Use Video Blogging to Enhance Your Web

Arrival of the vlog

Video blogging is the process of posting (publishing to a blogsite) videos to the internet on a regular basis in much the same way that traditional bloggers post written text to their blogs. A video blog, casually referred to as vlog, is comprised of content that would otherwise be written in text, including the promotion of products, services and other ideas the vlogger may want his/her readers to know about.

Sixteen years ago (January 2, 2000) when “Adam Kontras posted a video alongside a blog entry,” very few of us had heard of a vlog, since most bloggers at that time were engaged in the standard text blogging method. However, a huge swath of the blogging community use videos today, because they have been proven to provide several advantages over text; a better way of expression being only one of those advantages.

Among some of the other advantages of vlogging, according to Debasis, in his article, What is Video Blogging and it’s Advantages, are:

  • Increased exposure
  • The ease with which videos go viral
  • Interactive and descriptive
  • Great for tutorials
  • Live video blogging
  • Money generating potential

A videoblog requires a larger disk space on their respective sites, a faster server, and a whole new set of programs to support it; and vlogs can also be fed through RSS, the technology used to syndicate websites to other RSS aggregators. The video form of communication may entail a lot of resources, but it is certainly worth it in the view of those who would say that one picture is worth say a thousand words. There are even those who would say that video blogging far exceeds the picture-word ratio of that adage.

Vlogging for Dollars

Video blogging works for most people on the internet because it permits them to express themselves in the most basic form, the spoken word; but when view through the prism of a business opportunity or other such enterprising venture, the potential benefits could be numerous. In fact, video blogging has become one of the most powerful tools businesses use to show prospective customers the benefits of a product line or quality of their services. It’s akin to producing and airing a commercial for free; and if done through RSS, video blogging will be most instrumental in reaching a specific target market.

Most folks like to see what they are going to buy, and some would even like to see proof and be sure that they are getting their money’s worth before laying out any amount of money on the product. When viewed in the context of a thirty-second commercial, the great exposure and enormous benefit derived from it, the effect of video blogging on a business’ marketing objectives can be very positive. Simply put, you show your product, potential customers watch it, and if they like it, they buy it; and if you present it well enough, they may buy the product even if they don’t need it.

For many years things were pretty much static on the web, unlike TV, where there is continuous motion. So when a video blogger posts content that is mobile, that post is more likely catch an audience’s attention than not. Add to that medium, a clear, well-wrapped and beautiful looking image of your product parading across a video screen in all it’s glory made possible by video blogging, chances are you’ll get phone call orders in short order.

Vlogging start-up tools

If you are just starting a business you can create a video blog right at your own home, because all you need is your web camera, microphone, video software, and lights; and as long as you know how to use your camera you can start creating, and perhaps finish your video blog in less than twenty hours. This all supposes that you’ve invest in a good web camera – a higher resolution unit for better output, for example – which helps to present your goods in an optimum way to get the best video possible.

You can make a short story or just capture your goods in one take as long as you make sure to get the best profile for each. Be as creative as you want to be, and in as many ways; and keep in mind that lights are important in any video production. Make sure you illuminate the area you are going to use (the production area) entirely, in order to create the best possible video blog. The brighter the area, the crispier the images will be; and you can also use lighting effects for added appeal to the presentation.

Should you require sounds for your videoblog, you need a microphone; because it is important to record you voice as a voice over for promoting the product and its benefit to consumers. Sound is as important as images on a video blog; so it is advisable to make your sound effects as enticing in quality and tone as you make the lighting effects, in order to produce a great video.

The flip side of vlogging

You will also need video editing software, which can be any program, but you need this tool to finalize your work. With it, you can add sounds, delete some bad angles, or insert some still pictures as may be required. Some editing programs are user-friendly and can be used even with little or no knowledge about video editing. In fact, the editing tool need not be too sophisticated, because a simple video editing program should do the trick.

While it is easy to overlook the background while concentrating on the more techical, style and design side of the production, it is important to carefully select your background, since background light has as much an affect on your presentation as foreground light; so make sure that the background and foreground light compliment each other.

Video blogging is great for expression and provide all the other benefits listed above; but it also has a downside, in the sense that it could significantly slow down the computer so others may steer clear of it; and download time may also increase, especially if the customer is still using a dial-up connection. But don’t let these disadvantages prevent you from enjoying all the positive features of video blogging, which can certainly be be an alternative for you in any new business you’re contemplating.

That having been said

All that having been said, you may not even need any of the tools mentioned above to produce a video, because you can now transform any article into a video with just a few clicks and the right software. So keep text and pictures present in your blog posts, giving yourself the capacity to accommodate all possible visitors to your site.

These days, the more creative you are in presenting your product to the market, the more you are likely to succeed; and video blogging offers an interactive way to promote and advertise whatever product or service you need to sell. Get your customers involve; because by doing so, you will impress upon them your content, your brand and any product advantages you offer. Sometimes, that’s all you need to make a sale!

Blogosphere Plus Pro-Blogging Equal Money!

Blog use expanded

A weblog – or simply blog – is a website that ‘publishes’ or features articles which are referred to as ‘entries,’ ‘blog posts,’ or simply ‘posts’ written by an individual or a group of people who utilize one or any combination of the many functions available in modern blogging software offered by the various platforms. Whereas the original blogging technology that existed two decades ago was limited to written content, the rapid advancement of digital technology has allowed blogging platforms to offer:

  • Straight text blogs;
  • Photograph or image blogs (photo-blogging);
  • Video blogs (video-blog);
  • Audio file blogs (audio-blogging), and;
  • Hyperlink blogs.

Typically, a blog is arranged in reverse chronological order and can be used for a variety of different purposes; but the most frequent uses of blogs, traditionally speaking, have been online journals, web diaries, content management systems and Web publishing platforms. These uses are more adaptable to blogs because the type and variety of components found in the standard blog were, and still are for the most part, more conducive to these uses.

Here are a few of those components:

  • Post date – The date and time of the blog entry
  • Category – The particular subject group to which a post most closely identifies
  • Title – The title or main theme of the blog, which should be relevant to the subject
  • Main body – What the writer actually conveys in the blog; the story told about a particular blog topic
  • RSS and trackback – A method of connecting blog “A” to several other blogs/sites via links
  • Comments – Commentaries added by readers (interaction) in the form of feedback and opinions
  • Permalinks – The method by which every blog post has its own unique URL
  • Other optional items – Calendar, Archives, Blogrolls, and various Add-ons and/or Plug-ins

Blog types

As in the same fashion that a blog is usually designed with a header, that same blog can also have a footer – found at the bottom of the blog – installed, if the owner so desires. Footers can show the post date, the author, the category, and the ‘stats’ (the number of comments or trackbacks). But a blog footer is not often as elaborate or stylish as the header, and therefore does not require a great deal of time spent creating it.

In so far as a blog’s subject is concerned, there are numerous types of blogs, comprised of various themes, interests and industries, including, but not limited to the following:

  1. Political blogs – on news, politics, activism, and other issue based blogs (such as campaigning).
  2. Personal blogs – also known as online diary that may include an individual’s day-to-day experience, complaints, poems, and illicit thoughts, and communications between friends.
  3. Health blogs – on specific health issues. Medical blog is a major category of health blog that features medical news from health care professionals and/or actual patient cases.
  4. Literary blogs – also known as litblog.
  5. Travel blog – with focus on a traveler’s stories on a particular journey.
  6. Research blogs – on academic issues such as research notes.
  7. Legal blogs – on law (technical areas) and legal affairs; also known as ‘blawgs.’
  8. Media blogs – focus on falsehoods or inconsistencies in mass media; usually exclusive for a newspaper or a television network.
  9. Religious blogs – on religious topics.
  10. Educational blogs – on educational applications, usually written by students and teachers.
  11. Collaborative or collective blogs – a specific topic written by a group of people.
  12. Directory blogs – contains a collection of numerous web sites.
  13. Business blogs – used by entrepreneurs and corporate employees to promote their businesses or talk about their work.
  14. Personification blogs – focus on non-human beings or objects (such as pets, plants, robots, etc.).
  15. Spam blogs – used for promoting affiliated websites; also known as ‘splogs’.

In amazing numbers

Blogging is typically done on a regular (almost daily) basis, a frequency that is almost expected, in view of the fact that the term “blogging” refers to the act of authoring, maintaining, and/or adding an article to an existing blog at regular intervals; while the term “blogger” refers to a person or a group who manages and maintains the blog.

Today, more than 152 million blogs can be found in the Internet; this according to Brandon Gaille, in his article titled, How Many Blogs are on the Internet. But the amazing thing is that, this figure is continuously growing; and as technology makes blogging software, tools, and other applications easier to use and more accessible for just about anyone to update or maintain a blog (even those with little or no technical background), who knows how much the number of blogs will increase.

Because of the growth rate of blogs and a trend towards personal ownership, bloggers can be categorized into four main groups:

  1. Personal blogging – Bloggers who focus on a diary or on any topic that an individual feels strongly or passionate about.
  2. Business blogging – Bloggers who focus on the promotional and advertising aspect of expression, usually to sell products and services.
  3. Organizational blogging – Bloggers who focus on internal or external communication within a community or organization.
  4. Professional blogging – Bloggers who are hired or paid to do blogging.

The money aspect of blogging

As with any other industry or popular vocation, blogging has reached the point where just about everyone with a computer and access to the Internet wants a blog, but not everyone is capable of managing one or even conveying the message he/she wishes the world to know. Enter the professional blogger, or as is more casually referred to, the pro-blogger, which is someone who blogs for a profit. Pro-bloggers, to put it another way, are people who make money from blogging (as an individual blog publisher or a hired blogger), and can be very much in demand from time to time, and depending on the subject.

Below are just some of the many money-making opportunities for pro-bloggers:

  • Advertising programs
  • RSS Advertising
  • Sponsorship
  • Affiliate Programs
  • Digital Assets
  • Blog Network Writing
  • Business Blog Writing
  • Non-Blogging Writing
  • Donations
  • Flipping blogs
  • Merchandising
  • Consulting and speaking

Where there is a money-making opportunity, many entrepreneurial-minded, enterprising and talented (as well as some not so talented) will be attracted to the opportunity; and as such, pro-bloggers of all stripes will make their services available. But they must know and understand a few things if they are to be effective at, and achieve success in, pro blogging. There are as follows:

  1. They must be patient. Pro-blogging requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention a long-term vision;
  2. They must know their audience. Targeting a specific audience or group is a key to building a readership;
  3. They must be an ‘expert’ on the particular subject. Focus on a specific niche topic and strive to be the “go-to” blogger on that topic, and;
  4. They must be willing to diversify. This requires them to experiment with various topics and add affiliate programs that enable them to make money online (aside from blogging).
  5. They must try not to bore their readers. Focusing on the blog layout can help in this area. White spaces, line spacing, and bigger fonts make a blog welcoming to read.

A blogging entrepreneur?!

If you have aspirations of becoming a problogger, it is quite possible that you will earn money from a vocation such as this; but keep in mind that in any entrepreneurial undertaking, it is necessary to take risks, and you must possess passion as well as a positive (be an optimist) attitude in order to be a successful entrepreneur, which is essentially what a pro-blogger is. Good luck!