How to incorporate video into your blog + the 7 day video challenge

Video blogging made easyToday I am blogging again from the Collective Bias Social Fabric conference in Arkansas. Despite Belle being a bit of a natural behind her diary cam, I don’t often use video in my blog and so went along to the session with Danielle Smith to find out how to incorporate video more into my blogging.

First up then, why should you use video as part of your blogging? Well…

  • You can make money from it
  • You can learn new skills and reach new audiences
  • More and more people are watching videos and watching them via mobile
  • Youtube is the world’s second largest search engine
  • You get to develop your own voice, showcase your presenting talents and create opportunities in traditional media

You can use video in all kinds of ways:

  • To tell a story and convey a wider range of emotions
  • For show and tell, demonstrating DIY, crafts and recipes
  • To communicate and help people to get to know you and your personality

You might even create a video in partnership with a brand to be used externally, like this one from a series I did for Hyundai and Tesco. Being able to include video content as part of your media kit gives you something above and beyond what other bloggers might be offering and helps you stand out from the crowd.

A lot of people are scared of video as a means of communication, partly because they worry about not having the skills, but also because of that thing of seeing yourself in camera, which can be a bit squeamish. As with most things though, it’s all about practice. As you make more video, you will learn about what works and what doesn’t work, even if it’s just about what colours you look good in you on camera. You don’t need fancy equipment either. You can take perfectly good quality video on your phone, simply holding it out in front of you, or propping it up on a surface or using a mini tripod.

There are a few basic things you should include in your video to encourage engagement. Firstly, include your name. This could be as a caption, but you can also introduce yourself at the beginning as part of the video and then sign off at the end. Make sure you include a way for people to find you by mentioning your blog address or Twitter handle. You should also treat a video like a blog post and ask questions that encourage people to leave a comment. For example, if you’re doing a make-up demonstration, tell people you’re struggling to find the perfect mascara and ask them which brands and products they love.

Keep your videos simple and short. Danielle recommends 2.5 – 3 minutes as a maximum. Pretend like you are just talking to a friend and no matter how nervous you are or how much information you have to convey, DO NOT READ! It looks lame. If you are still feeling shy, experiment initially with other forms of video such as filming friends or family, doing a voice over or an interview.

Here’s an example from Danielle. Watch it and have a look at how natural and relaxed Danielle is. Watching other people’s videos is a really great way to learn, as you can get a good feel for what works well, what makes for interesting content, and what is just dull or distracting.

Danielle’s 7 day video challenge

If you are new to video and want to increase your confidence, how about taking Danielle’s 7 day video challenge? Here’s what you have to do:

Video yourself every day for 7 days in a row. You can pick any topic, be anywhere, wear anything – all you have to do is talk for 1.5 – 2 minutes as though you are just chatting with a friend. DO NOT watch the video back at the end of each day.

And the end of the week, watch all of your videos in a row in one go. This way, you learn two things – firstly you get to see how your confidence and comfort levels have improved even just in the course of a week. You should be able to see that after 7 days you seem more relaxed and that your conversation is more natural. You will also be able to pick up on blanket quirks or mistakes that you are making, such as hair twiddling, fidgeting, or other little bad habits. Danielle gave the example of noticing that she started every video with the word ‘so’. This is only something you notice if you watch several videos back to back.

Do you have a Youtube channel or use video in your blog? If you have a video you’re especially proud of, please do leave a comment with a link and I promise I will watch and share it for you.

Photo credit – popturfdotcom



  1. 5 May, 2013 / 8:08 pm

    It’s a great idea. Think I need to get a tripod to get good at proper photos and videos.

    I also say ‘so’ a lot, and in presentation training, I got picked up on for saying basically a lot. If you know what you say, you’ll notice it more in others as well.

  2. 7 May, 2013 / 1:01 pm

    This is the first video I put up on my website and it’s still my favourite. My little boys were so easy to film and as I was a producer for many years before having children I wanted to put my rusty skills back into practice. I made this with no budget – just recording video clips on my stills camera and some free editing software which came with my PC. My 7 year old filmed some of it and helped with the script as it was originally a school project until the Portishead Railway Group incorporated it into their campaign.

    I think the ‘so’ thing at the start is really common, along with ‘then’ at the end. I used to interview people and only when editing the footage afterwards would I realise that the majority of questions were ‘So, blah blah, what do you think about suchinsuch then?”. I think that’s probably a confidence thing.

    I like the idea of the 7 day challenge as I usually stay well and truly behind the camera and keep meaning to try walking around the other side of it!

    • admin
      9 May, 2013 / 9:57 am

      Wow, that’s amazing Jane, it’s like a proper documentary!!

    • admin
      9 May, 2013 / 10:02 am

      Ahhhhh!!!! It is adorable!! You do sound quite young, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Better than having some really rough anceint sounding smokers voice or something. Quite often people won’t know if it’s me or my children when I answer the phone :-)

  3. Lydia
    19 May, 2013 / 9:58 am

    Check out the way this family video blog using the Samaritan phone app called Punkt:
    all the media from their map can be pushed out tonFacebook & Twitter. it’s fun to follow!

  4. 27 July, 2013 / 1:40 pm

    This is something I would like to do in the future. FIrst, I need to get some good lighting to use to shoot the videos. Since I have a cooking blog, I want to do video of making recipes but my kitchen doesn’t have the best lighting.

    Thanks for sharing this info!

  5. 10 December, 2013 / 12:39 pm

    Your idea looks great. I agree with your words. Now a days most of people are watching videos from YouTube via mobiles. By adding videos to our blog, we can make money, we can develop our skills and communicate with new people. Thanks for sharing such a great article with us by posting on your blog.

  6. 22 March, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    I’ve just filmed my first Vlog, and it’s getting edited, so hope to be live soon… I’m sure I’m going to look like a total banana, but having fun which is what’s it’s all about right?! Laura x

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