacted the hotels, the hotels either denied any wrongdoing or said “no comment.” I asked my readers what they would have done in a situation like that if they were the hotel’s spokesperson. I offerd a prize to the person who submitted the best answer.

    I received 75 comments at my blog and most of them were fabulous. I sought feedback from a respected team of former TV investigative reporters.

    The winner got to select $200 worth of my products. It was a wonderful contest that used all four of your strategies mentioned above, in combination with my ezine and blog.

    You can see the video and read the entire thing at

  7. On the web, live streaming is starting to come into its own, with services like Ustream, which is both live and interactive. You wouldn’t want to do something like that without planning and structuring, so I would say that qualifies as content.

    I’ve had some fun on my blog with SlideCasting as well, from Very easy to do for time-pressed bloggers: make a PowerPoint deck (a good one), record and upload a separate audio track, and use slideshare’s tools to sync them. Embed like a YouTube video.

  8. Your post suggests that we continually find ways to relate to our web-visitor in a mutually engaging manner.

    It’s about opening the communication channels to create a more fluid and organic relationship with our web-niche.

    I have begun to evaluate my site for ways I can give my web-visitors a more fluid way to communicate with me.

    In the end, it’s about building relationships and providing our web-visitors with something that adds value to their lives.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.

  9. brian,
    Your style is amazing and content very inspiring. Just when I think I am about to predict you will write next you come up with something surprising and refreshing..
    I loved your audio presentation on sales funnel.
    did u use cametasia ?

    Vineet Nair

  10. Well put. I’m a fan of question-driven and task-based content. That’s actually how I build my books. It’s the backbone. At the end of the day, it’s either answer a question or show me how.

    A good wrapper method that ties these together is “scenario-driven” content. Stories and scenarios help the rubber meet the road.

  11. Hi Brian

    I’m looking forward to more headline remix challenges, the last one worked a treat 🙂

    Picking up on the comments point, I try and include at least one post a month that’s based on the best of the comments I receive. It seems a shame to leave them languishing in the comment box. It’s also a simple way to say thanks to my readers.


  12. How about video blogging? With the rise of ‘premium’ themes featuring video highlighting, it’s the next big thing to come up.

  13. Another great post! I am doing a combination of blogging and video blogging, and participating in forums and using Twitter as well to try to find more subscribers. I am currently on day 30 of a 92-day juicefeast, but there are a lot of juice feasters out there these days, and they all have interesting blogs. I will keep trying, though! Oh, and I will be signing up to your RSS feed asap! ;o)


  14. “Um, the link in #4…? Supposed to be audio or something?”

    Adam, try it now. The b5 servers had a major hiccup right when this was posted.

    Excellent – figured it was something like this (just wanted to let you know).

    Great video, too – simple and to the point.

    And thanks for this Series; it’s a real gem.

  15. So I checked out Articulate Engage. Looks like exactly what I’m looking for. Problem: I’m a Mac user. Anybody aware of a similar product for Mac?

  16. I liked the bit best about getting readers to comment. Getting the balance right between being authoritative and being interested in what others think is not easy. As well as getting the balance right between providing information and being interesting.
    Interesting post.

  17. Anybody aware of a similar product for Mac?

    Mike, not so far. Articulate serves the corporate e-learning market, which is heavily PC-centric. So, now you know why I still keep a PC despite being a Mac convert.

  18. Some of my tools are the most popular pages on my site. I use my keyword suggestion tool almost every day.

    Lots of tools have a nominal onetime build cost and very little required maintenance.

  19. Adding value to your readers who blog is another great way to get involvement – having posts or activities that involve you linking out to them seems to be a really effective way to get bloggers involved. It may be simple, but it’s important to keep in mind when you’re doing adivce columns, profile features, community projects, etc.

  20. 17 people who have commented failed to list their name AND website in their comment slugs. This is a small failure of “innovation” on their part that decreases changes of people “interacting” with their comment links.

  21. Brian

    Thanks for the post. For Real Estate Agents I believe this is more than crucial. The hardest part about our business is often just generating leads and contacts. Having a site as engaging as possible is now starting to superceed the traditional static websites.
    I think an area that allows potential clients to pose a question in a widget without making a call or signing up etc. is a good easy tool to establish contact with your customers.

    Take care

  22. Hi,

    I look forward to receiving your posts in my inbox and after reading this late last night have added a questions answered section on research.

    Great post as always, thanks.

  23. Interactivity is to readership as marshmallows are to smores. The answer: absolutely ESSENTIAL. I bet if Mitt Romney were a blogger, he could just pay people to read his articles.

  24. The 3rd way is the least one I have ever seen around the internet. Most blogger would jump from number #2 (Turning question into content) to #4 (Multimedia / Video). I think it is for practicality means.

  25. I think it would be a good idea to put questions & encourage comments at start.Then we can slowly move on to the lager steps like Multimedia.But some key points are shown in the article.Thanks

  26. My readers like doing quick surveys too and helping me choose slogans, blog post topics or book names. I’d love the blog headline help. I rely on your tips and (modestly aside) sometimes I come up with great headlines because of your tips. But other times I can’t get there. Look at this one: Bloggers: Do You Give Your Readers What They Want? It’s crying out for some headline workshopping!

  27. I just recently held a contest to find great new business book ideas and authors that had two rounds. The first was resulted in three people winning $500 prizes, each, with four top judges voting on which three should win.

    Round #2 then eliminated two of the three with the top winner getting a book coaching contract by me. I ended up with over 300 comments on that blog page. It also helped me learn a lot about what matters most to those who read business books.

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