Ever since digital cameras and mobile phones have provided half decent video quality, Youtube has been increasingly flooded with mediocre video podcasts and blogs. Although many of them are based on a good concept, the result is often unsatisfactory. Here are 10 important tips on how to create a successful video blog intended for everyone who would like to start their own video blog and stand out in the crowd.
1. Every word counts
Quality over quantity should be your guiding principle regarding the number of words in your blog. Every word should stand out and add to the meaning of your video blog. You should generally avoid using complex concepts or technical terms that the majority of users won’t understand. Your messages should be straightforward so your video blog is entertaining and informative for everyone.
2. Do not exceed 5 minutes
Keep your video blog as short as possible. Aim for entries that are no longer than 5 minutes. This doesn’t mean that video blogs can’t sometimes be longer, but if you can get your message across in less than 5 minutes, you should definitely try to do so.
Cut. Talking. Cut. Something happens. Cut.
Video editing is extremely important when it comes to video blogs. Long and static one-take shots are boring and might scare off potential subscribers and viewers.
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In short, keep your shots moving and interesting!
4. Today I will…
The key to a good presentation: Let your audience know in one sentence what you intend to talk about in your video blog and then, at the end, what you’ve talked about. This simple structure will assure your audience that you stick to what you say and is important for establishing order in your video blog and building up trust among your viewers.
5. Pay attention to lighting
Shoot your videos by daylight if you don’t have the means to light your film location properly!
6. Don’t have HD yet? Switch now!
Yes, HD camcorders and web cameras are expensive, but inexpensive alternatives are available, e.g. Flip Mino HD Cam or Kodak zi8 and the benefits are well worth the minimized costs. If you don’t feature HD on your blog yet, you should switch as soon as possible – web users nowadays expect it. And what is more, HD videos are ranked higher on Youtube than lousy 480p videos.
Tip: Don’t forget to use an external microphone. The built-in microphones in cameras are often not good enough.
7. Offer audio and video
Successful video bloggers offer the audio track together with their video podcast. If you have the possibility of separating the audio track from your video (this can be done using video editing software), you should definitely offer your video blog as an audio track, too. This allows users to listen to your blog on their mobile phones or in their cars.
Of course, you only need to do so if this is something in wich your target group is interested.
If you offer audio, the next step is to offer text as well. It’s not about offering users a transcript of your video blog, but rather about providing a text that sums up the key aspects of your blog’s content. Don’t forget that there are restrictions based on country and other factors that block some people from seeing Youtube videos. Text will make your blog available to these people as well.
This will in turn give your blog a bit more popularity and have a compounding effect. Google’s algorithm only searches text to form its ratings, which means that creating text will make it easier to find your video blog on search engines. This will bring many more visitors to your blog.
9. Regular entries
If you announce your video blog as weekly or daily, you should follow through with it. If you don’t, your audience will lose trust.
10. Your blog’s look
I once heard someone say the following in one of the numerous Google-Youtube presentation videos: “A good-looking woman is what people search for most on the Internet.”
If you look like I do and blog about the same things as the Obama Girl, you’re likely to lose the fight for new viewers. Clearly, there are other aspects such as personal branding or video quality that play a role, but, superficial as it may be, she’ll always win the battle!
That’s why you should always pay attention to your appearance when you’re in front of the camera. Relax, take a shower and dress up. If you really want to be successful with your video blog, you should be aware of the fact that outer appearance plays a key role.
Bonus tip: Finish on a positive note
Always finish your video blog on a positive note. Give your audience a preview of upcoming blog entries. Try to involve your viewers and offer them something to look forward to.
I hope these tips were helpful. If you would like to tell us your own experience or have more tips, please post them in the “Comments” section.