As a blog owner, podcaster, magazine publisher and soon to be book author, I’ve learned a lot about media creation, distribution, marketing and branding. Today I would like to discuss differences, benefits and how to build and market each type. I firmly believe that various media supports each other and that with the proper combination, you can be successful in reaching your audience and making a positive impact. I will compare each to a type of television: basic, cable and ppv.
Blogging (basic television): Having a blog is starting to become a mandatory career/personal brand deliverable. By blogging you are giving away free content, in return for possible advertising revenue streams and the many soft benefits, such as consulting opportunities, press coverage, relationships that lead to jobs and friends that last forever. A blog is dynamic and allows you to rank higher in search engines because of the refresh rate when you post, along with keywords and links. Blogs attract so many links because there is so much content being produced and if it’s quality and the personal brand writing it has credibility, they will want to link it as a resource to their readers. Blogs can be free or paid depending on what you are using them for. They can be personal, professional or both and either way, if you establish one, then it is part of your eBrand. I started blogging on October 4th of 2006 and just found my first blog today “Drive to Succeed.” On March 14th, I leveraged that content and started this blog.
- Cost: Free with WordPress.com or Blogspot, but paid with Typepad or hosting WordPress.org
- Marketing: A blog doesn’t market itself unless you are best friends with Robert Scoble and he links to you. You need to network with blogs in your field, swap links, guest post, write for traditional media, pitch stories to journalists, and comment on other blogs.
- Delivery: A blog delivers itself after you do a post. It automatically winds up in Google and people can view it on your blog. There are no delivery costs or logistics really.
Podcasting (basic television): If you don’t have a video camera, digital camera or web camera by now, you are at a tremendous loss. Podcast advertising is increasing at a faster rate than blogging. The podcast medium is more powerful than any other type because it shows a persons entire personal brand, including their personality and appearance. No picture or written article can capture a person quite like video can. I use podcasts on this blog, as well as Personal Branding TV to show the world that I practice what I preach and to get more personal and emotional with my audience.
- Cost: There is no cost with uploading and sharing video, but there is an upfront cost for participation/ a barrier to entry. A camera can cost you as low at $60 and as high as a few thousand dollars. It’s not always about quality these days, but more about the message. Editing software can run between $30 and a few thousand as well and there are other tools advanced podcasters use like amplifiers and microphones.
- Marketing: To market a podcast, you can syndicate it through your blog, host it on video sharing websites such as YouTube and social networks, such as Facebook.
- Delivery: Social networks and blogs are the predominant forces when it comes to delivering podcast content.
Magazine (Cable Television): A lot of people stop at a blog or podcast, but I took it a step further. I believe you have to pay more for higher quality goods and Personal Branding Magazine is definitely worthwhile. Remember that a blog is typically written by a single author and that a magazine is a compilation of content from various authors. In this case, Personal Branding Magazine spans globally with about 40 writers and 25 articles in each issue. The idea behind the magazine is that it’s static content that is produced in the form of a document. In my case, it’s only electronic, but a lot of magazines make it to print. From the readers perspective, it feels different than a blog because it’s more tangible, but at the same time it can’t be tagged or sorted.
- Cost: My only cost is my time, which is worth more than money. Typically, you have to pay writers, a publishing service and a cost per issue released.
- Marketing: I use blogs, podcasts and email lists to market my magazine. It’s really hard for a lot of magazines to break through the clutter, so they have to be creative in how they catch attention. It’s a branding game and if you have the right contacts, you can succeed.
- Delivery: I use the magazine’s website to gain subscribers and I distribute through a list. I know a lot of people who have a more automated approach, which is more expensive and of course delivery through your local CVS or airport is very expensive.
Book (Pay-Per-View): So I kind of forced myself to introduce my book on this post. All I can really say is that it’s focused on personal branding (surprise surprise) and skewed to eBranding. The book will be published by Kaplan Publishing, who is a leading provider of career and training books. You might remember them for their SAT, GMAT and LSAT training courses, along with their supplemental books. The book will go on Amazon around January and in a store near you (US only) next April, ready for the next graduating class. A book is PPV because it’s a linear piece of writing that has the highest degree of editing, proofing and content. A blog is more scattered thoughts, while a magazine revolves around a theme. A book has multiple people involved and is produced almost like a movie.
- Cost: Typically you get paid an advance and then royalties on each book. Of course very few books are published and even fewer are best sellers (4%). There are a few hundred thousand books published each year. The cost is time, production, delivery and marketing. If you outsource the marketing/PR, it will cost you a lot of money, but save you time.
- Marketing: Be prepared to do 80% of the marketing from what I’ve heard authors say. Starting a blog, podcast and magazine certainly helps support the sales of the book. Building bridges in the media and with other bloggers is critical. Speaking engagements and byline articles are also important. The big tip is to form relationships before you actually need help.
- Delivery: If you work with a publisher, then your book will at least be on Amazon. Other channels are Barnes and Nobles and book resellers.