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Let’s face it, the internet is ever-changing. This results in everyone having to keep up with the Jones’s in order to stay relevant and ahead of the game. It seems blogging is taking a whole new level now with more and more competition arising daily, making it harder to be seen and heard.
Bloggers are now vlogging, creatives are creating e-courses and sellers are selling via webinars. Things are getting more complex and now you have to “up your ante” and do the same.
So how exactly are you going to do this?
How will you step ahead of the game?
Well, I’m sure you noticed that all those things I mentioned above, have one thing in common…. videos.
Yes. Videos have been killing it in today’s market.
Let’s look at some statistics…
YouTube currently has 1 billion active users each month and generating 4 billion views per day!
Periscope has over 10 million accounts, acquiring 1 million of them just 10 days after launching and now has reached over 100 million broadcasts to date.
Facebook has been streaming video for a while, but now with the implementation of LIVE stream and video ads catering to their 1.5 billion users, it has been a game changer!
As if we needed another video platform, right????
Love it or hate it, they are here to stay.
And here are 2 very important reasons why:
- 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product online AFTER watching a video, according to ComScore.
- By 2019, 80% of the World’s Internet Traffic Will Be Video, as reported by Cisco.
So, in all seriousness you are going to have to implement videos into your blogging and marketing strategies. Whether it’s for tutorials, course creation, or selling your own (or affiliate) products.
However, in order to stand out your videos have to be top-notch. They can’t just be hastily recorded with mediocre equipment and slapped onto your website.
You have to think of quality, first and foremost.
You must have the right tools to record and then edit.
Then you have to store them somewhere, cause you simply can’t just cut & paste them on your website – this will both hurt upload times and site speed (a big no-no).
The list goes on and on. And what’s more, you now have to go searching for all this information!
It’s enough to pull your hair out….
Well, actually no. Cause I gotcha covered. 😉
Below I have listed the best tools for creating videos for your blog, ecourses and webinars.
***RECENTLY ADDED – The coolest new gadget for your iPhone and Android when recording Facebook Live videos…. scroll to the lighting section***
The Best Tools for Creating Videos for your Blog, eCourses and Webinars – CLICK TO TWEET
I’m going to walk you through exactly what you need, why and how much it will set you back. I will lay down a few options at different price points as well cause not everyone is capable of buying the most expensive equipment and frankly, sometimes it’s not even necessary.
This small yet very powerful mic gives you Full HD 1080p video recording for amazing quality, video compression and built-in dual stereo mics with automatic noise reduction.
It also includes automatic low-light correction and can easily be mounted on a Tripod.
However, it easily mounts on your monitor or TV (as seen below in my actual setup) so a tripod is not really necessary.
This webcam is great for recording videos for your blog, ecourses and live (or automated) webinars.
It’s a great deal as well. You can find it anywhere from $59 to $64 depending on where you purchase (and honestly the best place for this one is Amazon).
Now I know what you are thinking… why would I suggest something that is used for “fun” and sports, etc.?
Well, that’s exactly my point. Because many people already have one you don’t have to worry about investing in yet another piece of electronic equipment.
And if you don’t have one and always wanted one… guess what!?
However, this will run around $400.00.
This camera captures amazing high-quality videos. With built-in microphone, in -camera menu selections, playback, different screen dimensions you just can’t go wrong.
I like this best for pre-recorded videos where you want to capture yourself speaking as an instructor to your audience.
When I use my GoPro, I actually use it directly in front of my second monitor (only I sit it a little higher than in the picture below – you can use books to get it to eye-level).
I connect the camera to the monitor (or TV) using a Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable. Then I turn on the TV while the camera is on, this way I can see myself in the screen directly behind the GoPro.
2 reasons why I like to do this:
- It allows me to see myself so I can make sure I am centered, lighting is good, my clothes are straight, hair is on point etc.
- It creates the illusion that I am looking at the camera (even though I am actually looking and talking to myself in the screen). It is a lot easier to speak and focus on yourself on a screen than looking at an itty bitty camera.
And while you can definitely connect the camera to your computer, I choose to do it on my TV (or second monitor) because I can have my notes or bullet points up on my computer screen right next to the camera so I can easily reference it.
This is perfect for a lengthy video.
I also use a remote just like the one below.
I connect it to my GoPro camera use it to turn the camera on and off quickly and without having to reach up, or get out of my seat, to do it.
It helps if you tend to record several videos in one sitting or mess up a few times while getting warmed up… cause, hey! It happens to the best of us!
Note: While the GoPro could be used for webinars, you will need to purchase more equipment/cables and it is fairly complicated. You can see this post here if you wish to use it as a webcam for a live video feed, but I would recommend using the Logitech for this (easier and cheaper!)
Okay moving on!
I’l be honest, I only use this mic and highly recommend it. This microphone is heavy, sturdy and the sound quality is amazing.
It’s perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls… you name it!
It even comes in several colors to match your style like the black, white, silver (the one I have), gray, and even platinum.
If you will be recording videos regularly, whether they are for your blog, online courses or even if you are considering a podcast in your future, this is a great investment.
And as you may have noticed there is a black shield on the microphone pictured above. The black shield does not come with it but is another great and affordable purchase at just $10.
Pop filter shields (like the black one above) for your microphone reduce popping sounds caused by fast moving air on the mic during recordings and protects against the accumulation of saliva & moisture on your microphone.
And while not necessary, it is a great addition to your mic if you plan on recording frequently. Since the Yeti mic is a larger investment you may want to think about protecting it so it functions and lasts as long as possible.
Another important thing to have while filming your videos is good lighting. The best and cheapest kind of lighting you can have is natural light.
But, let’s be real. The weather can be unpredictable and we don’t always get to record at the best times of the day, amiriiiight?
So here are a couple of solutions based on two different price points.
These light fixtures are used my many makeup gurus, but are also great for instructional videos when you are speaking directly to the camera.
The ring comes by itself but you can purchase the stand for it and the camera cradle so you can place your camera right on it (as you see in the picture).
The ring will set you back $89.99 and the entire setup will cost around $118.99.
Now if you can’t justify paying that kind of money for lighting, here is another more affordable option:
Something like this will work fine as well. Just be sure that it is for continuous light and NOT for flash photography.
This kit is a much smaller and doable investment if you are just starting out.
If you use your phone to record videos for either Facebook Lives or tutorials for your blog then the 36 LED Selfie Light Ring is for you. This new lighting option is a great because it is compact, has great lighting at 3 different strengths and is super affordable.
If you are like me and prefer doing things the right and more efficient way the first time, then I would make sure to have a second monitor handy. Like the one below:
Not only will this help with creating videos in the manner I mentioned previously, but this actually becomes really helpful when you do webinars.
I like to keep an eye on the live video feed during a webinar and the chat box to make sure everything is working properly and to keep track of questions coming in. Sometimes you even want to have extra notes up while presenting, but when you are screensharing your presentation on your own computer screen, you can’t see anything else so it is great to have an extra monitor for this.
It could be in the form of a desktop computer or a small TV screen like the Samsung above. It is the one I use and prefer, plus the price is great at $147.00.
Videos are super time consuming and if you are recording several videos at a time or are trying to keep your videos a certain amount of length, you need to keep track of it.
Also, when you are on a webinar you understand that your audience’s time is precious so it is good to keep a large clock close by so you don’t lose track of it.
When you are in presentation mode (while on a webinar), you cannot see the time on your computer and even if you could it is very small on your monitor so something with large numbers like the one above works great!
Video Recording Software:
Now that you have the equipment to record you need to have video recording software so you can:
I have 3 options for ya!
This is great option for both Windows and Mac users. The investment is anywhere from $49.00 to $99.oo depending on what license and package you purchase. I recommend this bundle.
It allows you to record anything, edit and upload anywhere.
Not sure if it’s for you? Try out their free version first!
This is the most robust and best option for Mac users. The investment is $99.oo and it too allows you to record anything, edit and upload anywhere.
The best thing about this, is that you only need to purchase once and your done!
This one is by far the easiest and cheapest to use coming in at only $15 a year! Yep, you read that right. Only $15. All you do is purchase and download to your computer.
You can use it to record your screen, just you or both at the same time! It also, allows you to edit your videos. With easy to follow tutorials this one is great for the beginner.
They offer a free option, but it doesn’t come with the editing tools, it puts limitations on video length and it has a watermark. So $15 is a good investment to not have those limitations.
Alright, so now that you can record and edit your videos, you need to host them.
Why you ask?
Because you don’t want to severely reduce your site speed by hosting them on your website.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
And this will ultimately lead to a poor user experience as a result of constant buffering as well.
So for this, I also have 3 options:
- YouTube – You can always use YouTube to host, but there are a few reasons why you would not.
- You will get the YouTube watermark. This may be okay for videos on your blog, but doesn’t look professional when it comes to creating courses.
- Once you upload to YouTube, your video will lose some of its quality.
- You are bound by YouTube’s rules. They can shut down, crash or remove your video at any moment.
- Even though you can list your video as unlisted, if anyone were to have (or find) the direct link, they would be able to watch it. This is not good when you wish for people to pay before they can watch.
- Amazon S3 – This is safer and cheaper, but extremely complex if you don’t know anything about hosting your own videos.
- Amazon S3 makes video uploading faster so you don’t have to worry about buffering when someone on the other side of the world wants to watch your videos, however, it was created for corporations who have employees who specialize in this, so it is not user friendly. There are many videos on YouTube showing you how to use Amazon S3, but your head might likely spin like mine did.
- Vimeo (my personal favorite) – This is the most user friendly. It’s as simple as selecting your videos, uploading, adding privacy settings and your done!
- A great feature is that it converts your videos for you.
- There is a free version available, but the Plus upgrade (at only $5 a month) is the best because of all of the additional options, extra storage and it has embedding features that protect your videos on the sites you choose.
- This is great for hosting private videos for a select audience. You can control whether or not you allow people to share or even comment on them.
- Plus Vimeo has great HD quality for their uploaded videos, giving you an even more professional look that people will drool over… just sayin’!
I think we just about covered it all and I hope this gives you some great information to get you started on exactly what you need to start recording, editing and hosting your very own videos.
The Best Tools for Creating Videos for your Blog, eCourses and Webinars – CLICK TO TWEET
Yami // BossLatina