Continuing along with our tips for adding credibility to your content, let’s talk about using quotations. Last week, we talked about using statistics to your content and if you missed those tips, you can find them here.
Here are some tips for using quotes effectively in your content…
Make Researching Quotes Easy by Bookmarking Your Resources – There are a handful of websites that collect quotes on a wide variety of topics. Identify the resources that best fit your needs and bookmark them. The next time you need a quote, you have a handy resource to turn to.
You can also use your search engine to find a good quote. For example, if you’re writing content on dog training you might search for “dog training quotes.” Believe it or not, the first result that shows up is a list of 25 dog training quotes. However, when you use a search engine to locate relevant quotes, you may come across resources that lack credibility. Make sure that the quote is accurate before using it in your own content.
Make Sure the Right Person is Quoted – People are misquoted online every single day. While reputable quote databases generally attribute the correct person, a quick search of your quote should help you make sure the source and the content are accurate. For example, you might do a quick search on the Norman Vincent Peale quote and make sure that at least three other reputable websites have the same quote. Check to make sure both the wording of the quote and the author are accurate.
To help keep this in mind, always remember this…
But seriously, accuracy is important if you’re looking for credibility.
Use Quotes Sparingly – Quotes add impact and make content more memorable. However, their impact is weakened when content is littered with quotes. They should reinforce your content and add value. One or two quotes per 600 words is a good rule of thumb, but use your own judgment.
Strategically Position Your Quotes – You can use quotes to add authority or credibility to your content. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about the importance of continuing education you might use the following quote within the body of your content.
“Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.” ― Michael E. Gerber
Quotes can also be used to motivate and inspire. When this is the objective, consider beginning or ending your content with a quote. When used at the beginning of your content, it sets the tone and creates a purpose for the rest of your material. When used at the end, it leaves your readers with something to think about. You might end a blog post on mindset with the following quote.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” -Norman Vincent Peale
Attribute Consistently – While you don’t have to follow the journalism style guide for attributing quotes, it is important to make sure you’re consistent with your attribution. Generally speaking make sure that your reader knows it is a quote by placing the material in quotation marks.
You might also italicize the quote to draw attention to it and to separate it from the rest of your content. Identify the author and if it feels relevant and appropriate, share a bit about the author.
For example, Norman Vincent Peale was the author of “The Power of Positive Thinking.”
You can use these tips for new content you create or why not go back and see if you can add thought-provoking quotes to older popular content. Want us to research some content for you? We’re happy to help.
When you give people something deeper to ponder, the message of your content will be so much stronger.