One Direction - Kiss You (Official)

One Direction – Kiss You (Official)


Did You Give Up?? 😐😐


One Direction – Stockholm Syndrome (Audio)


Ransomware, stolen data or malware: How do online crooks really make their #Money?

The cybercriminal economy has hit global revenues of $1.5 trillion a year, according a study which shows the vast scale of cybercrime and how profits are acquired, laundered, spent and reinvested. A nine-month long investigation into cybercriminal activity …

Featured Snippets: A Data Driven Way to Rank Faster

If SEO were an Olympic sport, it would be race walking.

Everyone is after that first place slot – but it’s a long, slow, and strategic path to getting there.

By now, just about every marketer knows the basics of how to rank.

Find and target the right keywords.

Create high-quality content that your audience is looking for.

Prove time and time again that Google should value your content – and that it’s worth showing off to their users.

It’s a tedious and time-consuming process.

And if you do happen to make it to the top slot, it can be snatched away by a competitor at any moment.

Do you ever wish there was a shortcut that would allow you to breeze right past the competition and secure your slot at the front of the pack?

There is an underutilized market that might allow you to leapfrog your competition in a ranking list.

Featured snippets.

Featured snippets can act like your race track to first place.

By targeting this up-and-coming feature, snippets can help you rank highly in less time.

What are featured snippets?

When searching on Google, have you ever noticed the text boxes that jump out and answer your question before you ever even make it to a website?

Well, that is a featured snippet.

These descriptive boxes flip the traditional Google search result listing around.

Rather than giving you the headline, URL, and website first, you get the information, otherwise known as the “snippet.”

Featured snippets can come in many different forms.

First, we have the paragraph featured snippet.

Do a quick Google search of “why is the sky blue,” and you’ll be met with this result:

why is the sky blue google search results

This box breaks down exactly what makes the sky blue is an example of a featured paragraph snippet.

The paragraph featured snippet is the most basic of all the snippet forms.

However, it’s the standard response to questions like “who is…” and “why is…”

For “how to” questions, you’re likely to get a list featured snippet.

Let’s say you clogged your drain and you’re looking for some help before calling the plumber.

You jump on to Google and search “how to unclog a drain.”

These are probably the results you’ll get…

unclog a drain google search results

Like the paragraph featured snippet, a list featured snippet provides the details first.

While less common, how to questions may also bring up a new kind of featured snippet – a video.

Let’s do a quick search for “how to braid hair.”

how to braid hair rich snippets on google search

The featured snippet you’re given is taken straight from YouTube. You can watch the content right on the results page.

You’ll also notice that the snippet offers additional options to make your search more specific.

These are known as refinement bubbles.

Refinement bubbles help to narrow down your search without needing to start the search over.

Another popular type of featured snippet is the table.

You’re most likely to see a table featured snippet after searching for comparisons or statistics.

Here is the result when you search “biggest growth industries” in Google.

biggest growth industries

As you can see, the CollegeBoard table is pulled directly to the top of the SERP.

Featured snippets like these now appear in about 30% of Google results.

However, featured snippets can cause some complications when it comes time for Google users to go back to your site.

According to a study from Ahrefs, only about 8.6% of clicks go to the featured snippet.

Compared to 19.6% of clicks to the first natural search result, this is a major difference.

average ctr of featured snippets

However, those 8.6% of clicks can still drive a massive wave of traffic to your website if you were previously struggling to reach the top of a SERP.

Featured snippets also have the added benefit of making your content competitive for voice searches.

With an estimated one billion voice searches each month, it’s an area you can’t afford to ignore.

When a user performs a voice search, the response played back to them is often a featured snippet.

In fact, Moz did a study to see how many featured snippet searches would deliver a voice response.

Pulling 1,000 searches that contained featured snippet results, they performed voice searches to see if the response matched.

71% of the time, the answer was yes.

However, they then broke down these results based on type.

Text snippets were 87% likely to be featured as a voice response.

List responses appeared about half the time, while tables only came up about a third of the time.

snippets with voice results by type

When we think about the nature of voice search, this isn’t too surprising.

While lists and tables make for great visual results on a traditional search engine, the ease of reading a snippet makes text much more practical for voice search.

As more and more individuals purchase voice-powered smart speakers, the need for appropriate responses will only become more important to brands.

However, there is no guarantee that you’ll land a featured snippet slot.

Like all things SEO, getting your content placed in a featured snippet slot takes some planning.

Here are the steps you need to follow to secure a featured snippet slot of your own.

1. Create content that answers a direct question

Featured snippets typically appear as a result of a direct question.

Moz posted a study on featured snippets where they compared results using the following question starters.

featured snippet questions

They found that most of these questions delivered paragraph featured snippets.

Questions beginning with “does,” “why,” and “are” resulted in paragraph featured snippets about 99.9% of the time.

“How” and “have” questions resulted in list featured snippets while “which” questions were the highest for table featured snippets.

Let’s take a look at the featured snippet that appears when you search “how to tie a tie.”

how to tie a tie rich snippet on google

When you type this question into the search bar, you’re given a featured snippet.

However, let’s look what happens when you simply search “tie a tie.”

tie a tie google search rich snippet

The results are much more basic.

Rather than the featured snippet, you’re given images and traditional results.

Simply targeting keywords associated with questions isn’t enough. To land the featured snippet placement, you need to be sure to include a direct question.

Let’s look at the way some other questions turn up on Google.

Say I want to learn more about who Mark Cuban is. I go to the search engine and just type in “Mark Cuban.”

This is my result.

mark cuban search result

While I’m able to pull some key information from this listing, the snippet isn’t the primary resource.

However, let’s turn my search into a question.

Here is my result for searching “Who is Mark Cuban.”

who is mark cuban rich snippets

By simply adding the “who is” to my search, we get an entirely new featured snippet.

Again, you’ll notice that the source of the featured snippet is not the same resource from the first search.

To secure the featured snippet placement for yourself, you want to be sure you’re targeting direct questions – not just keywords that may appear within the question.

If you’re trying to secure a list featured snippet, focus on “how to” questions.

Use “which” when trying to target table featured snippets.

Stick to the basics. “Who,” “how,” “why,” “when,” and “where” are all great places to start.

One way to cover a number of questions at once is through an FAQ or Q&A page.

Moz was able to help an orthodontist increase organic sessions to their website by 46.10% by targeting featured snippets through a Q&A.

organic sessions

A FAQ or Q&A page can help you cover many questions without overwhelming your visitors.

By providing short, scannable responses to questions you get asked frequently, you can provide high-value content to your target audience while also increasing your chances of getting a featured snippet slot.

However, you want to be strategic about the questions you target.

Which brings us to our next point…

2. Find the ranking opportunities unique to your audience

What is one of the key best practices when doing SEO?

Keyword research.

But what is one of the most important things to consider when doing keyword research?

Your audience.

If the keywords you target aren’t used by your audience, you may turn up in a search, but you’re not going to get any clicks.


Featured snippets work the same way.

Targeting just any slot is a waste of time and resources.

Instead, you want to get your featured snippets placed at the top of searches your audience is already looking for.

You can identify these ranking opportunities in a few different ways.

First, start with keyword research.

To rank for a featured snippet, you need to be among the Top 10 results for that keyword 99.58% of the time.

To identify snippets you may be able to be featured for, consider what keywords you’re already ranking highly for.

Next, think of a basic question that applies to your industry or business.

For this example, let’s use “what is AI.”

Here are our results.

what is ai google search results

While this doesn’t show a featured snippet, what we do get are some additional questions people are also searching for under “People Also Ask.”

Users can click one of the “People Also Ask” questions and get a short response.

what is ai software google question

These “People also ask” questions can be a great place to start learning about what your audience is looking for.

There are a few different ways you can find the questions your audience is asking.

One of the best places to look is on Quora.

Quora has 190 million monthly users, all asking questions, providing answers, and engaging in conversations.

Here is what you find when you search “what is AI” in Quora.

what is ai quora

In addition to a response, you’re also shown a list of related questions.

Like the “People Also Ask” section from your Google search, these questions can give you an idea of what people want to know.

Another great place to generate potential questions is Answer the Public.

By typing in a keyword, Answer the Public will generate some question responses.

artificial intelligence answer the public

However, these questions are computer-generated without considering important metrics like search volume or popularity.

Based on these suggestions, you’ll want to do additional research to see what questions are actually being asked by your audience.

You can also use the SERPStat tool to pull some additional data about questions.

search questions serpstat

The content marketing section of the tool can break down different search questions associated with the keyword you’ve searched.

This can help you better understand which questions are actually being used and how frequently they’re appearing.

SERPStat also allows you to see which keywords are already displaying featured snippets.

Within the Keyword Selection tool under SEO Research, you can filter results to see only those already featuring snippets.

This can help you hone in even more on the keywords you should target.

Doing the proper research before determining which snippets you’d like to target can increase your chances.

However, you need to remember that you’re trying to connect with your target audience.

Pay close attention to their unique needs or search behavior.

In addition to knowing what keywords and questions are popular with search engines, take a minute to look through social media or other platforms that can give you direct access to your target audience.

The more you learn about your audience, the more likely you are to reach them through a featured snippet.

3. Maintain extremely high-quality content with the right formatting

If you’ve ever done SEO before, you know that keyword placement alone isn’t enough to rank in the top spot.

In fact, there are dozens of on-page, backlink, off-page, and domain factors that are considered in where a piece of content ranks.

On-site factors include everything from domain authority to affiliate links – and this is just the tip of the SEO iceberg.

ranking factors analyzed

However, each factor revolves around one thing – user experience.

When Google decides which results should make the top of the list, it looks at which pieces are most likely to help the user.

The same applies to featured snippets.

If you want your snippet to be featured, you need to produce the best response to the question.

As we mentioned in the first point, your response should be in answer form.

You’ll also want to make sure your response is clear, to the point, and your steps are not extremely detailed.

The results for “how to screenshot on a Mac” are a great example of how you can do this.

take a screenshot google search

Within this featured snippet, we’re able to see the entire four-step process of how you can take a screenshot on a Mac computer.

Each instruction is direct and concise, allowing the user to get the full amount of information right within the SERP.

You’ll see that some steps have an ellipsis.

This indicates that there is additional information that goes with that step, but it isn’t necessary for the instructions.

Keep this in mind when writing out your instructions. Start each point with a sentence that is capable of standing alone.

When formatting this content on your website, you’ll also want to display it as the featured snippet type you’re trying to target.

Here’s what that same bit of information looks like on the Apple Support website.

screenshot directions for mac

While you’ll see there are some additional bits of information, it’s more or less formatted the same as the snippet.

This is particularly crucial for table snippets.

With paragraph snippets, you don’t need to have particular formatting to get featured.

You do, however, need to use concise writing.

Here is a featured paragraph snippet that appears when you search “who is Elon Musk.”

elon musk rich snippet

Within this one paragraph, you get his full biography.

If you’re hoping to target paragraph snippets, then try to fit all your information into two or three sentences.

To further increase your chances, use an H2 header containing the question you’re trying to rank for.

Then immediately after, provide a short and concise response that also contains your targeted keyword.

Structured data, sometimes just called Schema markup, can also help you rank for a featured snippet.

However, you don’t need to have structured data to be ranked.

Structured data just helps Google understand what your content is about. The easier it is for Google to see your value, the more likely you are to rank highly.

You can use the Google Structured Data Markup Helper to get started with your markups.

4. Know the other available answers, then do better.

So, you’ve landed the coveted featured snippet position.

You can finally relax, right?


Just like traditional SEO, a featured snippet can be snatched away from you before you even get comfortable.

With competitors making their own strategic movements to land that “0 placement,” you always need to be aware of what they’re doing.

Even if Google deems you the most worthy of that slot for a little while, they’ll constantly be searching the web trying to find someone who can answer the question better.

If you’re not paying attention to the responses your competitors are generating, they may surpass you.

However, SEO competitors aren’t necessarily your business competitors.

This is especially true when users are looking for questions.

Here’s an example.

content marketing serp

When you search “content marketing,” you can select between two posts – one from my site and one from Wikipedia.

While Wikipedia may not be one of my direct business competitors, when it comes to fighting for SEO rankings, we might as well be enemies.

If you’re only monitoring your direct business competitors, more generic response or information pages may sneak up behind you.

There are a few ways you can identify and track these SEO competitors.

First, let’s go back to Google “People Also Ask” questions.

Here are some related questions when searching “what social media is most popular.”

first form of social media

While neither of these responses answers the question of the most popular social media, they’re still responding to the same audience and industry.

Both Small Biz Trends and Statista should be seen as competitors within this space – even if they’re not necessarily your business competitors.

Once you have a list of a few potential competitors, you’ll want to keep your eye on them.

Now, you don’t need to check every blog post they upload.

You don’t need to spend hours trying to scan their social media profiles.

Instead, you can set up alerts so you’ll be notified whenever there is new content on a particular topic.

Google Alerts is your best friend when it comes to tracking specific topics or individuals.

Let’s say you’re Statista wanting to defend your feature for the question “how many users are on social media.”

You might set up a Google Alert that looks a bit like this:

google alerts for social media

Every time a new post containing the phrase “how many users are on social media” is uploaded, Google will send you a message or deliver the content to an RSS feed.

Here is an example of some of the results you may get.

how many people on social questions

Google Alerts also gives you some options to create an alert that fits your unique needs.

If you’re looking for only results in a specific language, only blog posts, or even only posts coming from a certain region, you can narrow your alerts down.

You’ll want to create a few different alerts around the featured snippet questions you’re targeting.

In this case, you may also want to establish alerts for phrases like “social media users,” “number of Facebook users,” or “how many users on Twitter.”


Slow and steady may win the race when it comes to traditional SEO, but featured snippets are here to shake things up.

As snippets become more and more popular and new forms of featured snippets are rolled out, the competition will only grow.

By appealing to these newer areas of SERPs early on, you can leapfrog your competition – getting you more search engine traffic faster.

How have you used featured snippets to increase awareness or website traffic?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

Mobile #App Vs. Mobile #Website: Which Is The Better Option?

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YouTube Addresses Monetization Gripes, Is Your Small Business Affected?

CEO Addresses YouTube Monetization Concerns Among Smaller Creators

In trying to get rid of materials its advertisers deemed offensive, YouTube instituted policies that hit small creators hard by demonetizing their channels or certain content.

Some of these creators include small business owners who had come to rely on YouTube as a major part of their revenue. Months later, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki addressed the creator community with a letter on the company blog.

The post follows a horrifying incident earlier this month when YouTuber Nasim Najafi Aghdam went on a shooting rampage at the YouTube offices in San Brunno, California injuring several employees and eventually killing herself. Aghdam’s motive is believed to be connected to issues she had over the company’s policies regarding her channel.

YouTube Monetization Concerns

Wojcicki started by stating the obvious, “We know the last year has not been easy for many of you.” Since YouTube started removing materials advertisers found objectionable around March of 2017, small creators have been taking a hit. They lost ad revenue, subscribers, and viewers, fostering the negative relationship that currently exists between the company and many of its small creators.

This all started when more than 250 brands pulled ads from YouTube after they discovered they were running along content they didn’t want their brands associated with. Although creators are aware YouTube is driven by advertising, the sudden implementation of the companies’ policies caught many by surprise.

The letter is supposed to start mending fences, and Wojcicki said her company is, “Committed to listening and using your feedback to help YouTube thrive.” One of the biggest gripes by creators was changing the parameters of YouTube’s Partner Program.

The new changes stipulated a Partner status for creators requiring a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of total watch time in the past 12 months. This, of course, made it much harder for new and small creators to monetize their channels. The previous criteria only required 10,000 total views to join.

Wojcicki said, “For those who have not yet met the new threshold keep creating and building your audience.”

How Does YouTube Plan to Help Creators?

In addressing the frustration of the monetization of their channels, YouTube is going to be launching a program to test a new video upload flow so creators can provide information about their content as it relates to the company’s advertiser-friendly guidelines. The goal is to make the monetization process much smoother. And if advertisers, YouTube, and the algorithm all know what is in the content, it will be much easier to sell ads and generate revenue for creators with fewer false positive demonetizations.

YouTube is also going to roll out different ways to make money from videos.  Wojcicki said the company is expanding the sponsorship/subscription model it has been testing with some creators. These creators have to be selected by YouTube and the model is currently limited to gaming channels. Subscription models are getting more traction as creators look to fund their channel without having to worry about ad revenue.

Wojcicki also promised to do better at responding to its users. She said the company has increased replies by 600 percent and the reply rate has improved by 75 percent when tweets are addressed to its official handles.

The changes Wojcicki plans to implement will help, but small and many established creators who have seen their revenue shrink will have to wait and see if the changes will come as fast as they were taken away.

You can read Wojcicki’s letter here.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “YouTube Addresses Monetization Gripes, Is Your Small Business Affected?” was first published on Small Business Trends

How the Content #Marketing Institute #Markets

She explains to Bernie that people who take 3 or more actions within the CMI website (i.e. subscribing to an email, watching a webinar, etc.), are 10x more likely to attend the CMW event in person. By using an omnichannel marketing approach CMI is able to …

How to calculate your digital #Marketing effort

A better user experience on your website should improve conversion rate. Example, a customer calling a sales rep or buying an item online or downloading a guide. Digital marketing activities can lead your brand advocates to share content with their friends.

Top Stories: Starbucks Deals with Racial Discrimination, Tech Startups Struggle with Compensation

Whether your business has single or multiple locations, having a great management system in place for everyone to follow is critically important.

Starbucks became aware of this fact with an incident that took place in Philadelphia which made national headlines. The issue should teach businesses of all sizes some valuable lessons. In other news, tech startups struggle to provide adequate pay in expensive Silicon Valley. Do you struggle to keep your compensation ahead of cost of living?

Read more insightful small business news in our roundup below.


What Can Your Business Learn from The Starbucks Fiasco About Preventing Discrimination?

Starbucks is shutting down all 8,000 stores for one day to offer racial bias education training to employees, the company announced Tuesday afternoon. Starbucks Racial Bias Training The 8,000 company-owned stores will close down May 29 to educate employees on how not to discriminate against people in their stores.



California Tech Startups Struggle with Hiring, Are You Covering Employee Cost of Living?

Silicon Valley tech startups are establishing satellite locations or moving entirely out of the California’s Bay Area to find affordable workers who don’t have to cope with the state’s high cost of living, The Mercury News reported on Monday.

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Promo Partners With Shutterstock Giving Small Businesses More Video Options

Promo, a video creation solution made by Slidely, has announced it has formed a partnership with Shutterstock (NYSE: SSTK). This arrangement will increase Promo’s 3.5 million video library to more than 12.5 million premium quality videos. Slidely and Shutterstock Partnership As part of the partnership, Shutterstock is making more than 9 million videos available to Promo.

What Can Bud Light’s Dilly Dilly Campaign Teach Your Small Business about Creative Marketing?

“Dilly Dilly” — Bud Light’s new catchphrase — has taken the world by storm. Bud Light’s vice president of marketing Andy Goeler talked to The Washington Post about the slogan in an article published Thursday. Goeler told WaPo that the slogan Dilly Dilly means, “a cheers, a Bud Light cheers.

Landbot Lets Small Businesses Automate Customer Engagement on their Landing Pages

Landing pages have become a space for introducing and promoting new products and services for websites. But when visitors get there, engagement is key. allows you to create chatbots based on a Conversational User Interface for your landing pages to improve engagement levels and conversion rates. As the company describes it, Landbot is a conversation that lives on your website.

Retail Trends

59% of POS Systems in the US — including at Small Businesses — Now Accept EMV Cards

When the deadline for the “liability shift” was almost up on October 1, 2015, the number of small businesses having switched to EMV was at 8.33 percent. According to Visa, 59% of U.S. POS locations now accept the chip, a 578 percent growth since 2015.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Keyk Founder Filled Need for Baking Supplies in a New Market

Selling baking supplies might not seem like a completely unique business idea to many U.S. consumers. But in parts of the world, those supplies can be more difficult to come by. A U.S. expat learned this lesson the hard way when she moved to Germany years ago. But she took the opportunity to turn the problem into a business, now known as Keyk.


64% of Small Businesses Spend At Least $1000 on Tax Administration Work

The new tax reforms passed by the Trump administration were supposed to simplify the tax system. However, The National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) 2018 Small Business Taxation Survey reports administrative burdens still outpaces those of finance as 63 percent said they spend more than $1,000 annually on the administration of federal taxes.

Technology Trends

Those who Stand at Work Experience 31% Less Back Pain, Study Explains

While digital technology has introduced new levels of efficiency in our workplace, it comes with the negative consequence causing workers to be more sedentary. This has resulted in more people using standing desks to counteract the effects of sitting all day. A new study conducted by Start Standing reinforces the importance of standing while at work.

Uh Oh! Only 10% of Companies are Fully Implementing New Business Tech

A new report finds only 10% of small businesses have fully implemented digital tools like artificial intelligence and automation. According to the  Workplace 2025: The Post-Digital Frontier study from Randstad US, these same businesses are lacking in the strategies to make their workforces digitally savvy to the degrees workers want.

PaySimple Teams with Profit Rhino to Benefit Home Service Businesses

The new payment integration between PaySimple and Profit Rhino will remove many of the obstacles home service businesses face when trying to accept payment in the field. PaySimple and Profit Rhino Partnership Plumbers, electricians, gardeners and handymen are all examples of the home service businesses keeping homes up and running when something goes wrong.

TaskRabbit Cybersecurity Incident Leaves “Taskers” Temporarily without Customers

Customers and 60,000 “taskers” — many of whom work as freelancers —  were in for a rude awakening Monday, April 16 when TaskRabbit announced its site had been taken down following “a cybersecurity incident.” After alarm bells were sounded by several TaskRabbit users, a tweet by the company confirmed the situation.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Top Stories: Starbucks Deals with Racial Discrimination, Tech Startups Struggle with Compensation” was first published on Small Business Trends

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The Top 12 Tips to Running a Successful Video Blog

Blogging is one of my favorite ways to drive traffic to your website and engage with your audience.

But for those of you who have been staying up to date about the newest marketing trends, you know that video content has been on the rise.

In fact, experts predict that 80% of the global Internet traffic will be videos by 2019. More than half of marketing executives say that video content is their most profitable ROI.

Blogs that contain videos have triple the amount of inbound links compared to blog posts without videos.

So it’s understandable why you might be interested in starting a video blog.

Based on all of these numbers, it’s no secret that people love to consume video content. But establishing yourself as a prominent video blogger can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before.

There are so many factors to take into consideration.

What kind of equipment should you use? How do you behave in front of the camera? How do you promote your new video blog?

You’re not the only one who has recognized these video trends. Research shows that businesses are planning to add more content distribution channels in the next year.


Do you see a common pattern in the top three responses? All of these are platforms for video distribution.

So for those of you that need some pointers for launching a new video blog or improving your existing one, you’ve come to the right place.

These are the top 12 tips to keep in mind if you want to run a successful video blog.

1. Invest in a high quality microphone

Audio is one of the most important aspects of your video blog. People need to be able to hear what you’re saying.

Having a quality microphone can help make sure that you’re not wasting any time recording your blog. Sometimes, you’re going to have poor video quality. It happens.

But even if your video sucks, you can always salvage the audio and use that for something like a podcast. Or you can use the audio to voiceover a presentation or something else that’s not live.

Your computer has a microphone built into it, but you can do better. Even some cheap cameras don’t have the best microphones.

If your video blog is something that you want to take seriously and do often, high quality audio needs to be a priority.

So which type of microphone should you get? I’ll be honest with you, I’m not an expert when it comes to this type of equipment. You’ll need to do some research yourself.

But with that said, you shouldn’t have to spend a fortune on this investment. You should be able to find what you need for roughly $100 or less.

Just make sure that you’re able to balance your audio levels with the microphone. Test it out each time before you start broadcasting so you don’t waste time recording audio that’s unusable.

Know your environment. Where do you plan on recording the most?

There are certain microphones that are meant for different things, such as being in a large room with echoes, outdoors with high winds, or in areas with crowds and lots of background noise.

So find a microphone that’s suitable for your broadcasts. It’s worth the investment.

2. Make sure you have proper lighting

We’ve all seen videos that look unprofessional. Everything from those low-budget local commercials to your family home videos.

It’s unacceptable for your video blog to look like this. So it’s important for you to understand the concept of a basic three point lighting setup.


Sure, sometimes you’re going to be filming on the go. So it’s not always reasonable for you to be carrying around an entire studio worth of lights with you.

But if lots of your video blog content is going to be filmed in your home or apartment, you should definitely have these lights set up like the example above.

Lighting can do so much for the quality of your video. These are the three terms that you need to get familiar with.

  • key light
  • fill light
  • back light

Your key light will serve as your primary light. For the most part, it’s placed on the right side of the camera and should be roughly three feet higher than your eye level.

The key light will be the brightest of these three lights. Angle it at a downward angle so it replicates the sun and has a natural lighting effect.

Due to the angle of your key light, there will be a shadow. So you’ll need to a fill light on the opposite side of the camera to eliminate that darkness.

With two lights placed in front of you, you’ll need a back light behind you so that it looks natural. Otherwise, you may have some dark shadows on your shoulders.

The back light should be diffused so it’s the least bright of the trio.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on your lights, but you should keep in mind that inexpensive lights won’t last forever. So if you’re in this for the long haul, it may be worth it to invest now and save yourself some money down the road.

Whenever you’re shooting outside of your home or office, you need to position yourself properly with natural lighting resources.

Use the sun to your advantage when you’re filming outdoors. Try to position your camera so the sun would be at the same angle as your key light.

3. Add captions to your videos

Not everyone will be watching your video with volume. So you’ll need to add captions to your content.

You’ll have much higher engagement rates if your video blog has captions. Videos with captions have 40% more views. Furthermore, the chances of a viewer watching your entire video increases by 80% if you make closed captions available.

Are you planning to share your video blog on Facebook? Take a look at these numbers.


85% of videos on Facebook are watched on mute. So it makes sense that captions can increase the view time by 12%.

Think about all of the different scenarios when someone will be watching your video blog. They might be at work, at school, or in a room full of people that they don’t want to disturb.

Do you watch all videos with the sound on? Probably not. So make sure that you add captions to all of your video blogs.

4. Get yourself a decent camera

Let’s get back to talking about your equipment. In addition to a microphone and lights, you’ll also need to have a reliable camera.

Again, I’m not saying you need to go spend thousands of dollars on this. Just make sure that you take certain factors into consideration before you make a purchase.

Depending on where you are going to be filming, you won’t always have access to a power outlet. So battery life is really important if you’re filming on the go.

You should also consider the size of your storage cards. You’d hate to be in the middle of filming great content and run out of space on the camera.

The physical size of your camera should also be at the top of your priority list. Make sure that it’s small, easy to hold, and convenient to transport.

If you don’t have your camera with you at all times, it’s not the end of the world. You can definitely use your computer or smartphone for some videos.

But if you are really serious about becoming a successful video blogger, carrying a high quality camera with you everywhere you go will give you the opportunity to film great content any time you have some inspiration or see something that’s cool and worth filming.

You should also know the video format that your camera records.

Popular formats include .mov, .avi, .mp4. This is important to know depending on how you plan to edit, export, and share your videos. You want to make sure that the format can easily be converted.

5. Find the right screen capture software

Sometimes you won’t even need a camera to video blog. Well, at least not for all of your posts.

If you want to show your audience how to do things on your computer, you’ll need to be able to record your actions with software like ScreenFlow.


You’ll have to pay for the software, but it’s worth it if you plan to do any screen recordings on your Mac.

For those of you who are PC users, you can use something like Camtasia instead.

There are other options out there too. But these are my top choices for Mac and PC. So you can use them as a reference point in terms of price and features if you’re shopping around.

6. Be personal and engaging

Part of being a successful video blogger means that you need to have a great personality. So don’t be shy, timid, or boring.

If you’ve got a sense of humor, let it shine.

Remember, this is your video blog. So there aren’t any rules when it comes to the type of content that you’re sharing.

Just be aware that anything you say or do could affect your personal and professional brand. So I’d recommend staying away from controversial topics. But go for it if that’s a risk you’re willing to take.

Mix up your content so it’s engaging. Nobody wants to watch the same thing every day, week, or however often you plan to upload a new video.

7. Give your audience a reason to watch

This relates back to our last tip about engaging with your audience. There are some questions that you need to answer about the direction of your video blog.

What is the point of your video? Are you teaching your audience how to do something? What are your qualifications?

Sure, video blogs can be entertaining, informative, or both. But you need to make sure that your audience has an incentive to watch.

Unless you’ve got one of the best personalities in the world, nobody is going to want to just listen to you talk about your day.

Understand what your audience wants and give it to them.

8. Learn how to edit effectively

You’ll need to know how to edit your videos before you publish and upload them. Just make sure you don’t go crazy with this.

Lots of cuts and edits don’t look professional. If you’ve got a Mac, you can use basic software like iMovie to get the job done.


It’s great if you’ve got multiple iOS devices that you’ll be recording on.

For windows users, Movie Maker is the equivalent free software.

These tools are necessary because they can help you accomplish basic needs like trimming clips and piecing videos together.

You can adjust the audio and things like that as well. Just don’t go overboard with too many effects or it will look unprofessional.

9. Encourage users to comment

Another way to keep users engaged is by enticing them to comment on your video blogs. This can be easy if you position your videos accordingly.

Ask for their opinions. Try to spark a discussion or a debate.

If you take a stance on a particular subject, say something like, “Well let me know what you guys think in the comments section.”

Respond to comments as well. This is a great way to keep people coming back to your content even when you haven’t uploaded a new video.

If you’re handling this effectively, you could be getting new comments on videos that you uploaded months or even years ago.

10. Host an interview

If you think your content is getting stale or you need to spice it up with something new, bring guests onto your video blog.

Sure, people may love you. But seeing the same face over and over again could get old and boring.

So bring in an expert on a particular subject. Do you have any connections to an athlete, movie star, or some other celebrity? Even if they are a D-list actor, a fresh face can help you build hype for your video blog.

If you don’t have those kinds of connections, just ask your friends. I’m sure you’ve got someone in your circle or in your family who is funny and has a great personality.

It’s all about keeping your content fresh. So don’t think that your video blog needs to be about just you every time.

11. Distribute your content

Once you’ve recorded a video blog, you’ve got to get it into the hands of as many people as possible. YouTube is the best platform for video distribution.

All of my video content starts on my YouTube channel.


The great thing about YouTube is that you can always repurpose your videos after you add them to your channel.

Post these videos to social media. Add video blog links to your website. Send video content out to your email subscribers.

If you’ve got a written blog as well, you should be writing about your video blogs and embedding links in your content to drive more traffic to your videos.

Again, I’d start with YouTube first. But some video bloggers like to use other distribution channels as well, like or Vimeo.

12. Keep recording

You won’t use every piece of film that you record. So don’t be afraid to tape as much content as you can.

That’s why it’s important to have a camera with you as often as possible.

You can always filter through the content later and discard it if it’s not that great. Or save it to your archives and maybe find a way to use a clip for a later broadcast.

But regardless, it’s important that you’re always recording so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

Telling your audience about an experience is one thing, but being able to show them the video to back it up will make your video blog that much better.


With video trends on the rise, it’s a great idea to start a video blog. But with so many other people out there doing the same thing, it can be difficult to separate yourself from the crowd.

Take the tips that I’ve outlined above and apply them to your video blog if you want to be successful.

You need to start off by doing simple things like getting the right equipment and editing software.

After that, it comes down to your personality and marketing ability to get your video content out there for people to see.

Follow these basic concepts and your video blog will rapidly grow in terms of traffic, view time, and engagement.

Which tools, software, and principles have you used to drive more traffic to your video blogs?