Vlogging is an amazing way to reach your audience. You add a face to your site which lets readers know that there is a real person behind the site. You can better connect with your following and also help to build more trust since your readers can see you using products, hear you talk about them (voice inflection is very powerful) and it shows you actually have, like and own the product; use the service or can demonstrate the content you write about showing explaining and demonstrating how to actually use, perform or execute the information you talk about. Some Vloggers are happy with uploading the video to their blog and hoping people find it. Others want to grow their site; but often don’t know how or have the resources to hire an SEO firm. Here are 5 things that you can do for free that can help to grow your reach, readership and blog.
Uploading your video to your blog or one site isn’t distributing it. If you only upload to YouTube or Vimeo and place it on your blog, you’re forgetting Facebook, Blip.tv, MetaCafe, Vine and a ton of other sites that could have relevant viewers, fans and subscribers. TubeMogul released a new product line a couple of years ago and spun off a tool I used to use called OneLoad.com. OneLoad takes the time out of waiting for everything to upload to most of the major video sites and enables you to submit to them while uploading your video to all of them at once. Now you don’t have to worry about bandwidth, keeping browser windows opened or being logged out since they handle it for you. When I used to use them, they had a free version of their service, but that may no longer offer one. The service is awesome and I know numerous Bloggers that still use and enjoy Oneload.
2. Reach & monetization
Now that your videos are on video sharing and viewing sites like YouTube, it’s time to find ways to monetize them, grow your readership and bring people into your site or to sell the products and services that you talk about within your videos. One tool that I currently use, and still has a free version is Viewbix.com. Viewbix lets you take the videos you’ve uploaded or if other people allow sharing you can take their videos (great for entertainment and political sites) and add a custom skin to YouTube, Website, VimeoPro, etc… videos.
You can add up to three clickable calls to action with whatever types of links you want (including Affiliate, Google Analytics, Direct, etc…) to the button, the banner space or on your custom designed skins. One you have the design of the skin the way you want it, you can add 20+ apps to make the player fully interactive and engaging.
The ones I use most are newsletter sign ups, the list app (I create product lists with Affiliate Links or links into specific relevant posts and sites on my other blogs), YouTube if I have a series of videos, Follow Me on social sites and there are a ton of others including coupon, skype, Google Maps, Flickr and Picassa and more. The thing that sold me on Viewbix was that when you share the player on Facebook, Twitter, etc… the functionality remains in tact giving you an almost unlimited reach. That is why I never upload directly to Facebook.
I upload to YouTube or my Blog and then plug it into Viewbix and then share it to social sites so that people on Facebook and Twitter can shop through my links, sign up for my newsletter, see my rss, feed, etc… If you upgrade from the free version you also get access to SEO features, Analytics from your video and more. Plans start from free and $10/month to enterprise level. Click here for their site.
3. Following on YouTube and other sites
One thing that gets annoying are all of those fields and forms, etc… when you are uploading videos. Even though many people ignore them, they are there for a reason and you need to fill them out every time you upload a video. By doing research and filling out all fields, you can help to rank better on the actual video sites. By ranking better you can gain more followers, subscribers and drive more website traffic.
Here are a few things to do before, while and after you upload your videos to sites like YouTube.
- Use the YouTube Keyword Tool – It’s the same as the one that used to be on adwords. Use modifiers, general terms and find the search volume instead of guessing what it is. They are going to temporarily disable it so it may or may not be available when you find this post.
- Fill out and tag everything relevant for your video (you need to use a good naming structure for the video as well). One trick here is to look at the videos showing up for the terms you want, then the videos the site recommends watching after. Compare the two and see why the other videos are being referred when the first video stops. This may help you show up after a viral or popular video giving your video more exposure and you a chance to build a larger following.
- Make sure you like and then share the video. Social triggers like likes, comments, full views, etc… can help to increase your rankings depending on the site. Plug it into Viewbix and share on Facebook and Twitter. Then encourage people to go back to the site and comment, like and share your video.
4. Calls to action
You have to add calls to action within your video. Make sure to repeat your url at least once or twice in the beginning and end. If you have a url that is hard to hear and type because it is plural, past tense, etc… try spelling it or give a reminder that it is past tense and say the ending. Add annotations and display your url so people can see it. Even if they don’t type it in, they can become familiar and recognize it when they see your next video. One of the strongest calls to action is to actually tell the person what to do.
You actually say exactly what you want them to do from clicking on the link below in the summary or description, to subscribing to your channel or even typing your url or a specific keyword phrase into the search box of their browser. It doesn’t hurt to test and see how it works and what drives results. (You also always want to thank them for watching…unless your site is about being offensive, then you can end it however you’d like.).
5. Social signals, images & snippets
One of the most important things to be successful with Vlogging and using video to grow your blog is to make sure you use proper SEO attributes. Here are three things to make sure you do with every video you post.
- Take a screen shot – If you don’t have an image you are using, take a screen shot of a funny, engaging or descriptive part of your video. Name it properly, tag it and upload it to your post.
- Make sure you are using schema.org and have the ability to make rich snippets, etc… When someone does a search in Google, the little video snippet can show up next to your link and you hopefully get more click throughs if you properly code and set your site up for video.
- Make sure people are sharing your video content, liking it and watching it. You can use analytics, Viewbix and many other tools to determine how long your videos should be, what color clothing you should be wearing, what calls to action work best, etc… By creating videos that get shared, liked and commented on more often, you may be able to send more social signals to the search engines and video sites so that your videos can get more traffic to them.
Videos can help with everything from decreasing bounce rates to increasing the revenue you drive from your blog. It’s important to remember that YouTube isn’t the only video site out there and that there are a ton of tools to help you drive revenue, increase your reach and grow your site. If you haven’t tried video yet, you may want to give it a shot and see the difference that using videos on your blog can make when you want to connect with your readers, entertain them and drive more engagement.