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Differentiate Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 27th of July 2007 Video Posts 0 Comments

One of the pieces of feedback that a number of readers left when I recently asked for suggestions on how I could improve ProBlogger was ‘more video posts’.

I did a number of them a year or so back but didn’t keep it up. So today I thought I’d give video another go.

By no means is this polished – but I’m going to try to keep these quick and basic.

Let me know what you think.

PS: If you can’t view this video I’ve also put it up on Youtube (although it’s not as good quality).

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I also just put up a picture of myself on my blog, however I didnt consider it as branding. Since I’m fairly new, I guess I have time to change it to a better picuture ;). Thanks!

    PS. You’re a great speaker, Im sure thats why we demanded more video posts!

  2. Don’t change the photo on the front page, Darren. You look so driven and authoritative! ;-)

  3. Do you have any suggestions on video players? What video player are you using? Is it available for free?

  4. I so agree with the video thing. This medium is exploding in popularity and it just makes sense that when they can see and hear a person, it means so much more. The way the video blogger carries themselves, voice inflections, etc are leaps and bounds better than plain text.

  5. I think a few videos every week is a good idea. It certainly helps everyone to get to know you better. Great video by the way.

  6. Hi Darren, I appreciate your efforts in doing the video but I have to tell you that I prefer reading – it’s faster. I switched the video off half-way and I seldom do that with your written posts.

  7. I second Jeri’s suggestion about providing a synopsis and estimate for vids. Hmm (stroking imaginary beard), perhaps I should take that suggestion for my own site.

  8. Michael From The Future says: 07/28/2007 at 5:41 am

    Hi Darren :)

    Hope all is well with you mate, nice work with the test video.

    I haven’t commented in many months but wanted to say that I still read your site daily and have always appreciated the time & effort that you put into every aspect of your knowledge sharing posts… good stuff.

    I’ve read some constructive criticism here concerning your video and would like to add that I personally enjoy reading your site over watching it. My only concern with video is that if you’re anything like me you will spend more time creating a vid than you will on a written post – especially if you want to cover all the angles.

    If you decide to pursue it then best to you, I know you always tackle each project with a professional tone and I’m sure it will be worth it.

    I would agree with some of the other comments here that it would also be nice to have a text version or synopsis of the video too. All in all – I would rather READ the information instead of viewing it. Hope this input helps.

    Keep up the great work Darren, appreciate your site & advice.

    _ Michael From The Future _


  9. It’s not very great idea to post videocasts in this blog. You blog read a lot for people and for some of them (and for me too) english is’nt native language. I can read english well but it’s vely difficult for me listening english.
    Moreover, my internet channel isn’t so fast for displaying smooth video ;(
    Will be better to have at least text version of you posts together with videos.

  10. Darren,
    I came across your site about a month ago and really enjoy reading it. I haven’t started a blog yet, but I get a wealth of information here everyday. The video showed a side of your personality that we wouldn’t see otherwise. So while we all enjoy the written word, I hope that everyonce in awhile you will decide to use this method of communication.

    Thank you for sharing so much information in an understandable way.

  11. Marilyn Dillon says: 07/28/2007 at 2:51 pm

    I just skip the videos, almost all the time. I much prefer to read text. Like some of the earlier commenters, I read really fast and get impatient with videos–they take too long.

  12. When you are sitting down in front of your computer for hours and you know your eyes are about to fail, it’s just great to come back to a site you know & trust, just before your eyes are about to kick the bucket, that you can click on video and just listen to sound advise. Thank you Darren!

  13. I don’t like watching video. I can read faster.

  14. Darren,
    Great idea and great video. I also prefer reading, but being able to see and hear the blog owner gives a site a whole new, more personal dimension that I think can only increase your individuality and make a stamp on your readers.

  15. Darren-

    Thanks for the tips! I like the video format, too. IMO, you should host it on YouTube and embed it on your site. This will instantly put it in the “A-stack” (with all of your site-driven views) and allow it the chance to get significant viewership from people who discover it on YT (from “most viewed” searches) and would not have otherwise even known about your site.

    I found the Time-On-Site stat very interesting. How are you getting your 30 secs to 2 mins figure? I study my T-O-S as a very important metric (second only to pageviews) and have gotten mine up to about 12m30s per visit. But admittedly, mine is not the typical blog.

    How does your T-O-S vary on your various blogs?

    David Hobby

  16. I just wanted to tell you that video can be a positive experience, blog wise.

    After reading this post, I went out to my garden with my MacBook Pro as my dig video camera (also my Canon 30D), and shot a video tour of it.

    I posted it up to my blog (which is pretty new – http://www.humblegarden.com/2007/07/30/new-version/ ) and also set up accounts at various podcast sites like youtube, yahoo, podcast alley, itunes, etc). I use wordpress and I used the podPress plugin, makes it VERY easy. I used iMovieHD and Podcast Maker in the production. Its not a Dino De Laurentis production but its a beginning! I do not know if people like it but it does have promise.

    This has driven some traffic and a lot of new subscribers to the blog feed.


  17. Thanks for showing the video.
    Enjoyed watching. Also, I like your
    new logo.
    Much luck with your changes.
    You have helped me a lot.
    thanks again,
    Elizabeth G.

  18. Darren-
    I really enjoyed listening to your video. Although I don’t know how many of these I would watch on a regular basis. I think I was encouraged to watch for two reasons. First, the new design put it front and center. Secondly, I was curious.

    The nice thing about the video for me was the personal touch. A much different experience than reading your material. I enjoyed it, but I don’t know if I would watch video on a regular basis if they were not somehow more important or special. As many of the other comments mentioned I like to pick and choose my content.

  19. Any suggestions for newbies that aren’t familiar with how to obtain pictures to include in their blog posts?

  20. As a fairly new blogger (I’d appreciate any comments and tips on my site, BTW)

    I am curious for all you vets… Which types of camera work best for simple v-posts like the one you just made Darren?

    Obviously for custom videos an actual handheld camcorder would most likely be a necessity, but for a simply video blog… what brand and model of webcams work well?

    Are the Microsoft VX- lifecam series any good?
    (I’ve been seeing them in lots of stores lately)

    If not which ones do you recommend?

  21. Hey Darren, Really nice site, I love the redesign and thanks for the bolgging tips.

    I think if I had a message for other bloggers it would be, yes, be professional, build a killer site, and write amazing articles, but also… “Have Fun”… Remember that first article you wrote? How you had a lump in your throat when you clicked the Publish button? Or how about how you felt, when you received that first comment? I do, and I hope those feelings never go away. I love blogging; I hope I never lose that feeling. Keep up the great work.


    Jim Moon

  22. Darren–can you provide a transcript so that I can follow along? Thanks!

  23. Hi Darren,
    I think your new blog design really puts the “Pro” in Problogger! And I don’t think you need a new picture of yourself now that we have the up-dated, live version of you!

    I am new to the blogging world, and your site has been a big help and a guiding light! (By the way, you certainly keep your books neat!)

    Well, I’m running out of exclamation marks so I’ll sign off?
    Sincerely yours,
    Linda Vernon
    Regular Visitor

  24. Nice vid Darren. I was able to download it and check it out a little later in the day. :)

  25. Love the new design, absolutely perfect, very neat. I wish I had a team of designers too ;)

    Good vlog there, you’re site is the first one I open up in the morning, thanks for updating so many times.

    Take care and good luck with the new design.


  26. Artemis Scribulus says: 08/11/2007 at 2:51 am

    Wow, total information overload. I hope it works out for you, but it gives me a headache.

  27. Whoa! Big difference.

    Nice video but please include time length bars or an indication of time at the start of the viddie, please.

    Thanks, Darren. If nothing else now I know how to pronounce your name properly (originally thought it rhymed with “rose”).


  28. Thanks for the insight Darren! Unlike the vblog that Nate and I put on weekly you focus the camera very close to your face. I kinda like that. I wonder if we should try that? Thanks again!


  29. I liked the video post. It was informative. My only suggestion would be to scoot away from the camera a bit. Otherwise, it’s very informative. :)

  30. Haha, great video!

  31. Look great to me. I like the organization. Very clean.

    I don’t mean to try and get traffic but wanted to point out how the sponsors look in Firefox and IE7. It my be my IE 7.

    See it here at the end of this post:


  32. Darren, love the new site layout. While i liked the video, i think text ramblings are more useful and a lot easier to bookmark and search relevant topics

  33. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebiwjkuZa6o Haha… So that’s the magic behind your daily blogging strategy huh? Nice videos.

  34. Darren,
    really nice video !

    I’m looking forward for more…
    Really Pro


  35. Wonderful Video. Very Informative

  36. Hello Darren,

    Very true and thoughtful video you’ve posted. It’s got a lot of insight into what should be priority for bloggers who want to know about what kind of identity they’re creating and communicating.

    Interesting on the overall…

    Thank you,

    Best Regards,

    Sajjid Manuel

  37. I may be alone in this, but depending on the subject matter, some people might be surprised that the owner of a site is a woman, or of a certain race, or a certain size, etc.

    As you may know by now (from previous posts), I own a staffing firm, and for 16 years I have been coaching people (of all races and levels of professionalism) on how to get jobs. Now that I am promoting my controversial career books, “25 Reasons Why I Won’t Hire You!” and “25 Reasons Why THEY Won’t Hire You!”, I have to wonder if physical characteristics would come into play for some people doing video clips on a blog.

    For example, I experienced a slump in book sales when I put my picture on my book site. Hmmm….


    Z. Glass

  38. Nice video, I was really thinking about how to stand out of this huge amount of blogs.

  39. darren, adding text links to the sites you name drop beneath the video (ala rocketboom) would be a HUGE user friendly add for your readers. just a tip.

  40. Darren, you have a very good stage presence. Infinitely better than most.

    However, I agree with the comments about this particular video not being an effective use of the medium. I’d imagine that most of the visitors to your blog are reasonably fast readers and skimmers. If you’re fast with a keyboard then simple text is a win-win for you and your readers.

    The language/verbal center of the brain handles serial (one chunk at a time) information. When verbalization is the best way to convey your message, use text. So a person verbalizing into a camera is (by my criteria) not an effective use of video.

    Whenever your message conveys a lot of spatial info then video is the way to go. It certainly makes no sense to give a detailed text description of a complex graph or where to point and click your mouse when using some software application when video can do this much more effectively.

    When it comes to spatial stuff a moving picture is worth a thousand words.


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