Vlogging is the New Blogging – by Simon Monahan of Serif
You might know that the word ‘blog’ is derived from the term ‘web log’ – an online journal of one’s thoughts, ideas, and musings. This act of posting comments on the web is referred to as blogging.
In recent years, though, bloggers have increasingly been turning to vlogging as a medium for communicating their thoughts. But just what exactly is it?
Sometimes labeled as ‘video casting’, vlogging is the process of sharing video content on vlogs (also known as video logs). Between 2007 and 2010, the number of vlogs grew approximately 500%, from 20,000 to well over 100,000. And today, around fifty hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.
So, now that you know a bit about vlogging and its popularity, let’s look at why you should consider starting your own vlog.
You stand out from the crowd
Many people blog to provide others with free and useful information on a diverse range of topics – anything from cooking to crafting, from skiing to stamp collecting! Choosing to share similar content within the context of a vlog, however, has the benefit of capturing attention over text and images, with information presented in a way that’s more entertaining, comprehensive, and exciting.
Compare the effectiveness of a blog post that demonstrates a cooking recipe through a series of written steps and images, with a vlog post that shows the audience a video of exactly what is required.
Your content is more accessible
Some blog posts can be overly long and the prospect of scrolling and reading paragraph after paragraph does not always sit well with some people. Whereas visitors to a blog might choose to stop reading half-way through a long article, watching a vlog doesn’t require anywhere near as much effort.
Viewers merely hit the play button and sit back as you run through a tutorial, review a product, tell a story etc. Owing to the fast-paced nature of the 21st century, your audience is constantly on the move. Vlogging gives you the opportunity to engage with people in a fresh and exciting way on smartphones, tablet PCs, and other pocket devices.
People see your personal side
Unless you’re a skilled writer, it’s not always easy to fully express yourself with words on a page. In a vlog though, you can actually talk to people in a method and tone that will be fully understood.
Communication is sixty percent body language, so use this to your advantage to strengthen your message. When people put a face to the person who is giving them the information, they respond more positively and are more likely to interact.
Vlogs can be up and running in no time
The process of creating a vlog post may seem a bit complex, especially compared to the quickness of writing a blog post, but it can be quite easy. And it doesn’t require lots of expensive equipment. In fact, creating a vlog post can sometimes be as easy as recording yourself in front of a camera!
Aim to shoot your vlog on a camcorder or webcam, but don’t worry if you don’t own either of these devices. Modern DSLRs, smartphones, and tablet PCs capture high-definition video too, so be resourceful.
It’s also a good idea to invest in video editing software to edit footage; merge scenes with transitions; and improve the overall look of your vlog with effects to improve color, lighting, and audio quality.
You don’t have to spend the earth on software either to produce a professional-quality vlog. In fact, high-quality editing software can be purchased for around £60, while feature-restricted versions can be found for free.
When you’re finished editing your vlog, upload it directly to your website or to a video-sharing website like YouTube, Vimeo, or Blip.tv.
You can generate a buzz
Uploading videos to third-party sites, such as those mentioned above, means you don’t have to absorb the cost of hosting your vlogs. Plus, it makes it easy for others to spread your vlog across the web – the URL can easily be embedded in other websites.
Once hosting is sorted, you’ll want to notify people that your vlog is there, so create a new post with a link to your video. You can then alert people to new posts through syndication, which enables people to subscribe to an RSS feed.
You could also upload your video to Facebook and tweet about it to further spread the message. If your content is liked and shared by enough people, there’s a possibility that it might even go viral!
Used in the right way, vlogging has the potential to make your content more credible and engaging. Just remember that content is key, both in terms of the subject you’re talking about and how it’s delivered.
When you consider just how simple and inexpensive it can be to provide people with easily-digestible, interesting, and high-quality content, there really is no reason not to try your hand at vlogging.