The Obvious Way to Bond with Your Readers That Almost Everyone Ignores

by Adam Bean


You want to build an audience for your blog.

And not just a casual, passive audience – a mob of fanatical fans.

Fans who click the link to your latest post the second it lands in their inboxes.

Fans who always leave comments and can’t wait to share your work with their followers.

Fans who’ll even drop you an email from time to time to tell you exactly what’s on their minds.

In other words, you want your readers to feel strongly connected to you – the way people feel in real life.

But getting that connection online is tough. No matter how well you write, a blog creates a certain distance between you and your readers.

However hard you try, reading a blog post is not the same as having a conversation with someone face-to-face.

So how do you create this connection you crave?

Fortunately there is a simple answer.

The “Obvious” Secret to Creating a Deep Connection with Your Readers

Think about a popular blogger you feel a connection with.

Got one?

Chances are, you know exactly what they look like. You probably know how they sound too.

Somehow you’ve assembled a realistic, three-dimensional model of them in your mind that’s triggered if you think about them.

But how did that model get there?

Maybe you’ve heard them speak in a webinar or a podcast. Or you might have seen them on Google Hangout or in a whiteboard session. Or some combination of these.

But the result is that they’re no longer just a name and some words on a page, or a photo in a bio: they’re a living, breathing person.

And that’s a big part of why you feel such a strong connection with them.

Because once someone has imprinted on your memory like this, it infuses everything else they do.

When you read their latest blog post you can’t help but hear it in their voice. When they tell a story, you can vividly picture them in that situation.

In other words, you feel much more connected to them because you feel you know them.

And if you met them in the street, you’d probably feel comfortable striking up a conversation as if you were an old friend.

Which is exactly how you want your audience to feel about you.

Fortunately, a way exists to create that kind of connection quite simply.


Somewhat obvious, right?

The Internet A-Listers Who Are Killing It With Simple Videos

Have you heard of Gary Vaynerchuk? He’s the social web’s king of video and a master of audience connection.

So much so that the last episode of his video podcast Wine Library TV (Episode 1,000) generated over 4,300 comments on his blog.  How’s that for engagement?

But Gary wasn’t famous when he started the Wine Library TV Blog – in fact, he was working for his Dad in his bottle shop. But from humble beginnings, he created a massive audience of highly-engaged and raving fans.

His latest project is the #AskGaryVee Show and again, video is at the heart of it. Here’s the most recent episode:

YouTube video

Each video gets hundreds of comments. And Gary has over 3 million followers on Twitter.

Now, admittedly not everyone has Gary’s powerhouse personality. And not everyone wants to make a new video every week.

But you can’t deny that within a few seconds of watching Gary at work, you have a strong sense of him as a unique individual.

Here are some more examples:

  • Chris Brogan – Chris is a one-man media empire but he’s not afraid to keep things simple when it comes to video. Check out this short promotional video for his recent book The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth.
  • Marie Forleo – Marie’s videos are slick and sexy, but behind the high production values lies a very simple format. Watch this recent episode of Marie TV to understand why she has such a passionate fan base.
  • Darren Rowse – Darren’s a familiar face in the blogging world and that’s partly because he’s not afraid to put video to good use. He used it effectively to tell people about the launch of the Problogger Community.

If them, why not you? After all, they were all using video long before they were as successful as they are today.

Why Most Bloggers Stay Hidden Behind Their Keyboards

Most bloggers have considered using video at some point.

They might have been inspired by other bloggers that were using it successfully. Or tempted by the video capability on their new smartphone or tablet.

Or sensed that video could help them take their audience engagement to the next level.

But despite this, most bloggers fail to act. And the reason is simple.

They’re scared.

Why is it that one simple five-letter word – video – can strike such fear into the bravest of bloggers, who are otherwise fearless with their content?

Actually, they have lots of reasons:

  • They’re scared they won’t look right on camera.
  • They’re scared their voice will sound weird.
  • They’re scared of saying the wrong thing and looking stupid.
  • They’re scared that the technology will get the better of them.

Now it’s totally normal to have these fears when starting out with video – but here’s the cold hard truth.

Unless you find a way to powerfully bond with your audience, your blog will be left in the dust by other bloggers who do.

And video, done right, is one of the quickest and most effective ways to create engagement.

The sooner you get past your fears and start using video to create a deep personal connection with your readers, the sooner you’ll stand out from the crowd.

A Quick Thought Experiment to Help Overcome Your Fear of Video

Like most fears that aren’t caused by an imminent physical threat, much of the anxiety surrounding video is completely disproportionate to the actual risk.

Here’s a technique taken from Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work Week that will help to put your video fears into perspective.

First, write down a list of things that could possibly go wrong if you created a video and published it on your blog.

Once you have your list of “terrible” outcomes, ask yourself:

  • Are any of them life threatening?
  • Are any of them going to cause a genuine catastrophe in your life?
  • Are any of them going to harm someone else in some way?

(In case you’re wondering, the answer in all cases should be no.)

The purpose of this exercise is to put those wild thoughts running around inside your head into perspective.

If you are not going to harm anyone else, and it’s not going to cause some sort of catastrophe for you – what’s the harm in giving it a go?

Put it this way – you’ve got no excuse at all for not trying. If you hate the results, don’t post them on your blog, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. And you might be pleasantly surprised.

The Best Type of Clip to Create When You’re a Video Virgin

Video really isn’t as terrifying as you might first have thought. But we’re still going to make your first steps into video as gentle as possible.

So you’re going to create a specific type of video: a short, standalone, single-take video.

Here’s why:

  • Keeping your video short means it’s simpler to create and also easier to hold the viewer’s attention throughout.
  • Planning for your video to be standalone means you’re not committing yourself to recording a whole series (after all, you’re a blogger, not a vlogger) and ensures it will be effective even if it’s the only video on your blog.
  • Recording your video in a single take (i.e., no editing required) keeps the technical stuff to a minimum and usually results in an on-camera performance that looks more natural and down-to-earth.

A number of different types of video fit this brief, but we’re going to focus on just one: a simple welcome video.

This is a video that will sit on your About Page and give new readers a quick introduction to you and your blog.

And if you have an email list it’s also the perfect place to encourage them to sign up.

The 4-Part Formula for Creating an Engaging Video Script

Although some people can say exactly what they want to say, how they want to say it, without planning it first, most of us don’t have that superpower.

So when recording your welcome video, it helps to have a simple script to keep you on track. You don’t have to learn it word for word (in fact it’s probably best that you don’t) but it will give you a template to work with.

And to structure your script we’re going to adapt a simple formula borrowed from standup comedian turned copywriter Kevin Rogers: Identity, Struggle, Discovery, Surprise.

Here’s how it applies to your welcome video script:

  • Identity – Say who you are and welcome visitors to your blog.
  • Struggle – Describe a personal struggle your audience will relate to.
  • Discovery – Talk about a discovery which turned things around.
  • Surprise – Surprise viewers by making a helpful offer.

Let’s see a couple of examples of this formula in use.

Firstly, imagine a blogger called Bob who has a blog called Blogging Focus.

Hi! I’m Bob and welcome to my blog, Blogging Focus. My passion is to get more traffic for your blog by helping you focusing on exactly the right things. (IDENTITY)

When I decided to start a blog I was horrible at getting traffic. Honestly, when I looked at my traffic stats, it was just a flat line. Even my mom’s blog about pugs was getting more traffic than mine! It was humiliating. I tried every traffic tip under the sun, but nothing seemed to work. And I was always chasing the next big tip. (STRUGGLE)

But then a friend suggested that I should try doing fewer things, but more consistently. And what was really smart about that, was I could actually see what worked and what didn’t. And after a while, by focusing on a small number of things, I started to see real results. (DISCOVERY)

And here’s the good news: you can get real results too. So if you enter your email address in the box under this video, I’ll tell you the three things I did consistently that got me more traffic than all of the other tips put together. (SURPRISE)

You’ll also get an email when there’s new content on my blog – usually once a week.

Thanks again for stopping by. And remember to enter your email below.

Here’s another example – this time from an imaginary self-improvement blogger called Stacey:

Hey there! Great to meet you. I’m Stacey and I really appreciate that you took the time to check out my blog, Self-Improvement Digest. My goal is to share the very best advice on the web for living a more fulfilling life. (IDENTITY)

I always thought of myself as a happy person but a little while ago I found myself in a rut. Have you ever felt like that – like there must be more to life? I know I did. So I went on the internet looking for answers. Just Google it, right? (STRUGGLE)

What I realized is that there is ton of good advice out there on the web for improving your life. But there’s a ton of crap too. So how do you separate the good stuff from the bad? (DISCOVERY)

Here’s how: let me do it for you.

If you give me your email address below – and I’ll look after it I promise! – I’ll send you a digest of the very best self-improvement advice on the web, once a week. Pretty sweet deal, huh? (SURPRISE)

Thanks again for stopping by and I look forward to helping you get out of that rut!

Each of these examples is no longer than a minute in duration, but they prove that by following a simple formula, you can achieve a lot in a short space of time. You can:

  • Introduce yourself and your blog to the reader in your own words.
  • Bond with them over a personal struggle they should be able to recognize.
  • Prompt an action (a sign-up) that allows you to build the relationship over time.

Powerful, right?

How to Record Your High Quality Video with a Regular Smartphone

Now we’re going to get into the detail of recording your video.

If you already have a suitable camcorder – or a camera with a video function – then you’re off to a great start. But we’re going to assume all you have is a smartphone.

Whichever type of device you have, an important consideration is how you’ll record your audio.

Why Audio Quality is So Critical

You’d think that the most important part of a video was the picture, right?

However, while most people will tolerate less-than-perfect visuals, poor-quality audio will have them scrambling for the Back button.

And in most cases, the built-in microphone on your smartphone (and even most camcorders) won’t produce audio of a high enough standard.

This is partly due to the quality of the microphone and partly due to its position.

You see, the secret to great audio is to make sure that the microphone is as close as possible to the source of the sound (i.e., your mouth). And for this you need an external microphone.

So here’s what you’ll need to get great sound – and video – from your smartphone:

  • Lavalier microphone – this is small microphone you can clip to your lapel so that it’s close to your mouth. The Olympus ME-52W is a cost-effective option and comes with an extension cable to simplify placement.
  • Microphone adapter – this allows a microphone with a standard 3.5mm jack to be connected to the headphone socket on your smartphone. This model is designed for iPhones but should work with most of the latest smartphones.
  • Phone Tripod/Stand – to make your video look a little more professional than an arms-length video selfie, you’ll need something to keep your phone steady while filming. This Octopus-style tripod is a bargain at under $5.
  • Video-Recording App – both of the built-in Camera apps on iOS and Android can be switched into video mode and work well. Paid apps such as MoviePro (iOS only) offer more professional features such as in-app editing and audio controls.

Where’s the Best Place to Shoot Your Video?

When it comes to the question of where to film your video, both indoors and outdoors have their strengths and weaknesses.

Outdoors is great for the abundance of light, although it obviously depends on the weather and the time of year. Early mornings and late afternoons work well because the light is more diffuse, but noise may be a problem, and you’ll have less control over the environment.

Indoors is quieter and more controllable, but lack of light can be an issue, so try to film somewhere with windows and lots of natural light. If you decide to get serious about video, you could create a guerilla lighting rig so that finding natural light is not so essential.

6 Simple Tips for a Painfree Recording Experience

  1. Memorize Your “Bookends.” You don’t need to memorize your script word for word – you’ll lose spontaneity and risk sounding like a robot. But it is a good idea to memorize your opening and closing sentences to ensure a strong start and finish. Videos which open with uncertainty, or fizzle out at the end, won’t leave a lasting and positive impression on your audience. So keep your script close to hand and refer to it between takes.
  2. Create a Safe Recording Environment. Nothing is quite so frustrating as getting almost to the end of a perfect take and having it ruined by a text message arriving, the doorbell chiming or your partner calling you in for lunch. So do what you can to minimize interruptions. Turn your phone to flight mode, remove the batteries from your doorbell and tell anyone in the vicinity that you’re recording.
  3. Run a Simple Test. Plug in the microphone and perform a quick test recording to make sure everything is working. Check that the audio is clear and that your face is neatly framed by the screen and not cropped or biased to one side. If necessary, put a cross on the floor with tape to make sure you always hit your mark.
  4. Record Your Practice Runs. Practice with the camera rolling. You never know when you are going to completely nail a take, and you don’t want to miss a good performance simply because the camera wasn’t running. Remember, you’re only creating a short video so if you happen to knock it out of the park on the first practice – mission accomplished.
  5. Breathe, Smile, Begin. Once the camera is rolling, take a deep breath, look directly into the lens, and then smile for three or four seconds before you begin to talk. Once finished, smile again a few seconds before stopping the recording. This gives you a little footage at each end of your video that you can trim to suit. Otherwise it looks unnatural if you start talking without a short gap before you start.
  6. Whatever Happens – Don’t Stop. Even if you make a mistake – keep going. Small stumbles often aren’t as bad as they seem in the moment, and for bigger mistakes, simply take another breath and start that section again. Even though you’re aiming for a single, uninterrupted take, you can get perfectly good results by editing out the problem sections.

Take a Deep Breath and Press “Record”

So, will you actually do it? Will you put your fears aside and record your first video?

Because if you want a truly engaged audience, sooner or later you’ll need to step out from behind the keyboard.

No matter how well you write, readers will struggle to bond with you if they can’t picture you in their mind’s eye.

That’s why video is so powerful. Even the simplest video can transform you from an almost anonymous blogger, into a living, breathing human being.

So scribble yourself a quick script, pick up your smartphone and press record.

And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. People connect with real people, with their flaws intact. They don’t want you to be a slick, shiny robot.

Start today with a simple welcome video and who knows where it might lead?

Someday soon you could be the Gary Vee of your niche.

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Adam Bean

A social media keynote speaker, Adam Bean is constructively disrupting the construction industry with his signature talk, “The Constructive use of Disruptive Technology.”


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Written by Adam Bean

A social media keynote speaker, Adam Bean is constructively disrupting the construction industry with his signature talk, “The Constructive use of Disruptive Technology.”

106 thoughts on “The Obvious Way to Bond with Your Readers That Almost Everyone Ignores”

  1. Hey Adam,

    Great post, and very interesting idea. I’ve yet to dip my toe into the video waters, but many of the bloggers who are “imprinted” on my memory DO, in fact, feature videos of themselves in some way, shape or form.

    Darren Rowse is a great example. I had been reading ProBlogger for years, but I didn’t feel as though I KNEW Darren until he started those simple YouTube videos.

    You’ve definitely given me something to think about. Thanks, Adam!

    I’ll be Tweeting this one shortly…

    Have a great day!

    – Kevin

    • Hey Kevin

      Thanks very much for the feedback. You hit the nail on the head with the fact that Darren keeps his video’s simple. They don’t have to be complicated or take hours of work producing to be engaging.

      Glad to hear you are thinking about getting started. After you do the first one you tend to get hooked on doing it.

      Cheers Beanie

  2. Adam, I know the whole focus of your post is video, but do you think it’s possible to bond with your audience just as deeply with audio? Meaning, for example, podcasts or narrated YouTube videos with slides instead of a video. Just wondering… Thanks!

    • Hey Mia

      It’s definitely possible to create a deep engagement using audio and slides.

      Part of the reason video works so well is because of the connection that you get with people through the sound of your voice.

      I find the most engaging video’s I make are when I do a talking head video, which is what Gary Vee does. When it’s done well, the person watching the video feels as though you made that video just for them.

      However not everyone is a lair like myself that likes being in front of the camera. So audio with slides is a great way to go.

      Cheers Beanie

  3. You know, it’s funny– there are tons of DIY’ers on YouTube, but not a ton of DIY BLOGGERS on Youtube! I realized this about 2 years ago, and started building up a small collection of my own videos. I think you hit on it exactly–people are scared. They don’t want to be seen. Me?? The more that see me, the better! LOL.

    I’ve since invested in a great camera, and recently bought the wireless lapel mic (Sennheiser). Set me back a whopping $600, but the quality is great! Next up– an indoor studio in my basement.

    It’s TOUGH doing full blog post tutorials for projects, and THEN editing video for YouTube, but I think it makes me unique and more well-rounded. Thanks for the awesome tips on identity/struggle/discovery/surprise. I will incorporate that in my videos from now on! 🙂

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

    • I’m with you Serena the more people that see me the better! Lol

      Great move getting the Senheiser mic, it’ awesome top quality gear.

      The identity/struggle/discovery/surprise is a fantastic formula, one I use in all of my video’s now. I am finding it’s working exceptionally well on Facebook video’s where they need to be really short, 30 seconds to 1 minute seems to be working best.

      You’re right it can be tough doing the extra work to get your video up on YouTube, but the extra work will pay off when your YouTube channel becomes popular.

      What is your YouTube channel? I would love to see what your doing.

      Cheers Beanie

  4. Great advice, Adam, and very encouraging. A lot of us non-techie people are scared of the technology involved in producing videos. (Hey, I don’t even have a smart phone!) But one way to jump on the learning curve is to record an animated Powerpoint presentation. You can port that across to a video, then put it on YouTube, very easily with Powerpoint 2010. People can then see a static picture of you and hear your voice, if nothing else. One of my writing course students said he’d give his pension to have a Brit accent like mine. (He told me I sound like Prince Charles.) Well, I guess that’s a kind of bonding…

    • Hey John

      The tools that are out there for creating video are amazing. You’re spot on an animated powerpoint (prezi is great for doing this) is a fantastic way to get started.

      A lot of people find it hard to believe (not the ones that know me well lol) but I’m a non techie as well. So everything I do I keep super simple, because I don’t do complicated.

      The trick is to find what ever technology your comfortable using, and create video that way. There is no right or wrong answer.

      Lastly accents are definitely a very powerful part of the bonding process, so take every advantage the you have and run with it.

      Cheers Beanie

  5. Yes, video seems to be all the rage at the moment. I’ve toyed with creating my own. Although I don’t have fancy equipment, there are some alternatives out there to help you create decent videos.

    The first is which lets you make videos out of simple slideshows and works similar to SlideShare in set up. It also lets you upload to YouTube. Another alternative is which is reasonably simple to use and lets you do screenshares and meetings, etc. Of course there’s Windows MovieMaker which I’ve experimented with too.

    The only thing that puts me off actually publishing a video is that feedback from my list members is that most of them don’t have time to sit and watch videos. Still, it’s a “pipeline” goal for me.

    • Hey Tom

      That is the one draw back with video, the time it takes to watch it. The way I get around it is with short (1 to 2 minute) video’s that teach people why they need to watch the longer video.

      When you give them a compelling reason ( like watching this video will save you x amount of hours or $ if you do what I teach you) all of a sudden they find the time to watch them.

      The other way I get around it is by stripping the audio off of the video and turning that into an audio podcast that people can download.

      Then I tell them to listen to it while they’re driving picking the kids up etc, this way they can filter out the parts of the video that they really want to see.

      Another great option is Google Hangout’s or YouTube Live, that way you can run an actual coaching all with Q & A so they’re not just spending time watching a video.

      Cheers Beanie

      • Yup, offering an audio version has been something I’ve thought about too. Also, thanks for the tip re: encouraging viewing by giving a tantalising reason to watch, say a bonus or money-saving tip and for mentioning YouTube Live. Not heard of YT Live before. Cheers!

  6. I can definitely see the value in doing this if what you’re selling is yourself — as in all the examples mentioned. They’re selling their expertise, a service, and/or information (in Problogger’s case).

    My question is around whether you can point to someone successfully using this with a software or product — and a business blog.

    Would it have the same impact?

    • Hi Melissa,

      As BBT editor I thought I’d pick this one up on behalf of Adam as he’s based in Australia and won’t be around for another few hours. 🙂

      Great question! Yes I think this approach works as long as the person on-camera is closely involved with the product or business.

      For instance, you only need to check out Kickstarter to find lots of product company founders getting in front of the camera to tell you about themselves and their products. Here’s a very recent example:

      As for more established businesses, here’s’s CEO Aaron Patzer talking about the origins of the company:

      I probably won’t be right for everyone, but most bloggers (rather than businesses who happen to have a blog) would be wise to consider it.



    • Hey Melissa

      Glen has nailed it in one with this sentence…

      “Yes I think this approach works as long as the person on-camera is closely involved with the product or business.”

      Think about most TV ad’s with a random person promoting a product, you can tell it’s fake and you tune out to it.

      Then take a look at this

      James (the lad in the video) is the developer of these lures, and it’s easy to tell that he’s genuinely passionate about his product.

      Passion and enthusiasm for your product will come through in your video.

      Do you have a particular product in mind that you’re thinking about using it on?

      Cheers Beanie

  7. I’m so glad you mentioned the importance of audio quality in video blogging! I don’t think it’s the video editing that separates great video bloggers from beginners. It’s really the clarity of the sound people use.

    Thanks for the post!

  8. I’ve embraced using video from the beginning – you’re totally right, it just helps your audience get a strong feeling for who you are which allows them to connect to you better.

    One thing I’ve learned is that I need to be super silly between takes as I go through shooting each section. This helps me to keep my energy up – so I don’t sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher when the camera goes on. It makes a big difference in my energy which has a positive impact on my delivery.

    So to all the video newbies out there, take Adam’s advice and go for it! You’ get better with each one you do.

    • Great tip Sonia, energy levels go down the longer that you record, and it has a huge impact on the way that you deliver your message.

      Again spot on with this “You’ get better with each one you do”

      My first video (which is still up on YouTube) was terrible. But if I hadn’t made that first one, I wouldn’t be here today.

      Cheers Beanie

  9. Maybe consider starting with something about the viewer rather than identity. If a viewer doesn’t know you, or care who you are, starting with “Hi I’m … ” strikes me as being a bit on the dull side.

    • Hi Bill,

      I’m answering a few of these questions as it’s the middle of the night right now where Adam is. 🙂

      It’s a good point. Adam did originally have a short discussion in his post about using a “pattern interrupt” to grab the viewer’s attention right at the start of the video – and addressing the viewer as you suggest (and as Laura does in her video) is a great way to do that.

      In the end the point was the victim of a final edit of the post for length, but I’m glad you raised it again here.


      BBT Editor

    • Hey Bill

      You’re right the video is all about the viewer at the end of the day. I don’t always open that way, in fact it’s only something I have started testing recently.

      The dull part though comes back to two things, delivery and duration.

      If you’re monotone in the way that you introduce yourself yes it’s going to come across as boring, enthusiasm fixes this issue.

      Duration is the next killer. If you spend to long talking about yourself, yes people are going to lose interest.

      If the delivery is short (I am talking 5 seconds) sharp and enthusiastic, then you will draw the viewer in.

      As Glen said it’s a great point, and as you pointed out opening with a question about the viewer is another great way to start your video.

      Cheers Beanie

  10. Video is a great way to connect – and it’s often overlooked.

    I used to do an intro video for each of my columns. But I recently stopped for a few reasons – the No. 1 reason being time.

    Instead, I now have an intro video for my entire site that sits in the right-hand column and never moves. It’s on every page of my site. Phew! No more intro videos – and much more time to write! I’m a humor writer, so that’s what it’s all about for me.

    Great post as always, Jon.

    • Sorry, just to clarify, when I say ‘columns’, I really mean blog posts. But I write them in a way that wouldn’t look out of place in a Sunday newspaper, which is why I call them columns.

  11. You’re beyond awesome. It took me a long time to add podcasts and videos to my blogging. This is because I was a little self conscious about the production value of my stuff. But looking back, things really picked up for my blogging business when I started adding this stuff.

    Thank you so much for posting this article!

    • Hey Jason

      The self conscious thing is the hardest to get past in my opinion. So I have huge amounts of respect for anyone that does it. Glad you enjoyed the post, and thank for taking time to leave such great feedback.

      Cheers Beanie

  12. Super post Adam you make it sound almost ‘easy’. How can this be so when I’ve avoided videos for so long because, well…they’re flipping complicated? 🙂

    • Hey Elle

      It really is simple if you keep it that way. I detest complicated things, my brain just doesn’t operate that way.

      For me to start and finish something, I have to find a simple way to do it.

      The key I find for people getting stated is to just focus on one thing at a time, that way you don’t get overwhelmed.

      Don’t try and do it all in one session, break it up and keep making small but regular amounts of progress toward getting a recording done.

      You can do it 🙂

  13. Hi Adam,

    Thanks for stressing the role video plays in engagement. Although I’ve made some videos, I haven’t created a welcome one for my blogs. I appreciate your suggestions of minimal equipment, especially for audio quality. With your encouragement and step-by-step guidance, I’m ready to plunge back into creating again for greater engagement.

    • That’s great news Flora, I love it when people tell me that they’re ready to take action.

      It’s surprising just how good the audio quality is from low cost mic’s that are available.

      Cheers Beanie

  14. Adam,

    Great post and guidelines for starting to combine video with blogging. I like the recommendation to start with something short and sweet. It introduces your readers/viewers to you and you to video.

    Not only are you using a new tool to build your engagement with your audience, you’re using video engagement to build your relationship with the tool.

    Nice double win.


    • Hey Kathryn

      Definitely a great double win. You can fit a huge amount of engagement into one minute, especially with Kevin’s formula.

      It is as you put it a very powerful relationship building tool.

      Cheers Beanie

    • Hey Mark

      Unfortunately the adapter only allows you to plug in a mic with a 3.5mm jack and the blue yeti has a USB connection.

      You could however record the audio with your computer (assuming your recording inside) and blue yeti mic whilst recording the video with your phone.

      You need a loud noise (like a clap, hence the clapper board they use in the movies) when you start rolling that will give you a spike on your audio and video files, so that you can marry them up when editing.

      It sounds complicated, but it’s really not that hard to do.

      Cheers Beanie

  15. Amazing post, the only thing that was missing was how to set up the lighting. That’s the part that makes people look like an amateur and took me FOREVER to get right. Finally I hired a photographer to come over and help me set it up so that now, all I have to do is move my lights into position and go!
    Love the script tips! Thanks!

    • Hey Maria

      Your right, I didn’t cover much about lighting, the main reason being it’s another thing to complicate the process (plus it’s an additional cost) and put people off of getting started.

      Getting a photographer to show you how set them up is a fantastic idea.

      Glad you liked to script tips.

      Cheers Beanie

      The best way to overcome it

  16. Thanks so much for sharing my welcome video! Good timing, too! We’re about 2 weeks away from dipping our toes into the live streaming workout video space, and I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to connect with our audience in a new, unfiltered way. It’s gonna be wild!

    But seriously, great post and I appreciate the shout out!

    • Hey Laura

      Your most welcome. I love your YouTube trailer video, you really nail everything that needs to be said in such a short space of time, and the engagement factor of it is through the roof!.

      You will love the live streaming stuff, it takes the engagement you get via video to whole new level.

      Can’t wait to see how you use it.

      Cheers Beanie

  17. Very very good advice. I like how you went into the actual logistics of making a video because that was something that didn’t seem obvious to me for some reason.

  18. I have been struggling for awhile now trying to come up with ideas for video. Wow … this is the easiest way to start! Thanks. I will definitely be adding a quick welcome video to my blog.

  19. Great post, Adam! As an introvert, I’ve tended to use video for online training courses, rather than my blog – but I totally agree with you, that video helps you to connect with your audience in a way that writing can’t, because it gives people a chance to see you as you really are. I’m currently working with a group of introverts to create their first videos, so I’m pleased to note that I’m teaching them all of the points you mention. 🙂

    • That’s so cool Julia. It must be very rewarding to work with a group like that making such a difference in their lives.

      That’s a really powerful intro video you have on your blog. It speaks right to that heart of the problem your Niche is facing every single day.


      Cheers Beanie

  20. I record my self and the accent is something I have to work on.
    Hopefully with lots of practice will get rid off it.
    Any recommended camcorders?

    Kind regards,
    I. C. Daniel

    • Hey I.C. Daniel

      I wouldn’t try to change your accent, it’s part of who you are. Some people will love it, some won’t, but you can’t please everyone.

      I don’t use camcorders so there isn’t a particular model or brand that I can recommend. Main things they need is the ability to record a minimum 720p quality and 3.5 mm audio input.

      Cheers Beanie

  21. Good stuff, as always. Marie Forleo was the first person I thought of as I started reading your post.
    My favorite line: “Are any of them life threatening?”
    Love it! 🙂

  22. I love this! Some time ago I decided to be brave and put a vid on my website. I tell people I did it in three takes. It really took about 99 takes and about three hours since I was learning the technology, writing the script and practising my ‘presence’ all at the same time. I wish I’d seen this first! I love your framework and know exactly what I want to say next time.

  23. The biggest problem for me in expanding on my audience is the issue of SPAM and people who comment on a blog post only to promote their own blog and website. Despite numerous upgrades in SPAM filters, I’ve continued to find posts made by self-serving people adept at getting around filters through use of key words etc. The outcome: I now maintain a blog but have had to close it down to responses from readers. Any advice? Christine

    • Hi Christine

      Unfortunately I am no expert on this one. I can suggest using the askimet plugin if you are on wordpress, which seems to filter out most of the spam straight away for me.

      Cheers Beanie

  24. Hi Adam; you have written a very helpful post here. I am a totally blind computer user, and I have done videos. I got a friend robin hallett to help me online via Skype. she helped me determine how to position the screen on my laptop so i would be in focus. I recorded a few tests to get the audio right. I made a few notes about what to talk about, and then i just let it rip. Its not as scary as people make it out to be. would be happy to email or discuss with any readers over Skype. I hate to go there, but if the blind blogger can do it; why not you? I have done videos for my amusement equipment website. I can’t yet go out and record them on location with my clients, so I have to depend upon them to send me videos or to send enough photos where I can create a slide show and then add audio. with winter coming soon I believe i should start getting more to work with once people are home in their winter quarters and not out traveling every week. for my new site i haven’t recorded a video yet, but I plan to soon. I have an ebook coming out and want to record some videos either to promote it or to package with it. I’m thinking of doing a series based on the key points just don’t know if it will be paid or be an email sign up thing where they get a video a week or something like that. and i wanted to mention that i took the advice in the post about how to get interviewed by popular blogs. I took it a step further and searched out radio shows and podcasts. Just today I was told that I am booked on the twanna young show november 18th on the empowerment zone radio show. It is online but they still have a good audience. just wanted to let people know that your site’s advice is sound as long as you listen and take action. well thanks again and take care, Max

    • Hey Max

      I love your attitude. You just don’t let anything be an excuse from stopping you doing what you want to do.

      I have just been having a look through your sites. You have so much going on podcasts, video’s, hangouts. I especially like the way you have nailed down on the amusement equipment niche.

      Awesome stuff. Thanks for sharing your story here, I hope it inspires others as much as it has me.

      Cheers Beanie

      • Hi Beanie; thanks for the quick reply to my comment. that’s a good sign you are following someone worth listening to. I’m glad i could inspire you. Yes, but anyone can take the attitude that they are going to do what they can each day to get where they want to go. too many people get caught up thinking about all they will have to do or have to learn to accomplish something. instead they should just do the things they can right now and work on the rest tomorrow or the next day. the only real concern I have right now is that my inspiring story may be good for motivating others but not be something that translates well into coaching. it may be better for public speaking, but I’m going to keep after it and find out where it all leads. today I’ve been emailing agencies and foundations that help the visually impaired hoping they will have some leads for me. while there are lots of people in this group that could use encouragement the question will be how they pay or who pays. still lots to work out, but the best way to chase away worries is to do something about it. thanks so much for taking the time to visit my sites. take care my new friend, max

  25. Excellent post Adam. Video is something that more bloggers really do need to start working with. It is such a great way to show your personality and prove that you are a real person and that helps so much when it comes to engagement!

    • Hey Kostas

      It’s hand down my favourite way of connecting with my tribe. And there are two very important points that you made in your comment.

      You must let your personality shine through and show people that you are a real person. That is absolutely critical for creating engagement. Great points.

      Cheers Beanie

  26. I’ve tried screen casting with added audio, but not video. I like screen casting since I do web design and it’s a good visual for potential clients etc.

    I may try videos of myself next, will have to suck it up 😉


    • Hey Norm

      Video in video can work very well with screen casting, on the Mac I use screenflow to do it. It’s a great way to get started getting your head in the picture without it being the whole focus.

      I find it works really well for training tutorials and demonstrations like you are talking about with web design.

      Cheers Beanie

  27. Hi Adam,

    Bingo! I love video, and I love Chris, and Gary, and all of these other guys who boost their trust factor through the medium. I feel great on video; it’s fun, and I’m a little bit of a ham, and after creating over 2,000 videos – YT shut down my old accounts – I feel happy and quite natural to be on camera. It’s all practice. Gary Vee had to work at it, as did Chris, as does anybody who’s a natural on camera.

    I figure, if I’m Blogging from Paradise I’d be a fool not to share videos from Fiji, or Bali, because it bumps up my trust factor, and it helps folks see that I am a living, breathing human, not some online personality who simply comes across as words on a screen. Some bloggers forget that overcoming the “yes, this blogger is a human being, not words on a screen” block, is about our biggest obstacle, and doing videos is the quickest, easiest way to knife through this block.

    Adam, wonderful point. I’ve doubled down on video recently, creating 1 for every single blog post I publish, and doing so has inspired me to let more of my personality out, and to even create a video product. Gotta wait on that one though; we’re working off of a stick here in Fiji, in the jungle, and I can’t upload a 40 minute video….will have to wait until I get back to NJ, before Christmas time.

    Thanks for the smart share! Tweeting, and signing off from Savusavu.


  28. Hey Ryan

    I’ve had the same problem with YouTube, they just shut down a channel of mine for no reason at all! I was not a happy camper when it happened, and it was a big lesson in making sure that I had self hosted video to fall back on.

    You nailed it with your point about the trust factor. When people see who you are and that your’s isn’t just a nameless, faceless blog the trust goes through the roof.

    I have to get out and film a lot more as well. I am not quite in Paradise here on the Sunshine Coast, but it’s pretty close.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I’ll have to get to Fiji to shoot some video myself. Just looking at your blog has given me travel bug!

    Cheers Beanie

  29. Hey Beanie,
    Question for ya– What software or tool do I need to create that screen at the end of a video where you see a couple windows where people can click on other videos you featured. Or, videos where you give people an option to see a different ending. How is that created? I’ve wanted to do that but wasn’t sure how. I think it is a template in Splasheo…? Thanks!

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

  30. One person who really lets his personality shine through (who I’m surprised hasn’t been mentioned) is Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. His short videos are great for those who don’t have time to watch long videos, but always filled with a couple of really key important points.

    • Spot on Daryl, Derek is highly engaging and always delivers fantastic value, which has built him the huge tribe of people that love what he does.

      Cheers Beanie

  31. I think this is very true but also very sad. The move toward video makes it all too easy for people to discriminate on the basis of age, looks, race, gender, etc. in the privacy of their own home. The equality once promised by the internet and online business has completely vanished. It is not a victory for most women that you are going to be judged on your looks even in a business where appearance is completely irrelevant. The woman you gave as an example is very beautiful. Are there any top video bloggers who are both female and average looking? Because I suspect making a video would backfire wildly for a lot of people…

  32. Hey Elaine

    Obviously this is a very sensitive topic. So these are my thoughts on it all.

    Let me put the emphasis on “my thoughts” which are my reality, so they’re skewed to how I perceive this topic.

    I am going to start by asking a couple of questions first.

    Why is being what is perceived to be beautiful by one group of people automatically an advantage?

    Perceived beauty in itself isn’t a persons full story. Who knows what challenges they’ve had to overcome, or are still overcoming daily to get to where they are?

    Isn’t questioning whether a particular person would be as popular if it weren’t for their looks, a form of discrimination in itself?

    Popular Vloggers come in all different personality types. I am not going to pick on one in particular and say hey look at this Vlogger, they’ve made it even though they have these perceived flaws.

    The examples I selected for this post were of online personalities that have appealed to me because of the topic that they talk about, and the way that they deliver it.

    As popular as they are, I don’t think either Darren Rowse or Chris Brogan are likely to win any Mr Universe competitions any time soon. But that’s me discriminating against them, isn’t it?

    Last question is based on this closing statement.

    “Because I suspect making a video would backfire wildly for a lot of people…”

    Using the Timothy Ferriss technique I reference in this post, can you give me an example of what “backfiring wildy” would actually look like?

    If someone is going to judge you purely based on the way you look in a video, do you really want them as a part of your community?

    I know that I get judged because of the way I create my video’s.

    There are many people in the local business community here on the Sunshine Coast that consider me to just be the dumb boilermaker that makes video’s they don’t feel are professional enough.

    I have two options.

    1. I can use it as an excuse to not achieve what I want to achieve.
    2. I can ignore them and use it as motivation to prove them wrong.

    Video has been the medium that has allowed me to prove them wrong, because it’s allowed me to get my personality across to my viewers and build a connection with them.

    Cheers Beanie

    • Hi Beanie; Hope its okay for me to throw my two cents in here. when i first started blogging i filled out the profile section with all my info including my photo. it was a good photo but at that time i weighed in at over 500 pounds. i have always had grey hair and also would not be confused with charles atlas to use a reference from my childhood. but people didn’t seem to care. they cared about my information and how i shared it. they cared about my honesty and reality. they cared that just like them i was on a journey to find something better for myself. I started recording videos last christmas and even then I was still 70 or 80 pounds overweight. but people have liked the videos i recorded. I would have more but my clients aren’t forthcoming with videos in my inbox and I haven’t managed the logistics of traveling to meet them knowing that i am totally blind. I will sometime soon. If people want to see my first blog and how bad off i was then they can look up mymidway on bloodspot. just be yourself and share something that helps them solve a problem. I know video is scary and with most things looks either make you or break you; but youtube and other blogging type videos are all done by real people and you aren’t expected to be a model, actor, or actress. feel free to email me if you want a little help. just think this fear could be keeping you from sharing something that wil unlock something for a person out there. they could be waiting to hear just what you have to say just the way only you can say it. so let it rip and record a video. would love to be the first to listen to it, max

  33. Hey Adam,

    Great post here. The main reason I haven’t dabbled into video yet is because I don’t want to have that “Be Everywhere” syndrome and then end up no where. Probably 6 months ago I did blogging and a podcast and I stopped the podcast because it was too hectic really. I just wasn’t ready for it.

    I know that video is much different than podcasts and even if I don’t start creating videos to release out there, I can at least start creating them to practice and get better with my delivery, etc.

    And you’re right. Alot of people that I admire and look to have had much experience in video and to be like them, I’d have to do it too.

    One point you mentioned was to NOT have a script. I agree. It would sound more authentic if it sounded as though you weren’t reading or remembering lines that you wrote. But definitely have an outline to follow with points you want to touch on.

    Great stuff here. Have a great week.

    – Andrew

    • Hey Andrew

      Reading from a script (and making it seem like you aren’t) is an art in itself.

      I use a lot more structure more often now, but I have on many occasions just give myself 3 key points that I want to get across, and just ad lib.

      The key to it all is to know the outcome (action) that you want the person watching the video to take, and make that action clear to them.

      Smart move not spreading yourself to thin, as you say it’s easy to get up trying to do to much, and not get anywhere.

      Cheers Beanie

  34. Hi Adam,
    From past 3 months, I am simply wasting my time without proper planning to build my readers. Honestly, Videos are good way to improve our audience and engagement with our readers. I’ll surely give them a try.

  35. Hey Adam. You absolutely nailed.

    Yes videos are really effective and they really get imprinted on your memory.

    2 Bloggers who are very influential with their videos are

    Brendon Burchard ( and
    Marie Forleo (

    Infact the question is Can I guest post using videos? I have just started blogging and joined Jon’s guestblogging course to start building my platform!

    Adam, what is your view on doing guest posting with videos? Do influential bloggers allowed guest posting with videos?

    Thanks adam. Its an awesome post.

    • Hey Abbey

      Very interesting question that you raise here about guest posting with video.

      My thoughts are it’s a fantastic idea and you should go for it (I am going to do it myself in 2015) here is the hurdle to get over though.

      “Real blogging” is perceived as writing. Video and audio are just seen as an add on to a well written post.

      The obvious way around it would be to write a guest post such as this one, and then make a training based video to complement the post.

      With this post there are numerous ways I could have easily done that. Here are two quick examples…

      1. A one minute video using the Kevin Rogers formula.
      2. A tutorial about recording audio quality.

      So go for it Abbey, I am willing to bet we are going to see more & more guest posts that feature video in the near future.

      Cheers Beanie

      • Beanie, Thanks a million for replying.

        I truly appreciate.

        So what you are suggesting is making a supplementary training based video post later. And offer it to the same blog on which you have written guest post before!

        Like you would have done

        1. A one minute video using the Kevin Rogers formula.
        2. A tutorial about recording audio quality.

        on the basis of this post?

        Am I understanding you well?

      • Hey Abbey

        I would offer the video with the guest post you are doing. So it would get embeded in the post just like the Gary Vee video in this post.

        Does that make sense?

        Cheers Beanie

  36. Hi Adam,

    I just knew that video of bloggers is getting popular today. I’m surprised. I won’t be surprised if they’ll end up hosting a channel on the television (kidding). But you have a point about connection. I love a few bloggers, and I sometimes wonder what do they look like. Showing their selves on YouTube would perhaps make me love them more.

    • Hey Josh

      It’s getting to that stage that the Vloggers that become really famous don’t need a television show, because they can do it all via YouTube.

      Watch what happens with YouTube Live in the next 12 months. It’s going to be huge.

      Cheers Beanie

  37. Thank you soooo much for this incredible article, it has really helped me and it’s pretty much answered every question I had about dipping my toe into the world of video! Thanks!

  38. Hi Adam,

    thanks for a great post.

    Yet, unfortunately, this is not “one simple answer”.

    If nobody is interested in your subject, the greatest Video with pristnine Audio will get you nowhere.

    Also, if you have a wonderful Video, what use is there if nobody watches it?

    So, Video is NOT the “one answer”, it is one brick in your Company house.

    I have been doing Videos since 2006, putting an emphasis on good Audio from the beginning. If I am interested in the subject matter, you will often find me listening to the Audio only with my wireless headphones, while loading the dishwasher.

    My most urgent plea to videomakers is: PLEASE, do not use “uhm” or “ahm” as every second word. Listening to that can put anyone on serious medication.

    I have stopped worrying about looking great some time ago. Yet, good Content is what gets me.

  39. I purchased the Olympus ME52W and adapter and can’t get any sound to record on Iphone 5. Do I need to install an app or configure certain settings to record? Sound works fine when mic is not plugged in??

    • Hey Mark

      There are no settings to configure or additional apps to install. Here are a couple of quick tests to run to track the problem down.

      Plug another mic into the adapter and see if you can record onto your iPhone that way. Just use the earphone set that come standard with your iPhone.

      Plug the mic into your PC or laptop and see if your getting sound through it.

      Let me know how you go.

      Cheers Beanie

  40. Hi Adam,
    Thank you for this post. I’ve been entertaining the idea of video but with your help I’ll get off my rear and do it!

    • Hey Kostas

      I certainly hope it inspires a few people to give it a go. The first one is the hardest, but once you start it gets easier and easier.

      Cheers Beanie

  41. Great great post

    I came here via your share in the Linkedin small business group to find it has 140? comments just wow!

    And you can tell why

    This is not only an amazing piece of content, but its written beautifully so great work buddy! Content marketing in full effect!

    Its always bizarre how you find the piece of content you need at the right time.

    subscribed to your content and can be sure will make our roundup post this month!


  42. Thank you so much Adam for this post! I’ve been researching about writing the script of my (first) welcome video and you nailed it!
    The script is now ready – just need to do the shooting now! 🙂

  43. Hey Adam, It was such a to the point and descriptive article. Videos have covered the major part of search and are the most engaging way for the business. More personalized videos the brands are publishing, the more the customers are staying on the website. One thing I would like to say is always ensure to be very clear with words you use in your video don’t confuse the viewers. Rest all is covered in the article. Keep sharing such articles.


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