Adding audio, video (including YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat, etc.) and full-blogging (and other advanced functionality) gives a whole new flavor to your Solo Build It! site. This is the place to help or be helped for these topics.

Moderator: Paul from Mollymook Beach, NSW

#1362885 by Dan from Saint Albans Bay
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:10 pm
Hi,

I just uploaded my first screencast to YouTube and would greatly appreciate it if you could take a look and let me know how I can improve future screencasts.

Note that the video is "unlisted" because I don't have the upgraded version of the calculator uploaded to my site yet (still working on adding the upgrades to the mobile and member versions). So please don't Share or Comment on the video until after I make it public.

The video is 12-minutes long, but the first minute or two should be enough to critique it.

Video: How To Use The Recipe Conversion Calculator

Thank you for your valuable feedback!

Dan
#1362921 by Dan from Saint Albans Bay
Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:06 pm
I forgot to mention that I know my speaking voice needs a lot of work. I'm an introvert who is typically soft spoken, and in a monotone voice. In fact, my wife's most often response to me telling her something is, "You're mumbling again." :lol::|

When making the video, each time I tried speaking faster, and using more inflection, I just got my mords wixed up. :roll:

Plus, when trying to use an unnatural voice, each clip ends up sounding different from the others. I'm hoping I will get better with practice.

So, beyond improving my boring voice, do you have any technical feedback, or any suggestions as to what I can do to spice up the instructional videos?

Thank you!

Dan
#1362926 by Diane from Bashaw
Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:13 pm
Hi Dan,
Congrats! You did it!
I didn't watch the whole video but I found it very good. I thought your voice sounded fine. I agree, it's not a thrill-a-minute kind of show but as an instructional it doesn't have to be -- when I want to learn something from YouTube videos (which is often), I'm not looking for entertainment but clear instruction.
Keep going!
#1362930 by Dan from Saint Albans Bay
Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:04 pm
Hi Diane,

Thank you so much for taking the time to review my first video, and for your encouraging words. Greatly appreciated!

Dan
#1362991 by The Team from Rouleau
Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:13 pm
Hi Dan,

I tend to agree with Diane --clear instruction, as you have done, is the way to go.

I only watched a few minutes and my only note would be that I found the scrolling (to find the various locations on the page) a little difficult to watch and confusing. Your page is pretty busy with lots of info and scrolling through it gives me no point of reference for where things are beyond the fact that they are lower on the page, nor can I read and absorb any of the content as you're scrolling.

My suggestion would be to show the page in its entirety --obviously it would be much too small to read, but you could then describe the various sections/content on the page (give an overview of what it offers) and then zero-in on the important sections/resources and tools you provide.

Although you have actually done this in the video, for a viewer who is not familiar with the page or your site, it's not as clear as it could be.

By describing the overall benefits and functionality of the page and then magnifying and showing the various calculators and tools within it, the screencast will be more cohesive and clearer for someone who is not familiar with the site, IMHO.

Hope this is clear and helps in some way....
#1363022 by Dan from Saint Albans Bay
Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:51 pm
Hi Richard,

Thank you for taking the time to review my video.

The Team from Rouleau wrote:My suggestion would be to show the page in its entirety --obviously it would be much too small to read, but you could then describe the various sections/content on the page (give an overview of what it offers) and then zero-in on the important sections/resources and tools you provide.


That's an awesome suggestion! I will just build an image of the entire page in Photoshop and incorporate it into the video.

Thank you!

Dan
#1365157 by Paul from Mollymook Beach, NSW
Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:58 am
Hi Dan

A very belated review. I apologize for the delay - I was unexpectedly overseas for a chunk of January and missed it.

So first, the very fact that you have embarked down this path is a huge step in itself and I generally agree with Diane and Richard.

To be specific.

Voice. You have already mentioned this but there are a few ways to at least alleviate the problem. Diane is absolutely right that she wants clear instructions and so you are in the right ballpark. A little humor and personality can also go down well and as you get more and more used to the medium you will probably find that creeping in. Don't force it.

I don’t know exactly how you recorded the audio but it sounds like you may have done it separate to the screenshots. This implies that you may have created a script which is a powerful move and gives you a great opportunity for control over the quality of your presentation.

Either way, setting your microphone record level slightly higher will help the softness of the recording. Another and much more subtle tool are headphones. If you can properly hear yourself you will get a whole other sense of how you sound as you record. (NB This may take a little time to get used to!) You also can only really use headphones if you are using a connection that enables you to hear yourself ‘live’.

Every now and then I hear a little ‘pop’ on your voice (e.g. 6.54). This is very minor and infrequent but if you are looking for tips, you will benefit from a pop filter to filter out those ‘plosives’.

You may also find this TNT article useful; http://sbitips.sitesell.com/working-with-audio.html and there are also others in the audio series.

Beyond that, your instructional video is a very good first go. I’d possibly divide it into two or more sections – eg Basic, Advanced and Expert levels. It feels like you get into some high-tech steps even when you are discussing printing at the end but you will know your audience better than I. :wink:

I’m also aware that you are now testing Wistia so if you have linked it to your email (eg Mailchimp) you would even be able to send people advanced videos based on what they have watched rather than including everything in one hit.

Meantime, you can find quite a bit about working with YouTube and getting found here; http://sbitips.sitesell.com/#YTVH but I think you know that!

Hope this helps and, great job!
Paul
#1365163 by Dan from Saint Albans Bay
Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:42 pm
Thank you for the review Paul. Greatly appreciated!

Since recording that first video I purchased a Yeti microphone, headphones, and a pop filter. I've also set up my "recording studio" in my walk-in clothes closet (way more sound proof than my office). I also started recording the audio and video separately. So the audio in my second video sounds much better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOwivMM9KDE

However, I did forget to set the canvas to 1920x1080 on the second one (defaulted to my MacBook Pro screen size 1440x900), so the video is not as good of quality as the first one. Definately need to remember to change that on all future videos.

Paul from Mollymook Beach, NSW wrote:Beyond that, your instructional video is a very good first go. I’d possibly divide it into two or more sections – eg Basic, Advanced and Expert levels. It feels like you get into some high-tech steps even when you are discussing printing at the end but you will know your audience better than I. :wink:


Yes, the length of the videos has been bugging me quite a bit. In order for the calculators to be of value, it's important that users know exactly what to enter and where. And some of the technical explanations address FAQs I've received. The first two videos describe two calculators that can look daunting to fill out, so others won't be quite so lengthy.

Having said that, I love your suggestion to "divide it into two or more sections – eg Basic, Advanced and Expert levels", however I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you suggesting I make 3 separate videos for each calculator, or is there as way to section off a single video?

One idea that came to mind when reading your comment, was that I could make a much shorter -- say less than 2 minutes -- "Introduction" video for each calculator, in addition to the more detailed "How To" video.

Paul from Mollymook Beach, NSW wrote:I’m also aware that you are now testing Wistia so if you have linked it to your email (eg Mailchimp) you would even be able to send people advanced videos based on what they have watched rather than including everything in one hit.


I'm mostly interested in Wistia for videos I'll be doing to promote and add value to my Membership site, since I'll want to be able to make changes to those videos as I make improvement and make changes to the subscription pricing and structure.

For now I'm planning to keep using YouTube for the calculator pages on the free site due to the shear number of videos I plan to create (I have 239 different calculators) and for the exposure from YouTube search. I'm already getting some traffic from YouTube search, and the Time on Page is improving nicely for the two calculators I've created videos for.

Thank you again for taking the time to help!

Dan
#1365208 by Paul from Mollymook Beach, NSW
Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:34 am
Hello again,
Dan from Saint Albans Bay wrote:Since recording that first video I purchased a Yeti microphone, headphones, and a pop filter. I've also set up my "recording studio" in my walk-in clothes closet (way more sound proof than my office). I also started recording the audio and video separately. So the audio in my second video sounds much better.

Well, you certainly have got into it!

I love your description of the closet. It reminded me of doing the same thing when we were moving a couple of years ago. Don't tell anyone but some of the videos in the TNT were recorded in this way. The trick was managing any ambient noise and the cupboard was perfect :)Image

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOwivMM9KDE

However, I did forget to set the canvas to 1920x1080 on the second one (defaulted to my MacBook Pro screen size 1440x900), so the video is not as good of quality as the first one. Definitely, need to remember to change that on all future videos.

This is actually way better as a production. You can still run your audio higher. Don't be afraid to experiment.

For this type of production, I wouldn't stress about not having a 1080 recording although if you have it, then great. Where you will improve the quality of the file is with the bit rate when you export from the video editor. I think you said somewhere you are using Screenflow and generally, the encode bit rate is set at 1200 I think. For a simple screenshot video it's probably enough but it would be worth just increasing the Bit Rate to 5000 for an experiment.

Paul from Mollymook Beach, NSW wrote:Beyond that, your instructional video is a very good first go. I’d possibly divide it into two or more sections – eg Basic, Advanced and Expert levels. It feels like you get into some high-tech steps even when you are discussing printing at the end but you will know your audience better than I. :wink:


Yes, the length of the videos has been bugging me quite a bit. In order for the calculators to be of value, it's important that users know exactly what to enter and where. And some of the technical explanations address FAQs I've received. The first two videos describe two calculators that can look daunting to fill out, so others won't be quite so lengthy.

Having said that, I love your suggestion to "divide it into two or more sections – eg Basic, Advanced and Expert levels", however I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you suggesting I make 3 separate videos for each calculator, or is there as way to section off a single video?

Sure; you can do chapters or have the three parts of the video as a playlist. You can also add a link from your page to sepearte parts of the video.

One idea that came to mind when reading your comment, was that I could make a much shorter -- say less than 2 minutes -- "Introduction" video for each calculator, in addition to the more detailed "How To" video.

Yep. As you are using YT this is what I would put on there. Send people to the page with more advanced levels of usage.

Good stuff
Paul
#1365215 by Dan from Saint Albans Bay
Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:18 pm
Thank you, Paul!

I loved the cupboard pic!

Paul from Mollymook Beach, NSW wrote:Yep. As you are using YT this is what I would put on there. Send people to the page with more advanced levels of usage.


Excellent! This will solve many of my concerns.

And I will experiment with the audio levels, bit rates, etc.

Very excited to see where my growing video skills will take my site.

Dan
#1365243 by Dan from Saint Albans Bay
Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:27 am
Hi Paul,

Just wanted to give a thumbs up to the Wistia hosting. I'm half tempted to host all of my videos there. But the "free" aspect of YouTube is hard to pass up, and I'm not sure if I would get the same exposure as being on YouTube. But the Wistia help center is awesome and I love the fact that I can replace videos instead having to link old videos to new ones.

The following page has my first membership-related video hosted on Wistia.

[Domain Private]

Thank you!

Dan
#1365254 by Paul from Mollymook Beach, NSW
Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:17 am
Hi Dan
We can get into a conversation about the merits of YT in a different thread if you like but the bottom line (as many YT fans in these forums will attest) is that whatever you do, have it as part of a defined strategy. Following some basic rules when you upload are critical as well. Eg http://sbitips.sitesell.com/get-found-youtube.html There is no point randomly uploading files that haven't got thought out keywords included. I have one colleague that insists they have to be at the beginning of a title just like on a page. :D

And - just because you have the videos on YT doesn't mean it translates to visits. As your ultimate plan is to get them to become a member, then it is well worth trialing the process for a year or so.

This may be useful too; http://mhq.sitesell.com/how-5-sbiers-pr ... video.html.

As far as Wistia is concerned, follow the instructions related to video sitemap inclusion and read all their info before making a major strategy decision. Phil Nottingham is pretty much the best in the business. at video SEO and is well worth following if you want to get into it.. And whichever platform you are using add captions. Good to see you using it on the current video (below)

Nice job on the video. Your whole presentation is getting better and better. One thing - practice zooming in to get a larger and better defined view of the page you are displaying at the basic screen size.

All the best
Paul
PS Add a call to action at the end of the video. Even add a link during it somewhere. You are missing an opportunity to ask the viewer to do something...
#1365264 by Dan from Saint Albans Bay
Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:14 pm
Hi Paul,

My member sales pages are currently noindex,nofollow so I can have separate versions for A/B testing. So I'm not concerned about SEO for the membership-related videos. Plus, the video lessons I'll be doing for the members themselves will be behind a login.

Paul from Mollymook Beach, NSW wrote:Nice job on the video. Your whole presentation is getting better and better. One thing - practice zooming in to get a larger and better defined view of the page you are displaying at the basic screen size. You will

All the best
Paul
PS Add a call to action at the end of the video. Even add a link during it somewhere. You are missing an opportunity to ask the viewer to do something...


Thank you for the great tips!

I can already see by the stats that I probably need to shorten the video, and put the most valuable feature at the beginning instead of toward the end.

I'm also thinking I should make a separate video for mobile, as the mobile users already get the responsive-touch-enabled feature for free.

The wife and I are heading out for annual vacation today, so I was in a hurry to get the video up before we left. But I will work on implementing your excellent suggestions when we get back.

Thank you!

Dan
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