YouTube videos can be a great way to jazz up your author website AND increase your overall Web presence. YouTube videos, in general, are powerful marketing tools, and viral videos are phenomena that you can’t put a price on. And the good news is, you can make your YouTube video nearly for free if you have a smart phone and/or camera.
The time your readers spend on your website is proportional to the time they’ll spend thinking about you once they leave. Why not compel visitors to spend a little more time on your site with an interesting video?
What kinds of YouTube videos work best on author websites? What should writers include in their YouTube videos? And how can you make YouTube videos into more than just short films that appear on your site?
Here’s How To Use YouTube To Develop Your Author Web Presence
Use Video To Help Visitors Get To Know You And Your Writing
Think of your author website like a house. When guests come to visit, you want to give a cordial tour of your place to help them feel at home. A website is no different. Here are some types of videos you can use to engage your readers with strong visuals:
- A welcome video is your platform to introduce your Web visitor to you and your virtual home. What genre of work do you write? What are the most prominent parts of your site? If you’ve used a Web design service and you really like a particular section, point it out! Offer your reader instructions on how to find and use the coolest aspects of your site.
- Create a book trailer or hire a production company to create one for you.
- Record a reading of one of your poems or short stories. Or take your camera to open mike night and have a friend record your performance.
- Create a series of related videos. Set a schedule and stick to it. Your viewership will appreciate your consistency.
- Show your audience around your workstation or office for a few minutes. Do you work from home? Do you rent office space for the peace and quiet? Are you an old-fashioned pen-and-ink kind of writer? Give your viewers an intimate glance at the inner workings of your craft. You might even inspire fellow writers to try something new.
- Hoping to go viral? Videos that are unexpectedly funny, clever, energetic, and unique tend to capture the attention of the masses. So go ahead and write a funny commentary on why you hate Comic Sans font. Or create your own wacky book reviews in the style of a home cooking show. You may have to pay a bit for extra production and video editing, but if your video goes viral, the price will be entirely worth it.
Make Your Video Work Behind The Scenes
Google’s search engine optimization techniques are an open secret for most Web writers. But did you know SEO applies to YouTube videos as well?
Google owns YouTube, which means that embedding YouTube content into your website looks great to Google’s search spiders. Even though plenty of websites offer free hosting for your videos, YouTube’s on top for a reason.
When you upload your video, be sure to fill out the optional keywords and description fields. If you’re writing mysteries, you might choose to incorporate words such as:
Jane K. Writer, mystery, mystery novel, writer, golf mystery, cozy mystery, book
That way, your video may start to show up in search engine results when people Google the related terms. Learn more about choosing keywords.
Creating video content for your author website can be challenging for the uninitiated. But like any learned skill, practice makes perfect. Windows Movie Maker and iMovie both often come with your computer of choice. Spend time getting to know the programs and see what kind of videos you can produce. Your author webpage will be more attractive for your efforts.
QUESTION: Have you encountered a particularly engaging YouTube video lately? What about it captured your interest?
I love the idea of a multimedia approach! I just got a Mac, maybe that will make the process easier.