When Tia Peterson over at BizChickBlogs asked if Video Blogging was the Key to Success I had to see what the reader’s point of view was and what some commenters thought about how more bloggers are starting to mix YouTube video’s into their blogs or create entire video blogs altogether.
What is Video Blogging?
Video Blogging also known as Vlogging is when a person creates a video recording (usually YouTube) and embeds it into a post on their CMS platform (blog) such as wordpress or blogger. You are providing either all of or part of the information to your readers via a video they have to watch instead of just reading the article you published. Some vbloggers can have nothing but video posts, others will leverage a mix of video, images and written content to capture a wider audience and have better SEO indexing since search engines can’t grab keywords, and information from embedded video alone.
Video Blogging is becoming much more popular and will rapidly become a medium where a higher percentage of bloggers are doing video blogging than not at some point in the future I think. Not everyone can create a video for every post, but it is definitely a good thing to leverage for several reasons.
Read on to find out what some of the pros and cons are for video blogging and my own recommendations and thoughts on using what is a rapidly growing trend among bloggers.
Benefits of Video Blogging
- Users put a name and voice to the blogger
This means that your readers will know who you are, not just read your content and recognize an online ID or signature name. Your readers will start to connect with you as a person, this is a good thing if your persona is put into your blog, it isn’t as big a deal if you run a magazine or blog with many authors and don’t want a single identity associated with your blog.
- Improve bounce rates
When somebody watches a video they are on your site for the duration of the video (provided they watch it). This will improve your bounce rates vs all the users who just hit your site and bounce right off after skimming 50 – 100 words.
- Say more with less
You can definitely save time in many cases if you can show somebody how something works in a recorded video than have to explain it in writing with great detail and try to include screenshots in addition. So in some cases video blogging can save you time, but this won’t be the case if you require lots of editing of your video prior to uploading and embedding it.
- Increase Brand Awareness
This is similar to the first bullet except you can take it a step further and put maybe “Titles” and subtitles on your blog that include your website or brand so that it helps increase your brand and site awareness. An example of where I did this myself was in my video demonstration talking about blogging reputation here:
Cons of Video Blogging
- Increased Development Time
Unless you speak perfectly and have the perfect camera / sound setup. You will have to add time to create content for video in addition to writing the articles. This can add about 30 minutes to 1 hour of time for each blog post I do that wants to feature an embedded video along with it. This is especially if you want to add any branding, subtitle, watermark…etc. Plus you have to watch it to make sure it all came out good and test it on YouTube or whatever site you uploaded to.
- Potential cost of Video Software
There is some free software that lets you screencast and/or edit your raw camera video. But you won’t get many of the features and functionality as commercial software and this can have some software costs. Usually it is a one time costs and if you want to be a serious video blogger I recommend investing in some editing software. If you are only testing the waters, stick with some freeware until you are sure you want to become a video blogger.
If you screencast (this is where you use software to capture your desktop or screen and just add audio to overlay what someone is watching) you don’t have to worry too much about presentation, but if you are recording yourself on video you may want to care how you are represented. This may mean wearing clothes (one benefit of blogging at night is that you can blog in your PJ’s or birthday suit if you like), but also may include making sure you don’t have objects, images in your background shot of your camera that may end up online for the world to view.
I primarily use Video Blogging to help demonstrate a software product or do a tutorial for readers, but I also enjoy video blogging as a method to add a little more emphasis to an article or post. I think there are many benefits to video blogging but it isn’t for everyone. I myself was very camera shy originally and it took 10-15 takes to get a 5 minute video done in my early video blogs, as I started getting more comfortable with talking on camera and faster at editing and adding watermarks I have shaved off some of the content creation time. I still only have about 15-20 hours per week for blogging, so I have a goal to try and do 3-5 posts with video content per month.
I do think video blogging can be overdone and is better to do one or two per week rather than have every post of every day include a video of yourself talking. This may work for some people who are already big celebrities, but for the most part people can read a 400 word article in much less time than it takes to watch a 5 minute video so your want to give them the option to read what you are saying in case they are pressed for time.
Share your thoughts on Video Blogging and where you think the trend is headed? Do you do it? How often and what do you do to keep it fresh?