Videos Blogging Tips

Going “Rogue” and Using Videos on Your Blog

If you are like me, you love to learn by absorbing information through informational videos. It is said that pictures are worth a thousand words. For your blog, it is always good to maintain a solid balance between text-based articles, infographics, images and podcasts. Videos are an intriguing topic because it seems like a daunting task to first shoot, then edit and then publish uniquely imaginative videos that engage your audience.

However, if done right, videos can aid the message you want to send to your audience. And creating and publishing them less time-consuming than you may think.

Gathering the Equipment

In order to create a video, you need to start with gathering the necessary materials. First, you do not need to immediately invest in expensive camera equipment. A phone or computer may best be suited to your needs.

If you already have a digital camera for other purposes at your business, the video feature on the camera will also work.

Audio quality will also be an issue that may need to be addressed before you start filming. You can buy an external microphone if the camera’s built-in microphone fails to meet your expectations.

If you do stick with the built-in microphone, be mindful of outdoor noise (such as wind) or indoor noise (such as an air conditioner) as that could impact sound quality. If people cannot hear what you are saying, they will ignore the video you worked hard to create.

Finally, if you decide to use your computer to record a video, programs like Camtasia for Windows or Screenflow for Mac are more expensive options that you could decide to use instead of a camera or a phone.

Shooting

When you begin filming a video, there are some additional considerations to think about. The most important of these is the role of proper lighting. Make sure that, while filming, the source of light is behind the camera or slightly to the side.

While shooting make sure you speak with a loud, clear voice. No one was born with an innate on-screen presence. If it helps, work from a script as you shoot the video.

Editing

If you are new to editing videos once they are finished, there are options out there that are user-friendly. For example, ShredVideo allows you to create a video without any technical know-how.

Computers also have built-in editing software programs such as Movie Maker for Windows and iMovie for Mac.

If you are looking to integrate music into your video, Jukedeck is an online program that allows you to use music royalty-free.

Publishing

Once you create a video, the question becomes where do you publish it? YouTube is an obvious choice. Much like other social networking sites, you can subscribe to YouTube channels and interact with your audience on comment boards.

Once it is published, you can easily share your video across the rest of your social media channels.

Much like other social media channels, the quality of your YouTube channel depends on the number of videos, the frequency of new posts and your video quality (always try and shoot in high-definition).

If you are looking for ways to market your video outside of your blog and YouTube, you can also try Vimeo. It has over 3 million members and more than 16,000 videos uploaded daily.

Going Forward

The key to producing quality videos is patience. It may not work out the way you intend at first, but your dedication will allow you to adapt as you see what videos fall flat and what videos really connect with your audience.

 

7 deadly sins of blogging Blogging Tips

The 7 deadly sins of blogging

We recently wrote about the common pitfalls to avoid in blogging (awesome list by the way, give it a read), so why not do the “7 deadly sins of blogging” next? Seems pretty natural right? At Blog Trackr we’re all about what you should do when starting a blog. But sometimes what you shouldn’t do is just as important.

So let’s hop to it.

1) Bad writing

This one is a bit obvious. The success of your blog ultimately hangs on the quality of your writing. People want to read interesting writing after all, and if your blog can’t provide that then, frankly, who will read it? If it’s too simplistic in style or riddled with errors your blog can create an abrasive experience for the reader and they won’t be coming back. Just like it takes one bad meal to stop you from going to a restaurant it takes one bad post to turn a potential reader off of your blog.

Instead take steps to ensure that the quality of your writing is good enough to draw people in and refer their friends.

2) Posting irregularly

A blog that posts eight times in one week and then gives radio silence the next is not one that I want to read. Ever go to a website looking for content but seeing nothing new? The first time is fine, but the second or third may just be a deal-breaker. Even if you just post once or twice a week make sure you post regularly so that readers know when to expect new content on your site. That way you can set and meet expectations with your audience, while not going crazy to meet demand.

giphy

3) Keeping it to yourself

Want a terrible way to grow your blog? Keeping it all to yourself.

Seriously how are people supposed to find you if you don’t share your work? Set up a Twitter and Facebook account for your blog to publish posts while sharing them yourself. Even, when appropriate, share posts on message boards such as reddit to get feedback from other community members. “If you build it they will come” does not apply to the web, you have to put in some work to draw in a crowd.

4) Over-sharing

Related to sharing though is over-sharing. The other end of the spectrum is just as bad–no one likes the guy or gal who shares the same post over, and over, and over again. We get it. You blog. That’s great. But please, oh please post something other than your latest article. Don’t be a spammer because frankly they’re annoying and don’t add a ton of value. The idea is to draw readers in, not bash them over the head into submission. It’s a great way to push people away, so if that’s what you’re into then by all means continue.

Yes you should share your work because it is awesome, but even the best things are good in moderation.

5) No commitment to a topic

One day you’re blogging about sports. The next cars. And the next… finance? Seriously stick to one subject! People come to read your blog because they want to be educated on a certain topic and read what they care about. If you spread yourself too thin you’ll lose the ability to capitalize on a niche audience. Just like restaurants pick a theme and stick with it, so should your blog.

Not only that by by trying to write about everything you are essentially writing about nothing. The point of blogging is to emerge as authority in a field–which you can only do by specializing on one area. Look at us for example. We write about blogging and marketing best practices. One area of focus, with TONS of wiggle room.

6) Caring about haters

You’re awesome. You know it. We know it. But some day someone is going to write something rude, crude, and with lots of ‘tude on your posts and it is going to hurt. You put tons of work into your blog and when someone trashes it, it really stinks. Ignore them. Sure listening to constructive criticism is super important, but learn to filter between that and when someone is rolling up their sleeves just to bash someone else’s work. Sure there will be a temptation to retaliate but trust me, it never works out. Never.

giphy-1

Going Forward

Wait…. weren’t there supposed to be 7 deadly sins of blogging? That is correct, the seventh is to fail to keep your promises. No one likes someone who over-promises and under-delivers in real life, so don’t do it with your blog. Like it or not, when you start a blog you are creating a community, and in order for that community to thrive you need to build trust and connection with your readers. A great way to kill that is to let them down.

So, armed with the 7 deadly sins of blogging you’ll know what not to do which may be as important as what to do. So go out there and kick some ass in the blogosphere!

Blogging Pitfalls Blogging Tips

5 Blogging Pitfalls to Avoid

Blog Trackr has presented numerous articles detailing what bloggers should do to find success, ranging from having a good keyword, to designing an eye-popping website, to marketing their ideas across social media channels.

However, blogging is a science and, if you are starting out in the blogging world, there are some common mistakes bloggers make that you can avoid duplicating.

Therefore, here are 5 common blogging pitfalls you should avoid if you are thinking about creating a blog to express your interests or grow your business.

A Poor Understanding of Your Audience and Your Own Availability

One of the first blogging pitfalls that beginning writers fall into is lacking a solid understanding of your audience. When you first start out blogging, the harsh truth is that your audience does not care too much about you. They care about what you can teach them.

Much like dealing with people face-to-face, you should put yourself into your audience’s shoes and see how things look from their perspective. They will be looking for something very specific so creating a blog simply for social media marketing may not be the best use of your time.

Concurrent with this problem is your own availability. When you start a blog, you will be, most likely, ecstatic at its potential possibilities to grow your business. However, one of the first things you should create is a publishing schedule that will keep you on track.

If you begin with the mindset of writing five articles per week, you may feel overwhelmed and quickly abandon the project.

However, if you allot time to write and edit your posts you will feel much more confident in knowing that your blog posts are generating the most traffic and are engaging for your audience.

Not Self-Hosting

The second common blogging pitfall is electing not to self-host your site. Now, if you are blogging just for family and friends it could be fine to host a blog on WordPress or BlogSpot.

However, if you ever want to be taken seriously as a blogger or make money from it, you will need to find a site to self-host your blog.

Blue Host, in combination with WordPress, is probably the best web hosting site for your blog.

Avoiding Social Media

It is almost impossible to avoid this blogging mistake, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless. When starting a blog, it is important to integrate your blog across social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Tumblr.

Posting great content will not be enough if people cannot discover it! Make sure to add the social sharing buttons to every post and to your website’s home page.

Writing Long Paragraphs and Not Differentiating Content

Due to the proliferation of smart phones, the average human attention span is about eight seconds.

Therefore, writing long, analytical paragraphs may work for a research paper, but it will not work for a blog.

Another common pitfall in blogging is emphasizing the written word too much. Be sure to break up large amounts of text with pictures, videos, GIFs, and other multimedia options.

This will not only improve traffic to your site, but give it some variety that distinguishes it from your competition.

Expecting Instant Results

Much like cooking a good meal for your family around the holidays, blogging takes time. You cannot start making money on your blog without an audience. You need to cultivate your audience, respond to their comments on your posts and engage with them on social media.

Growing your audience will take time, but the biggest blogging pitfall bloggers can make is to give up too early. When you start out, you are literally starting with no one. Rejoice in the people that do follow you and focus your efforts on making quality content available on a consistent basis.

Your blog will grow and, in turn, so will your business.

 

Blogging Tips

Four tips to separate your sports blog from the…

So you’ve got a sports blog?

10 years ago that would have been something pretty cool; guys like Bill Simmons who started their blogs on AOL accounts ended up being bought out by Yahoo and ESPN as revolutionary pioneers paving the way to a new kind of media. But now, well, a 12 year old with an internet connection and a laptop or tablet can start a blog thanks to content management systems like Squarespace, WordPress, Blogger, and many more that make the process simple, painless, and very quick.

Read more “Four tips to separate your sports blog from the rest of the pack”