So one of the greatest things about blogging is that it has given everyone an opportunity to have a voice. Whether or not anyone hears that voice, mind you, is something else, but at least individuals can now publish their view points without the mainstream media as an intermediary. Well, the written word isn’t the only medium that new media has freed from the grips of mainstream media control. Sites such as YouTube have eliminated the bandwith barriers to online video hosting, and now it is perfectly feasible to be a video-blogger — or vlogger.
Vlogging is about more than an ego boost. Just as there are SEO benefits to blogging, if you tag your vidoes properly, vloggers stand to gain additional exposure through vertical search engines such as Google Video and Blinkx. More importantly, however, they provide your audience with a richer user-experience. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then imagine what a picture that moves and speaks is worth. Finally, just because you vlog, that doesn’t mean that you can’t blog too. In fact, the majority of vloggers out there are full-time bloggers who use video on a part-time basis.
If you’re going to make a success of vlogging on either a part-time or a full-time basis, though, there’s a few basic principles you should follow. These will help you both provide your
readers viewers with a richer experience and make sure that your videos are found/seen.
Keep it Short & Sweet: In a word, vlog posts should range from about 1-2 minutes. In vlogging, your facial expressions and tone of voice let you get away without elaborating on exactly what you mean. More to the point, however, this is the internet, and users have a short attention span. Unlike your writing, users can’t scan a video, so it’s best if you cut to the point with your vlogs.
Move & Express Yourself: If you’re going to vlog, you have to accept that you will have to be part performer. As I just suggested, the reason that multi-media is so expressive, and therefore powerful, is that it captures so much more nuance than the written word. Don’t try to be a news anchor. Rather, carry yourself as though you’re talking with a close friend.
Enunciate: Speak clearly!!! Chances are is that your vlog post is going to convey a lot more than what can be summed up in a mere thousand words. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to try to squeeze those thousand words into your minute-and-a-half long video. Instead of trying to speak at a pace that makes it seem as though you know everything there is to know about your topic, speak at a pace you would use if you were trying to teach someone something. Don’t jibber and don’t mumble.
Include Video Enclosures: Now, you’re going to want to upload your video to a video host (or several) such as YouTube. This will allow you to (1) get additional exposure, (2) easily embed your vlog on your site, and (3) save a ton on bandwith. However, beneath your clip, you should probably include a link to an MP4 version of the file. Services such as iTunes pick up video content by checking RSS files for links to such files. So by including this video enclosure below an embedded video player, you’re both saving on bandwith, but still reaching out to content aggregators such as iTune.
Submit Your Feed to iTunes: Now that you’ve included video enclosures, you have to make sure that iTunes actually picks up your content. You do this by opening iTunes, going to the iTunes store, and clicking on submit. They’ll ask you to log in to do this, so if you don’t already have an iTunes account, you’ll have to get one. From there, you’ll be able to provide iTunes with your RSS feed. However, iTunes will reject your feed if they don’t find any such enclosures, so make sure that you’ve already posted at least one vlog post.