Effective communication should be the number one goal of every blogger. While crafting well written articles goes a massive way towards achieving this, for some types of posts (especially “how-to” style articles) the written word is sometimes not enough.
A great asset for every blogger to have in their toolbox is video production and publishing skills. However, for those have not yet explored this great visual communication medium the prospect can seem a little daunting. So, in this article I would like to share with you a simple step-by-step guide to creating and publishing videos for your blog.
Types of Videos And How To Create Them
For the most part all videos can be broken down into two categories:
A screencast is simply a video of a computer screen. These types of videos can be excellent accompaniments for how-to style posts. There is nothing quite like reading what to do in an article and then looking over the shoulder of an expert who is showing exactly how to do it.
Screencast videos are also excellent for recording slide presentations which convey detailed concepts and ideas.
Probably the most well known screencast software packages are Camtasia and Screenflow (for the PC and Mac respectively). They are both extremely intuitive to get started with and are capable of recording screen or Powerpoint/KeyNote presentations as well.
With some notable exceptions, such as Gary Vaynerchuk, “to-camera” videos are much less common in the blogging World than screencasts. Perhaps, this is because there seems little need to talk directly to camera when your message can be conferred effectively through text or a screencast. However, it is also likely that many bloggers are somewhat scared of putting themselves in front the camera and are effectively hiding behind their keyboards!
In any case, the scarcity of this style of video in the blogging community presents a huge opportunity for those us willing to push our comfort zones and learn this skill.
Of course, video recording technology is changing all of the time so it is hard to recommend a specific camera. However, the Kodak Zi80 pocket camera is really very impressive for 1080p high definition recording (especially given its small size!).
Editing & Producing Your Video
Although very occasionally, you may like to use additional software such as iMovie, Sony Vegas or Pinnacle Studio, for the most part all of the editing you will need to do can be performed inside of the screencast software. This is the case even if you wish to actually combine the to-camera and screencast styles in the same video.
Once the editing is complete then it is a trivial task to produce the video files in the format you require. Usually, an MP4 is by far the best for the web.
To reduce file size without comprising the quality of your video after it has been produced you might like to use free tools such as Handbrake or Free HD Convert. These are really useful not only for faster uploading (which we’ll talk about in the next section) but also for making it easier for people who have slower speed internet connections to watch the video.
Hosting Your Video
The obvious choice here is to simply upload your video to YouTube. This has many benefits including low cost (it’s free!) and from an SEO standpoint as the search engines automatically index your content.
However, sometimes you may wish to host elsewhere especially if you want to create more exclusive content just for your own subscribers. In this case one option is to upload your video to the server that hosts your blog. However, if you have regular shared hosting this is not really advisable due to the large file sizes of videos coupled with the limited bandwidth restrictions of such servers.
Instead you might like to consider Amazon S3 hosting which is a paid service (although unbelievably cheap!). Despite appearing slightly unintuitive to begin with it is very simple to use: Simply create a “bucket” (what we would normally call a folder), upload your video and set the file sharing permissions to public. If you still don’t like the Amazon interface then you might choose to use the Mozilla Firefox plugin called S3 Fox to manage this process from your web browser.
Publishing Your Video In WordPress
There are several WordPress plugins available for playing videos but two recommended ones are JW Player from LongTail Video Inc. and wordTube by Alex Rabe and Alakhnor. They are both free for personal use and allow you to easily add Youtube or Amazon S3 videos to your blog posts and customize the video player size, appearance and controls.
Five years ago blogging was a relative baby and video blogging was even rarer than it is today. However, with increased bandwidth, cheaper storage and more people having fast internet access, the opportunities to the blogger that video presents are huge.
So, it might be time to get onboard the “video train” as this is likely to become increasingly common in the future & you can also go for a Digital Marketing Course for more.