Monday, August 30, 2010

WordPress for Videographers – The Process

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a four-part series on “WordPress for Videographers” by guest author Heidi Mueller, of New Westminster, BC, Canada - an accomplished commercial video producer, web site developer and writer. Future articles will feature “The Process,” “Using Video,” and “eCommerce” with WordPress.

In the first article in this series we looked at reasons why a videographer would consider WordPress as a website platform for his or her business. In this article we will look at how to go about implementing a WordPress website. It is not a step by step article, but rather its objective is to give you some sense of what to expect when you decide to use WordPress.

Website Planning
As you will see in a moment, before you know it your website will be live. But there will be no content! It pays to think before you commit what pages you want on the website and what text and pictures you want on the pages. It is helpful to have a Word document for each page so that you can copy and paste the content into the WordPress pages. That way your website will not be live without content for long. Typical pages to start with would be Home, About Us, Portfolio, Our Blog, and Contact Us.

Basic Website Stuff
For any website one has to have a webhosting company to host your website on their web server, and then you need a domain name (e.g. that points to the server. WordPress recommends a number of hosting companies. You might want to consider a local company so that you can go and talk to them if needs be. Once you have set up a hosting account with the company of your choice, they will create a folder on the web server for you. It is referred to as the “root” folder.

WordPress Stuff
For WordPress to work, you need three things on your web server. Firstly there is the WordPress system itself (it is a collection of files and folders). Then your server also needs PHP and a MySQL database.

Installing WordPress
This basically means that you have to download WordPress from their website, and copy it to your root folder on the web server. So just how do you do that? I have no idea!

No really, there are different ways to go about it depending on the hosting company that you have chosen so you need to ask them first. If you Google “installing WordPress” you will get many articles and how to videos on the topic.

As we mentioned in the first article, all the content that will make up your website will be stored in a database. Part of the installation process is to link the MySQL database to your WordPress so that it will be able to access your website content.

Using Notepad to link the database to WordPress

The last step of the installation process is to set up the administration. You will be the “administrator” for your website which will give you the right to create pages, add or edit content. In this last step, WordPress will ask you for a Title and Description of your blog, i.e. the name of your company and your business tagline respectively. It will also ask you for a username and password that you would like to use. When you have entered the information and clicked to confirm, your website will be live!

Your browser will display the “Dashboard” which is your control panel from where you can now add content to the site.

The Dashboard

Website Is Live!
If anyone enters your domain name in their browser, they will see your new, as yet content-less, website. At this point your website will by default have two pages, home and about. Your company name will appear at top of the web page, which is nice. Below that is a beautiful but inappropriate banner image, which you can ignore for now.

The Opening Screen of the New Website

Your first step is to add the additional pages you need, and paste the content into them that you have prepared beforehand. As you create pages, WordPress will automatically create links to them on the menu bar! So how do I create pages, you ask? As administrator, you will have access to the control panel for your website. In WordPress lingo it is called the “Dashboard”.

New site, with some text and a custom banner image

Google Connection
Once you have created your pages and added content to them, you need to let the world know that your website is ready. That is easy. You go to and enter your URL (e.g. and it’s done.

More Tweaking
At this point your website is on the Internet; it looks good, and has content. So for now, give yourself a pat on the back, and take a well deserved break! But soon you will probably start to think of the further tweaking that you may want to do. It will require a little bit of learning but there is no immediate rush. For example, you may want to replace the default banner graphic with something more appropriate for videography, and perhaps include your logo. These are easy to do but outside of the scope of this short article.

For more information you can go to the
official WordPress website which is very comprehensive but rather overwhelming I have found. I do recommend an excellent online tutorial by The tutorial covers the installation, use and maintenance of your WordPress website. Then there are many books on WordPress that you can order through – just make sure that the book covers WordPress 3.0!

Upcoming articles will focus on:
• Using Video - one would expect to see video on a videography website. Article 3 will discuss the ins and outs of showcasing your video on your website.

• eCommerce - Article 4 will look at adding ecommerce to the website for videographers who would like to sell products such as stock footage, how to videos, and more.

“WordPress is web stofware you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.” —

H Mueller Design

# 206 - 56 Merrivale Street

New Westminster, BC V3L 2P6



Monday, August 23, 2010

WordPress for Videographers

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a four-part series on “WordPress for Videographers” by guest author Heidi Mueller, of New Westminster, BC, Canada - an accomplished commercial video producer, web site developer and writer. Future articles will feature “The Process,” “Using Video,” and “eCommerce” with WordPress.


Having a professionally-looking website is important for any business, and particularly for a visual business like videography. In fact, visitors to your website will judge your company, and even your ability to do video, by the appearance of your website! If it looks amateurish, there is a risk that they will simply move on to the next website in their search for a videography company. This series of articles will explore a way for videographers with limited web design skills and limited budget, to get the necessary professional image and Internet presence by using WordPress.

WordPress Advantages

Professional Appearance

While as videographers we have some artistic flair, most of us have no specific skills or training in graphic design. WordPress is a web design platform where the look and feel of the website has been separated from the content creation of the pages on the website. The appearance is determined by a theme. What that means is that you don’t have to worry about the appearance of the website, i.e. the layout, colours, font styles and sizes and so on – that has already been taken care of by the graphics professional who designed the theme. Which frees you as the owner to focus on the content of your website’s pages. In a follow up article we will discuss themes in more detail.

WordPress is Free

WordPress is free in the sense that it is available at no cost. It is also free in the sense of being open source, so not subject to the whims of a single corporation.

Easy Creation

WordPress makes it easy for someone with no web design skills to have a beautiful website up and running in days. Then adding or updating your website content is equally fast and easy.

Control Over Content

With WordPress you have full control over the content of your site; you can add or change content any time you please. That means that the brainwave for a new promotion campaign that came to you in the middle of the night can go on immediately – you don’t have to wait until the next day to ask your web master to put it on.

Access to Resources

There are literally millions of WordPress users. What that means is that there is a ton of resource information on the Internet. If you have a question, simply “Google” it, somewhere someone will have the solution for you.

Growth Potential

Over time you are bound to discover that you would like to add some additional functionality to your website, like eCommerce that we will discuss in a later article. Well, no problem. WordPress has developed a system of easily added plug-ins and there is an extensive library of available plug-ins. So expanding your website’s functionality is almost like building with Lego™, you simply add blocks as you need them.

What is WordPress

We have said above that it is a web design platform, which indeed it is. But more correctly, it is a content management system (CMS). In non-technical terms, it means that you do not create traditional HTML-based web pages. Rather you enter your page content into a form and it is then formatted using word processor-style tools as shown below:

When you save the information, it is stored in a database. Yes, behind the scenes your WordPress website is linked to an associated database.

When a visitor to your site requests a specific page, the web server will get the content for the page from the database. WordPress will then create a corresponding HTML page from the content and your website’s theme. So it is a regular HTML page that is returned and displayed by the visitor’s browser.

Marketing Tools

This could go under the section on Advantages but it is so important that we are devoting a separate section to it. Built into WordPress are many, many tools that will help you to promote your products or services. We have already mentioned plug-ins. Another valuable building block is Widgets. What if you would like to conduct a poll to see how many of your clients have flat panel TV’s. No problem, there's a widget for that. Or you want to create a discount coupon for a promotion – there's a widget for that too, and many more!

Perhaps one of the most exciting by-products of using WordPress, is that a powerful blog tool is included. That means that you can keep your clients informed about new projects you are working on, new products that you might be launching, and so on. It allows you to build a relationship with your clients and get their feedback.

Not a Magic Bullet

In spite of all the positive things we have said above, WordPress is complex and there is a learning curve! But the learning curve is not anywhere near what it would take to learn web design principles and the tools like Dreamweaver™ or Expression Web™. Furthermore, you don’t have to learn everything up front, or ever know all the technical magic that happens behind the scenes. As we will show in the next article, you can start very effectively with the basics, and add to your website as your knowledge expands.


In this article we have shown how WordPress is a tool that can make it possible for a videographer to have a professional web presence, at virtually no cost. In addition to the many advantages we mentioned, WordPress allows you to get up and running in a short time, allowing you to focus on the videography side of your business. In upcoming articles we will look at:

· The Process – so you have decided to go with WordPress, how do you get started?

· Using Video – one would expect to see video on a videography website, this will discuss the ins and outs of showcasing your video on your website.

· eCommerce – this article will look at adding ecommerce to the website for videographers who would like to sell products such as footage, how to videos, and more.

WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.” –

H Mueller Design

# 206 - 56 Merrivale Street

New Westminster, BC V3L 2P6



Monday, August 09, 2010

Benefitting Both Sides of the Lens

I’ve carried on a bit over the past few months about a global branding and marketing program that will not only benefit a huge demographic presently not being reached, but will represent a major addition to the bottom line and business operations for independent professional video services providers around the world. That program is Video StoryTellers!™

The Video StoryTellers!™ program is now gearing up for major marketing and a solid awareness campaign supported by several associates serving Florida, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Northern and Southern California, as well as Australia, Canada and Puerto Rico. Thanks to all of you who have had the vision and taken the initiative to help grow Video StoryTellers!™ (sample clip) throughout the planet. Visit the Video StoryTellers!™ associates page and see who is moving ahead with this fantastic business opportunity.

I have independent video services professionals in South Africa, Ghana, England (U.K.), Mexico, Spain and Germany considering participation at this time, as well as Oregon, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana and Arizona in the United States.

Plenty of room remains as the scope of VST is to not only offer and provide support for continents, countries, states and major geographical regions, but to expand services via independent professional video services providers to virtually every city and service area on Earth. That’s a lot of representation, but there’s a LOT of people on this planet with stories to tell, share, preserve and hand down to their future generations.

In the U.S.A. alone there are some 39 million persons over age 60, and that number will increase to 100 million by 2029. The numbers world wide are staggering. If EVERY independent professional video services provider on Earth joined today there would not be enough of us to oversaturate this demographic. Add to that the significant number of others from all age groups and life experiences and you have a whole new scope of outreach. EVERYBODY has a story to tell, to share, and worth preserving.

While there are certainly video producers who offer to videotape and produce stories or documentaries for individuals and families - ranging from tributes and memorials to full-blown complex Ken Burns style collections a MAJOR BRANDED GLOBAL organization of like-minded video producers did not exist until Video StoryTellers!™

The program is based on a very basic concept: That people who enjoy sharing their stories with others often do at their various social events; that VST is and can be an integral, entertaining and important part of ANY social event, or create one of its own with any group of people, anywhere.

The basic program allows for the professional lighting, audio reinforcement and videotaping of stories in an comfortable and/or social environment and their preservation on DVD at an affordable starting price. The program allows for a starting value of $70 per hour for multiple story productions, and a wide range of up-sell, referral, renewable and expanded business opportunities that will greatly increase the base level rate per production or event.

With the visibility and linkage, branding recognition and awareness potential behind VST and its global agents, the program will expand beyond your capacity for imagination.

I appreciate the support, participation and enthusiasm of Jim Nicholson, Heidi Mueller, Chris Harding and his wife, Val, Bill Carnicelli, J. Michael Long, Jennifer Nagel, Luis O. Maymi and Michael Wright in the development and promotion of Video StoryTellers!™ A new associate has joined the ranks, Steve Baty, of Massachusetts. Check these people out, both for acquiring Video StoryTellers!™ services, and for information about opportunities to franchise your own state or country, or a city or service area in a state or country represented here.

I invite and encourage other independent professional video services providers around the world (established or just getting into the business) to visit the website and read about the program, then to drop me an e-mail at either or and request access to the PDF file (link provided below) that has pretty much the entire program clearly spelled out. I am available, of course, to answer any questions or concerns regarding participation in Video StoryTellers!™ so do not hesitate to ask.

VST is a great way for helping people preserve and share their many stories and memories on DVD - affordably. It is important to me because I have a personal interest in this resulting from the loss of my sweet Mom two years ago after her 12-year battle with Alzheimer's Disease and her resulting memory losses. I've always been interested and involved in the preserving and telling of people's stories, both as a veteran journalist and newspaper publisher and a veteran professional video services provider.

VST is the first, and commercially focused, part in an eventual 3-part program that will include outreach and services for Alzheimer’s Disease and Hospice families and victims around the world. More on that soon. Also forthcoming will be a VST forum and blog for public and open/private associate participation.

It bears repeating that this program begins on a small note but its potential is HUGE, leading to new business, referrals, repeat business and renewable business, as well as full-scale documentaries and other “opportunities” along the way in its development. What will make it so powerful is that there will be world wide branding and name recognition for a mutually supported program with a solid base of independent video producers everywhere on the planet.

It also bears repeating that the productions can be as simple or as complex as the individual and producer want to pursue, but with solid branding and recognition established on a basic product and price. If you have not yet visited please take a moment to do so. ONLY THEN, when and if you have read the powerful opportunities such a program can offer, should you take the time and energy to request and read the PDF file. It is FULL of information and is a MUST READ in order to get the gist and scope of VST’s potential. Even then, as have others, you will have questions and need clarification. Do ask. I will respond and answer any questions and/or concerns you might have to the best of my ability.

Remember, EVERYBODY has a story! Many of them more than one, some boring, others exciting, but that first story is a good place to start. Once the idea of telling stories in an “event” or “social” setting is grasped (something all ethnic groups, races, religions and peoples have done through the ages) then the concept will grow easier to promote each day.

I respect and appreciate your interest and look forward to hearing from you regarding your desire to participate in Video StoryTellers!™.

Remember: If you market, you will make it! © Earl Chessher

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Special Interest Videos

by Heidi Mueller

Making special interest videos is another high income business opportunity based on the principle of shoot once, sell many times!

It is different from How To videos in that they do not give step by step instructions on how to do something. However they do address a specific topic that someone could be interested in. Topics could be quite varied: Butterflies of the Amazon, The History of the VW Beetle in Canada, The Role of Railways in Apartheid South Africa, The Contribution of the Holocaust to Music, etc.

How are they different?
How do special interest videos differ from How To videos? For one, they require a lot more research before you can start on the storyboard phase. In general the video shoots are more complicated, possibly with many shoots involving different locations, interviews, and exterior video shoots. This takes a lot more time than the one week I suggested for How To videos.

In many cases the topics are broader and take more time to address fully, sometimes even requiring more than one DVD.

The Challenge
So rather than one month, you may need to allow several months before your DVD hits the market. If money is no object for you, this is not a problem. But for many it may be a limiting factor as we could not afford to spend several months without an income. There are two approaches to address this need for financial support while you develop the DVD. One is to do other projects that earn you money, while you work on the special interest video on the side. This is quite feasible but frustrating and often the special interest video never gets done!

Another approach is to look for sponsorship to give you some financial support while you work on your special interest video. This is not much different from shooting a documentary but as it is a special interest video, there typically are companies, organizations and individuals who have a specific interest in your topic and would be more willing to give you financial support. You can offer these organizations and individuals exposure in return for making a contribution. And we are not talking about millions as with making feature films, but typically several thousand dollars.

Getting Sponsors
For a special interest DVD project, you would eventually create a website to promote it. If you are looking for sponsorships, you can offer sponsors exposure on your project website, on the back cover of the DVD case, and in the credits at the end of the DVD. The key is to make potential sponsors aware of your special interest DVD project. You MUST create the website even before you start the project – if you cannot afford to do a website, you are clearly not serious. In addition to promoting your project on the website, you must explain what sponsors can expect and how they can contribute. Follow this up with posts on relevant blogs dealing with your subject, as well direct emails to interested parties, describing your project and directing them to your website.

If most of the potential sponsors are in your local area, you should consider hosting a sponsor party! It would be money well spent. At the party, you can do a presentation about the project and show some sample clips that would be included in the full DVD. Of course you will be on hand to answer any questions – and to receive the many welcome cheques!

Selling the DVDs

Be sure to offer your sponsors free copies of the final DVDs, several for the big sponsors and fewer for the smaller amount sponsors. The DVD copies cost you only a few dollars, but with the sponsors handing them out to their clients, it is valuable, free promotion for you!

Otherwise, marketing and selling Special Interest DVDs is similar to How To DVDs. But that is a topic for another blog post.

Heidi Mueller is the owner-operator of HMueller Design in New Westminster, BC. The author is also an associate of Video StoryTellers!™ an international video services and branding program, and a guest writer for E.C. Come, E.C. Go a video marketing and production blog by Earl Chessher.

Earl is a moderator and writer for Videomaker Magazine and forums, owner and developer for Video StoryTellers! (click link for info on participating in VST) and owner/operator of CorElAnn Video Productions in Southern California.

Remember: If you market, you will make it! © 2010 Earl Chessher