10 Ways to Spice Up Your Blog - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


10 Ways to Spice Up Your Blog

If you want your blog to attract attention (and hits), try adding one of these free Web tools.

It's hard to stand out in a crowd. And where blogs are concerned, that crowd numbers in the tens of millions. Even if you provide copious amounts of unique, insightful, downright invaluable content, there's a good chance your blog will go unnoticed by the very audience you're striving to attract.

That's why it's vital to look beyond mere content and find fun, practical, eyebrow-raising accoutrements that can spice things up. By surprising, entertaining, informing and/or educating visitors, you're more likely to encourage repeat visits and generate word of mouse--er, mouth. I've rounded up 10 whiz-bang tools that'll help your blog stand out, and not one of them will cost you a penny (though some do incur fees for more advanced features).


Bubble Guru adds a pop-up video bubble to your blog.

Go to Image Gallery
To really make your blog pop, add a pop-up video bubble. You supply the webcam; Bubble Guru gives you the simple Web-based tools to record a talking-head snippet, which can be anything from a simple greeting to a product plug to a quick summary of today's most newsworthy post. Just don't get crazy with the bubbles: What starts off as a nifty, attention-grabbing novelty can quickly turn into an annoyance if over-used.

You can add a Bubble Guru bubble to your blog free of charge (the site gives you the cut-and-paste HTML code you need), but you're limited to one 20-second bubble. If you decide you want more, you can get five 60-second bubbles for $9.95 per month.


If you like the idea of adding a recorded video greeting to your site but don't want the intrusiveness of a pop-up bubble, try Eyejot. Though designed primarily for sending video e-mail, the service also offers a blog-embeddable widget that shows visitors a prerecorded clip. What's the big deal about that? You can accomplish the same thing with YouTube, right? You can, but Eyejot goes a step further: It lets site visitors "reply" by recording a video of their own. Sure, you might get some weird (or even scary) messages, but you might also attract an entire demographic of webcam-wielding users. Because, let's face it, everyone likes to be on camera. Eyejot is free of charge.


Want to direct site visitors to your store/training site/frozen-banana-on-a-stick stand? Make things easy for them and embed a Google Maps map. Until recently, this required jumping through some programming hoops, but now it's as simple as creating the map you want, then clicking on the "link to this page" link. Google Maps supplies the code you need; just copy it and paste it into the appropriate spot in your blog. These aren't just static maps, either: They're fully interactive, so users can scroll, zoom, get directions, and view satellite and/or hybrid versions. And as with Google Maps itself, the embedded maps cost nothing to use.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 3
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Learning: It's a Give and Take Thing
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  1/24/2020
IT Careers: Top 10 US Cities for Tech Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/14/2020
Predictions for Cloud Computing in 2020
James Kobielus, Research Director, Futurum,  1/9/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll