If you’re a travel blogger, you should be including both audio podcasts and video in your blog posts. It’s a great way to engage your readers, keep them coming back, and increase your audience. More importantly, if you’re travel blogging, you should know that readers EXPECT to see videos of the destinations that you’re writing about. Not having videos on your travel blog labels you as a rookie.
This article is not intended to teach you how to make podcasts or videos (there are thousands of websites devoted to that but I will tell you that with a Flip Camera you can make and post a video to YouTube in mere minutes. If you have a standard video camera, you’re still only talking a few minutes more.)
The intention of this article is to make sure you do it the right way – to ensure that you’re getting the most for the time that you invest in both creating and posting your audio and video.
Top 5 Video Tips:
DO make sure you have an opening title and closing “credits”. You can use free tools such as iMove (Mac) or Movie Maker (Windows) to edit your video before posting. Your opening should be the title of your video, and can be superimposed on the first few frames of the video. Your closing credits should be on a plain white, black, or other solid color frame that you add to the end, and – if nothing else – list the link to your website with a “call to action” (an invitation to learn more by visiting your website). You can also use the credits – just like in the movies – to list anyone who assisted with the production, and the title to any music used;
If you use music for any part of your video that does not have narration, or as a low-volume backdrop to your narration, DO make sure you are using royalty-free music to avoid legal trouble;
DO use YouTube or other video hosting service (yes, there are others!) to host your video, in order to avoid potential bandwidth over-runs that could wind up costing an arm and a leg, or shutting down your site;
DO ask people to leave comments at YouTube, which will increase views – the more people who see your video, the more that will find your site after seeing your link in the closing credits;
DO encourage others to embed your videos on their travel blogs, and to share them with their friends as well;
Top 5 Audio Tips:
DO include a brief (few seconds) musical intro and exit at the start and end of your recording – this gives your recording a professional touch (but again, be sure to use royalty-free music);
DO clearly introduce your guest (if you have one, in the case of an interview) and/or clearly state the topic of your recording and welcome listeners. If you have a guest, pause to allow them to say hello;
DO use an audio-editing application (like the free Audacity for both Windows and Mac) to remove background noise or hiss, and to clean up any bits that need trimming;
DO be sure to mention your website (and the website of your guest) once at the beginning of your podcast and then again at the end of your recording – repeat it slowly and, if necessary, spell out any parts that might be easily misunderstood;
If you’re not interviewing someone, then DO ask listeners to visit your site and give them a reason to – more information, a free report, or some followup benefit. If you are interviewing someone, keep the focus on them and their website – you’ll get a reputation for being a great interviewer and more people will want to be interviewed by you;
BONUS Tip: Whether you’ve posted video or audio, be sure to follow up with a written transcript in either HTML, or PDF form, and post a clear link to it where your audio or video is posted. If you’re busy, outsource the transcription, but it’s important to do this for two good reasons:
Primarily, you may very well have readers who are visually or aurally impaired and providing them with a written record of the narrative will allow them to enjoy your production also.
Secondly, it’s SEO-savvy – Google and other search engines can then index the written content of your audio or video production and rank it for any of your keywords that you’ve used.
If you have questions, feel free to post them in our Forum at Travel Writers Exchange — we have several forum members who are great with both audio and video podcasting!
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