When I saw this video I asked Texas Master Gardener Stephanie Suesan Smith to share with us how she created it:
Ever watch those slick videos on the SEO experts’ websites with envy? Wonder how you, as a business person, can afford such a thing? Videos do engage visitors and persuade them to stay on site longer. They do not have to cost a lot of money, however.
Almost everyone has still photographs. They may be in digital format or actual photographs. There is a program that can easily take those still photographs and turn them into a movie. The best part is that the program is free. Windows Movie Maker comes bundled with Windows 7. It is available on older versions of Windows as well.
With Windows Movie Maker, you can add
photographs and arrange them to suit you.
Product photos, graphs, tables, and other visual items can be used. You can add slides with text and captions to the photos. Add appropriate music if you want, or choose not to use music at all.
There is an “automovie” button on the program that you can use to add fade ins between slides, drift the words in instead of abruptly showing them, and fit the content to the music. After you create the automovie, play it several times and make sure you can read the text before it fades, everything looks right, and it makes sense to you. Then use the share button to upload the video to YouTube.com, where you can embed it in your website seamlessly.
Remember those eBooks experts say you should write
and offer for sale? You can create a book trailer with
a call to action with Windows Movie Maker.
This is an example of a book trailer I created for my mother, historical fiction author Caroline Clemmons:
She plotted the story arc she wanted and I found some free photos on http://www.istockphoto.com/ to illustrate it, then added the words and music. Nonfiction is a bit harder to do, but there is no reason you cannot have a killer book trailer for your eBook.
This trailer is not as slick as some of the trailers her friends have, but the difference between free and $500 or so is significant, particularly in today’s economy. Of course, that does not count the time spent doing the trailer, but even factoring that in, doing it yourself is significantly cheaper than hiring a professional videographer to do it.
The other application for this program is for photographers. The genesis for this article was a video I created showcasing my photographs from the Heritage Garden of Hunt County. Gail asked me to explain how I made the movie.
Windows Movie Maker lets you create a
slick slide show with music and titles.
By now you may be saying, ”Sure, you can do that, but how do I use this program?” You are in luck. I wrote a pamphlet entitled, “How to use still photographs to make killer videos for your website.” It is on Amazon Kindle for the princely sum of $0.99. The pamphlet includes screen shots and step by step instructions. It also includes sources for free pictures and free music for your video that are royalty free and legal to use. I’m a big fan of respecting copyright. It cuts down on lawsuits and starving artists.
Of course, if you do not have the time or inclination to make your own video, I can help you out. I don’t charge $500, either, at least for a basic video. However, with instructions in hand, you should be able to make a killer video to sell your product or service with little problem. I look forward to watching them.
Bio: Stephanie Suesan Smith mainly uses her Ph.D. in clinical psychology to train her dogs. She is also a master gardener, member of the Garden Writer’s Association, and woodworker. Stephanie writes on almost any nonfiction topic and has had some unusual experiences that contribute to that ability. Getting pooped on by a rattlesnake probably ranks tops there, but things just seem to happen to her. Check out her gardening tips and see more of her work in her photography blog and her woodworking blog.
Follow Stephanie on Twitter @lambdakennels1 or if you are only interested in each blog follow them @icgardening @icwoodworking and @icphotos1. You can see more examples of Stephanie’s videos in her YouTube channel.
Disclosure: The Amazon widget in this post contains Stephanie’s affiliate link. I asked her to add it to this post because a laborer is worthy of her wages and writers deserve to be compensated for their work.
I added the links for her Twitter accounts and additional links because it simply makes sense to make it easy for readers to get to additional information. Let’s change this silly convention of being stingy with links and use them for that original purpose.
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