You can start video blogging for your blog for about $40 and by spending less than 2 hours. You won’t believe how easy it is. I have been wanting to post my own videos here for a while, but I didn’t have the right equipment. I had a lousy old low-rez webcam with no microphone. This weekend I spent about $40 on a 1.3 megapixel webcam with a built-in microphone. Problem solved. I admit to being cheap, but even I can see the value in swingin’ two Andrew Jacksons for video blogging bliss.
Well, okay. It’s not exactly video blogging bliss, but for what is very nearly my first video blog post ever, it ain’t too shabby, either.
If you can’t see the video in your RSS reader, here’s a link to it on YouTube: Should Freelancers Blog?
It’s About Video — Just Not This Video
The real point of this video is to show you how easy and quick it is to do. I went out to the store, bought the camera, set it up, and, like Nike, I just did it. I had only a rough idea of what I was going to say, but the topic isn’t the point. Soon I will post videos that are more polished. But you are looking at about two hours’ worth of work recording and editing in Windows MovieMaker (which I already know how to use).
Beginning Video Blogging Tips
I’ve learned a ton even from my first real experience with this that I’d like to share with you:
- Just do it! If you’ve been toying with the idea but have feared it, just get over yourself and give it a shot! You will wonder why you had ever hesitated.
- Speak louder than your normal conversational voice. Without a fancy-schmancy separate microphone, I found I had to speak a bit more loudly than I normally would, but since I also teach software for a living, I’m used to it.
- Do a practice run. You want to make sure your camera’s adjustments for brightness, contrast, and other settings are as good as you can get them. Adjust your recording volume.
- Do a practice run for another reason: so you look like a professional. As I watched myself, I noticed that I hesitated in some points while I tried to think of the right words. I said “um” too many times. I could have began and ended the presentation with a little more polish and gusto.
- Watch the background and the light. Make sure there’s nothing in the background you don’t want people to see. Try to get more than one light source to diffusely light your face. I had a hard time with this because my computer is under a skylight in my home office, so I had a lot of white light glaring off my ever-thinning scalp. Lighting is tricky if you wear glasses, because it will reflect off of them. In my next video, I’m going to really focus on improving the lighting.
- Watch what you wear. All black or all white will likely come out as either too inky or too glaring. Next time, I’m going to wear a shirt in a color that won’t mess up light levels and that goes with my pallid geek complexion in a flattering way.
- Try to have fun with it! I let my sense of humor show in my written blogging, and I wanted to let it show in my video blogging, too — even on the very first one. Hence the self-deprecating remarks that appear in the video from time to time.
More Videos Coming
I’m really happy to be doing video, and there will be more to come (and they will be better). The other two blogs I run that make money for me are both video blogs, so you know I like video. But those blogs are just embedding videos made by others. I’ve created myself a guru account at YouTube. Feel free to comment on my videos on YouTube as well as here, and feel free to embed them into your own blog posts. I don’t mind a bit.
So, until next time… stay tuned by subscribing to my RSS feed!