neil@neilben.com
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Can you blog if you're bad at English?

You can't spell and your grammar is terrible

I know the feeling... And this may not be a diagnosed infliction, but I'm sure I've got typing dyslexia. My brain knows what it wants to type but the signals get muddled up on the way to my fingers so they don't always hit the right keys.

When I was at school I remember being told (when I was about 7 or 8 at the time), that I'd never be good at English. Sadly, in the late 60s and early 70s getting the technicalities right was more important than the content.

The things was, although I struggled with spelling and grammar, I excelled at story telling, Sadly no one was interested in that.

Being told I couldn't write as a child didn't hold me back because throughout my television career I have written hundreds of TV programmes and still get the odd check when a programme I wrote many years ago is shown in some far flung country.

So what do you do to not upset the Grammer and SPelling police, because mistakes do happen 😉

Well the lovely Sarah Sarke, who writes awesome blogs, makes some suggestions of proofreading apps that can support you.

But she left out a couple of methods that I use:

You can read how I use YouTube to write my content in one of my other blogs, What is the easiest way to create content for your blog

 

If you have a conversational style

this is the best way to create content

 

How to use the Notes App to write your blogs

This is what to do:

voice-mic--ios-7-interface-symbol_318-33733

It's that easy.

 

p.s. I just used one of the proof reading apps that Sarah suggested and it said "No mistakes found"... Interesting, because I definitely left some in!

 

Without using your brain

Today is Sunday, last night was Super Saturday of the Rio Olympics, I was up until 3.30 in the morning to see if Jessica Ennis-Hill could win the gold medal in the Heptathlon.

She got the silver, great. Moe got the gold in the 10,000m which was awesome. The thing is I've only had about 4 hours sleep and I'm out today, and I've got a blog to do.

So what's the quickest way for me to get content out there, with the least stress?

For me the quickest way is to stick my phone on a tripod, put a microphone on me, stick a light up and talk! And I can share my ideas and my expertise through video, because it is so much easier for me to talk to camera and share and interact and present then for me to sit at the computer and type.

What did I do with the video in this post? I stuck it on YouTube and once it was up YouTube had a caption generator. So it essentially transcribed what I was saying. I then went through the closed captions and copied and pasted the words that I was saying into my blog. I didn't even have to write, it just converted what I was saying. I then edited the text, tidied it up a bit and formatted it.

I'm sure there are some online options to get your video transcribed, I think I've seen one for as little as $1 a minute. $1 a minute to get a video transcribed... Not bad at all.
The transcribed words formed the basis for the content of this video blog and how long was the video? About 2 - 2 1/2 minutes, at 3 words a second, that's 180 words a minute times two and a half, that's 540 words. Perfect amount of words for a blog.

And a two and a half minute video is perfect too for YouTube and people's short attention span.

It was that easy, I didn't even have to use my brain 'cause all I was doing was talking. For me that is the easiest way to create content for a blog.


And is it ok to "steal" other people's ideas

I was scrolling through FaceBook this morning and stumbled across a video made by CookieCat999, a young video blogger from Essex called

"How to make a Free Thumbnail using Canva"

It's a great little video.

While watching it I thought "a video like that would be good for my audience", after all, I encourage my tribe to make YouTube videos and uploading a custom thumbnail is something they can do for their videos to help them stand out.

So, if I make a similar video am I stealing CookieCat999's idea? Well I am, but then, I'm going to give it my spin, which means it's not her video so I'm not stealing... I've just used her video to inspire me to make my version.

Above is my version of
"How to make a thumbnail for your YouTube video using Canva"

Very different from CookieCat999's me thinks!

To create a custom YouTube thumbnail using Canva.com - take a screen shot of your video of a frame that has a lot of action - go to canva.com - select YouTube thumbnail - upload the screen shot - add the text - export as an image for web - upload the thumbnail to YouTube. It's that easy

So why don't you have a look at CookieCat999's video below and tell me...

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME2N7EL282g[/embedyt]

Did I steal her idea, or did I make my own version?

The title of this blog was "Coming up with new ideas for your videos".
So how do you do that?

You never know where you're going to get inspiration for your videos, just keep your eyes and mind open and if an idea pops in your head think about it, relate it to your tribe or audience and go for it.


If you've found this post useful please subscribe to my YouTube channel, share it using the social media buttons or leave a comment below.


 

To promote the work that you do

You run a business, you've been told video is the best medium to get your message out there, to create lots of that lovely google juice and to connect with your tribe. So you've decided to start making videos. You want to share you expertise, connect with your tribe and share you message, so surely a script is the perfect place to start.

How do you write a video script?

We'll I've been writing scripts for over 25 years, so let me share my expertise with you right now.

Scripts are great when you're working with actors and performers because that's how they work. A script is their manuscript to help them create characters and deliver their lines.

But I hate scripts when it comes to helping people who are not actors share their message, because they're not trained in the art of delivering a script.

My advice to you is don't write a script!

 

Just talk like you talk with your clients, share your your wisdom and your expertise as naturally and comfortably as if you were talking to a prospect or someone you're already working with.You know your stuff, you can talk to people about what you do at network meetings, when you're on the phone, to friends and family right?... And you don't need a script to do that, so why would you need a script to make a video?

If I don't have a script, what do I do?

You come up with three points you want to cover. One main point, broken down into three steps. The beginning, the middle and the end.

Or you could just have one idea and start talking!

I had an idea for the video is this blog, it was about "actors needing scripts, but people who are not actors are better without scripts", and then I just started talking.

I've been in the business 25 years so I have learned a few things, so I just connected with my wisdom and my experience and the right words came out of my mouth when they were meant to come out. It was that simple.

Try having one idea, switch the camera on and starting with that idea and see where it goes. I think you will be pleasantly surprised because you will come across naturally and authentically, rather than staged and scripted.

.


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Is vlogging better than blogging? What are video blogging’s benefits?

Why bother with video blogging? After all, isn’t it a little bit of a hassle getting your camera out every couple of weeks and shooting yourself talking about something interesting? Surely it’s going to take considerably longer to produce a video than write a blog?

Well no…

Talking to camera can be incredibly easy and very fast.  I can write quickly, but I edit heavily; I chop out words, rearrange sentences, delete and move paragraphs around and of course I need to spell check because I know spelling is a weakness of mine.  All that takes time.

Vlogging can be much more spontaneous.  I have an idea, plot out a few points that I want to talk about, turn the camera on and see what comes out my mouth.

Average time for me to write, edit and spell check a blog – 3 hours
Average time for me to shoot, edit and upload a vlog – 1 hour

That means I can produce 3 video blogs for every written blog. OK, I’m a professional so do it faster than most people. But even so, you could benefit from faster vlog production of your own – especially if you finding blog writing a difficult chore.

The key benefits of vlogging

#1: The NUMBER ONE reason why you should vlog

It’s such a strong reason I’m going use my video blog to tell you!

So watch the video below to find out what is it.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLq2vqpUrKU[/embedyt]

#2: Vlogging helps you stand out from your competitors

70% of internet traffic last year was video but only a fraction of businesses used it as part of their marketing strategy.

It’s simple: use video now, before your competitors do

Suppose I was searching the internet for a particular service – let’s say a landscape gardener - and I found 3 suitable companies in my area. All three blog with gardening tips, advice about keeping your lawn looking nice and how the changing seasons can affect your garden, but only one has video in their blog.

I’m going to look at that company first. I’m going to check out their video and if I get a good feel about the gardener, their knowledge and expertise, I’m going to give them a call before I check out the other companies.

#3: Video blogs give you so much lovely Google juice

When you create a video blog, you are creating content that can be linked all over the web. You can tweet about it, embed it in emails, share it on FaceBook or Google+. Other people can then ‘like’, retweet, share or ‘+1’ your video which will give you a higher ranking on search engines.

Also, because Google owns YouTube, it ranks WebPages that have a YouTube video embedded in them higher than ones that don’t. So upload a written blog or article and embed a video in it and Google will love you.

Creating blogs that contain a video is also a great way to appeal to two different audiences; the ones who read blogs and the ones who watch videos. As any communication expert will tell you, this works for two different types of audiences: the ‘visual’ and ‘auditory’ ones.

You now have two things to share: your blog, and the video that sits in the blog. That’s two different ways for your expertise to be found.

#4: Vlogging is cost effective advertising

If you were John Lewis and it was Christmas, you’d spend £1m creating an animated commercial and a further £6m getting it played at peak times, in front of your target audience, on their televisions.

Vlogging doesn’t have to cost you a penny. You can shoot it on your smart phone or tablet and upload it straight to YouTube.

Getting the video in front of potential clients doesn’t have to cost anything either. A carefully written description and a title with suitable keywords will attract an audience who is interested in what you are saying.

Better still, if your content is good, your family, friends and business contacts will do the marketing for you by sharing your video. You very rarely hear of a viral blog, but get the content of your video right and millions could see it.

#5: Vlogging makes it easy for people to decide if they want to work with you or not

Blogs are great for getting deep into a subject or idea. They can demonstrate your expertise, knowledge and experience, but it can take a long time for readers to decide if they want to work with you or not.

Nothing works better than seeing a person in person!

I’m sure you’ve seen these stats before:

Communication is:

  1. 7% - words
  2. 38% - tonality
  3. 55% - body language

While a great writer can weave words, use punctuation and formatting that creates a tone (7% + 38%), there’s still 55% of potential communication missing as you can’t get body language across in a blog.

When people see you on video, they get an immediate sense of you. They get to know you and quickly decide if they like you or not. Then, after watching several of your vlogs, they start to trust you.

When someone knows, likes and trusts you they are more likely to buy from you, and that is why shooting yourself is good for business

Please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what you think of these vlogs.

 

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