This post grew too long . . . so I broke it in half. The first half is about putting together a blog.
Now the new second half . . . it's about taking that blog and converting it into a vlog.
Converting a Blog Post into a Video: A vlog is just like a movie or a television show . . . it starts with a script. I don’t have to stick to it, but it guides me from the beginning, to the end. I usually pick the blog that’s up next, but not always. This time I picked an old post from August of 2017. I needed an easy button this week.
Step 1 –Putting Together a Slide Show: That’s what I started on today. This is the screenshot for the whole post – The Search for Zero Gravity. It’s short and sweet, but it still takes time. I usually go back and forth between writing the script and making the slides, but I can’t. Not when I’m writing this post at the same time. It’s too complicated . . . too many moving parts. I needed an easy button for this one.
I start each vlog with a question about the topic. I’ll add in another sentence or two. Then I introduce myself. I’ll tell you a little about me and why you should tune into this vlog.
Next, it’s time for the slide show, with the title and the 1st image from the blog. This is my 1st draft, for the 1st slide, but it didn’t make the cut. Why not?
The title’s too big. I checked . . . I went into zoom to see how we looked together. I screenshotted it (below), and it’s too big!
Here are three screenshots of what it looks like to edit slides. The 1st has the title, too big. The 2nd is about right, but I usually go in/out of zoom a few times until I’m happy with it. The 3rd – I’m ready to move onto the next slide.
I wanted this pair of images from the original blog post for the 3rd slide. I took a screenshot, cropped, and pasted them into the new slide. I changed the title and checked on zoom to make sure we looked good together. It’s a process! It just takes time and patience.
This pair of images came from the original blog post. I wanted it for slide #3. I screenshotted, cropped, and pasted them into the new slide. I changed the title, then checked to see how we looked on zoom. It’s a process! Give yourself time, and a little patience.
This is a screen shot of that 3rd slide. If you look at the left side, you’ll see the seven slides that make up the vlog. Almost done!
Step 2 – Putting Together a Script: It’s not pretty, like the slides are, but the script is key to a good vlog. This is a screenshot from the new one, on zero gravity. I caught the last sentence from the 1st paragraph, and all of the 2nd one. That’s where I introduce myself to the audience. It’s a first draft, the worst one. I’ll go back and make changes when the script’s done.
Take another look at the screenshot. Do you see the sentence in red? That’s my note for what to say or do. This one tells me to go into my slideshow. That teeny-tiny picture is the first slide you’ll see.
Look down below the large print, and you’ll see two paragraphs in small type. I copied and pasted them from the original blog. I’ll type them back in large print, and I’ll simplify as I go. I want to make my video feel like I’m really talking to you. (Note – It’s still the first draft, the worst one.)
Here’s that same page again, but the letters are all the same size. When I print out the script, bigger type is way easier for me to read.
I also use short paragraphs. Sometimes I go off script, and when I do, those short paragraphs help me find my place again.
Finally, look at the bottom of the page. Can you tell when I should click and move onto the second slide? (The answer – after I say, “remembered to get a picture.” The proof – there’s a mini slide below it.)
This is a screenshot of how I end my vlogs, with the same basic last five slides. This one’s from my last vlog, Christmas in July. The first invites you to listen to the vlog again. The second, to check out the original post. The next two slides take you on a scavenger hunt across the buttons on my website. The final slide says goodbye, and it invites you back next week.
PS – I do change the slide titles . . . as needed.
This is the last slide I create. I go into my digital playground on Facebook. That’s where I’m the one and only member. I paste in the original blog link and get back a copy of it as a post. It’s a great trick to test-drive your content.
Step 3 – Revision: This isn’t pretty either, but it’s key to making a good video. With 3 pages, or more, it takes time, but I still revise everything! I use narrator to listen to the script. I make at least three rounds through the words to make sure I’ve said what I wanted to say, that I said it clearly, and that it sounds good to my ear.
For the vlog I listen to the script paragraph by paragraph. I change the first one that’s off. Then I go back and keep listening until that paragraph is clean. Then I move onto the next one, revising until it’s bug-free. I keep going until the first page is done. Then, I listen to the first page as a whole. Would you believe I always find a few small things I want to change? Or that I won’t leave page 1 until it’s done?
Then I move onto page 2. I do it twice until it’s clean. I repeat this process on each page until I reach the end of the script. When I’ve reviewed each page twice, I do one last round with the whole script. This time I listen from the beginning, all the way to the end. If I make a change, I only repeat that paragraph. When I finish that 3rd round, I’m happy with what I’ve said, and how it sounds. At some point – you have to move on. The rule of 3 rounds of revisions makes me feel like I’ve done the job, to the best of my ability.
Step 4 – Video Taping: I video tape my script and power point on zoom. But first, I practice going through the whole thing at least one time, from beginning to end, without hitting record. I may have gone through the script 3 times already, but this is the first time with the script and the slide show together, so I practice again.
Sometimes I catch mistakes in the script or in a slide. The vlog is a lot longer than Saturday Reads, at least 3 pages long. So one more practice really helps me learn how/when to move the slides. It doesn’t make me perfect, but it makes me feel more confident about doing the video. Confidence makes everything easier. It’s easier to make a vlog now from the beginning to the end. That’s because of all the time and practice I put into them. The result – confidence!
Step 5 – Social Media: I do 3 rounds of it, just like I do for Saturday Reads, but I’m a day behind. Round 1 – on Friday afternoon I post my announcement for Sunday’s Vlog on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s like a free commercial – something I do to get your attention.
Round 2 – I’ve gotten in the habit of taping the video on Thursday or Friday. I tape Saturday Reads on the same day as the vlog. That way I only have to do the prep work once. BTW – the key to a good video is making sure you have good lighting when you tape. Once I’ve trimmed and saved it, I schedule it on Facebook Meta, unless I’m at the lake. When I’m there I try to time my Meta scheduling with when I’m in town . . . the internet’s better!
Round 3 – The video goes live on my Facebook business page Sunday at 4. As soon as it’s live, I copy and paste it on my personal Facebook account, on Instagram, and Twitter. Then I’m done! Finally! Until Sunday night when I start thinking about my next blog to convert, and my next book to read. It’s my writing circle of life!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!