Many people avoid starting a blog or online video show because they’re afraid of having to spend too much money getting set up. The truth is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money getting your own video show set up! But there are a few tools that you really should have to be able to produce a high quality, good-looking online video show. Here’s what you need.
One of the obvious things you need to start a successful video show is a camcorder, or possibly more than one if you have them. You don’t have to have an expensive camcorder – you can even use your webcam if you don’t have a more traditional camcorder.
The best thing you can get is a simple HD camcorder which has the following: 1.) a microphone-in jack and 2.) ability to record to an SD card (this makes it very easy to take your recordings to a PC/Mac for video editing) and 3.) a remote control (way better than pushing a button and running to your seat). The Canon Vixia line has worked well for us.
Regardless of whatever camcorder you have, make sure you have a stable place to set the camera up for filming. If you’re using a traditional camcorder, you’ll definitely need a tripod. Don’t have someone hold your camera for you – they’ll never be able to keep it steady enough to keep your viewers from getting motion sickness.
When your video budget justifies it, have someone who knows what they’re doing come in and do the filming part for you. The quality difference will be significant.
Your living room overhead or a lamp just won’t work if you want good, even lighting for your online video show. Lamps and overheads create shadows, which look unprofessional in a video. Visit a camera store or browse online for some discount lighting fixtures or lighting kits. You don’t need super expensive lightboxes or anything like that. A simple bulb with a broad umbrella will do just fine.
We use and highly recommend this Cowboy Studio video lighting kit. It’s a good price and good quality, and best of all, it is SO MUCH COOLER than our old lighting kit. This one barely puts off any heat.
Strong, even sound is as important as good lighting. For a professional looking and sounding online video show, you want to minimize echos and static. Some computers and laptops have built-in microphones that may work, but your best bet is a lapel microphone, especially if you’re shooting your video on a set in front of a camera instead of with a webcam. Lapel microphones are very inexpensive, but they’re worth their weight in gold.
For example, for a long time we used 2 of these $20 Audio-Techica lapel mics with 20 foot cords and a $5 cable splitter from Radio Shack to combone their signal into the camcorder microphone-in jack. Until you go wireless, these are probably still your best bet.
Video Editing Platform
Good video editing software is essential for a professional looking video show. There will be lots of things you want to edit out, without spending hours re-recording a video to be perfect because you don’t have editing software. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have a Mac to have a great video editing platform. Adobe has some great options for Windows video editing, including Adobe Premiere Elements which is available for less than $100. However, their best program so far is Adobe Premiere Pro, which comes in at just over $700 – if that fits your budget.
Just like with filming above, when your video budget justifies it, have someone who knows what they’re doing do the video editing for you. The quality difference will be significant, again. What’s great is today you can share files with your video editor using tools like Dropbox, so no more running hard drives with HD video all over town.
Use Video Sharing Sites
Video sharing websites, like YouTube, are free and your most valuable tool for getting people to see your video show and start making money online. Create accounts with several of the most popular video sharing websites and start uploading your video show online regularly so people can start watching what you’ve created. Tubemogul is an excellent option if you want to upload one video to multiple video sharing websites without the hassle of uploading large files over and over to different sites. Tubemogul allows you to upload the video once and it will distribute your video to various video sharing websites for you.