If you’re appealing to buyers, you should focus on
• Best products and features
• Pros and cons of products and features
• Popular products and features
• Ratings (best and worst cars of the year)
• Interviews with other customers
If you’re appealing to enthusiasts, you should
• New releases
• Best practices and worst mistakes
• Interviews with other enthusiasts
If you’re appealing to peers, you should
• Industry news
• New releases
• New regulations
• Interviews with others in the field
INTERVIEW SUBJECT MATTER
Books: Don’t be afraid to reach out to authors. Many are happy to
grant interviews, and most have contact info online, usually
through a blog or website. If you can’t locate their information, you
can reach authors through their publishers.
Blogs: Many bloggers, podcasters, and other content creators are
experts at what they do. Many are happy to grant interviews to help
drive traffic to their blogs and build their brands.
Colleges: Schools provide an endless assortment of experts who
you can reach out to for interviews.
H.A.R.O: Also known as “Help a Reporter Out”
(http://helpareporter.com ) enables you to fill out an interview
request, which in turn is blasted to experts and professionals who
are looking for interview opportunities in exchange for traffic or a
boost in credibility.
INTERVIEW SUBJECT MATTER
Profnet: Similar to H.A.R.O., Profnet
(https://profnet.prnewswire.com) also allows you to fill out an
interview request, which will reach public relations
professionals who in turn will contact you to tell you about their
LinkedIn: Some people with very impressive credentials are
using LinkedIn. Do a search for your topic and see who you
Local networking groups: Most areas have clubs that play host
to networking groups. See what kind of professional events are
happening near you. You may find some interesting people.
Conferences: Your search should take you offline as well.
Conferences are a wonderful place to network, promote your
brand and your business, and, yes, meet intriguing people.
• You can create product demonstrations, showing how
something works, instead of telling.
• Using product placement in videos can entice others to
use your product or service.
• You can show your logo on the video, leading to more
• You can upload your video to YouTube and other video
sharing services, giving you more opportunities to reach
• In addition to optimizing your video and attracting the
search engines, you can also drive traffic from YouTube
or another video hosting service.
• People will look and listen, instead of scanning the text of
a blog post.
• Seeing your personality and style on a video can lead to
• According to Forrester Research, videos can improve
your blog’s search engine visibility by up to 50%.
• You can show off a fun, humorous, playful side.
• Your viewers connect better when they see your face and
hear the emotional appeal of your voice.
They’re parodies. People like to see brands or celebrities
poke fun at something, and self-deprecating humor always
goes over well. When you poke fun at yourself, your brand,
or your genre, people appreciate your ability to keep it real.
Just be careful not to be mean and insult the people you’re
trying to reach,
People can relate to them. When people see a video that
resonates with them, they’re likely to share. Common
household mishaps, children being children, bad acting or
singing, and a humorous look at the things people go
through during their regular routines are especially
They appeal to our emotions. Charitable or campaigns to
raise awareness often use unfortunate but real situations to
tug at heartstrings and get people talking.
• They’re not too deep. When people have to think about
what they’re watching or if they just don’t get what
they’re watching, they’re not going to stick around. If you
have to touch on a deep or intellectual topic, try doing so
with humor so that you don’t lose your audience.
• They’re unique. You know what makes a video not go
viral? When it copies other viral videos. Come up with
some ideas no one else is doing and you’ll have more
• They show something remarkable. Many viral videos
show talented people. Singers, athletes, musicians, and
others have gone viral.
• They’re not staged. Videos that are staged to look
spontaneous usually don’t look anything close to
• Do your research. Know as much about your interview
subject as possible so that when you’re live on camera,
you can get more personal, if needed.
• Don’t get too personal. The last thing you want is to make
the person with you feel uncomfortable. Not only will it
lead to a bad interview, but your viewers may also be
uncomfortable, and you may have problems finding
future interview subjects.
• If you’re reading from notes, don’t make it obvious. Place
Bullet1 points off camera where you can sneak a glance,
but don’t spend your interview time reading. It looks
• Be mindful of your “uhms.” Sometimes people don’t
notice their own little habits, but boy, do they show up on
camera! It takes some practice, but do pay attention to
throat clearings, “ums,” and other habits that don’t show
well on camera.
• Make eye contact. If you’re not looking at the person
you’re interviewing, look at the camera. Looking off to the
side or down at your lap makes you look distracted and
not really interested in what’s going on around you.
• Talk into the camera. If you’re talking to viewers, look at
the camera so that they feel as if you’re talking to them.
Create your list of questions ahead of time and share it with your
interview subject. Always know what you’re going to talk about ahead of
time. Winging sometimes leads to a lapse in the conversation and
sometimes looks unprofessional. Also, if your interview subject knows
what questions he’ll be asked, he can provide some good information,
statistics, and other facts to help back up his point of view.
Don’t let your interview subject take control. If you’re not careful, the
person whom you’re interviewing will take the lead and talk about only
what she wants to talk about or start selling her latest book or blog
post. Once you lose control of an interview, it’s hard to get back on the
right track. Take the lead and keep the lead.
Ask to expand upon one-word answers. Nothing turns off viewers more
than a boring interview. You’ll find most people enjoy talking about
themselves or what they do. However, now and then, you’ll come across
someone who is shy or unpolished. They may even feel “yes” or “no” is
an adequate response. It’s up to the interviewer to bring out the best in
the guests by asking open-ended questions and directing the
• Develop your podcast: Who, what, how often, and how
• Format and structure your podcast: The freedom of
confinement, working clean, and defamation
• Use music legally in your podcast: The Recording
Industry Association of America (RIAA), indie artists, and
the benefits of Creative Commons
• Incorporate other elements into your podcast: Voicemail
messages and live phone calls from listeners, segments
from other podcasts, and other elements
• As you plan your podcast, to ensure its success and
longevity, you need to take some time and really consider
the following questions:
• Who are you, and why should we subscribe?
• How will you and your audience benefit from focusing on
a specific topic?
• How long a podcast should you try to put together, and
how often can you do it and keep it interesting?
WHY SHOULD WE SUBSCRIBE?
• A fact of human nature is that people would
rather listen to something they connect with
that is poorly produced than something that
looks and sounds like a million bucks and is, to
them, a complete bore.
• Try narrowcasting, or making programs
available that may appeal only to a small
percentage of a total potential audience
Trial and error has shown that between 15 and
30 minutes is about the optimum length for a
solid audio podcast, and anywhere from 1
minute to perhaps 7 is ideal for video. If you are
going to err, err on the side of brevity. A shorter
podcast has a higher likelihood of being
enjoyed regularly, as compared to a longer one
(“Sam Has Seven Friends” is a riveting 90
FORMAT FOR A TALK SHOW
• Intro music
• Greetings and thanks
• Listener mail
• B topic (short)
• Listener voicemail message
• A topic (long)
• URL/phone number
• Outro music
FORMAT FOR A MUSIC SHOW
• Show ID
• Up-tempo song
• Slower song
• “Back sell” first songs, give URL/phone number
• Up-tempo song
• Requested song
• “Back sell” with album information, promote next show
• Last song
FORMAT FOR A TECHNOLOGY SHOW
• Voicemail message
• Intro song
• Tech news and reviews
• B topic (short)
• Question from mail/voicemail
• Promote upcoming show
• Phone interview with expert guest on topic A (long)
• Outro music
• To cut to the chase, if you use music in a podcast without
the express permission of the persons/entities that own
that music, you are in violation of copyright
• One of the easiest ways to begin looking for music to
incorporate into your podcast is to look into websites
specializing in independent music, such as IODA
Promonet, GarageBand, the Podsafe Music Network,
IndieHeaven, and Magnatunes. GarageBand and the
Podsafe Music Network alone represent a community of
thousands of independent artists and their work in
dozens of genres.
• Also try royalty free stock music.
The waveform measurement scale varies depending on your audio-editing
software. In some editing software, the scale will be between -∞dB and
0dB, with 0dB indicating “as loud as possible.” Another popular
application uses the scale 0 to 100, with 100 representing the limit for
• To generalize, the goal of a good recording is to
get relatively consistent levels of sound while
allowing for an adequate amount of dynamic
range and a total avoidance of clipping. This
allows listeners to hear both the loud and soft
portions of a recording without having to adjust
the volume to compensate.
• Clipping occurs when you go above 1.0 on the
scale in Figure 6-1.
• Remember, this isn’t a broadcast—it’s a
podcast. You have complete control over what
ends up in the final product. If you go into your
first recording session knowing that you can
take out any mistakes and edit down any
incoherent ramblings, you’ll be much more
relaxed and much less likely to need to edit
things. It sounds strange, but it’s true.
• Beware of background noise and uneven levels.
• Relaxation is the key to good vocal technique. Relax your
voice, not your body. You need to find a way to relax your
voice but maintain good energy. This is why most voiceover artists record standing up. Doing so helps your
energy, breathing, and blood flow.
• Unless you’ve had some experience behind the mic, you
owe it to yourself to spend a little time goofing around.
Yes, goofing around.
• To find the optimum mic/mouth position to use when
recording, sing yourself a little embarrassing nonsense
song (OK, you can sing or say whatever you like) while
slowly moving your head and mouth up and down and
from side to side in front of the mic.
• Talk to one person at a time. Speak as if
you are speaking to one person.
• Decide exactly who the one person
you’re talking to is. Give yourself a
buddy, a listener, a point of reference.
• The key light: This is the main light used to light the
• The fill light: The second light is the fill light. Its function
is to fill in the shadows left by the key. The fill light throws
less light than the key and is usually a softer, more
• The backlight: The backlight is positioned behind the
subject, casting light on the back of the head and body,
which creates a highlighting effect that helps separate the
subject from the background.
• If you have access to a conference room, a
friend’s apartment, or a large garage and it can
be converted into wherever it is you need to
shoot, go for it.
• The scene should help convey the message.
• Lighting, background noise, environmental
control play a part.
there is an
invisible line that
extends from one
actor to the other.
You must place
the camera on one
side of “the line”
and leave it on
SHOTS: RULE OF THIRDS
The rule of thirds is
the belief that a frame
is much more
pleasing to the eye if
of the shot is not
SHOTS: LONG SHOT
A long shot (or
wideshot) includes the
entire subject of the
shot in the frame. Long
shots and extreme long
shots are often used as
an establishing shot to
orient the characters
within the scene or
reveal the location of
SHOTS: MEDIUM SHOT
A medium shot could
be any shot that is
tighter than a long shot
but not quite tight
enough to be a closeup. We like to think of a
medium shot as
starting around the
actor’s waist or so and
including all of the top
of the head.
A close-up shot is meant
for dramatic effect,
focusing on the face
expressions and hand
movements of humans
or on the details of an
object. They are often
used to highlight a
specific bit of action or
detail that is important
to the story or point at
hand but that would be
lost in a wider shot.
SHOTS: OVER THE SHOULDER
This is a useful shot
when shooting a
when the actors are
standing close to
each other face to
face. It is set up
exactly as it sounds
like it would be.
Outline: Just like you might outline a speech, write yourself a
list of bullet points and basic actions so you can see who is
doing what to whom.
Treatment: A treatment is a version of your idea written not in
script form but in prose. This is between an outline and a full
script, because it is more specific than the first but is not
complete dialogue and action.
Script Get all the action and dialogue on paper. Some types of
shows will require a tight script to make sure certain facts get
illuminated or certain plot points are hit.
Storyboards: Map of your shots. If you’re shooting any kind of
action, or a sequence that relies heavily on the shots coming
together just so, take the time to draw it out (even with stick
figures if you must). It is often the easiest way to communicate
complex setups and moves to your crew.
• Podcasting is an equally accessible and
entertaining application of the iPod. The
word podcasting comes from combining the
terms iPod and broadcasting.
• An audio podcast can range from less than a
minute to more than an hour in total length,
depending upon the content you wish to
include. The podcast can sound slick, as
though it was professionally produced, or have
a rough-around-the-edges homemade flavor to
it. It can start with an introduction to the content
and speaker, and even have a musical intro.
• It’s best if you plan out your podcast ahead of time—
gathering and importing information, and then writing the
script. Although the goal of pod-cast production is to
make it sound professional, it needn’t be perfectly
• What is right depends on your audience and your
personal production style; many podcasters try to sound
more relaxed and casual, while others go to great lengths
to make their radio shows, audiobooks, and other
recordings rival the production value of traditional media
• Less than perfect is okay, even better. But be sure the
audio quality is pleasing; your customers are more likely
to listen to it all the way through.
• The next step of planning is to sketch out the type of
introduction that you want to have. It can include a verbal
opening explaining who you are, what your subject
matter is, and what you will be talking about in this
episode. It can also be saved for future use as the
introduction for your next podcast. Remember: Your intro
is your persona, your audio image, and your brand for
you and your content.
• Your introduction can also include a couple of riffs or a
few bars of music. Get an idea ahead of time the feeling
you want your podcast to convey: serious, businesslike,
entertaining, educational, or something else. Then pick
about five seconds of music that conveys that feeling to
• The last part of podcast planning involves writing or
rehearsing your closing, or sign-off. During this part of
the session, you should remind your audience of who
you are and what your subject matter is, where they can
find more of it, and perhaps mention your sponsor (if you
have one). Your sign-off is perhaps the most important
part of your podcast, because it is the last thing your
listeners will hear each time they listen to you, and
through repetition, it establishes your auditory brand
• At the very minimum, you will need to trim the
dead air at the beginning and end of your
recording; and in most cases, you will want to
paste together the music and verbal intro and
your sign-off content.
• Special effects, properly used, can enhance
your podcasts. By adding a little creativity and a
special effect here and there, you can keep your
content exciting and entertaining.
• If your software has features that allow you to
do so, you should first boost your volume and
your bass. Most microphones—especially the
inexpensive built-in types—can make your
recording sound shallow and tinny. Boosting
the volume and bass will add fullness and
fidelity to your recording.
Do not covet thy neighbor’s copyrights: Be careful not to take
or use something that belongs to someone else. Creating a fivesecond song is really easy. There are even royalty-free sound
bites and music you can use called pod-safe music.
Do not spend a lot of money: Unless you really want to get into
podcasting, don’t spend a lot of money doing it. Remember in
this one case that “good enough” might actually be good
Keep your podcasts brief: Most people only have about a
seven-minute attention span for audio. Taking any more time
than that will lose your listeners’ interest. If you have a 30minute interview or a 45-minute panel discussion, leave it at
that length. If your audio file can be broken into five- to sevenminute chapters, topics, or ideas, then break it up.
Produce in the right file format: Be sure that when you link or
upload your podcasts, they are in a usable file format. While
QuickTime is great for Macintosh users to play, Windows and
PowerPoint users have difficulties with it. Most people want
your content in an MP3 format so that it is compatible with their
digital music players.
Be conscious of file size: While you may have a lot to say, a
53MB file is just too large for most people to download and
install on their digital players. Most tunes run at about 3.5MB
each, so try to keep your finished files in the single-digit MB
Be creative: This, again, is the most important commandment.
The more creative you are and the more “What’s in It for Me?”
you provide for your listener, the more people will download it,
listen to it, pass it along to their friends, recommend it, and
comment on it; and the more loyal listeners and followers and
trusted network you will build. Remember to ask your
customers to be collaborators of your content.
The technical measure of video content is frames per second, which means
the number of still images every second. For standard film, the frame
rate can be 32 frames (or images) per second, while video frame rates
can range from 25 to 30 and even 50 to 60 frames per second for high
definition (HD) video, which means that for a standard video that is
running at 25 frames per second, there are 1,500 separate images every
minute. Based on the dimensions of the video screen, that can add up
to a lot of data per frame (image), and a huge amount of information
every minute. Getting all of those data through the earliest 300-baud
modem (300 bits per second), or even today’s 56K-baud modem (56,000
bits per second) is a monumental task.
SCRIPT YOUR THOUGHTS
It’s always best to script your thoughts, or at least organize them as a list of
bullet points. One suggestion for recording a video is to first create a
Keynote presentation (PowerPoint, for non-Apple users). Position the
monitor behind the camera or print the slides and tape them where you can
speak to them while recording. Directly reading a script is the worst thing
you can do.
Don’t attempt to record too much at one time. If you can get through a slide, say
“cut,” take a deep breath, and start fresh with a new slide. If you are one of
those people lucky enough to be able to just start talking, then by all means,
do that. The bottom line is to do whatever you are most comfortable with;
you will come across as confident in the video. Your audience will mirror
whatever your emotions are. If you are having fun, they will have fun as well.
Be sure to remember to record your introduction: who you are, your subject
matter, and your website address. Keep in mind that you must also record
your conclusion, which will consist of a summary and a reiteration of who
you are and your website. The introduction and conclusion can also contain
some music, and even titles.
EDITING YOUR VIDEO
• Once you have created some raw digital video, it’s time to
edit. Select a video editing application such as Apple’s
iMovie and import your video (see Figure 11.4). Pick out
some theme music, still photos, and other additional
video clips you might want to include. You can also do a
voice-over by recording directly from the microphone
over your still photos or video clips.
• Your video editing software will allow you to create
tracks, which will enable you to place your video in as the
main track, insert your introduction in front of it, and even
lay down a separate music track that will play
simultaneously. You can, of course, control the track
volume, so that the background music remains in the
Look at some of the most popular videos shared: Go look at the
most popular videos posted on YouTube and other video
sharing websites. See what they have in common. Notice the
strong entertainment value (entertainment is a very strong
“What’s in It for Me?”).
Create a video: Go out and create a video. Try it. Keep it light,
and keep it short (three to five minutes). Try to have the highest
WIIFM you can for your customers. Give them a takeaway in the
form of information, such as an “I didn’t know that,” or a “You
can use it that way,” or just plain have fun.
Do not spend a lot of money: If you have a digital video camera,
start shooting. If you don’t own one, borrow one first and try it
to see if you like it. Download free software from the Internet,
and have some fun editing.