How To Start A Blog, Part 6: Should You Add Video Or Podcasting?

Video and podcasting are hugely popular options right now. Many people prefer video or audio content to written blogs. Fortunately, you can do these alongside your regular blog.

The reason to consider these options is simple: People like consuming content in their own ways. Giving them options will help you to stand out from the crowd. Some will listen to your podcast while doing other things. Others are visual learners and like seeing what you mean by watching a video. And of course, many people are just fine reading what you write.

These three options mean three ways to bring traffic to your site. Three ways to earn money. Yet you can use very similar content across all of them. You will probably need to make some changes as you go, since not everything translates well from one format to the next.

You’ll have to work up your courage if this is something you aren’t comfortable with. I still haven’t tried a podcast or video, but I have always been intensely shy. But I can see how others benefit.

Video

Most people have smartphones with fairly good, high definition recording available, making it easy to create videos. Cameras with better lenses are also pretty reasonable. You can go with the talking head style, write on a whiteboard, demonstrate how to do something, or just have fun.

For those who want to record something off their computer monitor, screen capture software makes that easy. You can decide whether or not to include your face in a corner. Screen capture software often include the option to use your webcam so that people can see you as you speak. You don’t have to show your face if you don’t want to, of course.

It’s really amazing what people earn money off of with video. My youngest daughter is a big fan of unboxing videos and videos of people playing with dolls. My older two like watching people play video games. Some of these people earn serious money.

What you have to consider with video is all the behind the scenes work. It can take more than one try to get things right. Your video will probably need editing. You have to figure out what the video is about in the first place, and plan all your shots. Lighting can be an issue. It’s not just grab a camera and go for the most part, at least, not if you want you videos to look good.

Most people will use YouTube to host their videos, and that’s a pretty good idea, so long as you don’t get yourself in trouble with them. You’ll get some traffic from there, and it’s easy to embed the YouTube video into your blog post. Just make sure you keep a copy on your hard drive. If anything happens to your YouTube account, you will want those backed up.

Within your blog post, there are a few things you should do. First of all, make sure you note in the title that the post contains a video, so that people expect it.

Second, embed the video early in your post, right after a very brief introduction to explain what it’s about. If someone wants to see your video, that’s pretty much what they’re after.

Third, transcribe the audio of the video so that if someone has the sound off for any reason, they will still know what was said. You can also use captions in your video if you have the software for it. YouTube has ways for you to do this.

Podcast

A podcast can seem pretty intimidating to start. Once you work your nerve up (if that’s a problem), it’s pretty simple, at least in terms of equipment and software.

I would recommend a good quality microphone to start. Many people like the Blue Snowball or Yeti. They’re not unreasonably priced, and are good quality. There are better microphones out there, but you probably shouldn’t spend money on something top of the line right away.

Audacity is free, open source software that can record multiple tracks of audio. It’s a simple choice for a beginner.

As with video, it’s probably not as simple as taking a blog post you’ve written, and reading it out loud. Most people don’t talk exactly as they write. It can be quite similar, but play close attention to how your words say when spoken versus when they’re read. You will probably want to make some changes.

Your podcast can be a part of a blog post. Don’t write a blog post, put it up on your blog, then make a podcast of the same post into a separate post. Put them together if that’s the way you’re doing things. Note in the title of the post that there’s a podcast in there.

As with video, the podcast should be early on in any blog post, and should have a transcription of it below if it’s not simply the audio version of the post already.

You can get your podcast made available on iTunes and other sites for people to download or subscribe.

Include A Call To Action

A call to action at the end of a video or podcast is a good idea. You can ask for comments, likes, follows, newsletter subscriptions and so forth. These are tools to build your following, and you should take advantage of that. More people will take a particular action if you ask them to. Come up with a closing phrase you can use at the end of all of your videos or podcasts that asks people to take action.

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