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What are the Benefits of Adding Video to your Blog?

A number of weeks ago skinner (from Twitter) asked me:

what are the benefits of adding video to your blog?”

I thought it’d make an interesting reader question. How would you answer it?

Do you use video on your blog? Why (or why not)? What do you like and dislike about video on other people’s blogs?

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. John W says:

    I think there is a distinction between leveraging video that is custom-produced and unique to your blog and pulling something off of Youtube. Although my production skills are in their early stages, the readership (and now viewership) has responded very positively.

    Recycling others’ video content can be value-add to the blog but not the same as with the self-branded and created video as is done on Problogger.net and I have followed suit.

    If your blog niche is largely visual (arts, decor, design), then video is a must.

  2. Liz says:

    Videos can be very eye-catching, but they can also be an annoying roadblock. If I’m engrossed in my iPod and I run across a post that seems interesting, only to find that I have to watch a video to find out the rest of the story, I get annoyed. Why can’t I read something at my own pace while enjoying my tunes?

    Then again, I’m one of those people who hates the “lecture” part of classes, too. Just give me the textbook, it’s faster!

  3. Shafar says:

    Depends upon the visitors…

  4. L-Jay says:

    If I want to share my content (physical movement) then video is the best way. The thing I hate about it is that I have to show everyone what I look like – this is one boundry that I had to cross if I wanted to blog in my niche. It was tough but also ‘freeing’ too.

  5. Winston says:

    As a web user, I look for text content. If I want a video – Ill put the telly on! But seriously – this is simply a time thing for me. As we all know, most readers skim over a page and pick out interesting bits. Now that video is going to have to work really really hard to get my attention and even harder to keep it! I’ve lost count of how many vids Ive only watched 10 secs off before browsing off back to google.

    Oh and most amateur videos (sorry but its true) are simply not that good. Amateur authors are often as good as their counterparts. But doing a good video is much much harder. Not only is there content to worry about but there is the delivery, the visuals, etc, etc.

    The other obvious downside is that a video isnt SEO friendly!

  6. Lenin Nair says:

    Hi Video is of course quite valuable. I still remember the attraction of your last weekly video post on importance of commenting with the crazyegg heat map.

    But audio is also quite valuable, right? In fact, adding audio to your blog, with the help of a service I recently found (heck! I forgot the name) can be quite advantageous, because, it gives you a perfect automated audio of all your posts. That way, you can just place a small play button on the top of your posts, and the it will stream the post in an automated sound. Pretty good for bloggers. I am studying it and will implement it soon in my blog. Check it out,

    Thanks Darren

    Lenin

  7. Kim says:

    I would love to do more video on our blog, but it is time consuming and takes a lot of effort! We have had a very positive response to the few videos we do offer.

  8. revenue says:

    I have some post with a video on it, actually it’s interesting to have a video on our post it can attract our readers if the video interesting :)

  9. Elie says:

    I think adding video to sites is a terrible idea. I can never be asked to watch a video. I’d much rather read what you have to say.
    At pokerlife.wordpress.com I don’t use videos at all and it works great.

  10. Marue says:

    With the rising cost of gas, I think there is a huge potential for videos in my particular niche. I’m dying to try it but I don’t have the equipment right now. On the other hand, I’m scared to death to try it. It’s a big investment for something that might not work.

  11. I run a sports blog. So video has great appeal to my audience. With the emergence of youtube you can find all kinds of sports highlights almost immediately after they occur.

    The Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest highlights were on youtube after it was 30 minutes over. It was also beneficial during the Euro 2008, soccer goal highlights were available almost immediately. I dont know why the major TV Networks dont capitalize on having highlights and clips quickly available. They could easily insert ads into the videos. Some networks also dont allow you to embed or copy their videos either. Instead someone finds a way to post it on Youtube for free.

    Its all about pictures and videos these days. Gone are the days of black and white print. People want dynamic and interactive content.

    -Rob
    http://thesportsaffiliate.com

  12. Roger says:

    I maintain two videos in the sidebar of my blog. I think the video appeals to my readers. However, like everything else, I think you can overdue it. For example I usually never mix video into the posts content.

  13. Barb says:

    My one gripe about most video is that very few people caption their videos. While I know the deaf/hoh world needs captioning to be able to gain benefit from a video, as a hearing person myself, I find too many videos where I cannot understand part or all of the audio. Unless you’re a mime, a video with bad audio is just annoying! You can’t gain any benefit from it. It would help if there were easier ways to caption your own video. This is an area where the technology really needs to come up to speed.

  14. Pat says:

    I intensely dislike video on blogs or news sites. I tend to read blogs while on the phone or doing other mindless tasks. I can’t multi-task when there is video. And frankly, most people who do their own webcam videos aren’t good enough to capture my attention for more than the 20 seconds it takes me to scan the written blog. i routinely skip videos, and if a site has too many, I’ll unsubscribe. Needless to say, I use very few on my own blog, and then only to supplement the written content.

  15. Syed Balkhi says:

    The main advantage of a video is the connection between me and my reader. They can actually see me and get to hear I talk. That is the way they understand my personality and it helps them understand my posts better. Another advantage of videos in the blog is that it explains some things way better than a word post would.

    Also some tutorials are better with video rather than just text.

    btw darren: thanks for the add on plurk.

  16. Viki Nygaard says:

    I think that video can be an excellent tool, particularly when it’s used to demonstrate how to do something. However, I would highly encourage those who use video to either caption the video or include a written transcript of it.

    Yeah, I realize that’s a lot of extra work, but if you don’t provide a written alternative, you are going to lose out on visitors/customers/subscribers. Over 28 million people in the United States alone are deaf or hard of hearing, and most of them rely on captioning or subtitles to view and understand video.

  17. Adding video to your blog is an excellent way to market to your customer’s emotions. My sister just had a baby girl and she wanted to give her clients an update of her maternity leave. What better way to show her appreciation for her clients support by premiering a short video pronouncing the birth of her baby girl. At the end of the video shows a promo code that her clients need to announcing at the time of the appointment to receive a 10% discount. I emailed the link to all of her customers in her address book. Within 24 hours, my sister’s customers called her and rave about the video. And within a few days, her customers called to make an appointment while announcing the promo code. Not only that, it increase my blog traffic.

  18. cb says:

    I actually don’t like video in blogs. I rarely if ever watch them if they are posted. I use my computer in my front room and prefer a ‘reading’ experience. I understand I might be in the minority but lots of video would turn me right off.
    I think it wouldn’t be hard to guess then that I’ve never used video in my blog :) I see it as a visual form – rather than an audio-visual form.. if I want video, I’ll grab a video podcast!

  19. Videos are a great tool in any blog. However having videos makes the page to download in much more time than usual, no problem when you have a fast internet connection, but it’s really a problem if the connection is not that fast.

    Many times I have tried myself to access some websites or blogs, but when they don’t download quick because they have videos included, its very frustrating.

    It also depends on the topic of the blog. Some blogs may be fine with regular photos, and having a video once in a while is good, as long as it doesn’t make the download very slow as I said….

  20. Matt Dickman says:

    I use a lot of custom video on my blog. Over a couple of years of doing this I’ve found a key point in how people consume information. Everybody wants it their way. Some people like to read a post, others like to watch videos, some want those videos in a podcast.

    Video is also a fantastic way to explain things to people where words tend to fail. You’ll see on my videos I have a video window with my face and a browser where I show people what I am talking about. (Here is a recent video on Summize http://tinyurl.com/52xg65.) I cover new, hot social media apps that normal marketing people are too overwhelmed to try themselves. I try thing for them and walk them through step-by-step.

    I also distribute my videos on a lot of platforms so that my readers can watch them wherever they want. Once I compress a final video I upload it to my podcast hosting system. Next I go to Facebook and upload it to my videos and to my fan page videos (for some reason this is a separate process). Finally I use TubeMogul.com to upload a single file on 8-10 different video sites at once. Saves me time and gets the content out quickly.

    I think the most important part of using video is to add some value that you can’t get in copy, but support it with a text narrative. Also, let people consume things where and how they want. Post your video on iTunes as well as YouTube and Yahoo Video. You never know where people will find you.

  21. Lenin Nair says:

    Hi there, Darren,

    As I mentioned in my last comment here, I added audio to my blog. Dear readers, please check out Odiogo.com which offers a great podcasting service for bloggers. For a demo, please visit my stie cutewriting.blogspot.com

    Lenin

  22. ITrush says:

    I haven’t done it yet, but I’m thinking of adding one.

  23. I produce and post a video every day, the Nokia Daily News. I film and edit the video using the video editor application on my Nokia N95. If the files weren’t so big at 20MB or so, I could upload them without a computer.

    I just started a little over a month ago, and my stats are growing predictably. The niche is small, and the content over tech and boring to most. I’m just trying it to figure out the workflow. According to my stats, users average over 2 minutes on the site, and my bounce rate is below 5%.

  24. Genesis says:

    So far, I haven`t used video. For me, it is rather frustrating to find a video on someone`s website or blog and then have to wait an hour for it to load. However, it does seem beneficial if you have something that can`t be easily explained . . . showing is always better.

  25. Benny Lewis says:

    My blog is primarily for hosting the videos I make (travel documentaries, each one translated to 7 languages). It’s great since you can convey so much information (at least in my case) in a much shorter space of time than you would need to sit and read it. My readers (viewers…) would not have the patience for such vast amounts of text some blogs produce. Some of us tell a story better through images! :)

  26. Kat Rice says:

    I personally hate video in blogs. Personally, I do much of my blog reading in the evening when some of my family is in bed, so if I want to listen I have to put on headphones, etc. And a lot of times I’m grooving to music which I then have to stop if I want the information. I like video when it is supplemental or used occasionally, I even plan to try it on my own blog someday but most of the times I’m irritated. If you’re going to have video at least put your same thoughts in text somewhere on the page.

    Someone else mentioned speed. I read much faster than someone speaks and my time is very, very precious. That and sometimes people are better writers than they are speakers and listening to video can grate your nerves rather than inspire you.

    I see a lot of comments about viewers liking that kind of stuff. I guess if you are really talented with video, go for it. My readers are often older, less internet savvy and prefer text with pretty pictures, at least in what I’ve seen so far.

    Oh and for the few people who have videos or sound that plays automatically, that’s a good way for me never ever to use your site again. Videoblog all you want, just let me press play when I wanna hear it.

  27. Giving a lot of thought to this over the last few days.

    For myself I’d like to use video to show things I don’t necessarily want to write a long article about. It’s so much easier for me to shoot a video and edit it than write 5000 words about the same topic. When speaking it comes out more naturally. I don’t script my videos so hopefully it comes out more free-flowing than text which I often agonize over to choose the exact words I want to use.

    I think I can put more personal things into the video about topics I cover on the site that might connect me with visitors to my blog a little better than does text and static photos.

    For me – text articles are best to provide new information and that search engines will index and send traffic to.

    Video is for personal notes to visitors… as if I’m sharing part of my life experience with them, not really for new information – which probably should come in the form of a well-written article they can get value from quickly by scanning or reading it.

    I shot my first video for the site, critiques welcome Aim for Awesome, Video 1. Yes, I understand the title at the end didn’t render very well at 150kbps quality. At top quality it looks nice. I’ll remember that for future videos! Good luck to everyone that is focused on putting video on their blogs.

  28. Jack Carol says:

    I thing the benefit is it save time explaining to your reader with word.

  29. Serge says:

    I’m not using video on my blog yet but I’m considering doing it in the future. I’m gathering information about good compact camcorders but they are expensive, especially the full-HD models. I’ll certainly keep an eye on future articles you publish about using video on blogs.

  30. himeshmishra says:

    well i have started blogging myself and as most of the people in the comment list would agree that adding video is a good thing adds more attraction to your post but it can be veryyy time consuming if someone has 56 kbps net speed.

  31. Ana says:

    i use blogyoutube.com and work fine