Lots of people have been asking me about video recently. Partly because I am pretty vocal on Twitter about finding it difficult but keep doing it anyway, and partly because I have been encouraging my clients to do more of it.
If it is so hard, why do some people make it look easy? And if it is so uncomfortable, why bother?
Fact is technically it does not have to be difficult. In fact I am going to show you that it is very easy technically.
There are many benefits, not least of which are the traffic and attention aspects that you get from video, but also because people really respond to being able to see and hear you.
Video blogs, where all the content is video, are becoming increasingly popular. Man on the Go is one. Here is a video I contributed over there about the best seats to choose on a flight (of all things).
Most people, however, use video occasionally. Either to mix up the content and keep it fresh, or just where visual is more appropriate than words.
Why Video is Hard
My problem with video is because of the performance. I have the technical side pretty much perfected and it really isn’t tough once you know how. Darren can set up his camera and talk out a video on one take. Chris is another “video natural”. You might be the same. I am not.
I’m a writer rather than a natural performer.
The good news is it does get easier! Just practice. The more you do, and the more constructive feedback you get, the easier it becomes. There are more tips and strategies of course but practice really does make the most difference for most people.
How to Do a Video Post in 5 Minutes
Want to know the easiest way to just do video? YouTube.
Go to YouTube, register or log in. Go to “Upload Video” and you will see there is a feature now where you can record direct from your desktop webcam!
Once you have recorded your video you can use the Embed feature to copy the embed code:
Remember though to paste it into the HTML editing tab of your blog rather than “Visual” otherwise screwy things happen when published.
What if Your Video is Not Public?
If you want to run an online course, and most of my video is this type, then obviously YouTube is not a good answer. Fear not though, you can still do it far more easily than it seems.
I use Flowplayer which allows you to embed videos into your WordPress posts that, unlike most Flash-based video players, will even work with iPad and iPhone. There are WordPress plugins that make the whole thing easier but if you are doing for-profit then you really need a license.
Don’t get caught up thinking that there is a whole lot of super-technical things you need to overcome. Really the hardest part is doing it. You can improve everything incrementally.
Of course there is gear you can buy, techniques for audio and lighting, and obviously ways you can improve scripting and performance, but the main thing is to try it and see if you and your audience like it.
Let me know if this is something you would like me to talk about more or if there are questions you would like answered. Also let me know your own experiences. Looking forward to seeing what you have to share in the comments …