Saturday, 9 February 2013

Geek Mummy - How to get started with video blogging

I'm really pleased to welcome Ruth to New Bloggers Fortnight today. We can't really call Ruth a new blogger as she has been doing it in one form or another for a long time now but Ruth is one of those people who really know their stuff and aside from that she is super lovely, so it is always a pleasure to have her guest post. Over to Ruth -
Hi, I’m Ruth and I blog over at www.geekmummy.com. I’m delighted to be able to join in with New Bloggers Fortnight again this year. Last year I answered some of your geeky questions, and this year I’d like to talk to you about video blogging.
Yes, video blogging. It’s not for everyone, I’ll grant you, but if you’re interested in trying something new with your blog it’s a great way to go. Blogging gives each of us our own unique voice, and by video blogging you not only allow people to hear your words in your actual voice, but also to see your body language as well. Did you know that our communication is 93% body language and other non-verbal elements, and only 7% words? Video allows you to communicate your words, story or message more effectively than written blogging alone.
Also if you’re interested in publicising your blog, and being found through search engines like Google, video blogging is a great way to go. A video is about 50 times more likely to appear on the front page of Google’s search results than a written post, and YouTube is now the Internet’s second biggest search engine. It’s a great time to start producing video.
“But Ruth” I hear you cry “isn’t producing video really HARD?”
Well, no, it doesn’t have to be. It’s certainly harder than writing, but it’s not as hard as I think many people fear.
First of all, let’s talk about equipment. If you have a smartphone in your pocket it’s highly likely that you already have all the equipment you need to make a video blog. Yes, if your smartphone can film video, you’ll get good enough quality to publish. Alternatively you might have a little Flip camera or similar, or you might have a digital camera which will also shoot video. All of these devices work really well for video blogging.
I wouldn’t use a laptop or computer webcam for video blogging – they tend to not be good enough quality.
The single most important piece of advice I can give you about filming video with your smartphone – please make sure you turn the phone on its side, i.e. to landscape mode. Filming in portrait mode will give you unsightly black bars at each side of your video when you upload it to YouTube, and it’s pretty much impossible to remove these after filming.
So the technology shouldn’t be a barrier to you having a go at video blogging. Much more of a barrier is having the confidence to stand up in front of a camera and film yourself. How do you get over that? Well, sadly there is no “magic wand”, no easy way to become confident in front of the camera overnight. It comes with practice - lots and lots of practice. There are a few things I recommend to make it easier to get started:
1.       Try audio blogging first – I use Audioboo.fm to record audio versions of my blog posts
2.       Start off behind the camera, maybe have your kids talking instead, or just record your voice.
3.       Get someone (kids? Partner? Next door neighbour?) to stand behind the camera so that you can talk to them rather than directly to the camera.
4.       Remember you don’t have to publish anything you’re not happy with. Even the pros make mistakes J
The other thing people worry about with video blogging is what to do with the video once its been recorded. Well, whilst it might look better with a bit of editing, you don’t have to edit – if you have been able to record what you want to say without stopping you can simply upload your video to YouTube and be finished. If you do want to try editing there is some good free software available – Mac users get iMovie with their system, and Windows users can download Windows Live Movie Maker for free. Both these products allow you to edit your video before you upload it.
Video is a really powerful tool, and can bring a new dimension to your blog – why not give it a go?
Thank you Ruth, why not indeed!  I can honestly say dear readers that I am not skilled in these types of things and I have done a few vlogs in my time. If you fancy a laugh take a peek at my vlog review for the Vileda 1 2 spray mop.  It proved to be pretty popular on YouTube! lol

This is sadly the last of my guest posts, tomorrow it is back to me to finish up our New Bloggers Fortnight.  I hope you have been enjoying!  Mich x
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