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We posted just the other day an article about why businesses should be doing video blogging. Today, on this week on Creator's Tip episode, we're going to be discussing tips for how to get started using video to improve your blog, with help from Nathan Engels of weusecoupons.com. Nathan is a very experienced blogger, and he has a lot of great advice on the advantages of using video for your blog or website.

Just Do It - Don't Hesitate to Get Started with Video

Nathan points out that a lot of bloggers are apprehensive about creating video content. This can be easily explained if we look at the current state of most blogs. The status quo currently leans heavily towards using pictures in posts. It's almost mandatory to include some sort of picture when posting, even if it's a stock photo. This is because pictures are static, and a lot easier to control in terms of the messages that they send. Video is a lot more difficult by comparison as it tends to capture the speaker in a much more real, and possibly vulnerable, sense.

Most of us don't like that feeling, in the same way that a lot of us probably don't like public speaking. According to Nathan, however, you're just going to have to get over it.

"Trust me I was there, I was terrified of the video camera..." He says, "So I mean just do it, learn."

Most people don't even use professional equipment when making a video. Even an iphone can be used if you're on a budget, or don't feel like going to all the trouble of setting up a filming area.

It Doesn't Have to be a Cinematic Masterpiece.

Don't feel that you have to come up with an award-winning topic for every video you make. Of course you will want to pick something that will interest your readers, but no one can reasonably expect you to deliver incredible content every single time.

"Yeah, I mean so you don’t have to do anything great, just have some content, something to talk about.", Nathan says, "I was at a conference and somebody said just go through your old popular posts and make them into videos. And that’s a great tip for you as bloggers, just go through and start talking about your popular posts. You know what they are. I mean you know what brings traffic to your site. Turn them into videos cause those will be popular videos too."

It Won't be Perfect (and That's OK)

Part of what makes writing great is that it gives us time to really fine-tune our message, and only release it to the public when we're happy its quality. Video makes that a lot harder, and provides another obstacle for those of us with perfectionist tendencies. Like the rest of your qualms about using video, however, this is something you're just going to have to get over. If you don't like the way it turns out the first time, just do it again until you're satisfied.

Nathan notes that multiple takes are to be expected.

"I normally take like two or three takes. I mean if I don’t get it perfect I’ll just do it again. And that’s the good thing about video, just do it again, turn your camera off, turn it back on."

In fact, you may be surprised at how people react to the more raw, "real" footage.

"I mean if you have some kid running across the floor, I have a two year old, sometimes she’s in my videos and sometimes she does not cooperate. But that’s what people love, they want to personally connect with you and that’s what it’s all about."

He makes a great point. If you have a blog that people read on a regular basis, it's because they care about what you have to say. Some of that is related to content, of course, but some of it is most definitely because you are saying it. Connecting to the writer/speaker is a major part of the audience's relationship to the content, and will really round out the experience for them.

You May Come to Prefer it.

As great as writing is, there are things about it that all of us find tedious. It can take a while to get a piece written, edited, and ready to post. As previously mentioned, perfectionism can delay the process while we sit and tinker with wording, grammar, etc. After all that, we've all had comments on how we missed an apostrophe in the second line of the fifth paragraph, or used the wrong form of "their, there, they're." Video has its own set of problems, and it probably won't completely replace writing for you, but it can definitely be more convenient in some ways.

So give it a try! Get over your fear of looking foolish on camera, (you certainly won't be the only one to ever do so), and see if you can give your readers a new reason to keep coming back.

Question: How do you use online videos in your blog?

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  • Saundrae994se8i

    @Tasha1London http://t.co/J3qGlGHf

  • Elinorckcreoq

    @Tasha1London http://t.co/9pDFBvLA

  • veetleinc

    Great article! Because our video app starts the video live immediately, your point about "In fact, you may be surprised at how people react to the more raw, "real" footage" is spot on. The authenticity of raw video helps people connect with you and gives you the surprise moments that are fun!  

  • http://www.kyleclouse.com/ Kyle Clouse

    Great post Tim!  Just getting started is the key and then improving your message as you go.  With Windows Movie Maker and iMovie their really is no excuse for not getting started.  Even if you're camera shy, create an audio with Garage Band and put a little music to the back of it and then spin it to a slide show and you have a video.  For anyone without Garage Band I found a great Windows alternative that you can try for free http://www.trakax.com/software/pc/

    • timschmoyer

       @Kyle Clouse Thanks man! Glad it's helpful for ya.

  • http://www.BombBomb.com/ BombBomb

    90% of the time we add simple videos introducing the blog post and emphasizing one or two key takeaways.  Simple to do and complements the words and images.
     
    Love the tip to go through old posts and turning them into videos.  Also love the point that video need not be difficult or expensive.Great post. 

    • timschmoyer

       @BombBomb Do you find that most people who visit your blog post also watch the video? Or maybe they watch the video instead of reading the post?

      • http://www.BombBomb.com/ BombBomb

         @timschmoyer Based on time on page, most seem to be watching the video and at least skimming the text.  To @Manoush  's point below, some may be using the text to decide whether or not to watch the video.  Unless I'm doing a specific screen capture how-to video, I try to keep the video portion to 1:00 or 1:30 max to lower the time commitment required to watch.

  • Manoush

    Tim & Nathan, I really like how you outlined your points along with posting the video for people in a hurry to skim. I skimmed, I liked...so I watched the video! The wood panelling and baseball caps make you guys look like you're off to play beer pong after the video...not that that's a bad thing :) I just wrote a post about guys should wear when they go on camera so I'm watching you like a hawk. Caww! http://bit.ly/JCzYwF

    • timschmoyer

       @Manoush  haha yeah. Unfortunately my basement has limited areas for us to shoot two of us together. In fact, we even moved furniture around to make this shoot work! Like we said in the video, just roll with whatcha got. :)

  • vamosdu8
  • Nelsonoccbz
  • Saundrae994se8i

    @Tasha1London http://t.co/J3qGlGHf

  • veetleinc

    Great article! Because our video app starts the video live immediately, your point about "In fact, you may be surprised at how people react to the more raw, "real" footage" is spot on. The authenticity of raw video helps people connect with you and gives you the surprise moments that are fun!  

  • http://www.kyleclouse.com/ Kyle Clouse

    Great post Tim!  Just getting started is the key and then improving your message as you go.  With Windows Movie Maker and iMovie their really is no excuse for not getting started.  Even if you're camera shy, create an audio with Garage Band and put a little music to the back of it and then spin it to a slide show and you have a video.  For anyone without Garage Band I found a great Windows alternative that you can try for free http://www.trakax.com/software/pc/

    • timschmoyer

       @Kyle Clouse Thanks man! Glad it's helpful for ya.

  • BombBomb

    90% of the time we add simple videos introducing the blog post and emphasizing one or two key takeaways.  Simple to do and complements the words and images.
     
    Love the tip to go through old posts and turning them into videos.  Also love the point that video need not be difficult or expensive.Great post. 

    • timschmoyer

       @BombBomb Do you find that most people who visit your blog post also watch the video? Or maybe they watch the video instead of reading the post?

      • BombBomb

         @timschmoyer Based on time on page, most seem to be watching the video and at least skimming the text.  To @Manoush  's point below, some may be using the text to decide whether or not to watch the video.  Unless I'm doing a specific screen capture how-to video, I try to keep the video portion to 1:00 or 1:30 max to lower the time commitment required to watch.

  • Manoush

    Tim & Nathan, I really like how you outlined your points along with posting the video for people in a hurry to skim. I skimmed, I liked...so I watched the video! The wood panelling and baseball caps make you guys look like you're off to play beer pong after the video...not that that's a bad thing :) I just wrote a post about guys should wear when they go on camera so I'm watching you like a hawk. Caww! http://bit.ly/JCzYwF

    • timschmoyer

       @Manoush  haha yeah. Unfortunately my basement has limited areas for us to shoot two of us together. In fact, we even moved furniture around to make this shoot work! Like we said in the video, just roll with whatcha got. :)