How to Easily Create Awesome Videos

Learn to Create Awesome Screencast Videos that Generate Traffic and Boost Sales
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  • Lectures 27
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 12/2014 English

Course Description

In this course, you'll learn an easy method to create high quality professional looking videos, without needing to get in front of a camera and without needing any expensive equipment!

This course will teach you how to easily create videos that can be used in video marketing, sales videos, instructional videos (great for Udemy instructors), informational videos, presentation videos and many other types of videos.

If you've struggled with creating videos and wanted high quality videos for your business, product or website, then this course is for you!

It is no secret that online video has a huge impact. It's huge for building brands and products, it's huge for generating traffic, it's huge for creating high-converting sales-pages.

If you aren't using video for your business, product or website than you are missing out.

Video has taken over marketing in a big away and this is really just the start of the video revolution. YouTube and other video sharing sites are immensely popular. Facebook encourages anyone to share videos.

Video will increase your brand and credibility. Video marketing is going to get bigger, no matter what your position is or what you are promoting. If you need to reach an audience, especially in large number and via online methods, then using video is the right marketing campaign to adopt.

If you aren't using video for your business than you are missing out greatly. Video gets results. Videos improve consumer engagement, click-throughs, and traffic. Videos also help to bring in search traffic since the major search engines started ranking videos in their results pages.

You don't need to be a technical wiz behind the camera, or an Academy Award-Winning actor in front of the camera to get amazing results.

In this course you will learn how easy it is to create videos and discover my simple process for creating videos that can generate traffic for your website for years to come.

When you see these simple, yet powerful, techniques you'll wonder why everyone isn't using them.

In this course you'll learn:

  • the basics behind video and audio production.
  • Uncover the best software, hardware and other tools that help make your videos a reality and your life a little easy.
  • best hosting solutions for your videos.
  • Discover how to create videos WITHOUT getting in front of a camera.
  • Making screencast videos and using Powerpoint for your videos.
  • easy to implement design for your videos.
  • best ways to script your videos.
  • and so much more!

What are the requirements?

  • basic computer knowledge

What am I going to get from this course?

  • You'll know how to make high quality videos
  • Know how to make screencast videos
  • Easy to implement design for your videos
  • Best hosting solutions for your videos

What is the target audience?

  • for businesses or websites that want to increase sales or traffic through video
  • Anyone who wants to create video

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Getting Started With Video Creation
03:54

In the following videos, we’ll be covering some of the inevitable technical stuff that comes up when you’re creating and publishing video online.

In all of this, the goal is to get a result that looks as professional as possible, while still being dead-easy to accomplish and costing you nothing or next to nothing.

Sure, with professional equipment and professional software you can achieve amazing things with video. But it also costs a fortune and takes years of experience to do create truly professional video-productions.

As you’ll see in all of the Video-Marketing Blueprints, there are often shortcuts and tricks you can use to get very close to professional looking results, but get there fast and on a budget

08:47

When the audio-quality on a video is bad, it can be very distracting and I’ve seen more than my share of videos that were practically unwatchable because of terrible audio.

Here are three really simple tricks that deal with 90% of all audio-problems:

  1. Use a microphone with a USB-connector or use a USB-adapter for your microphone. In most cases, that’s all you need to significantly reduce white noise, hissing and crackling sounds in your recordings. Also, in most cases, just using a cheap(ish) USB microphone is more useful than getting an expensive high-end microphone, because the latter is no use unless your soundcard can actually keep up with the quality level of the microphone.
  2. Speak through an air-filter. Any kind of simple, small filter will do (I got mine from out of my desktop computer). Simply hold the filter in between your mouth and the microphone to reduce the noises created from bursts of air hitting the mic. Most microphones come with a foam sleeve, but I’ve found that these are rarely good enough to make a significant difference. A simple air filter, held at a bit of a distance away from the mic, is far more effective (plus, costs nothing if you get it out of your computer or almost nothing if you get it from a DIY store).
  3. Create a sound-box. Finally, a common problem is reverb or echo. If you are recording in a relatively bare room (bare walls, no carpets), then you’ll probably hear this to some degree, in your recordings. Professional recordings are made in completely padded-out sound-booths and while those are nice to have, there’s a much simpler and cheaper solution: Instead of putting ourselves in a sound-booth, we’re going to build a mini sound-booth for our microphone. All you need is a simple box to place the mic in, some foam-padding and some duct-tape. See the video for an example of what this looks like.

With these three simple tricks, you can get your recordings to sound almost like professional recordings, at a tiny fraction of the cost.

06:35

In the following few videos, we’ll look at everything you need to know for hosting and displaying videos for business use.

YouTube and video sharing sites are usually the first go-to source for video hosting. The advantages are obvious, of course: video sharing sites are free to use and they’re super simple. All you do is upload your video file and there’s nothing else to worry about.

That is, as long as you aren’t using video for business purposes. The big disadvantage of YouTube and other video sharing sites is that you have absolutely no rights to any videos you place on these sites. If you embed a YouTube video on your site, it will be branded as a YouTube video, it will display related videos or a link back to YouTube at the end and it can even display advertising inside your video.

What’s worse, your account and all your videos can be removed at any time, without warning and without any possibility of recourse (this happened to me, on a channel with more than 100 original videos).

Even if all of your videos are compliant to the terms of service, remember that the terms can change at any time and you can be retroactively punished for having old videos that are no longer conforming to the new TOS.

The bottom line is this: YouTube and other video sharing sites should be used for personal, casual, non-business videos. Any kind of business-related video or any video you want to display in a member’s area should not be hosted on a video sharing site.

The only exception to this is if you create a video as “viral bait”, to specifically try and attract sharing and attention with the YouTube crowd.

05:42

There are three components to online video, that we need to know about. Those three components are video encoding, video delivery (or video streaming) and video players.

The video player is the “public face” of your video. Ideally, we want to have a player that we can customize (change size, style etc.), that makes sure the video is highly compatible, so that anyone can watch the video, regardless of what device they are using to visit your site and that also offers some video analytics features.

There are numerous video players to choose from and many of them are free to use.

A more important factor than video players is video streaming. Your video file needs to be hosted somewhere and it needs to be distributed to your video viewers. Video files are huge, compared to anything else you’ll encounter online. A typical webpage with text and images and dynamic widgets will typically be less than 1 MB in size, meaning that your server has to send 1 MB or less to every visitor viewing a page. A video, on the other hand, will usually be 20 MB or larger, with high-resolution videos and longer videos easily going to 100 MB in size and beyond.

Because of this, even if your server doesn’t break a sweat if you get tens of thousands of visitors, if you have a video that gets many views in a short period of time, you can easily hit all sorts of limitations. This applies to so-called “unlimited” hosting accounts as well.

Your videos should not be hosted on the same server as the rest of your website, because if they are, a video might lead to exceeded bandwidth limits and consequently take down all of your sites and all of your content, sitting on that same server.

The ideal solution for video is to host it separately from the rest of your content and to have a pay-as-you-go type plan, so that you only pay for what you actually use and a spike in video views simply brings about a larger bill, instead of shutting down your service.

The final component is video encoding. Good video encoding will make sure that your video looks good, but isn’t too large in file-size and we’ll take a look at how to accomplish that in the following two videos.

10:20

This video is a tour of Wistia the simplest all-in-one solution for business video.

Wistia takes care of encoding your videos to the ideal format, stores your video and delivers it via a content distribution network and it comes with an amazing array of features for customizing your players and tracking the effectiveness of your videos.

Of course, this service comes at a price, but you’ll find that if you make use of video frequently and you start getting many views, paying for a service like Wistia isn’t actually much more expensive than using the cheapest possible DIY solutions (which we’ll discuss in the next video).

10:52

Links

Summary

Here’s how you can take care of the three online video components (encoding, streaming and players) in a more do-it-yourself fashion.

Encoding

Whenever possible, choose a pre-set web video format in your video editing tool. For example, if you’ve recorded a screencast using Camtasia, you can simply use the “Web” preset and that will automatically create a perfectly encoded video for online use.

Most premium editing and recording tools will have a web preset like that.

In case that’s not an option, download the free encoding tool HandBrake. From your video editing tool, export a video either in MP4 format or in an uncompressed high-quality format such as .avi and then add this file to HandBrake (drag-and-drop works).

Then, choose the following settings:

  • MP4 File Format
  • Web Optimized
  • H.264 Codec
  • 450 kbps Bitrate
  • Framerate Same as Source
  • 2-Pass Encode

The rest of the settings you don’t have to touch.

Streaming/Video Delivery

For video delivery, we’ll use Amazon Web Services. This is by far the cheapest and most effective solution you can find, for online video delivery. We’ll be using Amazon S3 for storing our video files and Amazon CloudFront for streaming the videos. Both of these are pay-as-you-go services with extremely low rates.

To do so, go to Amazon Web Services and sign up for an account. Initially, this costs nothing, as there are no flat fees. You will only pay for your actual usage of the services.

05:14

Links:

  • CamStudio – free screen recorder (Windows and Mac OS)
  • Jing – awesome recording and screenshot app (Windows and Mac OS)
  • screenr – online screen recording app
  • Camtasia Studio – best premium screen recorder for Windows
  • Screenflow – premium screen recorder for Mac

Summary:

To create cool screen-recording videos, you need some kind of an application. There are many, many screen recording programs. Let me just mention the ones I’ve used myself and found to be really useful.

The best free screen recorders are CamStudio, Jing and screenr.com. Jing and screenr both have some limitations (although nothing severe) and CamStudio needs a bit of tweaking to get the most out of it, but all three apps are great for getting started on a budget.

To get a combination of powerful screen-recording software plus video-editor, I recommend using Camtasia Studio (Windows) or Screenflow (Mac). Also note that you can get a 30-day free trial of Camtasia Studio.

UPDATE: I’ve just been told that Camtasia Studio is actually also available for Mac. Screenflow is probably still the better choice for Mac users, though.

No matter which screen-recorder you use, they all work pretty much the same: You select an area of your screen that you want to record, connect a microphone, hit “record” and then start narrating what you’re doing on screen. Once you end the recording, you’ll have a video file with the video and audio recording of what you just did. Pretty simple.

08:52

One thing you need to keep in mind when doing a screen-recording is what size the video will actually be shown in, online.

Online, there are some restrictions to video sizes. For example, on most blogs, the content area will be no wider than 640 pixels, which means that all videos posted on the blog need to be 640×360 pixels or smaller (or load in a lightbox).

Also, because you have to consider people who browse content using mobile devices and devices with small screens (notebooks, netbooks), very large videos aren’t suitable for posting online. Here are the video sizes I recommend:

  • 640×360 (smallest reasonable size)
  • 800×450 (medium size)
  • 960×540 (large video)
  • 1024×576 (largest reasonable size)

Of course, you can always make higher-resolution videos, display them in a smaller player and add the option to expand the video to full-screen.

When recording a video, think about what size you want to display the finished video in, once it’s online. You’ll get the crispest image if the recording size is the same as the final output size. I.e. if you record a 960×540 area and show the video in a 960×540 player, that will provide the clearest, nicest video.

However, when you’re demonstrating applications or websites in your screencast, you can’t resize the windows to too small a size. A good compromise is to record appliactions in a 1024×576 window. At this size, appliactions are still useable and even if the video is displayed at a smaller size, they don’t get shrunk down too drastically.

Section 2: Screencast Videos
03:25

Screencast videos are very powerful marketing tools and can be used for many purposes. Whether your goal is to deliver awesome content, educate/teach your subscribers, members or customers or create videos that convince and convert, screencasts are probably the best suited type of video for the job.

For one thing, a screencast presentation combines text, images and audio. It’s truly multi-medial. Psychological studies about effective learning show that this combination of text, images and audio are ideal for learning. What this means is that a screencast video is ideal for teaching, but also for “leaving an impression” in the viewer’s mind, in general. Whether you are making videos to teach or videos to sell, that’s always a good thing.

Finally, people simply pay attention to well-made video presentations. Much more so than to badly produced video or to walls of text.

03:24

For my videos, I usually use PowerPoint to create the presentations/slideshows. It’s likely that you are also using PowerPoint or perhaps Keynote or Open Office Impress. Or maybe you are a user of one of the several dozen other desktop- and online-applications that can be used to create presentations.

The good news is that it doesn’t matter. Whichever application you use to create presentations, the basic principles are always the same. The factors that make the difference between bland and boring presentations and engaging and exciting ones have nothing to do with the software you’re using.

In the following tutorials, we will be focusing on these principles. If at any point you have a specific question concerning the program you’re using, do a quick Google search (“how to do X with PRESENTATION PROGRAM”). This way, you can typically find a whole host of tutorials and videos to help you out with the technical details.

Creating simple, effective video presentations
15:56
06:33

Here are the most important and most powerful principles of excellent presentations. Follow these and all of your screencasts and videos will be significantly more awesome than at least 90% of videos and screencasts out there.

1) Less is More

When in doubt, always reduce the amount of information on any given slide to the absolute minimum. Bad presentations usually have one thing in common: Too much of something. Too much text on a slide, too much information, too many different colors and elements,…

2) One Unit of Information Per Slide

This is closely related to the first principle. Show one unit of information on each slide. No more. The guideline here is this: If you need to spend more than a few seconds explaining something, it should go on it’s own slide. If you have three bullet-points and each one requires further explanation, then put them on three separate slides. If you have three bullet-points that require no further explanation, then it’s fine to have them all on one slide.

3) Use Supporting Images

As mentioned in an earlier video, using images in conjunction with text and audio is what makes screencast videos such a powerful teaching- and conversion-tool. So it only makes sense to add images to slides, whenever it’s suitable. Don’t feel compelled to add images everywhere, all the time. Use them where it makes sense.

4) Build Up Complex Information in Small Steps

Whenever you are presenting complex information, it can be very useful to illustrate it with diagrams, graphs or flowcharts, but only if it’s done right. If you display an entire flowchart all at once, it’s an overwhelming amount of information and people in your audience will rather go do something else than even begin to try to process all the information. Always build up a flowchart (or any kind of complex information) in a logical, step-by-step manner, to make the presentation engaging and useful.

Simple Rule for Making Engaging Screencast Videos
02:17
Section 3: Video Design
04:14

I know that many of my fellow online marketers and product creators don’t believe in the importance of good design. Many product creators are proud of how quickly they make their products and like to brag about it (“I made a product in just three hours and sold it for $97!”). Of course, a product that’s made with this quick-and-dirty approach is not going to look very good, but according to aforementioned marketers, that doesn’t matter. It’s all about the content, not the presentation.

They couldn’t be more wrong. In marketing and particularly in the marketing of digital content, perceived value is a very important factor. Perceived value is the reason why sales-pages and landing pages (and websites in general) are usually well designed and polished looking. Perceived value is the reason we create eCover images for our virtual goods. Perceived value is the reason you never see a $2K product sold on a shoddy website that just consists of a wall of black text on a white background.

Good design is what makes up most of the perceived value of online content.

Apart from putting you in a position where you can charge more money for your content, good design can even help make your content more useful, for the simple reason that people are more likely to pay attention to, and take action on well-designed content.

This is why I take design quite seriously and you should too, if you value your business.

The good news is that good design doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, as you’ll see in the following videos.

04:02

In the following videos, we’ll look at some very simple guidelines and rules for good design. And the best part is: Making good looking, well designed slides is actually easier than making crappy ones.

For one thing, there’s the “Less is More” rule, which is also very important for design. Your screencast video will be better if you put less stuff on your slides. You don’t have to write tons of text for your slides and you don’t need huge lists of bullet points.

Secondly, there’s the rule of consistency: For good design, pick one thing and stick with it. This means that all you need is one font (and one font size), one very simple color combination, a simple set of images and one set of animations/transitions and you’re well on your way to making awesome presentations. You pick the design elements once, and then simply stick with them. That, plus a system for creating the presentations results in a much more efficient workflow, when you’re putting together your slides.

Design Guidelines: Colors
10:55
06:46

Choosing a good background for your presentation or slide-show is quite simple. First of all, plain backgrounds are generally a good choice. When in doubt, go with a plain white background or a plain black background. Just combining plain white or plain black with one highlight color and a nice font is really all you need to create very striking presentations.

As we’ve already seen in one of the previous videos, you can even use the highlight color (like red or orange) in the background.

Another simple option is to use subtle gradients in the background. When using gradients, make sure that you keep them minimal and that they don’t end up conflictig with the slide content. Good choices are gradients from white to light grey or black to dark grey.

Finally, you can also use images for your slide backgrounds. When using images, make sure that they are fairly “boring” images, since the background should never distract from the slide content. A good way to find suitable background images is by searching for “textures”, online.

06:00

The guidelines for using fonts are ones we’ve already encountered before, namely “less is more” and “consistency”.

Whatever you do with fonts, keep it consistent. Many different fonts and font sizes almost always end up looking messy and unprofessional. To make a stylish and professional looking presentation, pick one headline font (large, bold) and one body-text font. That’s all you need.

When picking individual fonts, always opt for simple, minimalistic fonts. There are many “special” fonts that are wild and funky, but the eyes get tired of those very quickly, so it’s best not to use them at all.

The second rule for picking fonts is: Whatever you do, never use Comic Sans.

For combining fonts, either choose two fonts that are very different from each other (contrasting fonts) or two fonts that are exactly the same. If you have a headline font that is just slightly different from the body text font, that will cause a bit of a visual conflict, so it’s best avoided.

Finally, for text-effects, the rules are very simple as well: Using no effects at all is always a good choice. If you want to use text-effects, make them subtle and only use one. Combinations of gradients, shadows, reflections and other effects, usually ends up as optical train-wrecks.

09:13

Finding good images for your videos, that you have the rights to use, can be pretty difficult. At least, if you don’t know where to look.

My favorite sources for free images are listed above.

Particularly the site with the free icon sets is not to be underestimated: It’s amazing what you can do with a few high-res icons. They’re also very suitable for stylish, minimalistic presentations, where you simply have icons as supporting images.

Finally, I highly recommend you create your own personal stock of images (just save anything interesting you find on your searches). Building up your own stock of images like this means that every time you create a new video or new presentation, you’ll spend less time looking for new images, because you can just go back and use ones you’ve already saved.

04:02

In this video, I show some examples of how you can use text in a graphical way. These are some easy ways to make visually interesting presentations, without using any actual images.

03:51

Video media has become faster and faster paced over the years. By now, even news-shows work with lots of animations, CGI effects in the background and cuts/camera switches. For TV shows, movies and especially music videos, it’s become the norm to cut from scene to scene at an incredibly fast pace.

The idea is not that we try to keep up with this kind of fast pacing, but we do need to be aware of the fact that video-media typically moves quickly and learn some ways to keep our own videos reasonably dynamic as well.

Most importantly, you need to avoid the “why is this even a video?” effect, which is when you show just one static image or just one slide and talk about it for minutes on end, with nothing actually happening in the visual component of the video. I’ve seen many videos that could have easily been replaced with an audio recording plus a single image.

In short: Avoid showing static images for minutes at a time, in your videos.

In the following modules, we’ll look at how to use animations and transitions and we’ll learn some “shortcuts” to creating dynamic and engaging video content.

09:00

The leading principles for using animations and transitions are ones we’re already familiar with, namely: “less is more” and consistency.

Particularly in PowerPoint, many of the animations and transitions are just completely over-the-top. They’ve got texts and images swiveling and bouncing all over the place and slides dissolving into a million pixels and reassembling spectacularly as a new slide. This may be quite entertaining to look at, but in a presentation, it’s nothing but a distraction from your actual content.

Very simple sliding and fading motions are always a good choice, as they give a presentation a “smooth” feel without drawing attention to themselves.

Also make sure that any animations and transitions are short. Usually half a second to one second is more than enough time for any kind of animation.

06:12

In this video, we take a look at the most common mistakes people make in their online videos (and screencast videos in particular).

The mistakes are:

1. The Redundancy Effect

As discussed in a previous video, if you have all the text on the slides and you simply read that text out loud, presentations become very boring and the viewers are probably going to stop paying attention to either the slides or your narration.

2. Text-Heavy Slides

Big slabs of text and long lists of bullet-points are very un-appealing. Always reduce the amount of text on a slide to the absolute minimum and use graphics wherever possible.

3. Long, Rambling Videos

Keep in mind that the video viewers are benefit-driven. They don’t want to hear every last detail about a topic, they generally want an end-result. In you messages, say everything that your audience needs to know, in as few words as possible.

4. Monotonous Narration

Formally written scripts read out word-for-word in a monotonous voice are booooring! Narrating off-the-cuff generally makes for more lively videos and whatever you do, put some heart into it!

5. Long, Motionless Stretches

A video is pointless if there’s no motion going on. Ideally, there should always be some motion, something going on, in your videos. Realistically, you can’t make perpetually moving presentations, but make sure that there’s never stretches of a minute or longer where nothing’s happening on-screen.

Avoid these mistakes and you’re already well on your way to creating compelling and interesting videos!

Section 4: Scripts
05:05

Summary

When you’re creating your videos, should you write a script for you narration and then read off of that or should you just go through the slides and narrate them off-the-cuff?

Personally, I prefer and recommend narrating videos without a script. While I have my reasons for this, I also realize that some people simply aren’t comfortable with winging it and would rather write a script.

Whether you want to write a script or not, one important thing to keep in mind is that A) formal written language is very different from spoken language and B) informal, conversational, spoken language is much more effective than formal language. So, if you write a script, make sure that you write it in a relaxed, conversational style.

Script Framework
05:41
Script Framework Part 2
04:17
Script Framework Part 3
07:36

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Instructor Biography

Shane M., Blogger, Internet Marketer, Entrepreneur

Shane is an internet marketer and has established himself as an expert in building website traffic using videos. He has a comprehensive knowledge of all areas of internet marketing including affiliate marketing, market research, competition analysis, info product creation, conversion, social media and email marketing.

Shane has been working in Internet Marketing for the past 10 years, with extensive experience working internationally both client side and for his own websites. Shane has helped organizations of all types to use internet marketing effectively, working with all sizes of business.

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