Yesterday 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.
- 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.
Think 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.)
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 Video 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
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.