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Why Video IS Worth Experimenting with On Your Blog

Earlier in the week I wrote a post arguing that Text is King in the online space which caused some interesting discussion (both in the comments and on Twitter).

While I did try to qualify the post by saying that I do think video has its place and that it’ll continue to grow as a medium, particularly in some demographics, some people saw my post as me ‘writing off’ video.

So today I wanted to write a short post giving three reasons why I do believe in video and will continue to use it on my blogs. I won’t do it exclusively (ie I’ll primarily be investing my time into text) but I do believe that it’s a great compliment to the written form of communication that I focus upon.

  1. Video Gives You a Voice and Face – perhaps the biggest thing that I noticed when I started posting videos here at ProBlogger was that I noticed readers interacting with me in a different way. Suddenly the emails I received had a more personal edge. Strangers started emailing me using a tone and language that was more familiar – as if they knew me. At first I didn’t realize what was happening – but after a while I realized that people felt like they ‘knew’ me. This happens with text as well – but video has a way of showing your personality. It shows your face and lets people hear your voice as it really is. This ‘personal’ aspect is powerful.
  2. Video Connects with Different Personalities and Learning Styles – another thing that I noticed when I started using video was that I started getting comments on video posts from people I’d never heard of before. I started getting comments that would start with – ‘I’ve been reading your blog for 12 months but never commented before but just wanted to say…..’. We all have different learning styles and personalities – some of us learn better by hearing and seeing – while others by reading. Video appeals to a different crowd and can potentially widen your audience.
  3. Video Opens Up Opportunities to Illustrate Certain Principles in Creative Ways – some things are very difficult to communicate in the written word. There are just some times when you need a tone of voice or body language to be able to ‘show’ people what you mean. Video allows you to do this. It also opens up different ways of illustrating the principles you’re talking about. For example in my last video on First Impressions I started the video with a little sequence that illustrated what I went on to talk about – that sequence was commented upon by many and wouldn’t have been achievable with text (or at least not in the way I did it).

Should you write off video? No way! It is definitely a medium that I feel is worth experimenting with (and so far it seems 67% of you have been doing just that if our latest poll is anything to go by).

I guess all I was trying to say with my last post is that just because video is on the rise doesn’t mean that Text is dead. I think it is here to stay and will remain ‘king’ for quite some time yet!

Text, Video, Audio and other forms of communication online all have their place and can all be powerful. I find them especially powerful when you combine them rather than focus upon one – (but that’s partly just my style). Choosing your mediums and working out how much to focus upon them will probably come down to weighing up a number of factors including:

  • Your topic
  • Your audience and what mediums they’re most comfortable
  • Your personality and how you best communicate
  • Your skills in presenting, speaking, writing etc
  • Your resources and access to cameras, bandwidth etc

OK – so that is enough of me – what do you think?

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. Frankly, I never watch video. Or watch very rarely.
    Until unless the video explain properly (clear ‘make me understand’ voice etc. factors involved.), I prefer text too read.

  2. Video is a very new and innovative thing in blogging. But its not easy to do. Surely worth the efforts though.

  3. BLOGBOOZE says:

    Videos add color to your blog even people watch them or not. But when posting a video you have to remember that not many percentage of readers don’t watch them (or watch them fully) I think as well as videos, there should be many podcasts in the blogging arena. Because podcasts you can listen them in the road as well.

    Daniel I think you must concern about adding Podcasts to your blog.

  4. Ray Martin says:

    In blogs, I like video in moderation. I agree that it gives more personality and emotion. Being able to see and hear someone is often more powerful than just reading what they have to say. I do think it can be overdone and with different rss viewers, web browsers, and mobile devices, there’s not always a guarantee that everyone will be able to view it.

    You also have much more luck with SEO using text. I had a client tell me recently that although his website was beautifully done with flash video, no one could find it. I agree that video is strong, but online text is king!

    I’m relatively new to the blogging experience, but I just included a video presentation about TV advertising on my blog http://www.myadguy.com/2009/01/i-have-been-promoting-benefits-of-cable.html that is an example of what you are talking about here. I would love any feedback or discussion.

  5. lauredhel says:

    There is one complete dealbreaker that means I will not be videologging at all: accessibility. As well have having quite a few readers who do not have broadband connections or have other technical reasons for not accessing non-text material, we also have a number of readers who have various disabilities meaning that they either can’t fully access video or can’t access it at all (deafness, blindness, severe CFS and related disorders).

    Accessibility is a key principle in our blogging – we attempt to provide transcripts for the video and audio material we link to, and will always provide them when asked. It would be good to see more bloggers prioritising (or even considering!) accessibility when talking about podcasting and vlogging.

  6. David Risley says:

    Video is definitely worth doing, guys. It is one of those things that can make your blog stand out.

    I do daily videos answering people’s questions and giving tips about how to make a living as a blogger. And it was a great move. My readers dig it. Each video has a text post that accompanies it, plus I also write a regular text post every day. The key is multiple forms of content.

  7. I personally won’t do vlogs because of privacy safety issues. But I will post videos if I happen to see one on youtube and decide if it’s a good enough subject to make blog post of it.

    9 times out of 10, I will just let the vid do the ‘talking’ and I just add a little side note on it…

  8. If your not using video to create original content your selling yourself short. The use of Video,audio,internet radio,live streams. Also the use of video when possible Social Networking can add a featured effect to the comment section.

    So do hair and brake out the Flip or you favorite blogging Video Camera.

    Now make it happen. Video Tip Veoh will send your videos to many video sites including Youtube who gets more page views then Google these days.

  9. Mike Tieden says:

    Video engages people more, in my opinion. You can grab someone’s attention better with video than with text alone.

    People would much rather watch a 2, 3, maybe 4 minute video, than spend that time reading boring text.

    -Mike

  10. Robin Rice says:

    Thanks for the post! On http://www.MaydenChronicles.com, , I use both text (to write a book online) and video as trailers, use of creative voice of main character, to announce contests, to explain the writing process and editing, etc… The multi-media approach and multi-pronged writing/reading process is really much more fun for me, so I hope for my audience.

  11. Michelle B says:

    Usually I find watching ‘vlogs” to be excruciating, because I’m a very fast reader. I was the kid in class who would get bored out of their skull hearing a text read aloud because I was always pages ahead in my copy. If it’s for pure entertainment, that’s one thing. But when I’m trying to get information, to me it is akin to torture. Toooo slooooooow.

    I think the only benefit is that if you are a regular reader at someone’s blog, seeing a video of them talking will help you to “meet” them in a sense, and to have a better sense of them as a person.

  12. Oktay Usta says:

    The voice and the face. People can’t help but connect with a face. But always give me something to skim.

    Good follow up post.

  13. People would much rather watch a 2, 3, maybe 4 minute video, than spend that time reading boring text.