Making A Video Blog: Naming And Hosting Tips
Creating a web video blog (vlog) in order to monetize your vacation video footage is a relatively easy and fun way to get some passive income from your video camera. If you really promote it well, you may even be surprised at how lucrative it can be. I’ve read recently about some vloggers who make 6 figures through sponsorships. But before you start making your vlog, you’ll have to decide on your domain name and where and how it will be hosted.
What exactly is a vlog?
A web video blog, or vlog, is simply a collection of your videos posted on a web site. In many ways it’s much easier to make a free video blog than a traditional blog, especially if you are more confident in your video skills than in your writing skills. In fact, there are many vlogs out there where the videos are not even the vlog host’s productions, but they are simply embedded from sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.
Naming your web video blog.
Although the content may be more important than the name, having a catchy yet easy-to-remember title can attract more viewers and keep them coming back. If you’re using Google to attract your viewers, then you need to consider a keyword rich name as well.
Deciding on a web host.
In setting up a vlog, you’ll have to decide on a web host for your vlog. Key in choosing a hosting site is whether you want a multi-media vlog, where you can also have text and embed photos, or a video-only vlog.
There are many free web services offered for the vlogger. To help you make a choice, you’ll need to decide if you want to have the ability to include text and images or only videos.
Multimedia or video only?
If you want video-only, you can go to a dedicated video-sharing site, many of which will let you create your own video channel. YouTube is the most popular. Its breadth is HUGE and that’s a positive and a negative. On the upside, you’ll be on one of the top sites where people go to first and foremost to consume video. However, you’re competing with millions of others for viewers’ attention, making it more challenging to get your voice heard, your videos seen and your audience increased.
On your channel you decide which videos to play. You can include ones that you’ve made and uploaded and you can also use ones uploaded to the site by other users. These sites will host and stream your videos. It is usually only a matter of uploading your video to get started.
Monetizing your footage on those sites varies depending on the model. For example, some will share ad revenue with you if you generate a huge following and get a lot of viewers. YouTube does this. Others will give you a “commission” based on views (MetaCafe* and HowCast) or allow you to be an affiliate (Blip.tv) so that you get a portion of ad revenue generated by your viewers.
If you don’t want to be restricted to a video only site in order to use and monetize it in other ways, use a blog platform like WordPress or Blogger that is designed for traditional text blogging but allows you to easily add photos and embed video. The one we recommend and use is WordPress.org. (Not WordPress.com which doesn’t allow you to monetize. Confusing, I know.) Although working with WordPress.org does require a bit more technical skill than other blogging sites such as Blogger, you don’t have to have their URL added to yours, i.e., with WordPress you can use URL VickyBaliVideos.com rather than VickyBaliVideos.blogspot.com.
They have a myriad of themes dedicated strictly to a video blogging format that are pretty simple to use, many cool plug-ins to add and forums to participate in where you can get tons of help if you get stuck. Free themes are available but we found that purchasing themes is a better way to go in terms of ease of use, training and technical support. The nice thing is that for one low price (from $25 to $125), you can get access to many different themes you can use. We’ve been using StudioPress and they have a nice looking theme - Production Theme – designed for a video blog.
If you’re going to use a traditional blogging site, you’ll still have to choose a video sharing site for hosting and streaming your videos. The easiest thing to do is to use YouTube. However for other reasons, you may wish to use a service where you have more control such as the one we use, Amazon S3. It costs pennies per view but you have more control over your video.
In choosing a video sharing web site to either host your entire video channel or to store and stream the videos you’ll post on your vlog site, you’ll have to look at video storage space and ease of monetizing your videos.
Next post, we’ll go over your vlog’s content and how you can get viewers there and make some moola! When you subscribe to our RSS feed here, you’ll be notified when I have that post live.
* Update: Metacafe no longer offers this type of service. You can apply to be a content partner, like YouTube, to make some money off of this site.