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Adding Video to Your Blog

I’m a big fan of Mike Rundle’s writing and his latest work at Business Logs is a good example of his common sense approach to blogging. Today he’s written about Coattail Riding Instructions For YouTube and gives 3 “Don’ts” and 3 “Do’s” for adding video to a blog. Here’s his main points:

1. Don’t pretend to be Rocketboom
2. Don’t do vidcasts just because everyone else is doing them
3. Don’t be boring.

1. Use YouTube as supplemental content, not the highlight.
2. Be original, be fun.
3. Extend YouTube.

My experience with adding video to blogs is that they have an amazing ability to add life to your blog. On the few times I’ve used it I’ve had an overwhelming positive response, increased readership (it’s amazing how it gets RSS reader to actually visit your blog) and it injects a new level of personality into your blog (literally adding a face and voice to it).

On the flip side – it’s worth noting that video takes time to produce and upload. Where you might be able to add a post to your blog in 15 or so minutes adding video can be an involved process that includes recording, editing (depending upon your style) and uploading. I’m sure in time this workflow would become quicker as you get used to the tools – but each time I’ve done a video it’s taken two or three times longer than a post on the same topic (sometimes more).

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. 1(a) on the “Don’t”s list should be, “Don’t be Ze Frank”.

    Actually, I think it should be (1), as I find Ze Frank infinitely more entertaining than Amanda Congdon. I could never figure out what all the Rocketboom fuss was about.

  2. Darren Rowse says:

    :-)

  3. Blaine says:

    So the question that you need to ask yourself then, is whether the increased eyeballs on your website are worth the increased amount of time?

    What were your advertising revenues for days you had those videos up? Was it worth spending 3 times what you normally would on a post?

  4. Henry says:

    My new blog HoopsTV is all about basketball and uses Youtube, Google Video clips. Basketball videos are full of action and can stand by itself with very little explanation. In fact if you explain too much, you maybe just destroying the effect on your post.

    So it doesn’t necessarily mean the advice above works in all situations.

  5. Damien says:

    What software on a Mac would you reccomend for making video for a blog? I’ve heard iLife dose the job pretty well; but I won’t have that until I upgrade later this month. Anyone have any suggestions?

  6. Darren Rowse says:

    Damien,

    I’ve used iMovie for editing – it’s basic but good. Didn’t you get it for free with your Mac?

  7. Andy Merrett says:

    I’ve just done my first video for Tech Digest – it’s very basic but is a supplemental to a written review, just to show how the gadget works.

    I had quite a convoluted process as the camera I have at present records short (15 second) snippets of video but no sound, so I created some sections of video, plus stills, then imported them all into iMovie, recorded an audio track, then saved, and uploaded to YouTube. I need to tweak how the sound is compressed, etc. as the results are slightly robotic. But hey, it’s a bit of fun.

  8. pcunix says:

    I did my first (and probably only) video just yesterday – only because I wrote a small post on how to make videos with your Mac and I felt I had to illustrate with an example. The post is http://aplawrence.com/MacOSX/first_video.html if any Mac users want a quick overview. The software I used was http://www.apple.com/quicktime/broadcaster/ and iMovie – both free.

    It’s a lot of work. The big issues I had were sound quality, lighting, my own wooden personality, and little skill at editing.

  9. david king says:

    I’d add this – don’t use Youtube! If you REALLY want to do a video blog… your audience might just want to download the video to something else, like an iPod. And Youtube doesn’t allow that.

    Instead, store the video somewhere like blip.tv, and then download automatically to your player of choice using iTutes or FireAnt.

  10. Zed Hayden says:

    We have recently started to implement video on our site. We didn’t try to be Rocketboom by any means, but we were inspired by them by some degree. We were equally inspired by Colbert :-). We are shooting on a 3CCD Panasonic camera, using a Sennheiser wireless mic, and editing in Final Cut Pro on a new MacBook Pro. Admittedly, we have a rather expensive set-up…but this could still be done with your PC and consumer-level equipment. Old media is the new new media! If interested, check out the frontpage of GizmoCafe.com…and let us know what you think!

  11. Chris says:

    I am starting to experiment with putting video on my blog and I have this question and want to know what you think. Is it OK to link to peoples videos from YouTube without asking them? Are they like, just gonna be happy for the attention, or will they be angry because I take advantage of their work to build traffic to my blog?

  12. Chris says:

    Zen:

    Nice video works great I think. It is short and accurate so that I don’t lose interest. The guy in the video has a good voice and good appearance in front of the camera. Good light and sound quality.

    A few things to consider:

    - The framing is a little large, in the latter part there is a lot of “headroom” (space above the guys head). Try a little zoom to tighten the shot.

    - Lack of close ups. Film close ups of the stuff he is touching after finishing the main shot. Insert the video of the close up in editing. I wanna see that nice amplifier in detail!

    -Consider using graphics to display the names of the products.

    I just added a YouTube video to my blog, check it out. What about copyright on this?