Text has always been the dominant communicating medium on Web and still continues to be so. With the introduction of new technologies, share of multimedia content has grown significantly. One such medium is video that has firmly established its roots in the world of blogging. Video blogging (vlogging) is getting popular nowadays with more and more bloggers coming out with their own vodcast series.
Vlogging not only helps attract readers much easily, but also has the power to create your personal brand. Many famous bloggers have used it successfully to reach new heights in their blogging journey. They have also used popular platforms like YouTube to market their blogs through informative and entertaining videos.
Getting Started with Video Blogging
Video blogging is simply using video as content for your blog. Some bloggers use it occasionally mixed with their regular posts, while others have dedicated video blogs (vlogs) producing series of vodcasts. In either case, the posting and distribution mechanism is almost the same. Since it stimulates several sensory organs, the viral appeal of a video post is extremely strong. Like every article is not a pillar post, similarly every video post can't be a cliffhanger. The success of a video post largely depends on the subject and the presentation skills of the blogger. A poor video presentation can ruin a blogger's hard earned reputation in a minute.
Requirements For Video Blogging
Presentation Skills - This is the most important pre-requisite to create appealing video posts. You must posses' excellent presentation skills that includes clear pronunciation, flair to speak, understanding of tone changes, convincing power and above all your ability to record and edit the recordings. Some people are born with exceptional speaking and presentations skills. Others can master it with regular mock presentations. I'll strongly advice you to defer your video post publication, until you do not get positive feedback about your test recordings from your close friends or some trusted fellow bloggers.
Hardware - If you want to post a high quality video, you would require a good quality camcorder or a powerful webcam. A camcorder will give you a slightly better picture quality than a webcam. If you are making the video indoors, correct lighting plays a big role in creating clear recordings. As a general rule of thumb, make sure light source is behind the webcam or camcorder with direct focus on your face. The distance and intensity of light source can be adjusted by doing some test recordings.
Software - There are several free and commercial video editing software. Normally, a video is recorded at higher bit rate to get a high quality picture, which is later compressed to reduce the size of the video. I personally found Camtasia Studio the best among all for creating videos for web publishing. Almost every commercial editing software supports easy creation of YouTube compatible video formats. It is the most preferred and widely used video format on web.
Server and Bandwidth - Since video eats up significant bandwidth, your web-hosting plan should be able to cater the needs of video blogging. Nowadays VPS hosting solutions comes at affordable rate and provides quite good service for high traffic sites. If you are planning to do regular series of vodcasts, I'll recommend switching to VPS solution rather than sticking with a typical shared hosting plan.
Preparing a Video Post
An ideal video post addresses an issue that solves a critical problem of the intended audience. Generally, bloggers divide the topic into several sections and create a video series . Often these series are as long as 10-15 videos per series.
Scripts - If you are inexperienced, writing a rough script for each video can help you in making the recording process much easier. This script may not be like a film script, where you have to chant every single word as it is. A general outline with main points can do the work if you are comfortable in expanding those points on the fly. If you still struggle to do that, full script is the only solution.
Editing - Once your recording is completed, you have to do all the necessary edits. This includes removing unwanted frames, amplifying voice at selective places as per the requirements, adding captions and background music, adjusting the speed of frames at selective points and last but not the least compressing the video and making it YouTube compatible.
Publishing - Once your video is complete, it is ready to be published. There are two approaches to publish it. Either you upload it to services like YouTube and Viddler and get the embed code directly from the site or you upload the video to your own web server. Remember, if you are embedding the video directly from Youtube, it may not be visible to your feed readers and they have to actually visit the actual post to be able to watch it. Here's an excellent tutorial about inserting multimedia content in a WordPress post.
If you are already doing video posts, what significant difference you noticed in readers' engagement and reactions? Do you prefer to host your videos on third-party site or your own server?
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