Do You Blog in All Formats?

The simple text blog is not dead, quite far from it. In fact you are reading one right now. But the problem is, there is just too much to lose by not working in multi format and exploiting every type of online communication possible. After all it is 2012 and the age of multimedia is here to stay. The sooner we all realise the importance of alternative media on our blogs the greater they will become.

What do I mean by Multi Format?

I’m talking about:

1. Video posts
2. Audio posts
3. Image posts
4. Text posts
5. Hybrid posts

Are you doing all of these yet? If not, you are missing out on some valuable traffic generating platforms and super cool engagement from your readers.

The way the world works today is a lot different to the early days of traditional, although still popular blogging in simple text and image format. Maybe you haven’t noticed but, how fast are we moving these days? The technology we have today enables us to work anywhere at anytime, we are no longer location dependent.

For example, after taking my daughter to school, I walk home and check my email with my smart phone. I delete anything unwanted, and keep what I need to address when I get home. I also check out Facebook, watch any online videos that friends have shared or from the emails I have in my inbox. Yes I do all of this when walking home. Amazing isn’t it (or just crazy)? Not only do I do this but I also have podcasts on my iPhone which I listen to whenever I have spare time.

My point here is not to go out and buy a smart phone, although I could not live without mine. The point is, we have so many choices and media platforms to choose from, it would be crazy not to utilize them all. We all love consuming information, now we can get it anytime anyplace anywhere!

Why video is cool

Online video allows us to create and display information quickly and efficiently without the need for images and drawings. Before YouTube (yes I was here), I would create text tutorials with images and arrows pointing to what to do and where to go next. With video it takes a tenth of the time to create and they are 100 times easier to follow.

So why is video so cool?

  • You can create a tutorial series to help people out with problems they may have
  • You can increase engagement, by creating face to face time with your visitors, which builds trust
  • How about a product review of physical product?
  • Creating video allows viewing on the move (can you read while walking?)
  • It’s easier to consume
  • You can project your expertise in your field

YouTube is a king of video content, there are others but they don’t come much better than YouTube. It’s one of the largest search engines next to Google, so this means it’s a traffic hot spot. Why would you not want to be part of it?

Late last year I had a conversation with Adrienne Smith about video content and how we were both going to ramp it up this year. The conclusion is, it’s an absolute must! Check out this guest post by Paul Wolfe at Adrienne’s blog, he talks exactly about how video content is exploding.

Face your fear

We all have that scary moment when we are one step away from being out of our comfort zone. If video is that step away, its time to cross the line.

Quote: “Do one thing every day that scares you”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Naturally we avoid what we find uncomfortable or things we are dubious about. Creating video is no different. I still remember my first video (terrible), but I carried on, now it’s no issue at all. I actually find video easier now. There is no trick you just have to go for it! Sergio did, check it out!

Challenge: If you haven’t created a video before, create one I want to see it.

Here is a list of tools you can use to create video and upload to YouTube:

Hardware

1. Smartphone
2. Flip Cam
3. Camcorder

Screen Capture Software

1. Camtasia (my favourite)
2. Screen Flow (Mac)
3. Cam Studio (free)

All of the above tools will help you create awesome online videos. So come on let’s see those YouTube channels exploding!

Audio is Awesome

Over the course of this year I do intend to create a Podcasting channel, it seems like the next logical step for me, and one that I think would be so much fun. It’s always good to talk and communicate with others in the form of interviews and information sharing talks. Audio is perfect for this.

Today, we have a world of audio tools at our fingertips so creating and sharing is so much easier.

Tools such as:

  • iTunes
  • Improved microphones
  • Skype
  • Skype recording software
  • Audio cutting software

All the tools you need are available to you for free to create great audio so why wouldn’t you give it a shot?

You no longer have to write your post, you can talk about it with audio, you can interview with audio and you can product review, all in audio format. This allows your readers to take it with them on the move, in the car, walking home from the school drop off, on the train; I guess you get the point.

But did you know by creating a podcast, you enter into a completely different marketplace and engage your readers/listeners on another level again. This is also another source of traffic from iTunes and social networking shares. And most definitely one you need to be looking into in the future.

Are hybrid posts all hype?

Moving further away from the traditional blog style, how about a hybrid style blog post? Mix it all up with text, graphics, audio or video. This can engage your readers on so many levels by bringing all your content together as one multi format blog post.

Obviously placing video and audio on your post is rare, but mixing traditional text with audio or video is very common now. Don’t just place a video on your blog, why not video yourself talking about your blog post, the advantages and the benefits of what you have just written. If you feel you haven’t explained your tutorial or the information in your post, you can add to it to create a greater sense of interaction.

Audio is great for engaging your audience also. By creating great content and backing it up with an expert interview from a special guest at the end. Your audience can either listen right there and then, or take the audio away and listen. By doing this you add massive value to your blog posts. You can also send out follow-up emails to your readers to ask them if they have listened to the audio to further help with engagement.

As you can see, by multi format blogging you can greatly improve your audience experience, enhance the quality of your blog and drive traffic from multiple platforms. Now is the time to bring it all together.

Do you agree? Let me know what you think?