I can’t wait to introduce you to this week’s Friday Take Over blogger! Friday…what? Yep, each Friday I’m introducing you to my favorite bloggers from around the interwebs – women who write about their kids, their crafts, their work, their passions, their…WHATEVER. Topics are wide open – so you’ve been warned! // Erica Voll is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media consultant. She writes a parenting blog, No Sleep ’til College, and is co-founder of Girls’ Lunch Out. Erica rarely sleeps. Today she’ll share with you her tips for video blogging!
I not-so-secretly desire to become a home shopping host one day. You know, touting the amazing benefits of stretch denim, or some jazz like that, but until then, I have YouTube.
I am a former television writer/producer/editor. Not only did I go to school for television production, but I worked in the industry for 6 years. First as an associate producer for QVC, the national home shopping network. Then, as a writer/producer/editor at a local Fox O&O in a top 10 market.
You’ve probably heard that video, specifically, adding video to the already rich content on your blog, is a great way to engage with your readers and subscribers, and show brands how awesome you are at talking about how awesome they are.
And what you’ve heard is right.
That’s because YouTube, as part of Google, is one of the – if not the most popular types – of search results. People love video, and I am going to share with you some tips to make your own YouTube videos and reviews awesome.
What are you going to talk about? Have a point. If you are new to vlogging, try talking about a brand or product you love. When you plan what your video will look like, make sure it has a beginning, middle and end.
Here’s an example of a really simple video review I did for a body mist. Did I need to do a video about it? Not really, but I wanted to add it to my text-only review on my blog.
My format is this: Here is what the product is, here is why I like it, here is why you should too.
When you plan you don’t drone on and on, which leads me to my next tip….
Keep it Short
Look, I am going to tell you something not many people will tell you: Get on with it.
Get in and out with a video that lasts about 1 minute and 30 seconds or less. If you are going to add B-roll (more on that later) you can get away with a little longer. But really? No one wants to hear you go on and on for longer than 1:30 (I personally check out after about a minute).
Use a Good Camera
I love my Flip camera, but the audio is terrible, so I know I could use better camera equipment. If you are going to use your phone, make sure it is in landscape mode and not portrait.
I’ve used my monitor camera in the past, and it’s not great, but it gets the job done.
Get a Good Video Editing Program
I use Final Cut Express. Some people use iMovie. Some people use Adobe Premiere. I don’t care what you use, but learn how to use it.
Here are some things you NEED to know how to do.
- Edit, trim and make your video shorter.
- Add audio and music
- Add titles. One in the beginning, a lower-third title that tells us who you are for the first 10 seconds or so, and an end title to wrap it all up.
iMovie is fine, but once you start doing a lot of video and want more bells and whistles, you might want to think about investing in another editing program.
You don’t need to put on a fashion show or anything, but try to look the way you’d want others to see you.
Of course, unless you are doing a makeup review in which you’d like to start off au natural and add as you go like I did in this video.
No one wants to look at a talking head for 2 minutes. Probably not even your mother, but she will never tell you that, so I will instead.
Before you film yourself, think about what ELSE you’d put in this video. B-roll is a great way to keep your video interesting, and cover edits you need to make.
Here is a video I did talking about my favorite movies. I could have gone on and on about this and that, but instead, I SHOWED the videos, clips, photos, anything I could to change it up and keep the pace.
Note: I did this on my monitor’s camera, which sucked, but I think the music and B-roll make up for it!
I got a review for kids’ slippers. In itself, the review was kind of boring. It was just, well, here are the slippers and here is why we like them. To add to the review, I made a super quick video of my daughter wearing the slippers. Do you think it adds to the review?
Here is another video I did on the expo floor at BlogHer. I shot it, uploaded it on the spot, and it gets decent traffic.
Be an Authority
I hosted an in-home party for Graco to introduce a new car seat. In preparation for the social push, I put this video together.
I like this video because not only does it talk about the brand, I found a way to tie it in to my personal experience AND include some education for my readers.
Spend Time When it Counts
There are some videos that don’t need a lot of attention, like a video about kids slippers, but they will still get traffic on YouTube, and love from the PR company you are working with.
Then, there are some videos you put together because you WANT to impress.
This is one of those videos. I didn’t get paid or anything, but I wanted to put together a video that would stand out from the crowd of other bloggers.
It gets okay views, but I did it more for the PR person I was working with, and she was very happy.
SEO for Video
After you’ve finished your video, and put it on YouTube, apply the same great princples of SEO to your tags and description and title just like you would a great blog post.
Do I have a future career as a QVC host? I am not sure, but I do love great video. This year, why not make it a goal to incorporate two videos a month on your blog?
I love Erica’s video blogging tips! In fact, I had even considered leading into today’s post with a vlog of my own but I’m a huge stuffed-up-head-cold mess right now, so maybe next week!
Definitely check out Erica’s blog at No Sleep ’til College! I laughed my face off when I read My Toddler is an Awful Photographer. You also don’t want to skip Hold You Baby or if you’ve ever been to Chik Fil-A The Post In Which I Judge Other Moms.