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The Benefits of Creating Talking Head Videos for Your Blog

One of the types of posts that I’ve created quite a few of over the last few years here on ProBlogger is the “talking head” video post—like the one you see above.

In this video I talk a little about some of the benefits of using video in this way on your blog.

In a couple of future videos I’ll be giving some tips on how to create these videos (or at least show you how I make mine), plus some ideas about how to talk to camera without feeling completely awkward.

I’d love to hear if and how you use video, particularly talking head videos, on your blogs too.

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. George Muha says:

    Darren: You’re inspiring me to do videos. I actually noticed that you haven’t done a video in awhile. I’ve done a few but perhaps I should try some more.

    I live fairly near NYC. Do you think doing a video in Times Square might be impactful?

  2. Kirk Eisele says:

    Hi Darren. Just wanted to comment and cast my vote for some follow on content about your process for creating the videos. I’m creating a site for real estate agents to learn and share marketing strategies and techniques. The industry is very personal and visually oriented so I think screencasts and video will be big parts of the best way to reach and communicate with that audience for me. Thanks!

    Kirk

  3. Sean Davis says:

    Great video, Darren.

    Just like you, I don’t do video as much as I should considering the proven benefits. On my current blog, I haven’t done video at all because it is fairly new and I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m still building content. However, I know there’s room for an introduction video. I barely use any images on my blog so not only is it less personable at this point, it’s just pure text… for the most part.

    I have a YouTube channel and I am very comfortable with making videos. I have about 10,000 views from 15 or so videos right now. I think it’s time to integrate videos into my blog, though. Your videos really do reach people differently than your content does. In fact, every time I watch one of your videos, I think to myself “Charlie bit me!” Haha!

    Again, great video and I’ll be following your advice this weekend.

  4. Joe Burnettt says:

    Nice video Darren!A quick question for any video blogger, what microphone do you guys use?

    • Matt S Rinc says:

      Hi Joe,

      I would recommend you to go for quality (common sense is that audio is 60% quality of video). I use Audio-Technica USB 2020 mike ( http://amzn.to/rn2RAo ) for two years for all my videos of talking heads. Usually the sound is so good that in a hurry you can skip audio processing – say with free Audacity – and just publish video.

      Similar mike is Samson C03U ( http://amzn.to/qNLX5f ) but I have not tested it yet.

      But for outdoors and if you are from US (as it’s generally not sold elsewhere) useful companion to your digital video camera could be wireless pack from Audio Technica ( http://budurl.com/pro88w ). Hey, looks like Amazon is shipping it now worldwide! And believe me – from hearing recorded sound and some simple audio processing it beats much more expensive similar products from Senheiser in audio quality (which you won’t buy if you’re on a budget).

  5. Hi Darren,

    I agree completely that video is a highly effective communication medium, and that with today’s computers, is just so darn easy to produce!

    I simply jot a few notes of what I want to talk about, open up camtasia, hit record and start talking. If I fumble enough that I feel the need to edit, I just stop talking for 5 seconds so that when I edit, I can easily identify the point in the timeline that I need to address.

    Once I’m done, up to Youtube it goes and in doing so, I get an entirely new source of traffic for my blog – so long as I’m choosing a long tail keyword to pursue, that is.

    I’m looking forward to hearing your video creation tips!

    Cheers from San Diego,
    Trent

  6. Chris says:

    It’s something I’ve been thinking about as I plan, but I’m afraid to because I’m not attractive.

  7. clea says:

    So nice to see your shining face, thanks for the tips, can’t wait to see more about making videos for your blog, as we just got an ipad 2 that seems great for making short videos. It’s so much easier to hide behind the pen, but I realize in this day an age, many people really enjoy being able to see your body language, as well as get an idea of who they are listening to in your blog. Thanks again, for all the work you are doing…all the best, Clea

  8. Chip Dizárd says:

    I have created a video blog about my first year as an inner city teacher in an urban district. I have been picked up by a local city blog and people tend to like my posts. I didn’t think they were that engaging at first, but if you continue to do them on a weekly schedule and have a relevant topic they may become very popular.

    http://www.chipdizard.com/pages/first-year-teacher
    A link to my video blog page.

    • Hey Chip,
      Congrats for your video blog, you’re doing a great job!!
      Keep going!

    • Sylvia says:

      Hey Chip,
      great job! been wanting to do some video blogging myself just a little nervous to step in front of the camera (*sigh*) guess I just better step up.

  9. Darren,

    I am so glad you are doing this series.

    I just started doing video (3 so far) for my new blog and it is getting easier. You just have to get over being so “exposed”. I think the biggest challenge is communicating everything you want and doing it in an interesting way is probably my biggest challenge.

    Look forward to the rest of the videos on doing video – Theresa :)

  10. Tea Silvestre says:

    I just finished two videos yesterday. One was 2 minutes long and the other was just under a minute. While they were “easy” enough to manage making (tech wise), I found it hard to get over how “weird” I looked on camera. After 35+ takes (I didn’t edit), I finally got something I could live with.

    As you continue your discussion on video, I’d love to hear about your first times. Maybe everyone has to go through/get over the weird phase? Tips?

    Thanks!

  11. Paula says:

    I have never done a video on my blog. I hate being on camera and hearing my own voice.

    You brought up some great points on why this would be a beneficial addition to a blog. I may try and conquer my fear.

    Thanks! I can’t wait to see more tips on the video process.

  12. Gwenn says:

    Video has been a great way for me to communicate with a whole new audience: a French-speaking one.

    I’m French-American but, until I started doing videos, I didn’t have the courage to fully embrace my heritage on my blog or in my business. I struggle to express myself in written French, but I speak fairly fluently, so doing videos in both my languages was a way to start being professionally bilingual!

  13. Daniel Sims says:

    I have an example of the power of the connection made by video. I hosted a blog carnival twice. Once was pure text and I had little engagement the second time I made a video presentation of the same blog carnival and my RSS subs went through the roof. It took a long time but it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I had to wear makeup though :D

    You can see that video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URQVOAdk3A4

    • Lauryn Doll says:

      Video blogging does seem to bring out the physical perfectionist in all of us. People don’t understand when you do it, but at the end of the day as long as you look confident on camera, it really helps!

  14. Hi Darren,

    I just started posting talking head vids with each single post of mine.

    Powerful branding too. Super in the trust building department. Let your readers know a real, live, authentic, breathing human being writes these posts. Posting videos also develops your communication skills and gives you a massive confidence boost. Not a bad deal for an online entrepreneur, all around.

    Focus on being natural. The camera is a person. Maintain eye contact through most or all of the video. Forget the edit. Forget shooting the perfect video, as it won’t happen. Simply share your ideas, and unless you absolutely butcher the video, publish it. Practice. I have almost 800 videos on youtube, and I used to be terrified to post 1. But I fought the fear, kept going, and youtube has been a powerful took in my internet marketing arsenal.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  15. Terry says:

    Great points, Darren. I have used video on my Blog since 2005 and find it to be an incredibly powerful tool. You are right — today is it so much easier. To do something quickly, inexpensively and powerfully, I often just look into the webcam on my MacBook Pro, record with Camtasia or Screenflow and then do some editing afterwards.

    Content can be conveyed on video so much better than with mere text in many cases. Demos of products, “being there on location” and interviews really make a difference for blogging.

    Thank you for your great work, Darren. Keep it up!
    Terry

  16. John says:

    The videos are very important. Attract a lot of free traffic through YouTube and are also important for your brand. Right now it’s very easy to make videos and high definition.

    So I encourage you all to you begin to make videos that are original.

    Greetings.

  17. Alban Brice says:

    Hi, Darren. Your video is inspiring and I do plan to shoot videos on my blog. Do not have a prior experience yet, but I recently listen to my readers telling me to short the distance betwen us by creating podcasts. Clients are kings, so I’m on my way too. Your series about it would then be very useful. Awaiting it…

    By the way, would it be possible to get a free copy of your “7days to feel better” ebook so as to share it on my personal development blog (i live in africa and i have over 500 readers thus far) seeing that I can’t buy it from my location.

    Thanks in advance for your reply!!!

  18. joe says:

    I do like you doing video, but talking head over a minute or so…graphics, whiteboard, other shots etc. besides just talking into the camera. You’re so popular it probably doesn’t make much difference with you but with most of us, you need the video to have tangible info so they can gain knowledge.

    Like the video, but would want something to break it up.

  19. Darren,

    I am also glad that you are starting this series of videos. As for me, It took me a while to get the confidence to produce and publish videos for YouTube. But in the last few months I started doing some video for my new book blog. It does take more time to do the editing of the video, etc, but I find that it gets easier as time passes. The challenge for me is making sure that I am communicating my message in a way to get others to watch my work. And I think that the biggest challenge, for me, is to put my self in the video and not just use a mixture of Powerpoint and screen captures. Still working on overcoming this.

    Thanks again for the video and look forward to your series.

  20. I’ve tried making a few videos, but I’ve found they are too revealing: there’s no place to hide.

  21. completely agree with you , i’m thinking about that in my blog , this way can to make a friendly relation with visitors , Thank you Darren ‼

  22. Video blogs can be very beneficial for someone like yourself who is comfortable and confident speaking on camera. You understand the basics of lighting and setting up a good shot, but that is not the case for everyone.
    For those who are intimidated by the camera, nervous or not sure how to deliver their message, it can wreck a reputation and end relationships with potential clients.
    I would stress that unless you are very comfortable delivering messages in front of a camera and understand the mechanics of it, do not do this without proper media training.
    Tips from my Blog on appearing comfortable on camera:
    http://bottomlinemediacoaching.com/blog/2011/08/5-tricks-for-appearing-more-comfortable-on-camera/

  23. Mikko says:

    Building relationships using a video rather than textual communication is so much easier and Darren your absolutely right about the fact that videos do have a better effect on certain people. People who don’t like to read. Teaching using some kind of visual aid being it a series of pictures or a video can be a whole lot more effective than just writing the necessary steps down for people to follow.

    I don’t know about selling a product using the video format. Just because people are so used to seeing ads blasted on television everyday. Wouldn’t they just ignore it more easily? Makes sense to me. I might be very wrong on this.

    What I do and will continue to do is provide tutorials for people using video and pictures. Some sort of visual aid is almost a necessity in some cases.

  24. Josh Jones says:

    Great post! I really want to do a video for my blog now.

    I might start out doing some kind on tutorial that doesn’t require my face, then slowly get the courage to show myself. (Us programmers are hideous looking!)

  25. Bruce says:

    You’ve certainly got alot of interested folks. Count me in as one who would like to hear/see more. I’m quite new to the blogging world and look forward to the time when I will know how, and be able to add some video. I need the real basics – type of camera & mic, distance from camera, editing software, etc. I appreciate your blog and work and your willingness to share. Thanks

  26. Mary says:

    We haven’t used video in our blogs yet, but we have created an interactive video that our CEO David Smith was featured in.

    I am looking forward to seeing how you create yours.

  27. Poppie says:

    Thanks Darren,
    I have made just on 80 odd videos from screen captures for the course I’m writing on little free Screenr and am just about to find where the camera switch is on my lappy to have a go at a talking head video!
    My little Samsung camera($80) takes awesome videos, but it’s a bit of a pain taking shots of yourself that way!
    Looking forwards to your hints and tips!
    Kindest,
    Poppie

  28. Iago Fraga says:

    I am sorry I couldn’t finished listened to the end of the video. You inspired me half the way. I have an idea to explore now. Thanks Darren!

  29. FelixWLRyuk says:

    You’re definitely right, as the system teaching english is recommenced learner to learn by eye rather than eyes.

  30. great post D. i have tried this on a couple of my niche websites and it has worked wonders for traffic and engagement. time spent on site is up, and more traffic is coming from youtube, the world’s second largest search engine. recently i have been invited to the adsense host program that pays to advert on youtube. the benefits overlap into several areas and the parlaying effect is extremely undervalued / unrealized for many such as myself. only way to truly know its potential is to try it. i am contemplating how to best incorporate this into my blog – will perhaps start with camtasia type screen shot videos with explanation on how to do certain things, then transitioning into something that you do so effectively.

  31. Syed Akram says:

    I think this tool which call Online Teleprompter also can help people a lot with “talking head video”. Its a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script, here the link for more info http://cueprompter.com/

  32. Jeff Rose says:

    Darren,

    Can’t wait to see the new video series. I started some video about a year ago, and now have almost 70 videos uploaded to YouTube and the blog. Part of the strategy going forward is to incorporate that much more video as I prefer it to writing. Now the editing is another story…..

  33. Jon Reid says:

    Darren, I’m really looking forward to your practical how-to’s…

  34. Billy says:

    It took me a while to figure out how to get over the awkwardness of speaking in front of a camera. The trick for me is to look at the person holding the camera and not the camera itself. If there’s no camera operator… well I guess you’re outa luck :)

  35. Jupiter Jim says:

    Darren,
    Great insights. I find it fascinating that you get a wider audience and appeal to different people and get more emails about your videos than your written posts. thanks for sharing that.

    I do screencasts on WordPress Video Tutorials but am going to start doing some talking head videos.

    I am going to buy the Sony Bloggie Duo which has a screen that allows me to see Myself While I’m filming.

    Can I ask what camcorder you are using for this video in this post?

    Thanks,
    Jupiter Jim

  36. Denys Yeo says:

    Video is the way of the future, particularly as it becomes easier to produce and view video material. There is a learning curve to producing good video but I think the effort is well worth while. I also look forward to your future videos on how you go about producing your talking head videos.

  37. Paula says:

    I just made my first youtube video and want to put it onto my wordpress.org blog. Do you suggest any particular video plugin?

  38. Devin Hughes says:

    Hi Darren-

    I have not used video yet but I will do so now. I get it. Thanks again for sharing this piece.

    Devin

  39. Judy Martin says:

    Darren,
    Funny – video comes naturally for me as I’ve worked in TV for 20 plus years. I try to do them weekly, but I certainly do not have to formula down to convert them into money making ventures. As i’m not so hot as an editor it’s a bit time consuming for me. I’m working on the talking head approach – other then when i lecture – i’m used to interviewing everyone else.
    Curious – what do you think about having an opening graphic for branding purposes? I just posted today so your info is good food for thought! Thanks! @JudyMartin8

  40. Hi Darren,

    Thanks this video. Indeed, it is nice to see people “live”. Nice accent man ;-)

    I have considered using video in addition to written posts for my site too, but I’m not so sure. I’m publishing funny nonsense, so the videos would also have to be funny then, right. That seems kind of challenging.

    I know lots of technical stuff, and I wouldn’t hesitate to make a video about that, because you don’t have to be funny, but this would be different. And if I look at the kind of videos The Onion has – damn, I could never compete with that :-).

    Well, I’ll consider it again anyway. Thanks.

  41. Emily says:

    hello Darren!
    This is my first visit to your website and, imagine that, my first click was on your video here.
    I’m anxiously awaiting the follow up!
    Cheers!
    Em

    • Mindaugas says:

      Guess where my first click was. ;) Yes videos are extremely effective, but i’m too shy of my accent to make them and publish on my blog. One day maybe. :)

  42. Bader says:

    i figured out how many people done a big a profit of just making head videos for their websites, or sometimes selling t-shirts in YouTube, like Ray William Johnson for example.

    the problem is most of us is English fluent and have accent when we talk in English , and there is no market for our languages on the internet

  43. I do use videos for my Christian marriage blog, but here’s where I AM TOTALLY JEALOUS OF YOU:

    Before I can do a talking head video, I have to run upstairs and put on major makeup, or else I look all washed out. As a speaker and someone who has been on television, I guess I have a bit of an “image” to maintain. My kids can see me au naturel, but not the world! And without major eyeliner, I find my features aren’t defined enough.

    Sometimes I really wish I were a guy…it’s not the time making the video or editing the video that’s the problem, it’s the hair and makeup. And then getting the lighting right. Any tips on lighting would be great.

    And, of course, your expert opinion on eyeliner…..

    Sheila from To Love, Honor and Vacuum!

  44. Atul Malla says:

    Hey Daren,
    I am also planning to take my blog to the next level by the help of videos and YouTube. The things you mentioned in your video was very helpful and I would surely try it in my first video. I am eager to watch your next video tutorial about creating a viral video.
    Thanks

  45. Erin Giles says:

    I recently started and I love it! Thanks for this video, it certainly backs up what I have found when v-logging!

  46. Nick Sykes says:

    What video camera or webcam did you use for this video? Image looks great.

  47. Jenika says:

    The video was indeed the first thing I clicked when I visited your site today! I’ve watched some of your previous videos and indeed, they made me feel like I know you. You’re not just words on a screen, you’re a person with an interesting story.

    I just started a niche blog called Psychology for Photographers, and am still deciding how to deliver my content. I think you just pushed me toward trying my first video post. Thank you for explaining the benefits clearly, and I’ll definitely look forward to more info from you on this topic.

    Hope you’re having a lovely day!

  48. What I love about your videos in particular Darren are that you come across the same on screen as in person.

    Cant get more authentic than that.

    Thanks for the Problogger Training day in Melbourne.

    Cheers

    Rosemary

  49. Gloria says:

    SOOO glad I “stumbled” upon this post!! I JUST began blogging (yesterday) and my first post was a video (because I wanted that personal touch, wanted the readers to really know me) – but I was a tiny bit skeptical… Until I experienced the response as well as reading/viewing THIS post!!

    Thanks SOOO much for your expertise!!

    Glo

  50. Robby G says:

    It’s crazy that just yesterday I thought about making a video post and start a whole new category for them, and you come out with this post. I’ve been reading ProBlogger for years and Darren is simply the best out there for bloggers to learn from. Great job mate.