With the new year only one day away, you may be thinking of resolutions to make concerning your blog. Here is one resolution that you should definitely make in 2008.

Produce multimedia content.

You may have to spend time and effort to learn how to produce a podcast or edit a video and upload it to YouTube. But this is a tactic that will pay many dividends for your blog. Here are 5 of the great benefits that come from integrating multimedia in your blog.

1. Reach More People

As bloggers, we probably think people read a lot because we read a lot. However, here are some surprising stats I found from the short ebook Teaching Sells.

  • 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book.
  • 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57% of new books are not read to completion.
  • Most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased.

Teaching Sells also makes the point that many people learn better through audio or video rather than text.

Think about how many visitors go to YouTube on a regular basis. According to Alexa, YouTube is the 4th most visited site in the whole internet. That’s a huge potential audience that’s worth promoting to. Other video sharing sites like Dailymotion and Revver also have huge audiences.

By producing video and audio, you’ll reach the huge number of people who use the internet primarily to consume video and audio – not text.

2. Stand Out From The Crowd

How many blogs in your niche actually use multimedia on a regular basis? As a full-time search marketer for a company with over 20 blogs, I’ve worked in many different niches. In all the niches I’ve worked in, the vast majority of blogs don’t use multimedia.

Multimedia greatly improves your branding. My company recently rolled out a weekly news show for our celebrity gossip blog. We had struggled with getting links for other popular celebrity blogs. But once we had the show up and running, it was a lot easier to get links.

Webmasters like to link to unique content. Right now, multimedia content is unique content in most niches. Multimedia will help your blog get noticed. Video and audio content will capture the attention of your niche audience.

So, start producing multimedia before the other bloggers do it. Be one of the first in your niche to start a podcast and/or vodcast.

3. Higher Perceived Value

This is similar to the second benefit. Multimedia adds a ton of value to your blog. You can charge more for advertising since you’re reaching more people. You can place ads in your multimedia content. You can even sell your content. And video and audio products can be sold at higher prices than ebooks.

4. Ranking through Universal Search

One thing that hasn’t received a lot of press is Google’s Universal Search. Yet this development will change search rankings for the years to come. Universal Search means that the first page of Google no longer has only text-based pages. Instead, there will be videos, images, books, and even maps.

This means you can upload your video to YouTube and your YouTube URL can rank on Google’s first page.

I did a short YouTube case study back in July for Net Business Blog. Mark from 45n5.com and I targeted the keyword worlds best internet marketing tools. (This keyword actually has search volume.)

We built links to our videos. In three days, Mark’s video got a first page Google ranking. In 11 days, my video also hit the first page.

I haven’t done any link building since then. My video is currently ranked 6th.

So, by creating videos, uploading them to YouTube, and then building links to your video, you can grab first page spots on Google.

Don’t forget to link to your site on your YouTube video. You can’t use anchor text. However, if you type in your URL with “http://”, YouTube will link to that URL. Check out my video for an example.

5. Mobile Content

With the popularity of iPods and other multimedia mobile players, audio and video content will rise in popularity too. Sure, you can read text on iPods. But for the most part, people are not using their iPods to read blog posts. Instead, they’re watching videos and listening to podcasts.

Audio files have an extra benefit because they can be consumed while doing other things like commuting or cleaning the house. The audio book industry is a 800 million dollar industry so there are many people willing to spend money on audio products.

Practical Examples

Here are 3 excellent sites that use multimedia well. Check out their podcasts and videos to give you inspiration for your own multimedia content.

  1. http://www.tubetorial.com
  2. http://www.techsavvymarketer.com/video-tutorials/
  3. http://www.whoisandrewwee.com/category/podcasts/

Also, check out sketchcast.com. It’s another multimedia format that may fit well for your blog.

Good luck with your blogging efforts in 2008!