Monday, March 12, 2012

Interactive Content for Websites

For authors and businesses with websites, the key is to get visitors involved. People visit a site for content and information first - to purchase something is fourth. A site must gain the visitor’s trust first. It must demonstrate its knowledge and expertise. And it must get the visitor involved in the site.

Blogs have one major advantage over websites when it comes to getting visitors involved - the comment section. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things to you can add to your website to get visitors involved though.

Some ideas for interactive content:

- quizzes
- a guest book
- RSS Feed
- video
- audio
- contests
- free materials
- referral request
- online chat
- newsletter signup
- request for further information or quote
- comment box
- polls

And of course, many of those things can be added to a blog, too.

Do you have interactive content on your website or blog?

And I have most of posts scheduled for the A to Z Challenge - boo-yah!


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I don't have a lot of interactive content, but I've been thinking about adding some! I enjoy it on other blogs.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Other than comments (and the ability to sign up for my posts via email), I have no interactive features on my blog. Oh, I have done the occasional contest, but that's it.

None of that stuff really matters to me as a reader. I don't usually follow author blogs or check out their websites. I'd rather just read their books. I know some post deleted scenes, and Cassandra Clare posted a scene from a different character's pov from what was in the novel (it was hot!), but I tend not to read them. When I have to read them on my computer, it feels like I'm beta reading.

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't at this point, but I wouldn't rule it out :)

Talli Roland said...

Great tips! I don't have interactive content per se, but I do always try to pose a question at the end of my post.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Great tips will keep them in mind.


Karen Walker said...

Diane, I don't have a website any more for just this reason. My blog suffices. I've got 1/2 my post scheduled. Got to get cracking'.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have a RSS feed and two videos but that's it.

Johanna Garth said...

All I have are the comment section. Maybe I should revisit this and congrats on almost finishing your posts!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Don't worry everyone, I don't have a lot of interactive content on my blog or website either!

Enid Wilson said...

I use old joomla and not sure how to add guest book. But I do have polls, contests, newsletter signup and comment box and free reads. Perhaps it's good to do a quiz.

The Spinster’s Vow

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I think it's wonderful to get people involved, but one of the major reasons for a Web site for authors is a media room complete with links to at least one media kit. It's something I feature in The Frugal Book Promoter ( but so few authors still do it. Wahhhh.
Call it interactivity for the media--and that includes bloggers who might interview you, etc.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Your list makes me realize I should do more.
Congrats on having your posts nearly ready for April. Still have a bit to go.

Southpaw said...

I add video every now and again and being a blog, comments. I do think even static websites are evolving into dynamic setting 'cause people want to interact.

Hart Johnson said...

I haven't had any interactive content besides comments, but I've thought a lot about supplemental stuff for books. I have a book that could be helped with a few maps. Another I've thought might be fun to have som blog posts 'written' by my sidekick.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane .. that's a great list - with lots of thoughts re promotion etc.

The only thing with extra content - is that people with older machines or poor connections can get stuck with slow loading .. especially videos, music etc ..

Also just how much can we all take in?

Interesting thoughts though and comments .. cheers Hilary

Jai Joshi said...

I really enjoy the interactive stuff on my blog because it helps me to know what effect my writing has on readers. It's a give and take situation and provides much more of a friendship rather then a businesslike relationship. I much prefer it to the idea of just a straight website.


DL Hammons said...

You are an A to Z WARRIOR!!! :)

Sarah Pearson said...

I have comments :-)

Arlee Bird said...

Not only is it a good idea to try to keep a visitor on ones site for a little while, but also entice them to want to return. Give the readers something that they'll remember.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out
Voting for A to Z Video Contest Now Open

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Arlee, that is the goal.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for this info. Never gave it much thought, but I need to. I have giveaways sometimes, and have an email subscriber button but that's it so far.

Johanna Garth said...

sadly the huffington post thing doesn't surprise me at all.

J.L. Campbell said...

Interesting stuff, Diane. I should be thinking about some of these for my blog.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I love these little carnivals of recent publishing news. Love it when you hit one I hadn't heard about yet. (-: