When we think of blogging we normally think of written articles. But text is only one way to communicate — and adding images or video has been proven to increase engagement on your blog.
There’s just one thing: videos can be so much more time-consuming to make! And they require a totally different skillset from writing.
At least, until now…
Advantages of video for blogs
I’ve always been a ‘text guy’ and throughout my blogging career have focused on writing articles, but there are some undeniable advantages to adding video to a blog.
You can explain a topic differently than in the written word and show more of your personality too. It can also improve certain SEO metrics such as dwell time (how long a user stays on a page).
Wistia conducted a study showing that adding video kept users on pages for 35 seconds longer on average. Bounce rate and dwell time are believed to be important ranking signals, so adding video is likely to improve your SEO.
Furthermore, video content can be much better monetized with ads, increasing your overall page RPM.
For example, the videos I display through the Mediavine ad network have an average CPM (earnings per thousand views) of $6.84, while it’s only between $1.20 and $2.22 for normal display ads within the text.
The difficulty of video production
I’ve known for so long that adding video to a blog can be beneficial, but I always saw myself as a writer and not a YouTuber or vlogger. I’ve always found recording and editing video far more difficult than writing text, often leading to frustration, and leading me to conclude it’s not worth the effort.
While text you can always edit easily afterwards, on video I’d often be um-ing and ah-ing too much, sometimes I’d flub a line, and sometimes I wasn’t sure if I got the point across without meandering too much.
It wasn’t until I started using Descript that I realized it’s become much easier to create video content. And it works in ways that are highly intuitive to any writer.
Using Descript to easily create videos
Videos are normally edited and cut on a timeline, which works essentially the same no matter if you use free software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, or something professional like Premier or Final Cut Pro. Learning this can take serious time and effort.
Descript uses a totally different editing paradigm: first, you record your “talking head” footage, AI will then create a transcript of your video, and then you edit the transcript just as you would edit a document. Descript then cuts and edits the video automatically based on the edits you’ve made to the text.
Not only that, but Descript also has several AI-powered functions that speed up the process, such as a one-click function that removes all the “umms” and “ahhs” from your recording. Amazing!
I tried this process out for several explanation videos and it let me work so much faster. It removed any excuse I had to not add videos to all my top blog posts.
Using Descript it’s longer necessary to have countless takes of a video or work with a perfect script. I just switch on the camera, explain a topic in my own words, and then lightly edit it in the transcript. Using this process it takes me at most half an hour to an hour to create a 10-minute explainer video.
It’s truly a game changer — especially for making tutorial content, screencasts, and other studio-based videos.
I highly recommend giving Descript a try! It’s the perfect video tool for blog writers, letting you create videos in a way that should be totally intuitive and fitting with your existing text-based workflow.
The only difficulties I experienced with Descript were in pushing it too far: for instance, by using lots of 4K footage, or by trying to edit a more traditional video with many scene changes rather than a ‘studio’ video where a person is mostly talking. However, it’s not (yet) designed to replace traditional video editors, so if you use it for its intended purpose, it works really well.
Embedding videos on a blog
Of course, if you just want to have video on your blog to improve your SEO, who says you have to make those videos yourself?
There is always still the option of embedding YouTube videos from other creators in your blog. As long as they’ve permitted embedding on YouTube (most videos do), there is no problem with doing so. You won’t get any ad revenue from it, but you’ll benefit from readers staying on your site longer, which is thought to be an important ranking video.
So even if video creation is not your thing, you can still add video content that’s complimentary to your written text and see tangible SEO benefits!