When I started blogging in the summer of 2005, I wrote a few rubbish posts and gave up.
And then, one year later, I looked at my visitor stats and saw that people were reading my rubbish posts, I was astounded. Not being completely stupid, I continued. I soon had hundreds of visitors a day and was receiving multiple requests for work.
However, the situation is completely different now as the blogosphere is saturated with content in every niche. In addition to this Google’s algorithm updates have reduced the impact of individual blogs and increased the number of already successful sites in the search results.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t blog. I believe that any business, online or off, or any person wishing to get a message out there should have a blog. And, they should promote that blog through social media channels, write guest posts on other sites as well as developing relationships with other bloggers online to ensure further sharing and promotion.
But, I’m saying that all this is not enough.
In 2005 there were less than 10 million blogs. Now there are more than 400 million. So, what should we do to get noticed amongst the ever-increasing background noise of the Internet of 2014? My answer, “intimate” content.
What is “intimate” content?
Let me explain that word “intimate”. I’m not suggesting we all divulge the sordid secrets of our personal lives (although a little back story is always interesting).
Blog posts are typically consumed by the visitor in minutes or, more usually, seconds – if a blog visitor spends more than two minutes on a blog post, it’s a long time. One minute is not enough for a business owner, writer or blogger to deliver their message.
“Intimate” content is deep, personal content that the consumer will take longer to digest and will feel a greater connection to the blogger as a result.
I can divide “Intimate” content into three main categories: text (books), audio (podcasts) and video (YouTube and video courses).
These three categories of content provide a number of benefits to the blogger:
- Exposure on other channels (Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Udemy)
- Authority that comes from the kudos of being “a published author”, “a podcast host” or a “Udemy instructor”
- “Intimacy” of being with the consumer for a prolonged amount of time (over an hour reading a book; an hour listening to a podcast; over an hour watching a video course)
- Greater conversions – collecting email addresses from consumers that have consumed your book, podcast or video course is easier than collecting email addresses from visitors to your website
- Oh, you can make money too
- And, you can cross sell between these channels (Kindles can sell Udemy courses, YouTube can sell video courses, Podcasts can sell Kindles, etc.)
Let’s go through the three categories one by one.
Writing a book may seem like an ordeal to some, it’s ridiculously easy to others. There’s no problem getting published these days so you have to consider it.
I sell Kindle booklets on Amazon for $2.99. They are typically around 10,000 to 13,000 words long – that’s just over 10 pages in a Word document. They are not long books and they can be written in a couple of weeks.
Indeed, you could string a series of blog posts together and put that out on the Amazon platform. I wouldn’t do that myself as I would make the most of the KDP Select marketing tools (free days and Countdown Deals) that are only available if the book is exclusive to Amazon. After that you can put the book out on Nook, iBooks, Kobo, etc.
Kindle compared to blogs
What you need to get started: er, a computer.
Self publishing marketing tip: add an offer to the beginning of every Kindle or e-book, for example, “if you’re interested in reading a free e-book then click this link” and collect email addresses from there. Visitor can read the first 10% of your book if you click the “Look inside” button on the book image in the Kindle store. If your offer is within this first 10% you will get loads of sign-ups this way.
A podcast is one of the easiest forms of “intimate” content you can create. I’m belittling the amount of work that a podcast needs, but you don’t have to be an expert at anything to set one up. For me a podcast needs great guests, the host isn’t that important and podcast hosts tend to get better as they get more experience conducting interviews.
Podcasts compared to blogs
What you need to get started: a good microphone, Skype recording software, a solid idea of your niche and your podcast’s audience, a great square podcast logo.
Podcasting marketing tip: if you’re launching a podcast, record at least 15 episodes and publish them within 8 weeks of the launch. This will make the most of your time, hopefully, sitting on the New & Noteworthy section of iTunes.
You can immediately see why video is “intimate” or more personal content. With video, the consumer sees the content creator’s face (and sometimes their home or workplace), hears their voice and “spends more time” with them if you are consuming a large video course.
Udemy compared to blogs
What you need to get started: a good microphone, screencasting software such as Screenflow or Camtasia, cheap HD video camera, iPhone or good smartphone camera, tripod, lighting (maximum $40 from eBay), reflectors (maximum $20 from eBay)
Udemy course marketing tip: create free courses on Udemy
You can do it!
You can write books, host podcasts and create Udemy courses. It takes a little bit more effort than doing what everyone else does that’s why not many people do it! So go where there’s less competition.