Videos are getting extremely popular, as more and more people prefer to learn new information while watching and listening, instead of reading. YouTube, which is one of the most popular video platforms worldwide, has over a billion unique visits each month. The network’s global month-watch time is more than 6 billion hours (50% more than last year), and 40% of it is mobile. According to comScore, in June last year 85.2% of the U.S. Internet audience watched online videos, the average being 5.3 minutes long, and the total number of videos viewed was over 44 billion, a 7% increase from May.
Whatever the message you want to share with you readers, you can do it with a video. For some bloggers it is easier to write, while others can much easier express themselves through speaking. For the second, video blogging, or vlogging, can be really valuable.
But first, let’s see…
What else is great about video blog posts?
When you write regular blog posts, particularly longer ones, you need images, gifs, videos and other media to refresh and accompany the text so readers will be more likely to finish them. Most of us don’t enjoy too much reading, and the chances are we will easier remember things we’ve seen and heard in a video, than in some boring text. Videos also allow you to better transfer not only what you are saying, but your emotions too, so people can better understand and connect with you.
If your blog is about cooking, decorating, DIY arts and crafts, carpentry, or anything else that concerns a specific skill and knowledge that you want to share, the best media to reach and keep your audience is through videos. They are easy for sharing, and blog promotion is much smoother as you can easier convince someone to click and watch a (short) video, than get them to open a link and read a full blog entry.
Videos are also very popular with bloggers offering consulting services, and another great thing about them is that there is no geographical limit to where your advices and expertise can reach, as you can sell your lecture videos absolutely everywhere, distributing them digitally or even making hard copies for the customers who prefer them.
So how do you make a video blog?
Select the best platform – If you already have a blog, you can start posting videos there. Having your own domain certainly has its advantages, – you can add images, write a paragraph or two, or design the whole page to fit the purpose of your video – but you can also vlog on YouTube, Vine, or any other video sharing platform your audience’s “hooked on”.
And a network like YouTube is far easier for promoting your content too, as their videos can be embedded on other blogs and websites, and easily shared on social media. According to a study done by On Device Research, 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with other people. That’s far more than the attention textual content gets.
Find your video format – There are amazing vloggers out there that you can look up for inspiration; they all have their own style, some sort of theme that follows each video story. If you vlog about fresh juices, you can film in your kitchen, or even better in your home garden. If you teach knitting, you can get a close-up to your hands and needles, where viewers’ greatest focus actually is. If you want to film a lecture, it’s probably best to speak and draw illustrations on a whiteboard.
You still need written content – There are no paragraphs to compose but, even with visual content, you still need to plan the intro of your video, your main points and conclusion. This means writing. You can use this text as a guide in front of you while filming so you won’t miss anything important, or you can memorize it. If you are an absolute expert on the subject you can maybe try make a video without prior preparation, though it’s much safer with a writing to turn to.
Practice in front of a mirror – Since you’ll be appearing in front of the camera, it’s best that you work on your visual impression. Look in the mirror and notice your body language, the faces that you make while talking, and practice adjusting your voice and speaking clearly.
Keep your videos short – It depends on the topic of your blog, but in most cases, shorter is better. With this much online content grabbing for our clicks, it’s no wonder the average attention span last year was only 8 seconds. We want our information chopped, cooked and served, and we don’t want to lose any more time than what we have to. But keep in mind that most of all people want valuable information, answers to their questions, so if your video needs to be longer to fully explain a point keep filming until finished.
Have a decent camera to make quality videos – I bet you check the quality options on every YouTube video you play to increase the resolution. Your blog audience does that too. And you want them to be satisfied when they click the link and play your video. This doesn’t mean you need an expensive production; just a decent camera that makes clear and crisp videos and some creativity.
Do you shoot videos for your blog? Are you thinking about it? Drop your thoughts in the comments below …