Life-Hosting.comTelevision is moving online. In the last year Internet TV has grabbed the attention of the biggest media corporations in the world. Disney has entered into a partnership with Brightcove and the BBC has partnered with YouTube. And this is just the beginning-what you see today is the tip of an iceberg that will keep on growing for years to come.

Anyone can be famous, as the promo for Cisco's "Human Network" campaign says. Anyone can be a producer today, and that's only half of it-anyone can be a broadcaster of video content on the Worldwide Web. Video sharing sites like YouTube have created a sort of producing frenzy in the video world, and to be honest about it, there is an enormous amount of junk online. But don't let that turn you against the medium. New technologies and new business models make it surprisingly easy for companies and individuals to market and deliver video products on the Internet today.

Even if you have experience with video product creation in traditional formats like video cassettes, CDs, and DVDs, you may not be fully aware of how new tools available on the Internet can take your business to the next level. Here are some tips on how to get started:

* Don't quit your day job-you don't have to in order to test products on a web site. Some of the fastest growing sites on the Internet today were launched by people who had full-time jobs. They entered the market gradually by testing sales of new products and services on the Internet. When they were convinced that a niche market was there to sustain them, they plunged into the Internet business full time. Your numbers will tell you when to quit your day job.

* One of the best ways to build a niche market is by selling video products on the Internet. Look at the types of videos that other people are selling. Which ones would you want to buy? Which ones add something of value to your life? Look around. When you find something you like, go ahead and buy it. If you have never purchased a video download on the Internet, you'll be surprised by how easy it is. This is important preparation for you as a future marketer of online video products.

* The video you just purchased may be the best investment you ever make. Watch it from the point of view of a customer. Did you get your money's worth? Would you buy another video product from the same site? If you aren't completely satisfied, can you get a refund? Then watch the video from the point of view of a creator of video products. Why does this video work? How does it connect to my experience? And if the video falls flat on its face, why doesn't it work? Why doesn't it connect to me as a viewer?

As you provide answers to these questions, you will start to discover concepts that can be developed into your own video products for sale on the Internet. When you're ready, all you need is a webcam, a computer, and a connection to the Internet.

 



The revolution in Internet technology has made video publishing possible for anyone with a camera phone, a broadband connection, and a few widely available tools that in many cases are completely free. And what a revolution it is-we used to be producers of content, but new technologies and platforms are empowering us to be broadcasters of video products for distribution and sale on the Worldwide Web. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind when you create your video products.

Why your choice of topic is so important
The most important factor in determining the success of your video is your choice of a topic. If you can't cover the topic in 30 minutes or less, you need to focus on a single theme within that topic.

Always remember that your goal is not to show people everything you know about a subject. Your goal is to identify one problem, one thing you think your viewers need and want to know how to do, and then focus on showing them the best way to solve that problem. Don't add on another topic-keep it for your next video product. Strip away all the excess baggage until you narrow the focus to a single topic. Then give it to the viewers without going in other directions at the same time.

Keep it simple - Keep it moving
Once you have chosen a topic, you'll need to consider the length of your video. The most successful videos are no longer than 30 minutes, which is a good rule of thumb for thinking about how long you'll be able to keep the viewer's attention.

Pace is very important in video production. You know more about pace than you think-just imagine all the times you've switched away from a slow-moving TV program, or all the times you've fallen asleep during a movie. When you start wishing that a movie or program would move faster, you have identified a problem with the pace of the show.

It's hard for experienced professionals to maintain an interesting pace for 60 minutes. Keep this in mind when you're planning your video-don't try to handle more than 30 minutes on your first attempt. Keep it simple; a shorter video can be much more powerful and effective if you are careful to keep it moving at an interesting pace. A lively 15 to 20-minute how-to video will be much more successful than a longer product that seems to drag on and on. A lot of short videos (10 to 15 minutes) sell for up to $14 or $15 dollars on Internet sites. Longer formats (60 to 90 minutes) sell for anywhere from $40 to over $100.

If you already have experience with short formats and want to try a more ambitious project, set your sights on a sixty-minute video. Think of ninety minutes as your maximum duration for a how-to feature, but only after you have been successful with shorter video products. In all cases, start small and work your way up to longer formats.