18/11/2011 07:17 GMT | Updated 18/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Thinking Outside the Blog

The popularity of blogging continues to take off in the UK and around the world, in order to be a successful blogger in your niche, you need to think of ways to stand out from the growing crowd.

Being on multiple platforms is one way to do this. People like to consume online content in different ways. Some people like to read blogs or eBooks, others like to watch videos and some like to listen to podcasts on their morning commute.

Are you reaching out to all these people? The main reason that bloggers neglect to cater for people on different platforms is a lack of time. Your blog is the main hub where people can find the information you provide, so it's right that you spend more time working on the blog.

It does not actually take that much time to record a podcast every couple of weeks or shoot a quick YouTube video.

What are the benefits of being on multiple platforms?

  • It allows you to reach out to new audiences
  • You appear to be more of an expert in your niche
  • You drive traffic to your blog
  • You improve the image of your overall brand
  • You give your current readers a better experience

Being on multiple platforms also helps build your reputation and trust with your current readers. If one of your current readers goes onto iTunes and sees that you do a monthly Podcast as well as your blog, you will be seen as more of an expert in your field.

When you are producing content on different platforms you need to make it clear where your blog can be found. If you neglect to do this then you may miss out on potential new readers.

The Big Two - You should at least consider being on these platforms if you aren't there already:

YouTube - There are so many things that are much easier to understand in video format. A great example is a cooking blog. If the user could actually see a dish being cooked, it would be a much better experience for them than a text description would be. You should provide a link to your blog in the description of all your YouTube videos.

iTunes - There is still plenty of room in iTunes for Podcasters. I personally LOVE podcasts. Some people just don't have the time to read. This is a great way to stand out and be more of an authority in your niche.

Here are some extra platforms that you could benefit from too: - You can upload content in PowerPoint format here. Some people like to learn this way so if you have any "how to" posts on your blog then this would be perfect for slideshare.

Kindle - If you have enough great information on your blog, you could write an ebook and sell it on Kindle. This will definitely make you stand out.

Flickr - This is one of many photo sharing platforms. If your blog involves loads of images, then having a profile on Flickr is one more way you can be found. This is ideal for something like a travel blog.

Being organised is important. If you do decide to branch out to multiple platforms (which you should) then you need to try to be consistent. I recommend doing something like a monthly podcast, or a weekly video to start with and see how it is working for you.

Don't give up if you don't see any measurable results instantly. Just keep providing quality content and your blog will benefit in the long run.

Its not only thinking "outside the blog" but being outside the blog that will help you stand out and succeed.