I’ve previously written about how we became “Youtubers”. It was something that never interested me. But, thanks to an incredible stroke of luck, we were put in a position where we could make money on our videos.
6 months later I look back at it all as a pivotal moment in the history of our blog. I’ve always been passionate about the blog but I have to admit I had lost a bit of enthusiasm. Part of the was Covid and seeing traffic plunge about 60% over the better part of 2 years. But there was more than that. I had started to feel a bit bored by the formula of the blog, I just started to feel creatively limited. Thinking of topics to write about (and then writing about them) started to feel like a chore. That was compounded by Covid and not being able to travel anywhere. Travel bloggers have to travel to have material to write about.
Being more creative with Video
We couldn’t travel but we had lots of raw video (shot on my GoPro) and TONS of photos from our last 6 years of full-time travel. I decided to create Youtube videos using all this raw footage and photos. Editing was a bit of a challenge. I have an old version of Premiere Elements (version 9) that I use to edit video. But what about photos? How could I turn them from static images to “moving” images (which you always see in professional videos)?
The answer was Lissette’s iPod. There’s a feature in there that turns iPod photos into video “memories”. I’ve learned to add my photos to the iPod (using iCloud, another Apple feature) and create video memories from them. I then download these “photo videos” to my computer.
The final step is compiling the raw video from my GoPro and from the iPod “photo videos” and editing it all in Premiere Elements. There I add text labels and music. Once done I save the completed video to my computer and then upload them to Youtube. I also embed them in my blog posts on the blog (I’ll go over the benefits of that below).
It is all a lot of work but I’ve found the creative process to be a lot of fun. Creating videos is totally open-ended with the only limitations being your vision of the end product and the software* you use to produce your video.
*Note: I’ve mentioned my process which is complicated by the limited capabilities of my Premiere Elements 9 program (which came out in 2010. Those are ancient times in the videography world). I’m looking to upgrade to Movavi in the near future: it is a popular, inexpensive and easy-to-use program for people (like me) who aren’t professionals. See this review of Movavi by PCMag.
Larger audience and viewing time with Video
We only have 85 published videos as of right now. But I’ve already seen the difference of adding video.
Tapping into a different audience. Readers of our blog have always found us through Google. We’re now finding people coming to our blog directly from Youtube. This has especially been the case on our videos featuring different hikes in Spain (where we’re getting a new audience interested in hiking). So doing videos is tapping into a different (and larger) audience. It’s called diversification 😊
Videos keep people on the blog longer. Videos mean that even regular readers (who don’t come to your site from Youtube) spend more time on the blog. If you add a video close to the beginning or middle of a post, chances are that readers will click on it. That means more viewing time, more Youtube views, and more ad revenues (if you have Google ads or Mediavine as we do). Keeping videos keeps readers engaged.
Making Money with Video
I mentioned diversification and keeping people engaged.
We’re new to Youtube and aren’t making a lot of money directly from Youtube. Last month we made $10 which can barely buy a couple of cups of coffee. But we’re just starting and our Youtube revenue will only grow.
But where we’ve seen a significant increase is on our Mediavine revenue which has gone up over 30% in recent months. Videos keep people on the blog page which means more ads are viewed.
It all means more money.
The Bottom Line of using Video on your blog
The bottom line for me isn’t the money though. Video has made blogging fun again. Most of the videos I’ve done have featured places that we’ve previously visited, using the technique I’ve mentioned above to produce videos of past trips and using those videos in posts already on the blog. But that’s just one aspect of using video – we’re also doing videos where we interact in front of the camera (see our Spanish Beer video) and we’ve just come back from a month-long trip through Spain where shooting video became a priority rather than an afterthought. We’re learning along the way and being creative. In short, video has added a whole new dimension to blogging and we’ll be doing a lot more video going forward.
Related: Why I’ve had it with Instagrammers