Choose and Stick with Your True Platform

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    Key Points

    • Think about why it would be in the best interest for you and your blog’s future to expand or to not expand.
    • Don’t think about how to do something, think more in terms of why and the how will become clearer.
    • Truly think about how your DNA, message, and community will have the greatest advantage.

    Summary

    Bloggers are transforming their blogs into and offering many different platforms to please many. These different platforms are writing, audio, and video. Surely there is a trend of going to audio and/or video. But, do you really need to expand to these platforms? Do you just need to up your game and market your platform better?

    Close

by Derek Jensen

Bloggers are transforming their blogs into and offering many different platforms to please many. These different platforms are writing, audio, and video. Surely there is a trend of going to audio and/or video. But, do you really need to expand to these platforms? Do you just need to up your game and market your platform better?

We are not talking whether to be on WordPress or Tumblr. We are talking about your platform in terms of your content.

Starting a blog has many different thoughts and elements involved where you have to make a choice. The big one being of course what niche you are going to cover or if it’s just going to be an ongoing journal of your thoughts. Another key element is choosing the right platform your blog.

Are you going to be writing, recording audio, or going in front of a camera?

Yes, we could do all. This is certainly the trend to do all to apply to many different audiences. Heck, I talked about how internet broadcasting is the next big wave, but this doesn’t mean you have to listen to me or apply your blog to this platform. Yes, others are doing so but that is because they are either determined or feel comfortable expanding, recording, and/or being in front of a camera.

Going to talk about why you should stick with your true platform and think twice about expanding into multiple platforms.

Thoughts Behind Expanding

Expanding leads to newer and better possibilities, right?! This is of course when the process or idea is smart and fits with your expansion plan.

We choose to expand our blogs because either A we see others doing the same and feel we need to compete or B we want to adapt to the new changes or follow any trends. Remember we are talking about expanding into other or different platforms on how we offer our content to our readers, listeners, or viewers.

Instead of thinking either A or B, above, think about why it would be in the best interest for you and your blog’s future to expand or to not expand.

I know I tell you to stick to one, but the true importance comes down to you not expanding just to expand.

Do You Know What You’re Doing?

Play to your strengths. -Sonia Simone, CopyBlogger

A humorous but very honest and true question. Many of us think we know what we are doing but a majority of the time we find ourselves following trends, do what our competition is doing, and not looking back on where and why we started our blogs.

I’ve heard podcasts that are boring and suck. I’ve seen far too many videos by bloggers that are frankly exhausting to watch and would rather just read the transcript or at least just listen to the audio.

We need to know what we are doing. If we know what we are doing and suck in the beginning, please learn and improve. But, if this continues to suck or not go the way you imagined go back to start and see what got you there. I’ve told so many people to think about what they stand for and why they truly want to accomplish. Don’t think about how to do something, think more in terms of why and the how will become clearer.

Don’t worry if you can rock out in writing, audio, and video or whatever you expand to. You rock, but still think about the “why” for the expansion.

If You Could Only Pick One

Decision time!

Ask yourself:

If you could only pick one platform (writing, audio, or video) what would it be for your blog?

  • Would you just write because that’s where you started out or is that what your readers find the best? Offer a survey to your readers to find the underlying truth.
  • Would you just record audio because you see a trend or do you see more benefits to offer this platform to your community? Surely you can offer transcripts but that’s not the point.
  • Would you just go in front of a camera and press record because video is becoming very popular or are you entertaining/enjoyable to watch and video just fits with your kind of content/message? Won’t know until you test it out and gather the responses.

I ask to only pick one to get your mind focused on what platform is your true platform for yourself, your blog, and your community.

Being the Best

Ultimately it comes down you portraying your content in a way that best fits with your DNA (thank you Gary Vaynerchuk).

We want our content to be understood, full of thought and good takeaways, and be shared and spread to others. This will only succeed if you be the best in whatever platform you do choose. As I previously mentioned, you can rock out in all platforms but the purpose of this article is to get you thinking about the true why of why you are on the platform(s) you are on or plan on expanding to.

Instead of expanding to other platforms you probably just need to make the platform your working with better.

Truly think about how your DNA, message, and community will have the greatest advantage. That’s your true platform. It doesn’t hurt to experiment, just know why.

Over to You

  • Why did you start out writing, recording audio, or being in front of the camera?
  • Is your current platform truly working?
  • What platform do you believe would be the best for you if you could only choose one?

Photo by Ubo Pakes.

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John Saddington January 31, 2011 at 7:12 am

ah man, thanks for the link love…! great article. and man, i love gary v!

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Derek Jensen January 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm

As always you publish good stuff! So many people try to be who they aren’t.

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ZK @ Web Marketing Blog February 8, 2011 at 12:28 am

I would call this post as reminder post.

Many of us forget this kind of thumb rule and you reminded again.

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Derek Jensen February 8, 2011 at 12:42 am

I agree! :)

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Reparatii Aer Conditionat March 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm

There are so many things to remember and they do slip your mind after a while. A post like this brings them back, thanks Derek

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wilson usman January 31, 2011 at 9:02 am

I choose writing just because I didn’t know how to get anything else started. I’m still a little weird about a camera, but I don’t think its shyness or anything. I just like writing.

So far I’ve build a tiny audience. It could be bigger, but everything takes time. that’s what I believe.

I don’t think theirs a favorite. Writing is fast and it satisfies all markets I think. Video can hurt you if the quality sucks, same to audio. And audio is also slow, or fast depending on the person.

It takes me a little time to comprehend, so video and audio are not my favorite to consume.

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Derek Jensen January 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Writing is surely the best platform that is equal and is just judged by the content. But it’s important to be on the platform that best suites you no matter what.

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ZK @ Web Marketing Blog February 8, 2011 at 12:33 am

If you are ok with video but only concern about the quality than try to shoot some demo videos. Show them to your friends and seek for their advice.

As you said that everything needs time … so just give your video time and I am sure you will get the fruitful results.

When you satisfy with the quality start publishing for your audience as well.

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tushar January 31, 2011 at 12:06 pm

that is the point derek, you need to understand and figure out for yourself that what is the best thing for you..just doing something because everyone is doing or what your favorite do can never guarantee you the success.
It goes for everything, in this case, choosing the platforms

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Derek Jensen February 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Exactly Tushar. :)

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mike January 31, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Gary Vaynerchuk is a genius. It’s all about focus and not spreading yourself too thin.

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Derek Jensen February 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

He is not really a genius. He just finds out what works and takes full advantage of it to benefit him. ;)

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Steve Roy January 31, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Derek,
I am getting ready to branch out into audio and possibly video to see if it’s a good fit.

I have no idea if it will be a success, but I want to at least explore my options.

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Derek Jensen February 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Steve,
That’s great that you are exploring your options. Just make sure you don’t force it too much if it just doesn’t seem “right”. ;)

Wish you the best!

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Nasrul Hanis January 31, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Agree with your idea. I tried several times to broaden my ways of giving the message/creating the content but at last I found I can’t concentrate on too much methods.

I choose writing as my platform because it fits me well. Maybe other people got more skills and chances in doing videos and audios. So this supports your points above.

Choose and concentrate on one platform and make yourself better with it! :)

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Derek Jensen February 1, 2011 at 1:59 am

You got it Nasrul! Make writing your thing! ;)

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Peter J February 1, 2011 at 1:59 am

I think it would be possible to combine two of them at least together. My readers i don’t think would be particularly happy if i made the jump towards video’s, but then again i haven’t really made a focus on it.

So you could offer video’s in your posts and then have a text based version of your post for those people who don’t like or want to watch the video. Then trial which one works the best.

Hmmm, post pageview ratio compared to youtube video hits? That could determine what you pick, if more people view the page but don’t watch the video – and vise-versa.

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Derek Jensen February 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm

You bring up good points my friend. Surely text will can still be around and supportive. The idea to do trials is good for testing or by doing a simple survey.

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Best DUI Lawyer in Philadelphia February 1, 2011 at 3:43 am

I couldn’t agree more. If we’re planning to change our platform we should weigh things up before deciding. We should think of the pros and cons and ask ourselves if we really need to do this. If we really need to change our platform or just stick and improve with the one that we’re using. And before anything else, let’s ask ourselves on we are ready to face another challenge. Thanks for sharing this post, it made me think twice. :)

- Larra

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Derek Jensen February 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Larra,

I tend to make people think twice about things. I do this to myself all the time and just want others to know what I’m thinking about.

I’m glad you liked it :)

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Leo@NetAccountant February 1, 2011 at 6:26 am

Although I see your point, I think it can be beneficial to try things at different stages of your blog life to see how your audience responds. Plus if you have a vast audience 1000+ regular readers, using various platform might appeal a lot more to a particular group, so if you find it works for you, keep doing it. Restricting yourself to one particular medium could be costing you readers.

Think of the SEOmoz blog, they have videos and text and it works very well for them. I often watch the videos but almost never read the written articles. I am prepared to be a bundle that moving the whole thing to video post only would cost them dearly (especially in terms of SE traffic).

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Derek Jensen February 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm

You really come to a point on how big you want your blog to transform. What I mean is that if you intend on being a blog as big as Mashable or in your case SEOmoz you could surely hire people that are good at other mediums/platforms to rock out with that.

The bigger point I’m getting at is the same person behind the blog tries to do different platforms but might only be good at one or just two. So, if you really want to go to other platforms and see your community wanting that same need as well you need to think about how big you truly want your blog to be on a number of people behind the blog.

Do you create a CopyBlogger filled with many different contributors or a Zen Habits with a huge subscriber base but only Leo writes?

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Keith Davis February 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Hi Derek
Got everyone thinking as usual.
Writing, writing has to be the bread and butter of blogging.
Short crisp posts that are well written and make a point.

Thing about a written post is that the reader can scan quickly… or slowly.
With a video or audio you have to go at the pace of the medium.
Not good if you are in a hurry.

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Derek Jensen February 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Hey Keith,

It’s what I try to do because I’m constantly thinking and I have ADD. :)

You shouldn’t think about what mediums are good in general. You need to think about what mediums/platforms YOU are good at and can build an awesome community around.

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Rick LaPoint @ Internet Marketing February 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I’m best at writing, so that’s what I focus on.

But I like the idea of mixing it up here and there. I have posted a video in the past, and will most likely do so again. Is video my forte? Not at all, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stretch my creativity and do something that’s informative and entertaining.

But if I stray too far too often from my core abilities, I end up cheating my audience and myself. So it’s best to stay close to home, and only venture off with the camera when I’m on vacation :-)

Rick

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Derek Jensen February 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Stay focused but there is always room for fun and improvement/experimentation. ;)

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reise February 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Great article derek really great. You are really talented man. And thankyou for sharing.

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Derek Jensen February 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Thanks Reise. I just offer what is on my mind to others that I believe would be helpful to them. You’re welcome. ;)

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Orchids February 1, 2011 at 11:33 pm

A good behavior…… Derek! that you always in touch with your users and quick reply.

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Derek Jensen February 1, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I’m always connected to the web and try to show that I do care a lot about people and their feedbacks. Thanks!

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Maketta February 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I choose writing because I love to write. However, I know that sometimes different people prefer different options, and if you can than you should provide other ways for them to benefit from your blog if you can.

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Derek Jensen February 3, 2011 at 12:58 am

Exactly Maketta, exactly! :)

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Pete Carr February 3, 2011 at 7:32 am

Hi Derek,
It is a question of finding what works for the individual. I always do a transcript if I put video on my blog, not everyone likes video, they prefer to read.
I still think the best model is image with text, it never ages, so if you are in it for the long term then it is a good strategy.
Pete

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Derek Jensen February 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Hey Pete,

You make a good point that text with images never does age unless more and more people go towards multimedia. Do you take a chance or just stick with what currently works?

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Bishwajeet @Comptalks February 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm

It depends upon you want to expand your not, if you have variety of writers then you should expand yourself

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Derek Jensen February 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Very true!

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lanka news, lanka newspapers February 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Nice blog..I am looking forward to read your next great article.Thank you for the post.

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Derek Jensen February 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm

You’re welcome!

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Premier Blogging Service February 4, 2011 at 12:08 am

Got everyone thinking as usual.
Writing, writing has to be the bread and butter of blogging.
Short crisp posts that are well written and make a point.

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Derek Jensen February 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Haha I try my best! Doesn’t hurt to try new things though ;)

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Attorney February 4, 2011 at 7:22 am

Nice,valuable and informatics stuff about good blogging.
Keep it up regularly plz……!

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Derek Jensen February 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Awesome! We are posting 2-3 times a week as of right now. Looking to probably increase.

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anish@pcpedia February 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I’m just concentrating on my tech blog although its still a small blog,I’m sure i can make it big.I’ m very passionate about blogging.And i agree to the points you mentioned in your article

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Derek Jensen February 5, 2011 at 3:56 am

Rock out and conquer Anish! :)

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Richard February 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Hi Derek,
I believe that you need to choose the medium that best fits your ability to communicate your information to others. You’re right that it’s important for one to be compelling in the medium that they choose. I’ve also heard good and bad podcasts in all different niches. But I also think that it takes practice to become good, so don’t be afraid to dive into a new medium and try to learn how to become compelling.

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Derek Jensen February 8, 2011 at 12:54 am

Hey Richard,
I totally agree that you need to give things a try and experiment. But, when you don’t feel the passion to go on you need to realize it.

Wish you the best!

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Reza Winandar February 6, 2011 at 2:04 am

I only use text, image, and video in my blog, and that’ really effective. I don’t think audio will be better because I don’t speak English.

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Derek Jensen February 8, 2011 at 12:55 am

You either found your weakness or better your skills at speaking English ;)

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TechChunks February 8, 2011 at 2:19 am

Great advice here. It is as important to choose the “right” platform as it is to be able to “sticking” to it.

I’ve seen way too many examples where people seem to find what they think is the perfect platform for them and soon after realize that they were wrong and suddenly lose the focus to keep going! Sad but true

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Derek Jensen February 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm

You’re welcome and I’m glad you get it!

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haytham February 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

i use wordpress and i will stick with it .it is so extend able.

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Sandra Gonzalez@Elatinozine.com February 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm

The power of content will always rule and as such, I believe I should continue to concentrate on great articles and if needed, I can always use videos and audio as a supplemental part of the overall landscape.

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Derek Jensen February 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Do what works for you ;)

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dslr ireland February 10, 2011 at 6:51 am

I use only WordPress, it’s my favorite one and it’s really stable, and it’s updated often also there is a lot of plugins which are really helpfull :dd

right now it will be about 14 months when i started using WordPress : ))

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rob @ finanziamenti February 11, 2011 at 5:17 am

In my opinion it can be useful to expand to new platforms.
Web is always changing and sometimes there is need to offer something new like videos to readers

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Monique February 12, 2011 at 4:24 am

Thanks for sharing us the needs setting and manipulating different platforms on our blogs in a simple and experienced way………!

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Derek Jensen February 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

You’re welcome! Good luck in the future ;)

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Fariez February 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Hi Derek,.. I still don’t get it of what’s the best from using Tumblr than Wordpress.. Till now, I only love Wordpress and still don’t find any reasons to switch to other blogging platform

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Derek Jensen February 14, 2011 at 12:53 am

Hey Fariez,

I hope you realized I wasn’t focusing on specific platforms such as Wordpress or Tumblr. But, I believe that Tumblr serves people with the advantages of being quick, easy, and a way for community sharing.

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Tom @ Unemployment Help February 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I think for the next year or so I will stick to just written articles. I think audio and video alternatives are a great idea but as I am doing this blog part time, I just don’t have the time to do all three. In a years time I might put it to the readers to see if they want alternative options.

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John Mak March 3, 2011 at 6:15 am

Hello Derek!

First time in your blog and i see quality and interesting articles that can help us improve as bloggers! The important part as you said in this article is to know what we are doing. It is important not only to follow others but create our own unique way to produce results because this is the only thing that matters the most.

Thanks for posting!
John

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Victor March 13, 2011 at 3:38 am

Hi,

It is very hard to find a platform that will fullfill all your needs, but not impossible. For example, Wordpress, you can install Wordpress and after that download the plugins for each feature you want the website to have, if you want a movie site you could download the plugin WP-Tube, and the examples go on. I also recommend the CMS – Joomla, it’s one of the best, Joomla and Wordpress.

Thanks for sharing, very interesting article!

Best wishes,

Victor

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Amit Sharma March 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm

If I have to choose one, it’ll always be written content. Written content has no alternative. Videos are a great way to drive traffic if one can do it right.

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joe April 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I choose wordpress because it is really user friendly and have a lot of plugins. The wordpress community also growing bigger day by day and there are always new and useful plugin released everyday

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