Getting Started With Sony Vegas



Sony Vegas is an all-purpose industrial grade video editor. It runs extremely fast and has a wide variety of export formats. It’s relatively easy to learn (compared to FinalCut or Adobe Premier.) If your main purpose is editing simple web videos or DVDs, you can learn everything you need to know about Vegas in under a week.

Its only drawback is that it lacks sound editing, which needs to be done in external software like Audacity. It doesn’t have many special-effects type of filters and is primarily a video editing program, not a motion graphics program.

All that said, Sony Vegas is a great all around pick for video editing. Here’s a basic guide to using Sony Vegas.


Step 1: Understanding the Interface

A good understanding of Vegas’ interface is imperative for being able to edit efficiently. Here’s the basic layout of Vegas’ interface.


1) Media Box. This is where you can view your existing media, add new media, manage transitions or effects.

2) Volume Bar. This is where you adjust how loud or quiet the volume is. It also allows you to watch the sound levels visually while previewing a video.

3) Toolbar. Select what kind of tools you’re using to edit your video.

4) Preview Box. Play the video and see how it’ll look after it’s rendered in this box.

5) Timeline. Move forwards and backwards in time in your video. This is where the majority of your editing work will take place.


Step 2: Importing Media

In order to edit video, you first need to import video into Vegas. Do this by browsing for media either in Windows Explorer, or in Vegas’ built in explorer.


Anytime you see a video you want to import, just drag and drop it into the timeline. This works from both Windows Explorer and Vegas’ explorer.


Step 3: Navigating the Timeline

Editing involves constantly moving forwards and backwards in time, previewing how the video looks like, making changes and repeating the process. In order to edit well, you need to be very comfortable with moving through video.

Here’s how to navigate Sony Vegas’ timeline.


1) Basic Controls. This is how you Play, Stop and Pause video. You can also “Play from Start,” “Skip to End” or “Skip” to Beginning” with these controls.

2) Selection. You can select areas of video to apply effects to, to render or to cut. The area between the yellow triangles is the area that’s selected. Change your selection by dragging the yellow triangles.

3) Cursor. Your cursor determines where playback starts and stops. As you play your video, the cursor will move along showing you where in the timeline you’re currently at. Simply click anywhere on the timeline to move the cursor.

4) Playback Rate. You’ll often want to play your video faster or slower than normal. This will allow you to speed past parts that you don’t need to edit, or drastically slow down parts you want to edit so you can get to a specific frame. The Playback Rate allows you to adjust this speed.

It’ll really make your life easier to learn three keyboard shortcuts. These three shortcuts are:

J      K     L


J – Play backwards.

K – Pause.

L – Play forwards.

Double Tap J – Play backwards at double speed.

Double Tap L – Play forwards at double speed.

Triple Tap L: Play forwards at quadruple speed.


You’ll find yourself playing video forwards and backwards constantly throughout the editing process. Learning just these three keys will cut hours from your editing time.


Step 4: Basic Editing: Moving Clips Around

Now that you know how to navigate the timeline, let’s get into how you actually edit video.

To move video around, simply click and drag a video clip. For example, if you’re starting with this video clip:


If you dragged the right clip to the right, it would look like this:


If you dragged it to the left, so that it overlaps the first video, Vegas will automatically create a transition called a crossfade. Basically, the two videos would fade into each other, giving it a smooth transition from one clip to another:



Step 5: Basic Editing: Splitting Clips

Let’s say you take a 20 minute long video on your iPhone. In that 20 minute clip are 5 sub-clips that you want to edit separately, put transitions between, apply different effects to, etc. In order to do that, you’ll first need to split that one clip into several separate clips.

First, position your cursor where you want to make the split.


Then either go to Edit > Split or just hit S on your keyboard. The clip will then be split where your cursor was positioned.


Step 6: Basic Editing: Adding Text, Backgrounds and Other Media

Often times you’ll want to add in things that aren’t already there in your video clips. For example, subtitles, text transitions, colored backgrounds, special effects and so on.

To do this, first navigate to the Media Box in the upper left corner. In the bottom tabs, click on the tab most appropriate to the media you want to create. For example, if you wanted to create text, you’d click on Media Generator, then Text.


Drag and drop the text style you want onto your timeline. When you do, a text edit box will pop up.


Edit the text to look the way you want it to. The changes will automatically be saved.

The same can be repeated for special effects by going to the “Video FX” tab. Transitions can be inserted by going to the “Transitions” tab. Transitions must be dragged and dropped onto overlapping video.


Step 7: Using the Video Preview Tool

To see how your video will look when it’s finally rendered, use the video preview tool in the upper right corner.

You can change the resolution of the video by clicking the drop-down menu. By default, Vegas uses “Preview (Auto)” to save memory and processing power. If you need better quality previews, change the quality.


To see the video preview in a larger screen mode, just drag the video out to the center, drag the corners to enlarge it and set the display mode to “Full” or “Half.”


Step 8: Rendering Video

Once you’ve finished editing your video, it’s time to take your edits and turn it into a real video file. The process is called rendering. During this process, it helps a lot to turn off other programs, as it’s very processing intensive. If you have a particularly long video, you may have to render overnight.

To start rendering, go to File > Render As.


The “Render As…” box will pop up, with a number of options.


First, name your file in #1.

Tell Vegas whether to render the whole file, or just your selection in #2.

You can change the render template by selecting from one of the many selections in #3. These templates are generally all high resolution renders, meaning you’ll have files in the gigabytes, not the megabytes, even for short videos.

This is great for DVD-quality work. If you’re working with DVDs, it’s as simple as selecting the format you need to burn the DVD in and choosing that template.

However, if you’re editing for web, you’ll need to customize your renders. Generally speaking, you’ll want to render out a small sized video that’s highly compressed with decent quality for web work (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

To do this, click Custom, then click Video. Select the Sony YUV Codec.


If you want to get into the technicalities of video editing, there’s a lot you can learn about compression, codecs and how videos are encoded. That knowledge comes in handy when selecting how you want to render your video.

For most people however, Sony’s YUV codec is more than adequate for web videos. The NTSC DV setting is a good choice for DVD editing.

Click “OK” when you’re finished.
Congratulations! You now know enough to do basic editing in Sony Vegas. You now know how to import media into Vegas and edit that media by splitting it up and moving it around. You’ve learned how to move through the timeline by positioning your cursor or playing the video at 2x or 4x speed. You learned how to create transitions, how to add text, how to add effects and other media. You’ve learned how to change the quality of the preview as you’re editing. Finally, you learned how to render a video in both DVD quality and web quality.



Top 10 Video Marketing Mistakes


Video marketing is an extremely powerful yet often overlooked channel of marketing. People often (mistakenly) think that succeeding in video marketing is a matter of luck. That you just put out a video and cross your fingers and hope that it “goes viral.” That’s not how video marketing works at all.

Just like any other marketing tactic, video marketing involves taking systematic steps to create a desired result. Video marketing, when done properly, can bring in thousands or even hundreds of thousands of visitors. This happens deliberately, not by accident.

Yet most people who try their hands on video marketing don’t ultimately succeed. Why is that? It’s because they make one of these ten traffic-destroying mistakes along the way.

Mistake #1: Relying on One-Hit Videos

If any part of your business plan relies on your videos “going viral,” you’re out of luck.

Yes, a small (miniscule) amount of videos do go viral every day. But the amount of videos that make this mark are so tiny that shooting for it at all is completely unrealistic. If you’re spending any amount of time or energy on trying to go viral, you’re running yourself in circles.

If you’re going to get into video marketing, expect to be in it for the long haul. Yes, you can and will drive a lot of traffic. But it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not going to happen from one video.

Mistake #2: Not Developing a Channel

Having a YouTube channel allows anyone with a Google account to subscribe to your channel. It allows you to build your brand by customizing your background. It allows you to sequence your videos however you like. It allows you to lay out your page in many different formations.

Each of your videos should be a part of a larger plan for your entire channel. Don’t just publish standalone videos. It’s impossible to “follow” a standalone video. If you’re just publishing single video after single video, you’re not going to build an audience.

Work towards building a channel. Spend time perfecting your channel’s layout and design. Your channel’s followers are your core viewer base.

Nicole Munoz Youtube


Mistake #3: Focusing Too Much on Fancy Effects

Fancy special effects are a fantastic add on to your videos. If you want to add a flashy intro sequence, if you want to “blur in” your subtitles, if you want to “explode” out of your video at the end, that’s all great. But special effects should never become to focus of your video.

You should also never let special effects hold up the production of your video. If it’s going to take forever to get a special effect intro done and you’re ready to launch now, then you’re probably better off just saying “go” now.

Special effects, more often than not, are done primarily for the video creator’s ego. They don’t truly add any value to the end viewer’s experience. Focus on the content, not the effects. If you can get effects in without too much time or money, go for it. But don’t let your product get delayed special effects.

Mistake #4: Getting Hung Up Over Video Equipment

Video2The world of video equipment can be incredibly confusing. Should you get a wide lens camera or a long lens? What about telephoto? Should you get a condenser microphone or a dynamic microphone? What about wireless – Should you go with a lavaliere mic or an over ear mic? How do you avoid static? What about lighting? How many lights do you need and do you need to purchase a lighting kit?

The questions go on and on and on. You could literally spend days researching the perfect video setup and still have questions leftover.

The reality is, for most people who’re doing their own video setup, a simple setup will do. You can go very far with just an iPhone 5 camera and a dynamic microphone. Your whole setup can be done for under $200.

Give yourself a deadline. If you’re setting up a studio from scratch, give yourself two days to do all your research and buy what you need to buy. No more. Don’t spend weeks and definitely don’t spend months figuring it out.

If you really want quality high enough to warrant months of setup, you’re better off hiring a professional to shoot for you than trying to set it up from scratch yourself.

Mistake #5: Not Knowing Your Audience

checklistThe kind of content you think your audience wants can be very different from the kind of content they actually want. For example, you might have a YouTube channel geared towards real estate agents. You might share some of your personal best tips for closing sales and feel great about sharing. But your audience’s main problem might not be closing sales – It might be getting leads in the first place.

If you don’t know where your audience is at, it’s very difficult to produce the kind of content they’re looking for. So how do you know where your audience is at?

Ask. Ask them what kind of content they want. Respond to their comments. Better yet, respond in the video itself. Acknowledge them by name, read their question then answer it for them.

Get to know your audience. Don’t just share what you want to share. Instead, aim to actually figure out what your audience wants and needs and give it to them.

Mistake #6: Expecting Results Too Quickly

It’s quite rare that a new channel starts up and instantly gets hundreds of millions of views. Instead, you’re more likely to start off with just tens or a couple hundred views. Then your second video will get a few more viewers. Your third will get even more.

As you publish more videos, more and more people will join your audience. Your reach will have a snowball effect. A few months or years down the line you’ll be able to publish a brand new video and have it get hundreds of thousands of views instantly. But that takes time.

Expect your video marketing efforts to take at least six months to pick up.

Mistake #7: No Call to Action

Does your video tell people what to do next, or does it just give them the content then leave them there?

When you create a high quality video, you create a lot of goodwill. But in order for that goodwill to translate into clicks, into leads and into sales, you have to have a call to action.

Your first call to action is probably going to be to “click here” or to direct people to an address on your website. Make your call to action as clear and as powerful as you can. Then use other call to actions to move people through your sales funnel.


Mistake #8: Being Afraid to Spend Money

money-fitnesIt’s very hard to create a high quality video without spending any money. Here are just some of the things you’ll probably want to invest in:

  • Getting a professional intro sequence done.
  • Video editing.
  • Having slides put in.
  • Editing software (if you’re doing it yourself)
  • Audio quality enhancement
  • Etc

Yes, it is possible to do it all yourself and not spend any money. But the result will probably be a lot of wasted time and an inferior video. Trying your best to spend as little as possible is a terrible way to create a video.

Instead, focus on how to intelligently invest your money. Invest in things that’ll really make a big difference.

Mistake #9: Not Tracking and Analyzing

analyzeYouTube offers a fairly comprehensive analytics package. It can tell you how far along people watch in your videos before leaving, it can tell you what your traffic sources are, it can tell you about who’s watching your video and more.

A lot of people completely ignore YouTube’s analytics. Even people who’re fanatical about website data for some reason seem to ignore YouTube data altogether. This is a huge mistake.

YouTube’s analytic package is a gold mine waiting to be explored. Using this data, you can hone in on exactly what’s working and what’s not. This will help you create more home run videos in the future.

Mistake #10: Not Promoting Your Videos Enough

Another mistake is thinking that you just put your videos up on YouTube and they’ll promote themselves. That’s not how it works.

In the early stages, most of the traffic that comes to your video is going to come from you and your existing audience. In time, your YouTube audience and YouTube’s traffic will bring you a lot of people But when you’re first building up your following, you have to be the driver of traffic.

Promote your video(s) on your website, on your list, on your Twitter feed, on your Facebook page and on anywhere else where your audience is. Get the word out about your video(s) and start driving those view numbers.

These are the top 10 video marketing mistakes people make. Video marketing can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool if you approach it right and give it the time and energy it needs to flourish.

How To Get Better ROI on Your Videos Checklist

Side view of group of young creative people wearing casual clothes collaborating at meeting in office and smiling looking at laptop screen

YouTube success isn’t just about getting views. It’s also about making sure you maximize the amount of revenue you generate from those views.

Here’s how to get the best ROI on your online videos.

Step 1: Optimize Your Thumbnails

YouTube by default doesn’t let you upload a custom frame. Only YouTube partners, highly trafficked consistent uploaders, can choose their own images.

They used to let anyone upload custom thumbnails in the past, but marketers abused the privilege by uploading unrelated pictures designed just to get clicks. Today, YouTube only lets you select from a number of frames taken from within your video.

To change your thumbnail, click “Edit” to enter the editing menu:


Then scroll down and choose a thumbnail in the “Video Thumbnail” box on the left.


If none of these thumbnails matches what you want your thumbnail to be, trim a few seconds off your video and re-upload it. YouTube will re-sample the video and have a few new thumbnails for you to choose from.


Step 2: Watermark Your Videos

Watermarking does several things. First, it builds your brand throughout the video instead of just at the end. Second, anytime someone embeds your video, you have a chance of getting them to come and visit your website.

To watermark your video, first create a logo in an image editing program like Photoshop. Make sure you save it as a PNG, which supports transparency without aliasing. JPEGs don’t support transparency at all and GIFs don’t do transparency very well.

In a video editing program, just put your PNG file above the video file and wala, your video is watermarked.

Here’s what a watermark might look like:



Step 3: Begin Your Video With a Quick Promo

Ever notice how most popular YouTube channels have a quick, 5 second promo at the beginning? It’s similar to how The Simpsons or Family Guy has a 1 minute song intro in the beginning.

The purpose of the intro is to set the vibe for the rest of the video. It’s like welcoming someone to your brand, your video and setting the expectations for what the rest of the experience is going to be like.

Furthermore, it also makes the video look more professional. Especially if the intro is very well done.

How do you create an intro? It could be as simple as a fly in text with a carefully chosen background. A combination of Photoshop and a basic video editor should do the trick.


Step 4: End With a Call to Action

What do you want someone to do after seeing your video? Do you want them to visit a link? Sign up for a newsletter? Become a subscriber to your channel?

Whatever it is you want them to do, ask them to do it clearly. Put the call to action at the end of your video and make it a good 10 to 15 seconds long.

Why? Because the moment the video ends, YouTube is going to put their own promo for other people’s videos at the end of your video. Instead of sending your traffic to someone else’s video, just put a long call to action at the end.

That way, a visitor would have to stare at the call to action for a good 15 seconds before they’d be presented with the “related videos.”

Here’s what a call to action might look like:



Step 5: Link to Your Channel or Videos in Your Video

Instead of having users go to other people’s videos after watching yours, why not direct them to your YouTube channel or another one of your videos?

You can make links and annotations clickable in your videos. Here’s how.

First, go to “Annotations.”

Then in the drop down box next to “Add Annotation” and select the type of annotation you want.

In the bottom right section of the “Add Annotation” box, click the checkbox named “Link.”


Then select which type of page you want to link to.


Note: Unless you’re a YouTube partner, you can’t link to an external page.

Finally, enter the target URL into the URL box.


Step 6: Put a Link in Your Descriptions

Having a link in your description makes it easy for anyone to click on it, even when there’s no link on screen.

YouTube gives you 1,000 characters to write your description with, a generous allocation by any standard. Great descriptions can help give visitors additional information that wasn’t provided in the video.

The link however should be provided in the first 27 characters. YouTube will automatically display the first 27 characters without cutting anything off. Anything after 27 characters will automatically be truncated and followed by an ellipsis.

This is what a link in the description should look like:


Anything beyond 27 characters will be cut off. If your link can’t fit into 27 characters, consider using a service like or tinyurl to shorten your URLs.

These are some of the most important factors to getting your videos to convert on YouTube. Remember, it’s not just about the traffic. You can easily earn more with a video that gets a few thousand views than from a video that gets hundreds of thousands, if the former is better optimized.


Optimizing Videos Embedded on Your Site for Search Engines



If you’re in the habit of putting embedded videos on your site, how can you help make sure those videos get ranked? What makes a video page rank, while others don’t?

Let’s examine some of the most important rankings factors, along with how you can get your embedded pages to the top of the search engines.


Step 1: Optimize Your Title Tag

Take a look at the keyword data for some of the main keywords in your market. You should try to target some of those keywords, especially to “how to” keywords and the “video” keywords.

For example, if you have a fly fishing website, you might target keywords like:

  • How to put a fly on a hook
  • Fly fishing video
  • Fly on hook video
  • How to reel a fly fishing rod

And so on and so forth.

Once you’ve selected your keywords, make sure the keyword is in the title tag of your website. Lead with the keyword, then have the title of the page after it.

Make sure your title tag is less than 66 characters. Why? Because after 66 characters, your title tag is cut off in the Google search results. The rest of the title will be replaced with “…”


Step 2: Optimize Your Meta Description Tag

Your description tag is what search engines will use to describe your website, directly below the title tag in the results.

To change your description tag, add or edit the meta description tag in your HTML <head> tags.


Step 3: Get Your Video Transcribed

As amazing as Google’s technology is, they still can’t “listen” to a video and understand what’s being said. Therefore, anytime you just have a video embedded on a page, Google won’t know whether you have a content-rich page or not.

You could either write a complete article to go along with the video, or you can just get the video transcribed. Just go on oDesk or eLance to create a job posting or to find a transcriber.

Many transcribers in India or the Philippines can be hired for as little as $5 an hour. It takes about 4x as long to transcribe as the video length, so a 5 minute video will take about 20 minutes to transcribe.

Here’s an oDesk screenshot, search results for “Transcriber”:


Step 4: Get Increased Distribution

To get more traffic to your main videos on your site, it often helps to distribute a few peripheral videos to other video sites like MetaCafe or Vimeo. There are literally dozens of such sites, and while none of them have the kind of traffic that YouTube does, combined they’re a formidable source of traffic.

Instead of distributing the videos by hand, the work will be much faster and less tedious if you used a service like TubeMogul (free) or TrafficGeyser (paid) to distribute your videos.


Step 5: Embedding Mini-Videos to Increase Page Views

One powerful way to get more views to your video is to place a small video on every page in your website. Every time the video is loaded, whether it’s played or not, will count as a view on the video.

Let’s say you run a career-related website. In the sidebar of your website, you embed a small 100 x 75 pixel video. The user can click play to watch the video if they want, but the majority won’t.

Even if they never click play, the mere act of loading your video (because it’s on your sidebar) will increase the view count by one. Every time someone visits a page on your site, it’ll load the video count by one again.

This way, your video count will go way up utilizing traffic you already have.


Step 6: Offer a “Put This on Your Site” Code

One of the factors that YouTube looks at when deciding how your video ranks is how many other people embedded your video. If many people are taking your video and putting it on their sites, YouTube’s going to assume that the video should be ranked higher.

You can make getting embeds easier by offering the embed code on your site.

Simply put the embed code below your video, with the heading “Put this video on your site!”

If you want, you can even hide the code so people need to click a button for the code to show.


Step 7: Getting Backlinks

Backlinks play a very large role in getting pages to rank. Some would even say it’s the most important factor of all.

Deep linking, or the strategy of linking to specific pages rather than the home page, is often more effective than concentrating all your links in one place. If you have many videos, try to build a number of backlinks to each of them.

Here are a few potential sources of backlinks:

  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Web 2.0 Properties
  • Article Directories
  • Guest Writing
  • Press Releases
  • Resource sections on other people’s sites

The most effective backlinking strategy in the long run is to simply put out top notch content. Other people with websites on your topic will then link to your videos as valuable resources.
Optimizing your embedded video page isn’t that different than optimizing a web page for search engines. Follow good SEO practices in your title tags and backlinking strategy. Make sure you always have text content as well as video content. Distribute your videos using a distribution service to get more exposure, and try embedding your videos in main pages to get more view counts and higher rankings. Finally, offer the embed code to visitors to help spread your videos through the web.


How To Add Promotional Text To Videos

When using video to market your business, you can get more bangs for your buck by adding promotional text to your videos. It’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes using Windows Movie Maker software. Here’s how.

You will need:

  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Previously Created Video
  • Promotional Text


Step 1: Open Movie Maker

When you open Movie Maker, here is what you’ll see.



Step 2: Import Video to Project

Click the Add Videos & Photos icon in the home tab navigation as shown above.

Locate your video on your computer. Select it and click open.



Your video should now show up in the story track on right side of Movie Maker as shown here.



Step 3: Select Slide to Edit

Click the slide in the video that you want to add the promotional text to. As you click each slide, you’ll get a preview in the left side of the screen.

In our case, we want our promotion to show on the last slide to direct people back to our website. Therefore, we’ve selected the last file in the story track and we see here the preview of that file.




Step 4: Add Promotion

On the home tab, next to the snapshots icon, you’ll see a list of three editing features.

  • Title: Adds a new title before the selected item
  • Caption: Adds text that displays over the existing video or photo
  • Credits: Adds the credits, director, stars and location to the video


Click the Caption icon and you will have a new text box added to the slide you’ve selected. Simply click to enter your promotional text and click away from the slide when you’ve finished.



Once you add text, you will see a Text Tool tab option open up. Here you can change the text format to suit your needs.



Step 5: Save Video

At this point, the editing is done. But before you do anything else, you need to save your video as a project in case you need to edit it later. Click the small arrow next to the home tab and then click Save Project As. Name the project and click save.



Now that the project is saved for future edits, you can save your video in a format suitable for viewing. Again, click the arrow at the top left of the screen and this time you can do one of two things:

  1. Publish the video to the web (to places like Facebook, YouTube, etc)
  2. Save the video to be viewed on the computer and/or uploaded to the web at a later time.

We want to save the video and upload it later so we mouse over Save Movie.

The next step is to select the size and quality of the video being saved. The most popular settings are pre-defined and include:

  • High Definition: The highest quality and creates a movie at a 1440×1080 pixel resolution.
  • Burn to DVD: The next highest quality creates a 720×480 resolution video.
  • For Computer: Videos with this setting will be of medium quality with a resolution of 640×480.
  • For Email: This is the lowest quality and has a 320×240 resolution.

There are also settings for viewing on mobile devices and manual size settings that you can browse through at your leisure.



Once the movie is finished saving to the new format, you’ll get the following dialog box where you can play to preview your video.




Optimizing YouTube Videos For Search Engines

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – OCTOBER 03, 2014: Youtube application close up on Apple iPad Air device.

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, larger than even Bing or Yahoo. It’s by far the world’s largest video search engines.

A well optimized video can easily get you tens of thousands of viewers – Each. A video that goes viral can get hundreds of thousands and even millions of views.

Here’s how to optimize your videos for YouTube.


Step 1: Determine Target Keyword Volume

Much as you would if you were optimizing for search engines, the first step to optimizing for videos is to determine both the keyword volume and the competition for each keyword phrase.

Use the Google Keyword Tool to compile a list of potential keywords. You should target a variety of keywords, some of them high volume and high competition, others lower volume with lower competition.



Step 2: Determine Strength of Competition

How strong are competing videos? Do as search for your target keywords and analyze them by:

  • Number of views
  • Number of comments
  • Number of replies
  • Number of likes
  • Number of video responses
  • Percentage of people who liked the video, out of total viewers
  • Channel subscribers

To view the number of likes, just open a video. It’ll be right under the view count:


To count the number of comments, click on “View All Comments” at the bottom of the page:

The comment count will be right above the comment box:


Put all this data, along with the total number of views, into an Excel spreadsheet. Do this for at least 20 keywords.

Match up the number of views to the strength of the competition. Look for the weakest competition, as compared to the highest number of monthly searches. Then select the keywords with the best volume-to-competition ratio to optimize for.


Step 3: Write a Keyword Optimized, Attention Catching Headline

The headline has two jobs:

  1. To get the video to show up when someone searches. Google uses a relevance check to make sure the videos that show up are relevant to their search.
  2. To convince people to actually click on your video once it shows up in a search.

The most important thing in writing the title tag is to make sure your main keyword is in the title.

The second most important thing is to make sure that your title has well written copy that gets people to click.


Step 4: Get as Many Favorites, Likes and Comments as Possible

The number of likes, favorites and comments you have are some of the most heavily weighed factors for search engine rankings. The more likes, favorites and comments you have, the more YouTube is going to think you have a good video.

How can you increase your number of likes, favorites and comments?

One method is to ask people to do so in your video. You can either hard code into your video, or you can do it in annotations.

To do it in annotations, click on “Annotations” when you’re editing a video.


Click the drop down box next to “Add Annotation” to choose what kind of annotation to add.


Finally, craft a mini-sales message to get people to add comment, like or add your video.


Step 5: Ranking for Related and Suggested Videos

Two potentially lucrative sources of traffic to your videos are related videos and suggested videos. What are they?

They’re the videos that show up when someone else finishes watching a similar video, or the videos that appear on the right hand side of any video you’re watching.


How do you get your videos to appear for on related or suggested videos? Especially other high trafficked and relevant videos?

First, work on the credibility of your own video. The more views you have, the more comments you have and the more likes you have, the higher your likelihood of showing up in suggested or related videos at all.

It’s hard to get a new video to show up in suggested or related videos. But after you have a few thousand views, it really makes sense to try to get them to show up.

Start by copying all the keyword tags that other videos in your industry are using. Having closely related (but not identical) keyword lists tells YouTube that your videos are on as similar subject.6

Then, try to also duplicate the same keywords they target in their title. Of course your title tag should be completely different, but having the same main keyword can really help you land in suggested or related.

Finally, make sure you pick a good video snapshot for your video. In addition to your title, your snapshot is what others will judge your video based on. The higher the CTR to your video from a related video, the more YouTube will think your videos are related and the higher your video will show up in the future.

Step 6: Getting Backlinks

Much like getting rankings in the SEO world, getting rankings in videos requires getting backlinks. The more backlinks, the higher your video will rank.

How do you get backlinks?

The first and most important thing is to have a truly original and high quality video. If you create a video like that, it’s only natural that other people will want to link to your video as a resource.

In addition however, you can do quite a bit of manual link building.

Use sites like Squidoo and Hubpages to get high quality, relevant backlinks. Link to the video from your own site(s). Use distributed articles to get a high number of backlinks.


To wrap things up, it’s important to remember that the majority of YouTube users never try to deliberately get their videos to rank. If you’re focusing on video rankings, you’re already in the top 1%. In time, if you follow the tips outlined in this report, your rankings will very likely beat your competitor’s.


Video Editing Checklist & Tips

Want to create a great video? Even without a lot of video editing experience, anyone can create a professional-looking video if they just follow the right principles.

Here’s a checklist of a few of the most important principles to follow when you’re creating your video.


Video11. Start with the End in Mind

Have a mental image of how you want your finished video to look, before you shoot any video. This will help a lot in deciding what shots to take and what shots not to take. It’ll help you determine what kind of equipment you need, what kind of assistance you need and it’ll help you set your budget.

By knowing exactly what you want in the end, you’ll avoid the all-too-common problem of not having one shot and having to get all the equipment out again just to take that one shot.


2. Learn the Basics of Shooting Video

No matter how good your editing is, you can’t make shoddy film look like great film.

One of the “secrets” to video editing is starting with good footage to begin with. While you don’t need to take a 6-month course in cinematography, it can really help to read up on the basics of how to hold a camera, how to pan a camera and how to take different kinds of shots.


3. Don’t Use Too Many Transitions

One beginner mistake is to use too many different kinds of transitions, especially flashy ones.

Airplanes flying in and wiping out the screen, the first scene exploding into the second scene, etc. are effects that can be used occasionally.

Your videos will actually look a lot more professional if you just used crossfades, fade-to-black or fade-to-whites. Pick one and stick to it.


4. Break Up Your Videos (Informational)

If you’re shooting informational videos for DVDs or online lessons, break up your videos.

Anytime you switch to a new topic, fade to black and show a title shot for 3-5 seconds with the title to the next section.

This helps break up the clip and prevents people from feeling like they’ve been sitting and watching the same video for 20 minutes. Instead, they can feel like they’ve been watching 4 different interesting 5 minute clips.


5. Audio is More Important Than Video (Informational)

For informational videos, audio is more important than video. Even if your video quality is low, people can still understand you and get the benefit of your product. However, if your audio can’t be properly heard, you’ll immediately lose your audience.

Again, the secret to great audio comes before the filming. Invest in a good mic. Good wireless lapel mics are very common, inexpensive and barely show up on camera.

You should almost never use a camera’s built in mic for filming informational products. Camera mics are notorious for picking up extraneous sound.


6. Learn the “Remove Noise” FilterVideo2

Background noise is often picked up, even if you’re using a high quality mic. For most beginning editors the “remove noise” filter will quickly become your most used and most loved audio filter.

This filter allows you to take a small sample of “empty” video to sample for noise. It’ll then create a noise profile and take out noise from all of your video.

There are different degrees to which you can remove noise. If there’s a lot of background noise, you usually won’t be able to get rid of all of it. Removing too much noise can result in strange pops and other audio artifacts.

All that said however, the “remove noise” filter can still be a lifesaver for anyone working with audio that has background noises.


7. Pick One Primary Application

Don’t hop from FinalCut to Premier to Sony Vegas. While it’s a good idea to dip your toes into a few different programs to get a feel for what you like, you should pick one as quickly as possible to really learn the ins and outs of the program.

Each program will have different filters, different tricks, different rendering filters and different shortcuts. Being able to edit video quickly means learning the ins and outs of one program, not to learn a little bit about many.


8. Learn the Keyboard Shortcuts

Learning keyboard shortcuts will shave hours off your editing time. Nobody expects you to learn all the keyboard shortcuts for any given program, but you should learn all the keyboard shortcuts for commonly executed commands.

Shortcuts for things like Play, Pause, Stop, Play Backwards, Split, Copy, Paste, Cut, Insert Marker, etc should all become second nature to you.

The 3 seconds you save by not having to reach for the mouse add up very quickly.


9. Supplement Video Editing with Photoshop and/or After Effects

Two programs that most video editors also work with are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Aftereffects.

Adobe Photoshop is the world’s most popular graphics editing program. Being able to create and edit graphics is important for creating title screens, for creating images to add into videos and for creating DVD covers and boxes.

Adobe After Effects is a powerful motion graphics program. Unlike a video editing program, a motion graphics program specializes in special effects. It works much like Photoshop, with layers and effects, except it works on a timeline.

In After Effects, you’ll be able to create just about any special effects you can imagine, export it and add it to your video editing program.

You usually can’t create very many special effects in an editing program. Likewise, though you can edit in After Effects, you’ll usually want to edit in an editing program instead. (It’s much faster.)


10. Learn the Basics of Color Corrections

Learning how to use tools like White Balance, Levels and Curves can make your video look much sharper and more color balanced.

Because of lighting, sunlight or just the way your camera works, your film may come out with more blue, red or green than it should have. The whole clip will have a “cast” of color overlaid over it.

Color correction allows you to remove this color cast and restore the clip to how the colors look.

In addition, color correction will allow you to increase and decrease brightness and contrast to create a video that really pops, rather than a video that might have slightly dull colors or light.

Learning to use these tools well takes just a few hours to half a day of reading tutorials and experimenting.


11. Background Music

Background music can really add “vibe” to a particular clip. In an intense moment, playing suspenseful music can help really get the adrenaline flowing.

The trick to background music is to select the right music, but make sure it’s subtly in the background enough that it doesn’t interfere with the conversation on screen and isn’t consciously noticeable by the audience.


12. Stick to Basic FontsVideo 3

Unless you’ve studied typography, it’s usually much safer to stick with proven fonts like Times, Arial, Tahoma, Garamond, Helvetica, etc.

Selecting type is an art and science in and of itself. Beginning editors who use outside the box fonts usually end up making their videos look amateurish rather than creative.

But what about the creative fonts you see in the opening of Spiderman or The Matrix?

Those fonts were constructed from scratch by professionals to match the vibe of the movie. Yes, creative fonts can really add spice to a video – But there are so many things that go into choosing and creating fonts, that unless you really know what you’re doing, it’s safest to just stick with proven fonts.


13. Computing Power

How much computing power do you need?

It depends on what kind of editing you’re doing. If you’re just cutting clips together to create a whole video and you aren’t editing regularly, you’ll probably be able to get by on 1.5 GHz processing and 1GB RAM.

On the other hand, if you’re running Photoshop, FinalCut, After Effects and Maya (3D animation) simultaneously, you’ll probably want at least 2.2 GHz processing and 2+ GB RAM. Duel-core processing is a huge plus.

The more hard drive space you have the better. The amount you need depends on your video source.

If you’re taking videos from your iPhone, then the video sizes will be relatively small, taking up about 1 GB per hour. On the other hand, raw video footage from a high def camera takes up 13 GB per hour.

You should have enough room for at least 4 hours of video. In other words, if you’re editing iPhone videos, you should have at least 4 GBs free. If you’re editing high def, you should have at least 50 GB free.


14. Making Notes in Your Edits

For any projects that take more than a day or two, you should carefully note what’s what with markers.

Markers are little bits of text you can put above your timeline. For example, you can put “Mark talks about zebras” in the part of the speech where Mark is talking about zebras.

This can help you find the exact spots you’re looking for on your timeline much faster. It doesn’t matter as much for short videos, but once you’re getting into complex projects the many hours spent trying to find the exact moment in a clip where something happens can end up taking a lot of time.


15. Understanding Compression

When you’re first getting started, it doesn’t really matter if you understand compression. But if you want to produce videos to the exact quality and file size you want, then understanding compression becomes quite important.

It’s not just a trade-off of video quality to file size. You also have issues like whether you want square pixels (for computers) or rectangular pixels (for widescreen TV.) You have issues like interlacing or not, which can change how certain things in your video looks.

Most people will usually only need to produce to one or two formats. In other words, you’ll primarily be editing for web videos, or primarily for DVDs, etc. You really just need to learn enough to find the one or two compression settings that you can use regularly.


If you follow these tips for editing video, you’ll be able to create high quality, professional-looking videos yourself without having to spend thousands of dollars on the project.



Getting Started With PowerDirector 9



PowerDirector 9 is an easy to use video editing program that has a well designed and simple graphical interface for video capture, editing and production.

Even if it’s your first time editing video, PowerDirector can make the process easy. At a price tag of just $99 with an online free trial, PowerDirector is many first-time editor’s first choice.

Here’s how to use PowerDirector 9.


Step 1: Importing or Capturing Media

The first step is to bring all the video you want to edit into PowerDirector 9. If you have videos in the form of files already, all you need to do is import your media.


Clicking on “Import Media Files” will allow you to import one file at a time. Clicking on “Import a Media Folder” will import an entire folder. All the media you collect will be added to your Media Room.

If you don’t have the media in file format yet and need to import it from a digital camera, just connect your camera, make sure it’s turned on and click on “Capture.” PowerDirector will automatically detect your camera and import the videos.


Step 2: Add Media to the Timeline

Add the video files from your Media Room to your timeline. Put them in the order you want them to play in. To do this, just drag and drop the files.

Once the files are in the timeline, you can move them around by clicking and dragging.


Step 3: Splitting and Trimming

Splitting a clip allows you to cut a clip into two parts. This is useful for quickly deleting parts of clips you don’t want, or for applying effects to just one part of the clip.

To split a clip, just position your cursor where you want to make the split, make sure the clip is selected and click “Split.”


To trim a clip, meaning to remove excess videos from the beginning, the end or both, click “Trim.”


In this top center is the preview box. Right below that is the “trim results” timeline and below that is the original timeline.

Use the original timeline to navigate to where you want your clip to begin. When you find the exact spot you want the clip to begin, click the “Mark In” button (left arrow.) All the video to the left of that “Mark In” will be grayed out in the upper timeline.

Repeat the process for ending the clip with the “Mark Out” button (right arrow.) Click “OK.”

The video clip will now begin and end where you marked it in and out.


Step 4: Inserting Transitions

Transitions make videos a lot smoother by having each clip blend into one another, rather than choppily having one end abruptly where another begins.

To insert a transition, first click on the “Transition Room” on the left hand side navigation.


In the Transition Room, you’ll see a variety of transitions to choose from. Click on any of these transitions to get a preview.

Make sure the two clips you want to insert a transition into are positioned next to one another. Then click and drag your transition of choice to the place where the two clips meet.


Select both clips and hit play to make sure the transition looks the way you want it to.


Step 5: Inserting Text

Click on the “Text Room” on the left navigation to begin the process.

Click and drag a text template into video track #2. This will overlay your text on top of the video.


Double click the text in the timeline to open up the text edit box.


In this box, you’ll be able to edit your type’s font, size, curve, text and even add special gradients.

Edit the text as you see fit, then click “OK” to finalize changes.


Step 6: Adding a Sound Track

To add a sound track, first add a sound file to your media library. Then, click and drag that sound file onto an empty sound track. If your video didn’t have audio, the empty track will be in track #1. If it did, it’ll be in track #2.


To change how loud the sound is from one track to another, click on “Mixing Room” on the left.

Adjust the bars for Audio 1 and Audio 2 to get the exact mix and volume you want. One extremely common technique in film and TV is to mix a low-volume soundtrack of suspenseful music or sad music in the background while the characters are having a conversation in the foreground. Sound mixing allows you to do this.



Step 7: Producing Your Video

Once you’ve finished making all your edits, it’s time to produce a finished video file.

Unlike many video editors, PowerDirector makes it very user intuitive to produce a file.

To start, click the “Produce” button along the top. Then, just hit one of the big file format buttons. Then hit “Start.”


That’s all there is to it. No complicated compression settings, no need to get into the nuts and bolts of encoding a video. PowerDirector does it all for you with one click of a button.

If you intend on using the video for YouTube or other online media and want a very small file, you can do so by clicking “YouTube” along the top.


PowerDirector has a very neat feature that allows you to plug in your YouTube login and password directly into PowerDirector. Once it’s finished producing the video, it’ll automatically upload the video for you.


You can also produce a Facebook-friendly version by clicking “Facebook.” That said, PowerDirector doesn’t upload directly to Facebook.
You now know how to import media into PowerDirector, how to position your media where you want it on the timeline, how to move clips around, how to trim unwanted video off your clips, how to add transition between clips, how to add a soundtrack and how to produce your video in high quality or web format. You have all the skills you need to make a simple yet high quality video.



Quick Guide For YouTube Editor



YouTube has a built-in editor designed to create simple videos in a short period of time. It’s easy to learn and its entire interface is drag-and-drop. In addition, there are a number of copyright-free videos and audios that you can add to your music.

Here’s how to use the YouTube editor.

Step 1: Drag and Drop Your Media

Choose which videos you want to appear in your timeline. Drag them and drop them into their proper place.


At first, Google will just have one video slot open. But once you drag and drop your first video, a new video slot will open. New slots will continue to open as you drag and drop more videos.


Step 2: Adding Creative Commons Video

In addition to your own videos, you can also add Creative Commons videos to your movie. Creative Commons videos are basically videos that have copyright reuse permission granted by their creators.

To access the Creative Commons videos, click on the “CC” symbol in the top navigation.

You’ll see a list of all the Creative Commons videos you can choose from. Click and drag them to your timeline.



Step 3: Adding Photos

You can add your own photos to the project. You can choose from your google+ images or albums, or you can upload them from your computer.



Step 4: Adding Music

YouTube also has a number of copyright-free music for you to choose from.

Start by clicking the music button along the top.

Click the “Play” button next to any piece of music to preview it. Use the dropdown menu of “Genre” to find specific pieces.

Once you find the music you want to use, either drag and drop it into the timeline or click the “Plus” button on the right.


Step 5: Adding Transitions

Transitions make switching from one clip to another smoother or more fun.

Start by clicking the “Transitions” button along the top.

The images over the transition name will give you an idea of what the transitions will look like. Select the one you want to use and drag and drop it between two video clips. The transition will then play in the switchover between the two clips.


Step 6: Publish

Once you have your videos and music set, click on “Publish” to have YouTube render your video.


It’ll take YouTube a few hours to have your video processed. Once it is, it’ll show up in your videos just like any other video you uploaded.

It’s that easy to use YouTube to put together your own clips, add other clips, add music, add transitions and create a video.


Video Ups Your SEO Game


Within the last six months, a high percentage of web retailers have increased efforts to makeover their sites. At the crux of the changes being implemented is good old SEO. Writers are busy coming up with fresh new content that will bring the site up in the rankings; analysis is being feverishly conducted to see what keywords are working and what needs tweaking. In fact, more than 70% of retailers are focusing their efforts on SEO. What they may not know is that putting time into video on their site can actually help those optimization efforts!

At this point, only just over 40% of online retailers are taking steps to add the advanced feature of video to their websites this year. Just behind that is a push to add product reviews and recommendations. This is all very good, because the web is making a change to become more and more interactive. Seeing the amazing success of sites like Facebook and Twitter shows that without a doubt.

Video marketing is in its infancy, with only about 50% of retailers using it on their sites in 2008. With numbers showing that consumers who first viewed a video averaged a higher ticket amount on a sale, you can see the immense benefit of using this type of media for marketing as well as throughout your site. However, it is important to constantly test your video pages to find the best placement. It is a common misconception that any video is a good video. This is simply not the truth.

Placement of a video on your product or service pages should be in a place where it is easily seen (and therefore easily used). It should also be in a position relative to text and images to get more attention. Customers want information, so give it to them through your videos. Tell them everything they need to know that will help them make their purchasing decision. Better yet, let another customer tell them! The emergence of using interactivity on a website has lead to video platforms where consumers can post their own messages or videos to your website. While this may make many etailers uneasy, it must be understood that your satisfied customers can do a much better job of selling your product or service than you can!

If you haven’t put your foot in the video pool just yet, what are you waiting for? Video can contain keywords that are relevant to your site. Video cMovie Icon: RSSan be used on social sites such as YouTube and contain backlinks to your site. Video can explain and showcase your most popular product or service. Most of all, video can give your company a face and build a reputation that just isn’t attainable through other forms of media. Sure, articles are informative and easy to get done (and can also link to videos, by the way!) – but video speaks to the consumer tenfold. 2009 has yet to see the growth of video usage on websites, but it is coming. The numbers at the end of the year are predicted to be astounding. Be a part of the boom!