May 30, 2008
Tools for making online video get more common every day online. The latest craze, Flip Video cameras, make it simple and fun to snap high-quality video clips and use them for business or pleasure. Despite the widespread popularity of online video, most people think online video is only for the super-geeky set. But, with an influx of free and low-cost tools, online video has never been easier for everyone to get in on the “lights – camera – action!”
Video Blogging. Probably the easiest way for anyone to get started, video blogging or “Vlogging” combines the use of a blog with simple video “posts” on your website. You can sign up for a free blog at Blogger.com to act as your platform for making posts. Then, you can upload your videos (for free) to www.YouTube.com or http://Video.Google.com and they’ll convert your videos for online play. You can then take the copy-and-paste code either site gives you, paste that code into a new post on your blog, and voila, you’re officially video blogging. Blogger.com makes a great, fast way for you to set up a personal video blog, and it really is as simple as I describe.
If you want to put your blog on your own domain and hosting account (which I highly recommend if you operate a business), then you can get the best blogging software in the world for FREE by visiting www.WordPress.org. Once you create your blog on your own domain, you can post video exactly the same way I described above using YouTube or Google Video.
Video E-mail. Video email rates even simpler than video blogging. You can shoot your video using even a simple web cam and then email it to your family and friends. Now, this works great for smaller files, but once you get above about 3 Megabytes (MB), emailing those files becomes a pain for both you as the sender and your friends as recipients. However, you can easily share video files via email with the help of free online file hosting services. Services like www.Box.net and www.XDrive.com enable you to upload a file once, then email a special link to as many people as you want. They visit the link online and download the video file from the server rather than getting forced to download it as an email attachment.
By the way, these two services work great for sharing any large file, not just video.
Attract New Website Visitors. If you operate an online business, you know traffic represents the life-blood of your site. (If nobody shows up, it’s hard to make any money.) Video makes a great way to reach new viewers and get them to your website using FREE online hosting services. At a minimum, you should upload your videos to: YouTube.com, Video.Google.com, Revver.com, and MySpaceTV.com. You can also “announce” your video to multiple sites at once using www.TubeMogul.com (which offers both free and paid options).
If you want traffic, make sure to put your domain name across the bottom of the entire video so viewers can find your website or blog. Also, if you want people to get excited about you and your business, make sure your videos entertain people (no boring content), educate them (teach them something good), and empower them (give them something they can use). Following these simple rules will massively increase the pulling power of your videos to act as “traffic magnets” for your site.
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