Checklist for to get Better ROI on your videos

Digital Media - Buying a video camera - video
YouTube success isn’t just about getting views.


It’s also about making sure you maximize the amount of revenue you generate from those views.


Here’s how to get the best ROI on your online videos by optimizing videos.



Step 1: Optimize Your Video Thumbnails

YouTube by default doesn’t let you upload a custom frame. Only YouTube partners, highly trafficked consistent uploaders, can choose their own images.

They used to let anyone upload custom thumbnails in the past, but marketers abused the privilege by uploading unrelated pictures designed just to get clicks. Today, YouTube only lets you select from a number of frames taken from within your video.

To change your thumbnail, click “Edit” to enter the editing menu:

Then scroll down and choose a thumbnail in the “Video Thumbnail” box on the left.

If none of these thumbnails matches what you want your thumbnail to be, trim a few seconds off your video and re-upload it. YouTube will re-sample the video and have a few new thumbnails for you to choose from.


Step 2: Watermark Your Videos

Watermarking does several things. First, it builds your brand throughout the video instead of just at the end. Second, anytime someone embeds your video, you have a chance of getting them to come and visit your website.

To watermark your video, first create a logo in an image editing program like Photoshop. Make sure you save it as a PNG, which supports transparency without aliasing. JPEGs don’t support transparency at all and GIFs don’t do transparency very well.

In a video editing program, just put your PNG file above the video file and wala, your video is watermarked.

Here’s what a watermark might look like:


Step 3: Begin Your Video With a Quick Promo

Ever notice how most popular YouTube channels have a quick, 5 second promo at the beginning? It’s similar to how The Simpsons or Family Guy has a 1 minute song intro in the beginning.

The purpose of the intro is to set the vibe for the rest of the video. It’s like welcoming someone to your brand, your video and setting the expectations for what the rest of the experience is going to be like.

Furthermore, it also makes the video look more professional. Especially if the intro is very well done.

How do you create an intro? It could be as simple as a fly in text with a carefully chosen background. A combination of Photoshop and a basic video editor should do the trick.


Step 4: End With a Call to Action

What do you want someone to do after seeing your video? Do you want them to visit a link? Sign up for a newsletter? Become a subscriber to your channel?

Whatever it is you want them to do, ask them to do it clearly. Put the call to action at the end of your video and make it a good 10 to 15 seconds long.

Why? Because the moment the video ends, YouTube is going to put their own promo for other people’s videos at the end of your video. Instead of sending your traffic to someone else’s video, just put a long call to action at the end.

That way, a visitor would have to stare at the call to action for a good 15 seconds before they’d be presented with the “related videos.”

Here’s what a call to action might look like:


Step 5: Link to Your Channel or Videos in Your Video

Instead of having users go to other people’s videos after watching yours, why not direct them to your YouTube channel or another one of your videos?

You can make links and annotations clickable in your videos. Here’s how.

First, go to “Annotations.”


Then in the drop down box next to “Add Annotation” and select the type of annotation you want.

In the bottom right section of the “Add Annotation” box, click the checkbox named “Link.”


Then select which type of page you want to link to.

Note: Unless you’re a YouTube partner, you can’t link to an external page.

Finally, enter the target URL into the URL box.


Step 6: Put a Link in Your Descriptions

Having a link in your description makes it easy for anyone to click on it, even when there’s no link on screen.

YouTube gives you 1,000 characters to write your description with, a generous allocation by any standard. Great descriptions can help give visitors additional information that wasn’t provided in the video.

The link however should be provided in the first 27 characters. YouTube will automatically display the first 27 characters without cutting anything off. Anything after 27 characters will automatically be truncated and followed by an ellipsis.

This is what a link in the description should look like:

Anything beyond 27 characters will be cut off. If your link can’t fit into 27 characters, consider using a service like or tinyurl to shorten your URLs.

These are some of the most important factors to getting your videos to convert on YouTube. Remember, it’s not just about the traffic. You can easily earn more with a video that gets a few thousand views than from a video that gets hundreds of thousands, if the former is better optimized.

Checklist for Choosing Screen Capture Video Software

Digital Media - Buying a video camera - video
Ready to create your own screencast?


The first step is to select which video software you want to use.


There are a number of different screen capture video software programs out there to choose from. This checklist will help determine which is right for you.



#1 – Your Price Range for video software

Screen capture video software programs can range from free (CamStudio) to as much as $799 (Adobe Captivate) with most being somewhere in between.

#2 – Editing Capabilities on your video software

Do you have video editing experience? Do you have your own video software?

If you already know how to edit video in third party software, then the built-in editing components aren’t that important. Most video editing software will be more powerful than built-in systems anyway.

However, if you don’t have video editing experience, the built-in editors can really help make things easier. You’ll be able to cut video, add annotations and subtitles and edit sound tracks without too much difficulty.

#3 – Output Quality & Formats from your video software

If you intend on burning these screencasts to DVD, you’ll probably want to use software that can save to a high resolution format. Many of the lower end programs only export to Flash, which is compressed and difficult to edit.

On the other hand, if you just intend on using it to create YouTube files, then having Flash formats will work just fine.

Take into consideration who the audience is when you’re determining what output quality you need.

If your video is going to an audience that’s paying for your screencast, you might want to put out a higher quality video. On the other hand, if it’s for free videos, then it’s probably okay to use a lower resolution video and save the money on the software.

#4 – Operating System needed for your video software

What operating system are you using? Some software only works on Windows, others on only Macs and some work on both.

Once you take the price point, the editing capabilities, the video quality and the operating system into account, you’ll have a pretty good sense of what kind of software you need.

Checklist for Buying a Video Camera

Digital Media - Buying a video camera - video
Buying a new video camera can be daunting, with all the thousands of different options available to you.

How do you make your choice? Your final pick comes down to what you intend to use your video camera for.


This checklist will guide you through a few of the most important points to take into consideration.

 #1 – Your Price Range for your Video Camera

Spending more money doesn’t always mean you’ll get a camera that’s better suited for your needs. Sometimes buying a lower end video camera that does what you need it to do better will have you better off than paying more.

That said, before you start shopping, get a good sense for what you’re willing to pay.

 #2 – What Resolution Do You Need in a Video Camera?

Do you need just a low-resolution video camera for shooting YouTube videos? Or do you need a top of the line high-def video camera for filming DVDs?

 #3 – Battery Considerations for your Video Camera

There are a few things to consider with batteries.

First, consider how long the built-in battery will last. Naturally, the longer the better, but it’s not the end of the world if the video camera has a short battery life.

More importantly, how easy is it to switch out the batteries for a fully charged one? What’s the cost of buying an additional battery? Can you use traditional AA batteries, or do you have to purchase another lithium ion battery?

 #4 – Optical Zoom on your Video Camera

It’s important to realize the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom. Optical zoom is when your video camera uses lenses to enlarge light before it’s recorded digitally. Digital zoom takes the same amount of data and enlarges it digitally.

Any time you use digital zoom, you’ll lose quality. In fact, digital zoom can be done after filming in just about any video editing software.

In other words, if you want high resolution videos shot from a far distance, you’ll be better off with a camera that has a high optical zoom.

 #5 – Memory and Media in your Video Camera

There are many different kinds of storage media to choose from. On one hand, you can go with the strictly built-in memory cameras. These are particularly good for casual users who don’t want the hassle of dealing with memory cards.

On the other hand, for the pros, there’s everything from SDHC / Memory Sticks to MiniDVs to built-in hard discs. Each has different storage capacities, limitations and price stickers.

#6 – Other Video Camera Options

Other options to look for include …

  • Light detection. Some video cameras are able to detect what kind of lighting you’re filming and adjust accordingly.
  • Anti-shake. If you’re moving while filming, some video cameras can digitally compensate for it so the video looks as if you were holding it still.
  • Waterproof. If you ever have the chance to take your video camera underwater, you can get some truly spectacular shots.
  • Still picture shots. Some video cameras have a button that allows you to take still pictures while you’re filming.
  • Auxiliary mic. Some video cameras allow you to plug in a third party microphone to get better sound quality.
  • Widescreen. If you’re shooting for DVD or high-quality video, having a widescreen camera can give a very cinematic effect.

#7 – Return Policy on your Video Camera

Believe it or not, the return policy on a video camera is actually quite important. You never know if you’ll really like the camera until you’ve had a chance to take it home for a test run.

Some stores have a zero-return policy, or a return only if defective policy. Others have a 30 day policy, while still others have a year-long “no questions asked” policy. Naturally, the more lenient the better.

These are a few of the most important things to take into consideration when you’re buying a digital video camera. Once you’ve made your decision and made your purchase, remember that you can always return the camera and choose a different option if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted.

What to Do with this Multimedia eCourse

During this course we’ve talked about:

  • Adding audio to your website or blog.
  • Adding video to your website or blog.
  • Using video demos to capture attention.
  • Interview people for quick, quality content.
  • Hosting teleseminars.
  • Hosting webinars.
  • Podcasting.
  • Creating testimonials, reviews and case studies.

[Read more…]

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Today’s lesson covers how to use these tools in your business. [Read more…]

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In today’s lesson we will cover video demos and how they can be used to generate leads and profit for your blog. [Read more…]

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I hope you had a chance to read yesterday’s lesson on ‘How to Add Audio to Your Blog‘. The instructions I provided there will assist you as we take the next step – adding video to your blog. These two lessons are very important to your overall understanding of this ecourse, so pay close attention and I’ll try not to bore you to death with ‘techy terms’!! [Read more…]