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?
View The Full Video Transcript:
On this week’s Creator’s Tip we’re going to talk with Nathan who is a professional full time blogger about how he uses online video for his blog and he’s going to give you lots of good tips and ideas and that all coming up on today’s Creator’s Tip.
Hey guys, my name is Tim Schmoyer and this is Nathan from WeUseCoupons.com, social media guru, genius guy who has been on television, Wall Street Journal and I lost track of all of it but active forum on his website of about 200,000 member who just talk about saving lots of cash using coupons, and Facebook page about 110,000 likes. One of the things he’s doing more of now and doing very well at is online video using his YouTube channel at YouTube.com/FrugalTV to talk about couponing and saving lots of money. And I wanted to talk with him to you guys who are professional bloggers - cause I know a lot of you guys who watch this do make full time livings off of your blogs like I used to up until a couple months ago. He’s got a lot of great insights about that so I wanted to ask Nathan for you guys, what are some best practices, some tips, some ideas and ways that bloggers can effectively use online video on their websites?
Number one you have to make video. Most bloggers are so afraid to make video. Like when I go to a conference and I talk to people about video, they’re like oh my gosh, why would I want to do that? You know bloggers are so familiar with pictures. A post can never go up without a picture, you have to have a picture even if it’s a stock photo. So bloggers like to control their content, like to control their image. But video is so real, I mean video is just, you put yourself out there and you’ve gotta live with that and so just do it. That’s really my biggest tip for bloggers who are afraid to start it and are maybe watching this video and saying I don’t want to do video, I don’t want to do video, I don’t want to do video. Trust me I was there, I was terrified of the video camera, I was afraid of how do you edit. I had to learn and listen to 12 year olds teach me how to edit videos.
On YouTube, yes. So I mean just do it, learn. There are so many free softwares out there that you can edit your videos and there are cheap video cameras that do well and you don’t have to have professional lights. You can just – I don’t think professional lights are on right now.
No. And you can probably tell. I mean a lot of people just use their iPhones. I mean a lot of top YouTubers with millions of subscribers put their iPhones like this.
Yeah, I mean so you don’t have to do anything great, just have some content, something to talk about. 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.
And I found that for the videos that I did for my blog like that I would go – like the list posts are like super easy blog posts to turn into videos cause you can literally almost sit in front of your camera. You don’t want to just read it, but they make it like number one, blah, blah blah. Number two, you know, they just turn into really good posts. How much do you feel like bloggers are scared of like online video because like we’re used to just sitting there and typing up a blog post and we can continue to revise it. Like sometimes I’ll just put something on draft for like a whole week and keep returning to it just until I feel like that sucker is perfect and then I publish it. But I don’t feel like I always have that level of control to like detail when I do online video. Is that something that’s intimidating for bloggers?
Yeah I think that the editing process for bloggers is intimidating. I mean imagine having to go and do like three minutes of perfect television. I mean that’s like hard sometimes. 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. I mean that’s what it takes. But just do it, I mean it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s what people love. 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.
Yeah I remember when I first started doing online videos more regularly for my blog at first I thought, oh I’ve gotta get it perfect or no one’s going to like it, but I found that people really like the raw, authentic, they like bloopers, the mistakes.
Yeah, they love bloopers. I was actually watching one of your Reel SEO videos and it had bloopers at the end and I thought I’ve never done bloopers before –
I don’t make mistakes anymore so –
You love this guy?
Yeah, you’ve seen them right here. You notice that cut we had earlier?
Well but I mean I actually put bloopers in at the end and people were commenting, oh we love the bloopers, we love them, and I’m thinking, really? I’m over here messing up, babbling, tongue tied you know they loved it.
People watch your full video then cause they’re waiting.
I actually put in the title, plus bloopers so a lot of people are probably just forwarding to the bloopers to see me tongue tied.
Ha ha, he screwed up.
But yeah, I would just try, just try to get it out there. That’s really the message that I learned. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t need to be polished, it just needs to be there.
Yeah and one of the things that I’ve learned now from just doing it over and over again, is that I actually almost, well I definitely would rather make a video then write a blog post cause for me, doing a video, like I have my Flip out in front of me and just record a minute, that takes me literally, from the time I hit record to the time it’s live online, maybe seven or eight minutes. Cause there’s no editing, you just take the raw file right off the Flip and plug it right up into YouTube whereas if I was going to say that same message and try to do it in a blog post, that would take me a lot of editing and tweaking and did I say it right.
Oh yeah and then like thinking through lots of – so I’ve found that video is way faster for me now so that’s been a benefit for me as a blogger as well.
Yeah I would say it’s about the same.
About the same, okay?
Maybe a little faster, but I like to, I can control my spoken word and I don’t make grammatical –
There’s no red squiggly lines underneath yours when you type.
Yeah, there’s none. I might have pronounced that wrong and need a phonetic checker. But yeah there’s no, it’s so quick, I don’t have to worry about somebody coming back and saying you spelled there wrong, so thank you.
Yeah and the you, yours.
Yeah, thank you very much I appreciate that.
Shut up! Anyway, we would love to hear from you guys who are bloggers and use online video on your stuff. Comment below whether you are watching this on YouTube or if you’re a blogger you are probably watching this on ReelSEO.com and let us know below how do you guys use online video with your blogs and with your content and engaging people and all that kind of stuff. So give us all your tips and ideas below it would be awesome and we’d love to hear from you guys and thanks for hanging out with us.
If you’re not already subscribed and you’re hanging out with us for the first time you should be sure to click that subscribe button on the – I’ll leave that blooper in – up there and on Tuesday we will do a look at the Reel Web and talking about some online news and stuff and we’ll come back with another Creator’s Tip video for you guys again next Thursday. Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you guys later. Bye.