Blogging for lazy people - quicker alternatives to blogs

I'm a great believer in the power of blogging for almost any project or business as I explain in Secret 6: How to play the fame game in Screw Work, Let's Play. Blogging allows you to play out your idea in public and engage your audience, followers, or potential customers in the process. It's ideal for 'thought leaders' who have something interesting to say about their field and of course it's superb for writers.

And I believe every website should include a blog even if it's only an occasionally updated "News and articles" page. That's why I recommend most clients to build their whole website in WordPress from the beginning.

But blogging takes time - quite a lot of it to do well. And you probably have a lot of other stuff to fit into your precious waking hours, particularly if you're marketing your own work. What can you do that gives you some of the benefits of blogging that's less labour intensive? Thankfully, there is a rash of new alternatives to blogging that are aimed at exactly your problem.

Tumblelogs

A tumblelog is a simpler form of blog consisting of a long flowing list of images, videos and short text extracts (such as quotes). They are ideally suited to artists, photographers and other visual media and they also make a great scrapbook for collecting images and ideas about an area you are currently playing with.

I maintain an irregularly updated tumblelog DesignPorn containing images of my favourite contemporary architecture and interior design. There is no great business purpose for it, it's simply a place for me to play out my passion for design and share it with others.

Check out Tumblr or Soup.io. Or you can now find free tumblelog-style themes for my favourite blogging platform WordPress.

Some people also use tumblelogs and posterous as feed aggregators - which is a very fancy term for saying it collates all the stuff you post to Facebook, Youtube and so on in one place.

Posterous

Posterous is a quick and simple version of a blog often used as a second, off-topic, blog by famous bloggers. It provides lots of very simple ways to post to it and to update other services like twitter when you do. In fact I use it as a way to tweet larger items such as quotes that won't fit into 140 characters.

See how Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, uses it here.

Audio blogs and video blogs

Speaking what you have to say is usually a lot quicker than writing it. If talking into a mic or camera is something you're comfortable with, create a video blog or audio podcast. (Ideal for Star profiles in Wealth Dynamics terms!)

You don't need much more than what comes included in your laptop computer out of the box. You might want to invest at some point in a good microphone or a point & shoot video camera like a Flip. You'll probably find you already have basic software on your computer that can edit what you record.

Then insert the recording into a blog post. If it's video, post it to YouTube or Vimeo (for videos longer than 10 minutes) and then insert it into the blog post. You might also upload audio podcasts to iTunes.

For an example see the popular Boagworld podcast for web designers by Paul Boag. And for video, check out the hilarious Will It Blend who recently put an Apple iPad in a kitchen blender.

Other options

Also, of course, look at microblogging service Twitter. You can't get much quicker than typing 140 character messages! There are still many more options such as creating Facebook groups and fan pages that allow you maintain a more fluid collection of news updates, images and videos which can be contributed to by your followers.

So don't give up on finding some way to get your ideas, opinions and expertise out there. When you get it right and provide something people really want, you can grow a huge fanbase that then directly converts into clients, customers or buyers.

If you're in London next week, come along to my event for ideas people, Scanners Night, and get up to speed fast on Twitter with expert Mark Shaw.

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