Are you guilty of making one or more of the following 13 costly mistakes with your videos online

Or maybe you didn’t even realise you were making mistakes within your videos that others may pick up on…

Chris – My videos are fine you may say…

…or are they?

That is because, I know I am still guilty of some of these mistakes, even to this day…

Okay Chris, please tell me what mistakes I might be making with my videos.

Below I will list out the ‘Mistakes’ or common errors many make within their videos and then I will seek to offer you a way to fix these simple mistakes or errors.

There’s no point telling you about these errors and not offering a solution to resolve them…

You will find that in many cases the fix is really simple to apply and by simply being aware of the mistakes, you will be able to fix most within a few simple minutes.

Mistake #1: Immediately starting out your videos with fancy introductions, graphics or logos rather than beginning with content to hook the viewers.

People are very quick to hit the back button now days and leave a page or video if it seems boring or doesn’t grab their attention quickly.

You HAVE to grab their attention within the first 30 seconds.

So if you waste that precious time stroking your own ego with fancy intro graphics or logos, then many people are hitting that back button and whilst they may have seen your whiz bang cool introduction, they have not hung around long enough to consume your content.

Honestly, think about it. If you are using one of these branding logos that looks cool, then is this really there because you think it is fricken cool?

Does this take precious seconds from the beginning of each and every video you publish?

How do you react when you see this within other peoples videos?

Yeah I bet it is either the back button or fast forward if you can… (we all do this as we are impatient)

By doing this – You have lost an opportunity to capture someones attention and keep the viewers engaged in your videos.

So how do I Fix this?:

Start out with a cold open, this is something that grabs the attention of the viewer right up front and hooks them. Once you have successfully done this, then you can have your branding, you have hooked your viewers and they will stay for the rest of the content.

If you go listen to most of my Podcast Episodes, then you will hear that I start most episodes with a cold open, then I have the show branding following.

So look to have content up front, before any branding, hook the viewers first and get them to keep engaged and stay to consume your content.


Mistake #2: Music being too loud within your videos.

Generally this is down to people getting their audio levels wrong. Or simply not realising there can be a difference in audio levels between the spoken track and the music track they choose to play.

How many videos have you been watching and nearly jumped out of your skin when the video opened with music that was at full volume compared to the last video or audio you listened to.

If you were relaxed before, then this will make you jump, it will be uncomfortable and make the experience a poor one for all the wrong reasons.

So how do I Fix this?:

This should be a simple enough thing to fix. Set your levels and listen back to your videos or audio tracks.

Ask yourself, does the music need to be there, and if so turn the volume down to a comfortable level. You will know when you listen back to your own audio with a set of headphones on.

My advice is to listen back and if you are unsure before recording, then record a test sample and then review this.


Mistake #3: Poor audio or unable to be heard

This is the reverse of the previous example. It is when  your levels are too low or you are not close enough to the microphone. People cannot hear you and this makes for a poor experience. They're turning the volume up to maximum and they cannot hear you or there is a lot of static noise that may also be present at higher volume levels.

So how do I Fix this?:

Ensure you have a good microphone and gain set your levels so that you can be heard within the video. Get closer to the microphone so that it can properly pick you up.

As with the previous example, then seek to review your own videos and audio levels. Simply run with a test recording if you're not sure, then listen back to this and then review this. You will quickly know if something is hard to hear or if the levels are wrong.


Mistake #4: Breathing into or over the microphone with heavy breathing

This is typical with people incorrectly positioning their microphone. They have it too close to their mouth or in their breathing zone. The microphone is very sensitive and can pick up your breathing and make it sound like heavy breathing.

This can actually be very of-putting for some people. Audio can be a very personal thing. People have tuned all other audio out to listen and the last thing they want to hear is your heavy breathing into a microphone.

So how do I Fix this?:

This is classic from people with integrated headsets and microphones or someone who stupidly places their microphone too close to their breathing zone whilst recording. Lower or raise the microphone away from your breathing zone and stop this annoying breathing into the microphone. I tent to talk across the microphone or over the microphone and as it is close enough it will pick up what I say.


Mistake #5: Video recording beside a window

I actually have this problem with my new setup in my office. My webcam placed on top of my computer faces me and has a window behind that. It leaves the exposure levels wrong and the subject hard to see within the video. It may also simple offer a distraction from the subject if it is to one side.

So how do I Fix this?:

Look to move away from the window and if you can use this natural light to illuminate the subject.

In my cane my desk is fixed so I have the webcam at an angle to try and remove as much of the window as I possibly can. I also have vertical blinds and I also close the drapes to remove this problem.


Mistake #6: untidy background

Some people just hit record and do not stop to think what their shot or area behind them looks like. They can have a untidy room with stuff laying everywhere and worst case dirty laundry strewn across the floor. This is a distraction, looks unprofessional and even looks like you don't care.

So how do I Fix this?:

Look at your recording area if it is messy, then tidy it up!

With a talking head video think about what can be seen behind you and of there is something you think shouldn't be seen, then shift the camera angle or move to a new location. It is best just to tidy it up. Nobody wants to see your messy room or even worse, your dirty laundry


Mistake #7: messy computer desktop

You know, all those icons...

We all have somewhere that we need to dump files. BUT we can't think of somewhere...

Normally the desktop will do, and that's where they get dumped onto.

Then people begin recording videos and they reveal their messy desktop. It looks terrible, messy and even at times may have stuff on there not everybody needs to see.

Plus it also looks unprofessional!

So how do I Fix this?:

This is a classic for many people recording their screens. You can either tidy up your desktop or hide the icons.

You can do this in a PC by right clicking and in view uncheck 'Show desktop icons' and boom you have a clean desktop.

With Mac you have a few options - you can download an app that will hit your desktop icons. You can also do this from within terminal. BUT my favorite way is inside of Screenflow - you can choose the option 'Hide desktop icons'.

Additional Tip: You also have an opportunity to brand yourself here with your screen saver image.

Load up something that you may want to use for this, this could be your website address or some other call to action.


Mistake #8: making people sit and watch you type urls etc


You open a new tab and say to the viewers 'So if we just go to w-w-w-dot-....'

People do NOT need to sit and watch you typing with one finger and testing their impatience by making them watch you type in web adresses.

So how do I Fix this?:

You can either have them already typed or if you are recording, then edit it so that people don't have to watch the full thing. Trust me, they WILL Get it if you start typing and it jumps to it being typed and the page is loading

The same is with filling forms, edit it and it can jump to a pre filled form.


Mistake #9: not having your tabs prepared in advance

When setting out to start recording plan ahead. This will make the actual recording flow a lot better for you, but also for the viewers. It saves from you stuttering, opening new browsers, tabs and waiting for web pages to be loaded.

It also means when you get to the editing stages, you are going to have more work to edit this so that it flows better and if you don't, then the video will look unprofessional and filled with rookie errors.

So how do I Fix this?:

Plan ahead and before recording open all necessary tabs and log into accounts as this will also save you from having to reveal your login for sites. If you also know what content you are going to cover, either written down or bullet point, you can refer to this and people may not know.

If you have properly prepared in advance, then you will have your tabs opened, pages loaded and be ready before hitting record.


Mistake #10: having Skype on whilst recording

I have watched many tutorial videos where the persons Skype was logged in and I could see when their friends logged into Skype. You could see full names and in some cases messages received when they were recording their tutorial videos or screens.

I have also watched a tutorial video where the person was recording their screen and a Skype call came through. You could hear the distinctive ring tone from Skype and they had to cancel the call and continue recording.

What is worse is they didn't even edit this out of the video and this was published into their course.

So how do I Fix this?:

It is really simple. LOG OUT of Skype and other services when recording. The same is true for Facebook as this can have the ability to send you notifications and popups whilst you are recording. Simply go to the app or software and log out for the duration of your recording.


Mistake #11: Mobile phone ringing or texting in the background

Again people allow distractions to show up in their videos via their cell phones. This is in the form of the interference, text messages or even calls.

I have in the past experienced a tutorial where a guys phone rang, he answered and told his mum he was in the middle of recording and then proceeded to carry on.

We could hear every word spoken on his side to his mother and again this was not edited out

So how do I Fix this?:

Again this is simple, Turn the phone onto silent, off or even leave it away in a different room. If it does interrupt, then edit this out of your videos.

Most phones can also be switched into airplane mode and this is also a very handy feature whilst recording. This will stop all interruptions and also the digital interference that can be heard from time to time with phones and electronic equipment.


Mistake #12: not being able to see smaller details when explaining something

You are busy explaining or showing something on screen. This could be within the address bar of your browser or even a setting within software or a website.

Generally this is where things are technical in nature within your video and people like to be able to see this in good detail.

For some they actually NEED to see what you are doing as they are following along with your instructions and learning as they go.

If you do not zoom or is the images are not clear enough, then they may struggle to keep up and follow your instructions.

So how do I Fix this?:

Learn to zoom in on these details as some people need to see this and it saves them from struggling or having to rewatch the same portion of the video repeatedly.

Most decent software will allow you to zoom portions of your video and this can show in greater detail what you are doing or explaining. Not everybody may have a large screen or have perfect eyesight, so thing about this when details are smaller.

Simply learn to zoom when needed.


Mistake #13: poor lighting on the subject

The room appears perfectly light but when you watch the video the person there seems like they're in the shade. They are harder to see and as such the video looks unprofessional.

So how do I Fix this?:

In a talking head video you need to be seen. If you do not have enough natural light, then look at opening drapes or turning on lights or even investing in purpose built lighting for your videos whilst recording.

This is also true for some people with webcams. It can be hard to see you. Turn a little light on

The lights can be in the form of a desktop lamp, the room lighting or even purchase some nice LED or Softbox lighting and use these for your video recording.


About The Author


Chris Cole is passionate about online technology, video and audio. He is from Northern Ireland and has been working online since 2009. He likes to write about his marketing journey online and is also a lover of all thing Video and Podcast related. Follow Chris' journey and while you're here - Watch out for the new Broadcast Geeks Podcast that is coming soon. If you like this site, then why not come and join Chris over inside the Broadcast Geeks Facebook Group (Click Here)

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