Content Marketing, Guest Posts, Social Media Measurement, Blogging and Content Creation, Social Media Optimization

(Video) 4 Mistakes You Make When Posting Video on Your Blog

Guest post written by Rocky Walls, who has more than 10 years’ experience in digital content creation. As CEO of 12 Stars Media Productions, Rocky works with businesses to create video that’s so real and simple it changes audiences into relationships.

It’s no secret that embedding videos on your blog post is a great way to attract readership and conversion. However, using video to its fullest potential involves more work than slapping an embed code on an otherwise empty post. Here are four common mistakes we’ve seen along with some tips to help ensure that you make the most out of a video on your blog post.

1) No Indication That There is a Video in the Post

You should let your readers know right away that your blog post contains a video. You can accomplish this in two ways.

First, specify it in the title of the post. A good way to do this is to star the title out with “(VIDEO)” – this will let folks know right away that the blog post contains a video. Following “(VIDEO)” write your title as your normally would. For example, a good video blog post title would look something like: “(VIDEO) A Private Tour of Our Offices.”

Secondly, be sure your embedded video appears relatively close to the top of the post. If possible, you want to avoid the video appearing below the fold. Even if readers ignore the title of your post, they will see right away that there is a video on the post if it appears towards the top.

2) No Text Content

Too often we see blog posts that are comprised solely of an embedded video. It’s a good idea to give your readers some context before asking them to watch an entire video. Introduce your video with a few sentences, and then summarize the video in a paragraph below. If you’ve transcribed the A-Roll in your video, you can use some of that content to form the summary paragraph.

(Editor’s note: Here at Convince & Convert, we use to transcribe our video interviews and the podcast)

3) No Customization 

Another common mistake is not optimizing the size of the video to the width of your blog. Whether you use the old embed code or an iframe from YouTube, the first line of the embed code will always start with <object width=”560″ height=”315″> – make sure that the width of the video doesn’t exceed the width of your blog’s content column. It’s best to find the width of the column and set your video width to just slightly less. Don’t be afraid to employ a little trial and error – set a resolution, check to see how it looks, and then make a tweak if its necessary. The height will always conform to the width by automatically adding black bars to the top and bottom of the video in order to maintain the aspect ratio.

You can also customize the code for other aesthetic value and advanced functionality, such as allowing/not allowing related videos and setting a specific start time. Check out this post from the 12 Stars Media blog that talks about ways to customize your embed code to optimize overall viewer experience.

4) No Call-To-Action

Once you’ve written a nice post that includes a customized embedded video, it’s important to give the reader a call to action at the end. If the reader asks themselves “so what?” after viewing your post and video, you’ve not only wasted their time but your own as well. The end of a blog post is a good place for an opt-in, like a newsletter sign-up form or a “Like us on Facebook” button. You can even refer to your call-to-action right in your video.


Facebook Comments


  1. says

    What are you thoughts on annotations being incorporated into the call to action?

    On-site (on YouTube, rather), they seem to be really effective at getting more subscribers.

    Embedded onto your blog though, they have the potential to take people away from your site and on to YouTube.

    So, are they worth using?

    • RockyWalls says

      @Gregory Ciotti Good question! Of course, it depends on what your goals are, but there’s always a risk of giving the viewer too many calls to action. If you use the old embed code, you can disable the annotations by adding &iv_load_policy=3 to the end of the video URL.

      Does that help?

  2. donkincaid says

    Good work @RockyWalls . I’m a big proponent of adding transcripts and closed captioning to help those who don’t want to turn audio on and of course, helping search engines find the content from the audio.

    You’ve helped me many times! Thanks.

    • RockyWalls says

      @donkincaid Thanks Don! Appreciate your support and friendship. Adding the transcript to the YouTube video itself is a great tip that a lot of people miss!

      • jennjuckett says

        @RockyWalls @donkincaid agreed-transcript is great, sometimes you don’t want to actually ‘play’ video right then. & great tip to post transcript to the Youtube video a plus – thx @RockyWalls and #contentstrategy Daily

  3. says

    I’m not certain you can do this, but if it’s possible to auto-play an embedded video…don’t. :) Not only will visitors miss part or all of the video, it’s irritating to have to scroll around (or click between tabs) to find and pause something that’s making noise.

    I totally agree about the video transcript. You don’t necessarily have to transcribe the whole thing, but you should hit the high points.

    • RockyWalls says

      @Amy Peveto Definitely agree Amy. There are maybe one in ten thousand (maybe less) times when it makes sense to autoplay a video. The other 9,999 it’s highly annoying.

    • karyn_ellis says

      @Amy Peveto Good one! This tip applies to music too. Drives me crazy to visit a site when I’m already listening to something and another song starts playing automatically. Like pots ‘n pans banging around in the kitchen! I am usually bouncing around several tabs on my browser, so it becomes a frantic search to find the stop button on the offending page. And the end result: doesn’t make me feel amicable towards the person whose website it is.

  4. andyjankowski says

    Great post Rocky. Informative, to the point, and a good reminder that I need to start applying Tip #4!

    • RockyWalls says

      @andyjankowski Thanks Andy! Glad you liked the post and that it inspires you to get those CTAs ready!

  5. BenM says

    These are all good tips, but honestly, they dwarf in comparison to, “Make sure the video can be played on mobile devices.” Many of us never actually visit blogs on a desktop device.

    • RockyWalls says

      @bkjrecruiter Awesome! Maybe next time we’ll go for some more advanced tips 😉 Got any suggestions in mind for a future post that would cover some things you aren’t already doing?

    • RockyWalls says

       @Ricardo Bueno Thanks Ricardo! It’s nice having that since some people prefer to read through the points rather than watch the video, while some prefer to watch or listen to the video rather than read.

      • says

         @RockyWalls  @Ricardo Bueno Another good reason for listing the content below is that it is easier to recap after watching the video particularly if there is some interesting points to note or a process to follow from watching the video.
        Visitors/viewers can be notoriously impatient and get frustrated, resulting in them leaving, if they have to re-run the video to see or remember an element discussed. 
        A good call-to-action sign-up would be a link to a downloadable pdf covering the content of the video in more detail.

        • RockyWalls says

           @Rob Willox  @Ricardo Bueno Good points Rob! Thanks for sharing. Totally agree about the PDF too. Great idea.

  6. says

    These are some great tips. You had a nice observation; this topic, for sure, will remind all of the video bloggers out there of what they have and they don’t have to do. Keep it up.

  7. says

    These are some great tips. You had a nice observation; this topic, for sure, will remind all of the video bloggers out there of what they have and they don’t have to do. Keep it up.

  8. aschottmuller says

    Great tips! On the mobile note, if the video is part of a stepped process playlist, a great call-to-action is including a linking to the playlist using YouTube annotations. (Most marketers forget about mobile and assume the playlist will appear next to the video.) Tip: If you’re a YouTube partner, annotations can include a link to a website outside of YouTube.

    • RockyWalls says

       @aschottmuller Thanks for the additional tips! Mobile video is such an important consideration these days.

  9. Dave F says

    Thanks Rocky and Jay.
    Perfect timing for new project at work.

    Any thoughts of alternatives to YouTube, such as Brightcove, Vimeo, or even Facebook Video?


    • RockyWalls says

       @Dave F Quite welcome Dave. Glad it helped. All of the options you listed have their advantages and this topic could be a blog post in and of itself.
      May I ask you to share your reason(s) for wanting an alternative to YouTube? Then, maybe I could make a specific suggestion for you.

  10. HelenNest says

    Very useful tips, guys! You’re absolutely right: if you post a video article and just insert a video without supporting it with some comments before or afterwords, the readers are not not very impessed.
    Thanks for sharing the info – I am sure it’ll help me creating really nice articles with video.

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