So you’re thinking about starting a video blog, huh? Well these days it’s incredibly easy to start posting videos. Where before you needed a camera and editing software before you could even get started, now you can upload video directly from your phone or livestream right from your computer. Since the technical barrier is almost non-existent, where do you begin? An idea is always a great place.
Pick a topic you’re passionate about
What are your hobbies and interests? Maybe you think beer is the greatest thing man ever invented. Or maybe you’re an expert on the benefits of sustainable cooking. Whatever the topic may be, pick something you know and something that you enjoy talking (and learning) about. The more interested you are, the more that will reflect on to your viewers.
Choose your method
How will you record your video? Right now there are a number of inexpensive options available, with Flip Cameras starting at $150 and a number of HD camcorders coming in at $500 or below. But if you have a smartphone that does video or a laptop with a webcam, you can skip the extra purchase and just jump right in. It really doesn’t matter what type of camera you use, so don’t let your budget (or lack thereof) discourage you, the quality of your content and consistency are far more important than video quality.
Upload your videos
Speaking of content, where are you going to post these awesome videos you’re making? Well, before you can post a video to your blog you’ll have to figure out where you’re going to upload them. The three sites we use are Youtube, Vimeo, and Viddler. Youtube is kind of the obvious and most popular choice, but Vimeo and Viddler are pretty darn cool as well. If you want to take the time to upload to all three, that gives more eyeballs a chance of finding your videos. Once you have your video uploaded, you can go ahead and post it to your blog.
Choose your blog platform
The three free blog platforms that we tend to lean towards are WordPress, Posterous, and Tumblr — and really it just comes down to your needs and preferences.
Posterous is the easiest of the three, allowing you to post your video via email by simply pasting the link to the video in the body of your email. All of the embedding is handled by Posterous and they support just about every major video site out there in this regard.
Tumblr is another great microblog option that gives you more freedom with the design of your blog, but requires a little bit more effort when posting your videos. Instead of emailing, you will actually have to log in to your blog and embed the video yourself when you post. They’ve also recently announced a video upload option, which allows you 100MB of video per day and you can skip the whole Youtube step and host it directly on your blog.
WordPress, being a full-fledged blog platform, will allow you complete freedom with the look of your blog. Like Tumblr, you will have to manually embed your videos in your posts, however you don’t have the option to upload directly to your blog. If you’re not a shoot from the hip type of person and like a little more control, this is probably the type of blog for you.
What’s in a name?
Now that you know what you’re going to shoot, how you’re going to shoot it, and where you’re going to upload/post it, it’s time to talk about a domain name. If you’re on a budget, any of the free blog options above will work just fine for you. The only catch is your URL will look something like ilovebeer.posterous.com, which works but doesn’t do much for you in the way of SEO and it just doesn’t look as cool as having your own domain.
If you go the Posterous/Tumblr route, you just have to worry about the cost of the domain, no hosting required. So for as little as $9/year you can have a .COM for your blog. Or, if you want to spend a little bit more and really scream “video!” when people go to your site, you can snag a .TV for $20 for the first year and $35/year to renew. We have some more info here on how to set up a custom domain with Posterous.
If you go for WordPress, you’re going to have to pay for your hosting as well. At Name.com we offer hosting plans for as little as $5.99/month and up to $24.99/month, so depending on what you’re doing you can find a plan to fit your needs. And if you need help setting anything up, our support team is here to help.
Now start posting!
Hopefully that’s enough information to help get you started in the wonderful world of video. We’ve had a lot of fun with our Beer Fridays video blog and we hope you have just as much fun with yours!