Tips for video product creation

The revolution in Internet technology has made video publishing possible for anyone with a camera phone, a broadband connection, and a few widely available tools that in many cases are completely free. And what a revolution it is-we used to be producers of content, but new technologies and platforms are empowering us to be broadcasters of video products for distribution and sale on the Worldwide Web. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind when you create your video products.

Why your choice of topic is so important
The most important factor in determining the success of your video is your choice of a topic. If you can't cover the topic in 30 minutes or less, you need to focus on a single theme within that topic.

Always remember that your goal is not to show people everything you know about a subject. Your goal is to identify one problem, one thing you think your viewers need and want to know how to do, and then focus on showing them the best way to solve that problem. Don't add on another topic-keep it for your next video product. Strip away all the excess baggage until you narrow the focus to a single topic. Then give it to the viewers without going in other directions at the same time.

Keep it simple - Keep it moving
Once you have chosen a topic, you'll need to consider the length of your video. The most successful videos are no longer than 30 minutes, which is a good rule of thumb for thinking about how long you'll be able to keep the viewer's attention.

Pace is very important in video production. You know more about pace than you think-just imagine all the times you've switched away from a slow-moving TV program, or all the times you've fallen asleep during a movie. When you start wishing that a movie or program would move faster, you have identified a problem with the pace of the show.

It's hard for experienced professionals to maintain an interesting pace for 60 minutes. Keep this in mind when you're planning your video-don't try to handle more than 30 minutes on your first attempt. Keep it simple; a shorter video can be much more powerful and effective if you are careful to keep it moving at an interesting pace. A lively 15 to 20-minute how-to video will be much more successful than a longer product that seems to drag on and on. A lot of short videos (10 to 15 minutes) sell for up to $14 or $15 dollars on Internet sites. Longer formats (60 to 90 minutes) sell for anywhere from $40 to over $100.

If you already have experience with short formats and want to try a more ambitious project, set your sights on a sixty-minute video. Think of ninety minutes as your maximum duration for a how-to feature, but only after you have been successful with shorter video products. In all cases, start small and work your way up to longer formats.


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