Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Camtasia: The Screen-Capturing Powerhouse That Makes Video Blogging Easy

Do you use video on your blog yet? With the Internet continuing to lower our attention spans and the fact that everyone has their own learning preferences, adding a bit of variety to your blogging routine will not only spice up your blog, but may just help attract new fans and followers as well.
Of course, you already know that. But you’re likely held back by one of the biggest drawbacks to video blogging: fear of the camera. Here’s the good news – with Camtasia, you can create and edit engaging, informative, and entertaining videos for your blog without ever getting in front of the camera.
I admit I have not yet posted videos on my blog.  I've been learning the skills necessary to do this right along with you.  But I have been creating and posting them on my Facebook page.  And that's how I discovered this great tool!
Planning the Perfect Vlog

The first thing you should do before firing up Camtasia is to create an outline. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, but you do want enough info jotted down so that once you start recording, you’ll remember all the key points you want to cover.

Since Camtasia is primarily a screen-capturing tool, chances are you’ll be showing your audience several webpages or apps. Save some time and get this set up beforehand. Not only will it save time, but it was also prevent any mishaps such as typing a URL incorrectly during the recording process. Making that kind of mistake certainly won’t ruin your video, but it might fluster you enough that you feel self-conscious about it, so taking this extra step will help your vlogging confidence level.

Aaaand, ACTION!

Now that you know what you’re going to cover, it's time to start recording. Simply click on the record screen button to begin. Camtasia will offer a few presets, such as full screen, 640 x 360 pixels, and some other common sizes. You can choose a preset or drag the edges of the recording area to suit your own needs.

If you're going to be talking during the recording, make sure that you have audio enabled before you begin recording. Again, Camtasia offers several options here based on your computer’s sound card and microphone, so be sure to test out a few variations to find the audio setting that gives you the best quality sound. (Note: Camtasia does give you the option to add audio narration after your video has already been recorded. So, if something happens and you don't capture your voice, know that you can still do it at a later time.)

Now it's time for action. If your video is a 'how-to', start the process of what you're teaching your audience. For example, if you're teaching them how to create custom menus using a menu widget in WordPress, then go through the entire process of how to do it step-by-step. Teach them exactly how it's done.  These types of videos are an excellent source of content for your audience.

Post Production

Once you’ve finished recording your video, it’s time for a little post production. You can spend as much time here as you like, adding fancy transitions between scenes, cutting out all your “ums” and “ahs”, and zooming in to highlight important steps. Camtasia makes all this incredibly easy with a full-featured suite of editing tools.

But also keep in mind that your audience might not demand such polish. Sometimes the best vlogs are those that let your true personality shine – including your little speech idiosyncrasies. So don’t spend hours and hours in post production. That will only make you dread vlogging in the future. Instead, have a little fun with it, and send it out to the world.

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