Blogging for a career was never the original plan. In fact, the concept was pretty foreign to me until I decided to take a multimedia class as an elective my sophomore year in college. All I have to say is this: the class opened my eyes to an entire new world of writing and I never looked back. Though I graduated some time ago, there are a few cutting-edge storytelling techniques my instructor taught me that can most certainly attract more readers to your blog and boost search engine rankings even today. That said, if you're an amateur blogger looking for a few ways to add some spice to your blog, you might want to try some of these multimedia "accents" below.
Not everything that you do has to be completed in the written word. You can veer off from writing traditional articles and create a monthly v-blog or two. Like the name suggests, a v-blog is simply a digital video that takes place of an article. All you need is a webcam and video hosting service like YouTube and you can create instructional how-to-videos (which are often too hard to explain through words anyway) to add something special to your blog. You can also perhaps discuss some current news/events and ask for feedback from your readers—or in this case your viewers. V-blogs are great because your readers get a chance to know the face behind the blog and help them get to connect with you better.
If you typically like to interview professionals for your blog, such as renowned authors, chefs, or any others that deal with your direct niche, another alternative to the traditional blogpost or article is to upload a podcast. A podcast is created using soundbytes downloaded from digital voice recorders and edited in software like Audacity. To make the story come alive, most podcasts include accompanying music and other sound effects that correlate with the story. Although NPR is a professional journalism site, it gives the best examples of what a podcast is supposed to sound like. If you want to get real creative you can create audio sound slides—images accompanied by a voiceover that tells your story.
Last but not least, you can create an infographic which tells your story in a more artistic way. Since infographics need to show lots of information (hence its name) those that do better are stories that are heavily number-based. If you have a lot of statistics and facts on one particular story then this can work rather nicely. There are a few sites that let you create infographics for free, such as Visual.ly and Tweet Sheet. For some examples of well-executed infographics you should take a look at Mashable.
Barbara Jolie is a freelance writer and blogger who contributes most of her work to www.OnlineClasses.org. She writes about the advantages of online college and is particularly interested in writing and language education. If you have any questions, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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