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Lewis Howes

The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 9 Vloggers Recording


During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

I’ll admit it: video makes me nervous. I don’t think it’s a good tool for everyone. I’m a much better writer. But, I do think every blogger out there should at least try it. Videos can be a great tool to help you promote your blog and reach new audience members. Plus, it’s great practice for public speaking if you intend to someday do webinars or live presentations.

So, today’s topic is video creation. Some people refer to themselves as “vloggers” while others use the term “video marketer” and still others simply consider themselves bloggers who do video posts from time to time. However you put it, their advice on video creation is great!

Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!

1. The Benefits of Creating Talking Head Videos for Your Blog by Darren Rowse at Problogger

Your videos don’t need to be elaborate or have a a Hollywood budget to be effective. In this post, Darren talks about the advantages to just setting up a camera and speaking to your audience. The connect you can make with readers by being brave enough to post videos is awesome. Darren says in his video,

Really, for me, a lot of it comes down to the personal connection that you can build with your readers. I’ve lost count of the times at conferences particularly but even online through emails where I get emails and have conversations with people who say, “I feel like I know you.”

Darren is on Twitter @problogger and you can also like his page on Facebook. He’s the author of Problogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, and the Problogger book (along with co-author Chris Garrett). You can also find him online as the founder of the Problogger community, Digital Photography School, TwiTip Twitter Tips, and FeelGooder.


2. Video Marketing Tips for Driving More Traffic by Lewis Howes at LewisHowes.com (with James Wedmore from JamesWedmore.com)

I still personally believe that you should do what you’re good at and what makes you happy, and that isn’t video for everyone. However, in this video, Lewis Howes and James Wedmore give a really convincing argument for why you should be using video if you want to drive traffic, especially as a business owner. I think they make some great points about using screen capture, Power Point, and audio with pictures if you’re not comfortable in front of the camera – definitely an idea that I’m going to steal! From the video:

What you want to look for when you’re producing content is what are the things that an article an article couldn’t do that video can do for you.

You can find Lewis and James on Twitter at @lewishowes and @jameswedmore, respectively. Lewis has a number of products for sale, including Video Traffic Academy, and you can watch more of his videos on YouTube. You can find James on YouTube as well, and receive free updates about selling with videos by signing up for his mailing list.


3. Livestreaming Video Is A Powerful Tool, 10 Lessons To Help You Get It Right by James Andrews at Social Fresh

Videos make me nervous enough – the thought of livestreaming is enough to send me into a tizzy! However, in this post, James gives ten great tips to help you get started. If you’re well-prepared, the idea of doing video, whether it is livestreaming or recorded, is a lot easier to swallow.

Writes James,

Though the tools are relatively free, you need to invest in a live web video game plan before broadcasting your first event. A Here successful launch is much more than just having a webcam and pressing START, it is important to plan for success.

James is the founder of SocialPeople.tv (@socialpeopletv). You can check out his personal Twitter account @keyinfluencer.


4. 4 Buzzworthy Video Bloggers Worth Subscribing To by Adam Singer from The Future Buzz

Want to see how the professionals get it done? In this post, Adams reviews four bloggers who use video as their primary method of connecting with readers. You should definitely check out Hate By Numbers by Gladstone, Equals 3 by Ray William Johnson, Whiteboard Fridays by Rand Fishkin, and Angry Video Game Nerd by James Rolfe. I actually already knew about and LOVE Hate by Numbers and the Angry Video Game Nerd, but the other two Adam mentions are awesome too! From Adam’s post:

Video is not a one time event – you wouldn’t just create one blog post and be done with it. How does that build community?  It doesn’t – and that’s the point. Which is why it’s always a bit funny to me when companies try to make one video, push it to “go viral” and be done with it. That’s not how the web works for any content formats if you’re looking to build equity in the world and create an audience.

Adam is on Twitter @thefuturebuzz and you can also like his blog on Facebook.


5. How You Look Video Blogging by Jay Dolan at The Anti-Social Media

Jay’s blog always makes me laugh, even when I’m having a bad day. I’ll refrain from naming names in this instance, but the other day I was watching a video from a blogger who was looking so crazy that I actually forwarded it to non-blogging friends for a laugh. So, Jay’s post about looking presentable if you’re going to be on camera is a valid one! Jay writes,

Please, for the love of all that’s holy, look at yourself objectively on camera. If you look like a hobo in poorly lit room, I don’t care how good your content is. At that point, I’m worried that you have a body hidden somewhere in the shadows where you’re filming.

You can find Jay on Twitter @JayDolan, as well as like his blog on Facebook to connect with him. You can also check out his videos on YouTube.


6. Beginners Guide on How to Video Blog on a Budget by Robyn Bloch at Sound Idea Digital (guest post for JeffBullas.com)

Need to know the nuts and bolts of getting started as a vlogger? This is the post for you. In this guest post, Robyn covers all the best equipment choices you can make if you want to get into making videos. Then, in a second follow-up post, Robyn goes over some excellent tips for new video creators about lighting and audio. From Robyn’s post:

Video bloggers such as Gary Vaynerchuk have used online video as the media of choice to great effect.

But many bloggers are intimidated by the technical side of producing a good video. At the same time, many bloggers that do use video do a pretty bad job of it in terms of production value. This could be improved with a little knowledge and a little money.

You can also expect a third post in this series, about postproduction, soon. You can find Robyn on Twitter @soundidea.


7. Vlogging: Video Blogging Interview With Amy Schmittauer by Katherine Salt at Marketing My (with Amy Schmittauer from Savvy Sexy Social)

Katherine Salt and Amy Schmittauer are two lovely ladies who regularly make my life a little brighter. Katherine is my half-way-across-the-world BlogWorld bff who I look forward to seeing at conferences. Amy’s blog, especially her videos, crack me up on a regular basis. So, them teaming up for a video is golden! Writes Katherine,

Video marketing, video blogging or vlogging as it is also called was covered heavily at the Blogworld conference and I was lucky enough to get vlogger Amy Schmittauer from Savvy Sexy Social to put down her camera and come and tell me a little about what this vlogging malarkey is all about.

Watch the video and them follow Katherine (@marketmy) and Amy (@schmittastic) on Twitter! Katherine also has a number of ebooks specific to marketing different types of small business, and you can check out Amy’s latest ebook, Sexy Self-Promotion: The Art of Blogger Outreach on her blog.


8. Do You Have Your Own Video Commercial by Ricardo Bueno at RicardoBueno.com

I like the concept of having a video commercial. A lot of people put videos on their blogs, but I think we kind of fool ourselves sometimes – what we’re doing is promotional, and thinking about videos in a commercial mindset can help us think outside of the box a little. You have to be interesting, not just informational!

Writes Ricardo,

Online video has to be engaging before it can begin to be persuasive. Just think about in terms of writing a blog post. You have to get someone’s attention (and keep it) long enough to make them want to read the rest of the article. With video, the idea is to engage someone enough to get them to starting watching your video and keep watching it all the way to the end.

Ricardo is the author of Real Estate Blog Topics, a newsletter for real estate professionals. You can find him on Twitter @Ribeezie.


9. My iPhone Video Tools by Tom Martin at Positive Disruption

Yes, you really can get started video blogging with as little as a smartphone! In this post, Tom talks about all the tools he uses when recording with his iPhone, which he used to interview 52 digital thought leaders for Talking With Tom. He covers video editing applications, microphones, and more, so now there’s really no excuse not to get started with creating video content for your blog if it’s something you’ve been wanting to try. Writes Tom,

All of the [Talking With Tom] video is shot, edited and produced using the iPhone. And the blog posts themselves are authored and published via the iPhone. It’s truly a 100% mobile video blog. And judging by the number of emails, DMs on Twitter and conference hallway conversations I’ve had with others, lots of you are interested in the technology behind the blog as much as the blog content itself.

Tom can be found on Twitter @tommartin and is the founder of Converse Digital.

Quick Links

For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:

  1. The Benefits of Creating Talking Head Videos for Your Blog by Darren Rowse (@problogger)
  2. Video Marketing Tips for Driving More Traffic by Lewis Howes (@lewishowes) with James Wedmore (@jameswedmore)
  3. Livestreaming Video Is A Powerful Tool, 10 Lessons To Help You Get It Right by James Andrews (@keyinfluencer)
  4. 4 Buzzworthy Video Bloggers Worth Subscribing To by Adam Singer (@thefuturebuzz)
  5. How You Look Video Blogging by Jay Dolan (@JayDolan)
  6. Beginners Guide on How to Video Blog on a Budget by Robyn Bloch (@soundidea)
  7. Vlogging: Video Blogging Interview With Amy Schmittauer by Katherine Salt (@marketmy) with Amy Schmittauer (@schmittastic)
  8. Do You Have Your Own Video Commercial by Ricardo Bueno (@Ribeezie)
  9. My iPhone Video Tools by Tom Martin (@tommartin)

Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing
9 Vloggers Recording (this post)
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (Google+), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

Facebook’s New Groups Feature: Is Opting In Really the Problem?


It’s been a few days since Facebook announced their groups feature upgrades and bloggers are still buzzing about it. What I’m hearing most from people is the sentiment that your friends shouldn’t be allowed to just add you to a group willy-nilly. You should have to opt in – agree to become a part of whatever group they’re creating.

Let’s back up a second though, and first think about who this groups feature was really created to help. Says Mari Smith, Social Media Thought Leader and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day:

Frankly, the New Groups have clearly been designed for Facebook’s “average” user. That is, he/she has around 130 friends and predominantly uses the platform for personal/social connecting, playing games, sharing photos, etc. I can actually see some reasonable benefits for the more personal users to connect with small groups of known Facebook friends and, of course, family.

Mari goes on to talk about why groups has caused such a hulla-baloo in the blogging world:

Those of us who have chosen to optimize our personal profiles with thousands of friends for professional networking purposes and the likes are the anomaly. However, we are the ones at the forefront of any major Facebook change like this, and we feel the brunt of suddenly being “force joined” to Groups we have little or no interest in… that dump a barrage of emails into our already crowded inbox and cram up our Facebook notifications. That is, until such time as we turn off these settings (which I always do; I only have three Facebook email notifications turned on – Page stats, email, and birthdays.)

Sure, we can adjust our notifications and we can just quietly remove ourselves from any Groups we don’t care to belong to. But, we cannot turn off the “option” to be added to Groups.

I was shocked to read on Facebook’s official announcement that we could “use Groups as a replacement for mailing lists.” A forced opt-in mailing list? I don’t think so!

But the question I have is this: Is a forced opt-in really the root of the problem with the new feature?

If you know someone and they share their contact information with you, you have the right to categorize them. Twitter already has this feature  – you can create lists for people. Granted, Twitter does not have a way for you to mass-tweet to this list, but there’s also no opt-in/out going on. People can add you to whatever list they want, so you might show up on some list called “hates-women” even if you do not, in fact, hate women.

When someone becomes your friend on Facebook, they are opting in to be contacted by you. The groups have a lot of functionality problems, which I’ll talk about in a moment, but this isn’t about opting in. If you don’t want a specific person to contact you, don’t be their friend on Facebook.

There is the argument that you want to keep in touch with someone but not be on some kind of mailing list for their business. That’s where the “remove” feature comes in handy, in my opinion. You can very well decide that you don’t want to be a part of a person’s specific group, and once you do that, you can’t be added by someone else again. It’s like if someone has your email and is sending you personal notes, business communications, and funny chain letters. You shared your contact information with that person, so you can’t be upset when they contact you. What you can do is email the person and say, “Hey Alli, your funny chain letter forwards* are clogging up my inbox and I’m not really interested in them. Can you stop sending them to me?”What Facebook does is even better – it forces the user to not email you in a specific way any longer. You’re guaranteed not to get my forwards with the Facebook system, whereas with email, I might forget and keep sending them to you anyway.

Opting in is not the problem here, in my opinion. The problems lie with how the groups function. As it stands, they’re nothing more than pages that a current member has to invite you to like. That’s…well…stupid.

Social media expert Lewis Howes has also weighed in with his opinion, which has highlighted some of the core problems with the groups feature:

To be completely honest with you, I was about to take off for a flight to Vegas yesterday and opened up Facebook and saw the new groups. I created one for sports professionals and one for social media and realized that people were active in them immediately. It wasn’t until I landed 6 hours later that even more people were commenting on them, everyone was trying to join them, and I was getting notifications like crazy from people (even some who said they removed themselves from the group because they were getting too many notifications).

I’m still in testing mode, but agree with Mari that it should be opt in/accept instead of automatically putting people in groups without them accepting that request.

Let’s note some of the things Lewis said and why this groups thing wasn’t thought through:

1. Facebook doesn’t have proper easy-to-use documentation on how to use groups, especially for Internet marketing professionals. We have to play around with the settings and see what happens. That’s just not smart. I’m sure someone will come out with an ebook that costs $97 and teaches you how to best use Facebook’s groups settings. More power to you, future ebook writer. But Facebook should have that already. When you company introduces a new feature, it should also release a report that covers the basics of working with it.

2. People get a million notifications. Maybe there’s a setting where you can turn that off, but in general, it just shouldn’t happen. You should only get a notification when the person who created the group wants to contact you. If you’re interested in a thread, there should be a box you can check, like with comments on a blog. Yes, I want to receive further notifications when someone else comments on one of my opinions. No, I do not want to receive further notifications when I say “cute picture!” and a million other people do too.

3. Correct me if I’m wrong (because again, there’s not a lot of documentation on this), but it’s set up so that a member of the group can add other people to it, right? You have to be invited to be a member of a group, but not by the person who created the group. Furthermore, you can request to be a member of a group. Lewis talked about the fact that he landed to find that a bunch of people were trying to become members. It shouldn’t work that way. A group should be for the PERSON WHO CREATED IT. It should be a way for that person to categorize his/her friends. As an Internet marketer, you likely want people to add others to the group because really, the more the merrier, but what if you’ve created a group for…I don’t like, let’s say your work friends. Then someone adds your boss. Sure, your boss works at the same place, but you created the group for your friends, not everyone in the world who could possibly be categorized that way. It should be set up more like events – you can make it public for guests to invite others, but the default is that only an administrator can add people.

Like Mari, Lewis notes that groups should be opt-in. That’s where I disagree. Facebook needs to rethink how they do notifications and how people are permitted to join a group. This whole project was just not organized in a logical way. I already have pages. I don’t want my groups to be made up of the same people so that I basically have to spam two groups when I have something to say. Facebook needs to ask themselves, “What makes groups different for pages? How will users make use of groups? How can it meet the needs of both business owners and for-pleasure users?”

For now, a few things are apparent to me:

  1. Don’t be friends with someone if you’re going to be mad when they contact you. That’s your level 1 opt-in right there.
  2. Do some notification control. Facebook doesn’t make it easy or even intuitive, but you can control the notifications you receive.
  3. Opt out of the groups you don’t want to be a part of. It only takes a second.

If opt-in was the problem, people would have been mad about Twitter lists. If opt-in was the problem, people would have been mad about someone being able to invite them to an event and for you to show up on the page as an invited guest (even if you say no). The problem is the group function itself. Opting in, in my opinion, is just the scapegoat.

Also, clearly Facebook should hire me to be quality control for features they roll out. :-p

Some more opinions on the new groups features of Facebook:

*Note: I hate funny chain forwards and don’t send them; this is just an example.

Get A Taste of Blog World Expo


I am going to be talking tomorrow with some of the speakers that will be speaking at BlogWorld & New Media Expo in October.  I have watched as our schedule came together and have many people to thank for that, but none more than the speakers that will be providing their time, their efforts and their expertise to all of the attendees that will be coming to the event, and even those that will get a chance to perhaps see it through other means.  The speakers make the content we provide in the conference possible.  The guests will each provide some glimpses into what they will be talking about and what we can expect October will bring.

Join us on Blog World Expo Radio at 12:00 p.m. PST as I am joined by my special guests, Mur Lafferty, Lewis Howes, Patrick O’Keefe, and Ben Ilfeld. This will give us a chance to get a small taste of what we can expect in Las Vegas.

Learn About NMX


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