You, Too, Can Create a Video Blog

video blogYesterday I posted my first video blog. Yay!

I thought it was going to be a harrowing experience – not just putting my face and strong Texas accent out there on the web, but figuring out the technology.

Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t that bad.

I want to talk a little bit about the how, and maybe more importantly, about the why of video blogging. We’ll cover “how” today and “why” on Monday.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an authority on vlogs. I’ve done all of one so far. I just want you to see how (relatively) easy creating a video blog was. It’s a bit cliche, but … if I can do it, you can, too.

How to Create a Video Blog

All you really need is some form of camera that records video and audio, an Internet connection, and a YouTube (or Vimeo, or whatever) account.

The Hardwarevideo blog

  • Do you own a webcam?
  • Did one come with your desktop or laptop?
  • Do you have a smartphone that records video?
  • Do you have a tablet that records video?
  • Do you have a video camera?
  • Do you have a digital camera that records video?

Any one of those devices will give you the actual video. Just pick the one you’re most comfortable with.

The Content
Thinking... please waitThink ahead of time about what you want to say, especially if it’s your first time. I had thought through what I wanted to say. Unfortunately, I hadn’t figured out how to land the plane conclude what I was saying, so I re-shot the video several times just trying to get to the end.

Learn from me, grasshopper. Figure out what you want to say first. Make an outline or a rough draft. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here, but you may find that doing a practice run while recording helps you feel more relaxed and confident. (I did this on accident by virtue of reshooting the video a bazillion times.)

The Recording
Now sit down in some place that’s reasonably quiet and has a reasonable amount of light. Get comfortable, turn your device on, and start recording.

A few tips:

  • Look at the camera, not at the playback of you talking.
  • Start off smiling before you start recording.
  • Pause for a second after hitting record. There’s often a lag between pressing record and the actual start of recording.

Transferring the Videovideo blog If you didn’t record to your computer, you’ll need to transfer your video to your computer. In most cases, you’ll have a USB cord or some other means to connect your video device to your computer. You typically move the video the same way you transfer files from one folder to another on your computer. I wish I could give more specific instructions, but it will vary depending on what device you’re using.

Uploading the Video
I’d suggest using YouTube to distribute your video if you can for reasons I’ll discuss in the “why” post.

Simply sign in or create an account if you don’t already have one. (If you have a Gmail account, you can use that to sign in even if you’ve never visited YouTube before.)

At the top of the screen next to the search box is an “Upload” button. Click on that and follow the directions to get your video uploaded. YouTube really walks you through the whole process.

It takes some time to upload the video – I think my video was about 5-6 minutes and it took over an hour to upload.

When it’s done, you can use the Video Manager and Edit buttons to change things like the title, the thumbnail that people see before the video, and the tags. It’s a good idea to put in keywords that are relevant to your site and your video in the tags section – that helps people find you in search engine and YouTube searches.

Embedding the Video in Your Blog

wp plugins

One option to embed the video in your blog is to download a plug-in. I think Jetpack allows you to embed video, and so does a plug-in called EmbedPlus. Just use the URL that YouTube gives you to share your content.

If you’d rather not use a plug-in, there’s another method. Underneath your video on the YouTube site you’ll see a line that has About – Share – Add To.

Click on Share, then click on Embed. You’ll see a line of code that you should copy.

Go to your WordPress admin panel. Open up a new post and make sure you’re on the Text (or HTML) tab.

Paste your YouTube code into the post, add whatever text, title, etc. that you want, and publish.

Note: This method also works if you have an HTML site. Just paste the embed code into your HTML page, add whatever text that you want, and you’re good to go.

That’s it – you’ve got a vlog post!

(If you need a tutorial on the YouTube upload, let me know and I’ll do some screen shots or something.)

On Monday, I’ll talk about why you should care about vlogging – there’s more to it than just getting your face out there.

Do you video blog yet? Do you have any suggestions that I haven’t covered? Any concerns or confusion that’s stopping you? Let me know in the comments.

While you’re down there, make sure you sign up for my list. I’ve got blog updates and freebies that you won’t want to miss.

Don’t miss a post! 

photos by: codenamecueball & anantal, karola riegler photography, johntrainor, Sean MacEntee

8 thoughts on “You, Too, Can Create a Video Blog

  1. It’s funny you mention your strong Texas accent – I noticed an accent but I didn’t think it was that strong. Glad the baby didn’t wake up. lol.
    Victoria @ My Daily Cuppa recently posted…Learning All About Pinterest – Time to Update My Page and Get ConnectedMy Profile

    • In my head, I have a bland Midwestern American accent that many people think of as “no accent” or “typical American accent”. When I hear myself – especially if I’m tired, like I was in that video – I’m always surprised at how backwoods Texas I sound.

      • People are always telling me that I have an accent. I’m PA Dutch and I moved to Michigan so all the peeps here can tell I’m an implant! LOL

        I don’t mind. It is what it is. I didn’t notice an accent. Were you born and raised in Texas?
        Bonnie Gean recently posted…How May I Serve You with a Tutorial?My Profile

        • Bonnie, I used to tell my students that everyone has an accent. You only notice when it’s not what you’re used to hearing.. I guess I’m not used to hearing mine:-). I sound very different in my head.

          I was born and raised in Northeast Texas (near the OK border). That’s where my lovely twang came from.
          Katie recently posted…Weekly Round-Up: What Do You Need? EditionMy Profile

  2. Did you use a webcam to shoot your video Katie? Does it have one setting (I’m asking because I don’t own a webcam) or can you change the width of your video through the webcam?
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…How May I Serve You with a Tutorial?My Profile

    • I started with my webcam. At that time of night, the light was so bad where the computer is located that I ended up using my iPhone. It turned out kind of narrow, didn’t it? Maybe if I have to use the iPhone again, I’ll either turn it landscape-wards or see if I can adjust the settings.

      • Like the webcam, I don’t have an iPhone so I can’t help you there with the settings. Look at that, something Bonnie can’t answer! Shh… don’t tell anyone! :)

        I’m sure sideways would be better. I know Tiffany uses her phone, and she seems to fill the whole screen. Maybe she turns her phone sideways too?

        In either case, the lighting was good. No problem there. Your face was lit up nicely so the lighting from the iPhone was great!

        You’ll get the hang of it. We all had to start somewhere, right? I’m just so glad you took the plunge! :)
        Bonnie Gean recently posted…How May I Serve You with a Tutorial?My Profile

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