Yesterday, I wrote about the huge benefits of adding video to your blog. Today, we’ll look at a couple video tips as well as video equipment to get you started.
Quality is Important
Dave talks about the videos that are getting a lot of traffic online and/or making money. These videos are of higher quality than the average YouTube video.
Video quality consists of two basic things: content and production value.
Dave talks about changing or adding a visual element to your video every 4 seconds. Because of mainstream TV, our brain is conditioned to get bored after a couple of seconds unless we see something new. This could be a cut to a new scene or simply adding captions at the appropriate time.
Write a Script
Most of us don’t have the adlib skills to “wing” our videos. Dave talks about the importance of planning out your video and then writing a script that accomplishes your goals for the video.
Keep Videos Short
Dave gave some statistics. On average, people watching online video only check out videos for slightly over 2 minutes. This means your videos should be less than 2 minutes. Dave actually likes the 30-60 second videos because they are like the TV commercials that we’re used to watching.
Dave was talking about videos that sell. He wasn’t talking about educational videos. I think those can be longer, but it’s probably a good idea to break up longer videos shorter segments.
Dave says that the digital video cameras you can find in Walmart are good enough for online video. The price for a digital video camera can be as low as $250.
Dave recommends getting a camera that saves on tape instead of one that saves on a hard drive using flash memory. Tape is better because you’ll lose some quality due to the compression whenever a video is saved on a hard drive.
Also, make sure to buy a video with an external mic jack. This allows you to use an external mic, which will vastly improve your audio quality.
Dave didn’t talk about screencast software. Based on my research, Camtasia Studio seems to be the popular choice among screencast creators. I’ve tried it and it’s definitely a great piece of software.
Dave likes ATR-35S Lavalier Microphone, which is less than $30 over at Amazon. A lavalier mic is one that clips onto your shirt or tie.
Dave talks about buying soft boxes, or soft box lights. These lights will run you around $300-$400. However, if you want a budget option, Dave recommends shop lights at your local hardware store. These only cost around $15-$20. However, make sure to diffuse the harsh lightning of the shop lights with a sheet or pillow case.