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Best Tools to Create Tutorials and Guides for Your Students

If you are looking to start a teaching skillset or a subject online for your students, and the part of your content you are sharing with them is tutorials and Guides, this article would definitely help you find the best tools to create them. What differentiates between professional tutorials and not-so-professional tutorials is their clarity and easy-to-understand visuals.

Create A Broader Tutorial

While it is helpful for the readers to go through a specific tutorial, it will be stressful for you to create multiple tutorials and select the right one. The best way would be to identify a broad problem, or query, which may have a few more queries along with the steps of a certain process. You can then specify each query or address a common question. Making Use of the Headings,

And subheading to separate points,

Bold the keywords,
  • Use the bullet points for steps
  • Because it makes it easy to read.
Add many images; it could be screenshots of the web product you are teaching your readers about or photographs of the physical products showing each critical step clearly. One in-depth, high-quality tutorial is far better than creating multiple tutorials for similar queries or tasks.

Tools For Creating Charts and Graphs

Tutorials are easy to follow because of their visual nature. Using a lot of graphics, screenshots, and charts makes it easy for the users to follow. But if you are not into graphic design, it can be pretty difficult to do it if you do not know the right tools. Use websites like Canva, PiktoChart etc. I use Canva almost every day. It is a web-based app and also has an Android and iOS app. Along with helping you create quality tutorials, we can also be used in your content strategy by allowing you to create templates that you can use to post on social media platforms having consistency in everything you share with your audience.

Tools for Image-based Tutorials

You can use Snagit. You can download Snagit for Free and try it for 30 days without purchasing. This is enough time to know its value for doing professional tutorials. Snagit Editor is a helpful tool, not just as an app to annotate screenshots, but you can edit images and photos you download from the internet. It’s a quick tool to make minor edits and manipulations to any image. Almost every image I upload to my blog has to go through the Snagit Editor, to make sure it’s at a particular dimension and has a jpeg format with 80% of its quality to make it weigh under 100kb. So, I guess it’s a must-have tool for bloggers as well.

Tools for Screencast Tutorials

If you are creating screencast or screen capture-type tutorial videos, you can also look at Camtasia, which is from the same company the Snagit app is from, but with some extra features such as an inbuilt video editor. Although you can use Snagit to capture your screen, Camtasia is a dedicated screencasting tool and is easy to operate. You can use the web camera of your laptop to be in the screencast as well.

Zoom vs Google Meet, Which One is Better for Teaching Online

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For the past few years, we have seen something no one has ever witnessed in the last hundred years. The Global pandemic logs everyone in their homes for a month globally. Thanks to technology, many of us can work from home using our laptops by connecting to the internet. Although there are many other services that offer the feature of letting anyone take an online class by inviting multiple people into one single session, we will be comparing Zoom and Google Meet because these are generally the two popular choices available. Zoom was established in 2011, and saw tremendous growth during the lockdown period because many people turned to it. The growth is unprecedented, and it grabbed the attention of people from all over the world because of its ease of use. People chose Zoom over other services because it was one of the very few services offered by many people to attend a web conference. Google has a similar service called Google meet, which was exclusively available to G Suite users, a paid service offered by Google. Google has made it free to use now, and it is available on its URL and inside Gmail. So you can either go to meet.google.com and start a meeting, or you can find the option to start a meeting inside your Gmail account. You can then share the URL with other people who can join without logging in to their Google accounts (Zoom also allows joining meetings without signing up). Google meet offers more control over the meetings. No one can hijack a meeting, and no one can join if the host has selected specific settings. Since it is web-based, it is available on every OS, and there are dedicated apps available for mobile phones that you can install from the respective app stores.

Use cases where Zoom would be a better option

Google meet surely looks like a good deal. You don’t have to create a separate account since it is already a part of your Google account and built nicely. The user interface is pretty clean and clutter-free. But, there are many use cases where Zoom would be a better pick for video conferencing. The first use case is the number of participants. While Google meet has a limit of 250 people, you can hold large meetings on Zoom, where you can get as many as 500 people to participate, which would cost you around $69.99 a month (100 Participants in a free account) In the paid plans starting at $14.99/month, you get a lot of other options, such as the ability to record the entire conference and save it on their cloud, which you can share with other people using a URL. The Business plan starts at $19.00/month and gives you the option to set up a page with your branding, a custom URL, and all the features available in the Pro account.

Google Meet free vs Zoom Basic

If we have to compare the free version of both services, you will have to pick according to your requirement. For example, the free version of Zoom limits hosts to up to 100 participants, and there will be a limit of 40 minutes for group meetings. But you will still be able to record the meeting and store it locally, which can be uploaded on services like YouTube if you want to share it with other people. And the free version of Google meet will allow you up to 250 people but limit you to host a meeting for up to 60 minutes. You would also not be able to record the meeting (but you can use screen recording software like Snagit to record it). Zoom has also improved its services and added some security features, so now, you have options to either go for a Zoom set-up or use Google meet for arranging your meetups and online classes.

Which one is best for teachers?

If you intend to use Google Meet or Zoom for taking a class for your students, the limitation of participants shouldn’t be a factor since taking online classes is an interactive session, and it is advisable to have a smaller batch. 100 people at once are better than 250 people however it would strictly depend on the kind of sessions you are looking to take. If you are looking for something quick to set up a tool which you can use with your students or paid members, Google meet is a perfect choice here. Although if you are looking for something to carry out a webinar that would be attended by a lot of people, where you want more control and professionalism zoom would be an ideal choice. Obviously will have to pay some money to get features like more people to join and more session time, but it would be a suitable choice.

How to Improve the Webcam Video Quality for Online Classes / Sessions

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Every laptop you get in the market has a bad web camera compared to the specifications it will have. For example, I am using a high-end Macbook Pro, but the web camera is not up to the mark. It’s 720p, not even full HD, and to get a full HD webcam, I will have to buy the Macbook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 max chipset, but they are just in thank you for the price. Anyways, the quick workaround to get good quality video from your web camera is to get an external web camera that can be plugged into your laptop via USB.

Get Better Lighting

You may have heard the term that lighting plays an essential role in photography, and it is valid for video as well, and since the job of a webcam is to render video, lighting would play an important role here as well. The sensors of a web camera are small, which means it requires a good amount of light to render a better-quality video. An easy solution would be to sit in front of a window so that the light from the outside lights up your face. If things in front of the camera are lit correctly, you will immediately improve the video quality. If there is no window to light you up naturally, the next best option would be to get a ring light, which has been made famous by Instagram creators. It is a super easy and affordable way to get good video quality. It is also a one-time investment so in future, if you upgrade to a better camera, It would still be usable.

Get an External Webcam

Logitech has a line-up of webcams available in different price ranges, and the best one available is priced at around $150. It’s called the Logitech Brio. The key feature is its 4K, which is a bit of an overkill for people using it only for taking online sessions because mostly every online meeting/webinar provider supports up to 1080p camera resolution. Check it out on Amazon Even if it had supported a 4K camera, it would require tremendous upload speeds for the 4K quality to be available to everyone who attended the online session. Their download speeds also need to be higher to see the 4K quality. And for that specific reason, if your particular use case is to take online classes, sessions, or webinars, the other popular Logitech model is the Logitech C920x. Check it out on Amazon The price of Logitech C920x is just half the price of Brio since it is Full HD. It would get the job done since it is plug n play and works with every popular service, such as Skype, Zoom, Google Meet etc.

Use Your Mobile Phone / Digital Camera as a Webcam

There is a possibility you already have a mobile phone, which has a good camera, or better if you have got a DSLR with you. While a digital camera or a DSLR is one of the first offline tools I would recommend every teacher to buy, you don’t necessarily need it when you are just getting started. You can use your mobile phone as a webcam as well. Several tutorials are available on the internet, including the ones posted on the Tool for Teaching website. You can check it out here.

Some additional tips

Once you have opted for either of the solutions mentioned in this article above, here are a few things that would also help you improve your video using the web camera. Have a clutter-free background, which means if you are sitting at a place where the background is messy, like clothes on a chair, or hanging behind the door, random things on the table behind you, make sure you clear them, it would be best to that it’s just a wall behind you. Also, try differentiating yourself from the background by wearing clothes of the opposite colour. For example, if the background is black, try wearing bright colours or if the background is white, try wearing dark clothes to differentiate yourself from the background. You can also add some RGB lights in the background and set them up in different colours to make your background a little more colourful.

Start Teaching on YouTube – How to Create and Run A Successful YouTube Channel

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If you aren’t already aware YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google. YouTube is also from Google, which means Google owns both the first and second-largest search engines. What does it mean for you as a teacher? You have a tremendous opportunity to find students where you won’t only find people to consume your content, but you can also monetize your free content with ads and earn ad revenue. Getting started on YouTube may sound intimidating, after hearing that there are already hundreds of thousands of creators uploading millions of videos daily. In this article, I am putting my years of experience in making videos on YouTube, and it will probably help you get started on YouTube the right way.

Videos on YouTube generally fall in one of these categories

  • Tutorials
  • Unboxing videos
  • Event videos
  • News
  • Demo videos
  • Interviews
  • Live streams
  • Entertainment videos
If you plan to teach people a skill through your videos, you will fall into the tutorials category, which is pretty lucrative. But that does not mean that you cannot create videos in other categories. It’s just that most videos are going to be in the ‘Tutorials’ category. And you can do occasional interviews with successful people in the area/topic you are trying to teach, you can also do live streams to take questions and answer them, you can do demos of products, and you can also cover news that comes from the area of the topic you are targeting.

1. Create a YouTube Channel

This may seem like a no-brainer, but creating just any account won’t do the trick. Fill in all essential details, especially the About section must include,
  • A witty description of your business
  • Email address
  • Your other social media links
After that, think about branding your channel. Start with the YouTube banner image and channel icon. And like me, most of you won’t have a degree and graphics and design, so I highly recommend you use tools like Canva. Canva provides thousands of templates for creating YouTube thumbnails, Instagram stories posts and even reels, Facebook posts and many other things that require good designing skills. The free version is enough for getting started. Use Canva to create an exciting display picture across all social media platforms, not just on YouTube. You can also use Canva for creating Channel art for your YouTube channel. It is unnecessary to have the perfect YouTube Channel art from the start of creating a new YouTube channel, but you should give it some thought and try to make it appealing. You can check out other people’s YouTube Channel art to get inspiration, and Canva also gives you tons of templates to get inspired.

Make Videos About Your Audience’s Interests

Now that we are done with the part of creating a YouTube channel. It’s time to put your thoughts into you, making videos. The first thing that you should keep in mind is making videos to Cater to a specific audience. Because you want only particular people looking for a specific problem to create a community of like-minded people, this is very important if you’re going to optimize your channel. A small but highly targeted audience is much better than a larger audience with multiple interests. If it has been a while since you are creating content on other social networks, you are in luck because then, you can find some interesting topics or even ask your existing audience on other platforms. But if you are just getting started and are choosing YouTube to start teaching a skill, you can go through all the YouTube channels in your area of expertise and find what type of videos people are watching. How the videos are performing, and what problems are not being addressed. You need to brainstorm this part in a notebook or an app like Google Docs. I suggest you go through the article before you get started online, which talks about all the tools required to optimize everything you are trying to do online.

Publish Videos Consistently

This is one of the most common types you will get from every YouTuber or more broadly content creators creating content for any platform. It would help if you were consistent. It is natural for us to lose the excitement after a week, which stops the majority of YouTube inhabitants from becoming successful influencers. This is why the previous section is more important than actually making the video because to make the video; you need to have an idea about what type of content you should be making. Most of the creators get stuff at phase, clueless about what to do next. To kick yourself out of your comfort zone, collaborate with people, and create a content calendar. Make it a habit to plan the videos for at least a month so that collaboration becomes smoother and your schedules predictable. Also, make a note of all holidays and upcoming events so that you can seize the opportunity to create unique videos. Just like any other type of marketing activity, if you’re considering YouTube, you need to be consistent for a considerable amount of time.

Engage with the Community

YouTube is not just about you creating videos, it is about the community you build. So you must address any question you have been asked in the comments section and interact with the audience. This will make them spend more time on your channel on your videos, indicating YouTube that they are interested in. The more similar people watch your YouTube videos, the more data YouTube gets to show your videos to more similar types of people.

The first thousand subscribers are the toughest

This is where you would need the most motivation you can get. When you start a channel, your videos won’t get any views. There are a lot of creators out there creating content, and YouTube is busy serving them. Instead of putting up one video and spending your time inside the analytics, you should keep creating videos; YouTube will take a while to show your videos. This is all an automatic process, and you cannot blame YouTube for not showing your videos to their audience. They need a sample size that watches your videos. So that they can match it and show your videos to a similar audience because only then they will be able to know your content is being watched by people with specific interests. The first 1000 subscribers are the toughest for every new YouTube content creator unless you have another big YouTube channel or a large following on a social media platform. Because then you can drive a lot of traffic to your videos and speed up the process of YouTube getting enough data to recommend the videos to other people. This is all you should know no for creating a successful YouTube channel. Everything else you would be reading from here on would be to keep yourself updated with what’s new, what’s happening and how to optimize your YouTube workflow. The technical part of YouTube, such as Pre and Post Production of Videos, is mentioned in a separate article found here.

Your Guide to YouTube Video Production – Pre Production and Video Editing Tips

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This is a technical part of an article about getting started on YouTube where we have mentioned how to create a YouTube channel and what type of content you should be making for your audience. If you haven’t read that article I had, they recommend you do it before or after reading this article. You can find it here

The Video Idea (Before You Start Creating)

Here is a small piece of information you should have before creating your video. The more elaborate article can be found on the tool for teaching blog.

The Idea File

You should have an idea file with you, and it should be accessible to you all the time. So that whenever you get an idea, you can note it down. It could either be a notebook or an online app, like Google Keep or Google Docs. It’s basically where you put all your brainstorming for clarity. So that you can go back and forth whenever you want.

Content Chain

The idea is to create many topics for a consistent flow of content on your YouTube channel. In my workflow, I have a Google Docs file accessible on my phone to note down any topic and arrange it to make it somehow interconnected. Doing this in advance helps you have the clarity in creating high-quality content, covering everything required in a single video, and creating a series of lessons, not just one video. Pre Production (Before You Hit Record Button) Pre Production is the part where you do all the things required to make your video before you hit the record button. It is an essential step because it helps you stay organized.

Get Your Gear

It can go as broad as getting different cameras, buying different lenses, having different microphones, lights, etc. It can also go as small as using just your mobile phone to record your videos. If you have a mobile phone with a decent camera, no one stops you from creating content using it. You can save a lot of money you would spend on purchasing video gear, and the amount can be spent on other things. But, if you want to go professional from day one, and you have a little bit of money to invest, I would strongly suggest you get a dedicated camera. Fortunately, there are cameras available in different categories. You may not require the high-end cameras that are used in filmmaking. But it depends on your budget. Some YouTubers are using a $200 camera as well as there are YouTubers using a $5000 camera. Since you are getting started, you can spend $200 to $300 on a camera with lense kit, so that you don’t have to buy it separately, which can cost as much as the camera itself. You can check out this article for camera recommendations. The same goes for other video equipment, such as a microphone and lights. You don’t necessarily have to think about getting them on day one, but it would surely help you. So, get a decent microphone. It’s not just the video, but the audio also helps your viewers understand what you are teaching. There are different categories of microphones, and there is a dedicated article which you can read here.

Create Consistency

It’s not just the camera and microphone required to create a high-quality video, and it’s also about what is shown in the video—for example, the background, and the subject, whatever you are filming, or it could be you. Creating consistency means having some similarity in every video you will be making. You should be aiming to have consistent background or color theme for a series of videos if you can’t do it for every video. This is why you may find a lot of YouTubers having a dedicated YouTube setup, which helps them have a consistent backdrop. Getting a dedicated place also helps you maintain consistency with lighting as well. You can surely use the natural light coming in from a window, but that restricts you from making videos when there is no sunlight. This is why video production requires a studio setup where everything can be controlled, and videos can be recorded any time of the day or night. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a dedicated room. If you don’t have a dedicated space, you can find a corner of the room, select your framing, make the background cleaner and minimal, and try using it most of the time. Indeed there is an exceptions, you can create videos anywhere you want, but having a similar mood to your videos will help.

Prepare Your Notes

Presentation is another skill that is improved over time. You cannot compare yourself with the YouTuber that has already uploaded 1,000 videos. The best thing you can do is to go back to the old videos of your favorite YouTube creators and see how they were at the start of their channels. So don’t worry about not being perfect in front of the camera. You can create a workflow to minimize the time it takes to record a video. Some people are gifted to be in front of the camera get everything they want in one go. But for many of us, we have to make notes of what things we have to talk about. Some people even write entire scripts, word to word. And it takes time to create scripts, but it dramatically reduces the time it takes to record a video. You can see it for yourself. If noting down only the important things helps you create videos faster, you can do it. You can try writing scripts and see if it saves a little more time while editing the video, because you will have to make fewer cuts to edit out the portions you don’t want.

Post Production (After You Are Done Recording)

Post-production is a part when you are done recording the video, and it’s time to put everything into one package that can be presented to viewers in a single video form.

Video Editing Software

Many video editing software are available, and every software will get the job done. The only thing to choose is what operating system you are using, which video editing software is available for your operating system, and the features you would use in your videos. If you use your mobile phone to record videos, you can also edit those videos on it. There are some fantastic mobile video editing apps such as Kinemaster for Android and iPhone. You can go through this series of mobile filmmaking if you are interested in creating content using your mobile phone. If you create content using digital camera, every camera will save the videos on an SD card that will plug into your computer. So it would be best if you use desktop-based video editing software. The top two video editing software used by the majority of the YouTube content creators are, the Adobe Premiere Pro, available for both Windows and Mac, and the Final Cut Pro, available only for Mac. Both the video editing software are great, but my inclination is more towards Final Cut Pro since Adobe Premiere Pro is quite complex and is aimed towards filmmakers. If you have to make tutorial videos, you can use Final Cut Pro. But since it is only available for Mac, the cheapest machine you will get is MacBook Air. Or, you can go for video editing apps available for Windows. Filmora Pro by Wondershare is a great video editing app and affordable since it can be purchased for a one-time payment. I suggest choosing one video editing software and learning everything about it. Learn about the keyboard shortcuts, learn how to add a specific effect to your video, and learn how to speed up your process. It won’t happen on the first video, but you will surely get accustomed to the video editing app by creating more videos. I know friends who use filmora and have become so much that they cannot move to another software.

Arranging the Footage

This is also a big part of having a smooth post-production process after recording the video. You must learn about how other people arrange their video footage so that you can create your own by making changes to someone else’s workflow. For example, my workflow is, I have a folder for every property/youtube channel. Inside that folder, I have a folder called ‘Raw Footage.’ Under ‘Raw Footage,’ I have a folder for a particular video project (project 1, project 2 etc). And under each project folder, I have folders for every camera source (camera 1, camera 2 etc). It depends on the kind of video I am making. For example, if I am making a vlog where I have used my Mobile camera for some footage, my Action camera, and my Digital camera, I will have three folders for different cameras and put the footage there. So, in the parent folder of the YouTube channel, I will also have a folder called RAW photos, and there will be another folder called Published videos where the exported videos are saved.

Get More Storage

When you’re working with videos and making a lot of them, you will quickly run out of space in no time. I strongly suggest you get an SSD. After the camera and microphone, that should be in the list of top 3  investments for your YouTube channel. I have one 500GB SSD from Samsung, where are my projects files are saved, and I have another 2TB Hard Drive, where I move all the raw footage from SSD once a month or so. You can choose to delete the raw footage once you have edited the video, or you can keep it, depending on your requirement. Apart from the Raw Footage, Raw Photos, and Published Videos folder, I have another folder called Media Assets, where I have other folders such as Intro & Outro, and Music.

Intro, Outro & CTA

Creating Intro & Outro using Canva
The Intro is a clip that plays before your video is started, but it is a part of your video. It is generally a welcome screen that shows your logo or the name of your channel, and it is basically to tell people where they have landed on. Outro plays at the end of the video, and it’s of different types, as you may have seen in many YouTube videos. CTA is a call to action. For example, the Subscribe text or graphics appear on the video at the end of the beginning. You can use your existing video editing app to create an intro, outro, and CTA. You can also find it on YouTube, and they are many resources from where you can get it. You can even use sites like canva to create intros and outros. The goal here is consistency in all your videos, so using the same intro outro in CTA is advisable. It is something you can improve over time, but you should give it a lot of thought so that you don’t have to change it in every video.

Finding the Music

Putting background music in the videos positively affects the footage as it becomes more enjoyable, and people tend to watch longer. But, it’s a personal choice of a YouTube creator to add background music. There are a lot of categories where background music is distracting. So, you will have to decide for yourself. If you are planning to add music to the background of your video, you will have to find copyright-free music because you cannot adjust any music. You can easily find a song or a tune if used for 30 seconds or more. The original creator of that music or song can claim the copyright, and all the revenue generated on YouTube via ads will go to the original creator of the music. Most people find copyright-free Music on YouTube itself as there are a lot of channels dedicated to curating music that is free to use on videos. But I have had a bad experience with it. Sometimes the original owner of the copyright-free music sells e copyright of the music tour company. They start claming the revenue of every YouTube video that has used that song. So it would help if you used YouTube audio library to find a song that you can use in all your videos. You can also buy a subscription to premium music sites such as Epidemic Sound that offer some great music tracks. Music from these sites will be copyright-free even after your subscription is ended.

Uploading (After You Make the Video)

After the video is exported and you have got the final product that is ready to be uploaded, here are certain sections that also require your attention

Writing the Title

At this point, you already know the topic of the video. You can use that and create an exciting title for your YouTube video. Please include the keywords in the title. It should be easy to spell and read, and you can get creative to create some curiosity. This depends on the topic of the video. There is a 100 character limit on the title, so you can utilize that title to make it search-friendly and a little bit of curiosity.

Creating the Thumbnail

Another element of your video where you can utilize curiosity to get the maximum number of people to click on your video is a thumbnail. I came across a great analogy from MKBHD in his YouTube creators course. YouTube thumbnail is like a signboard of an amusement park. The rides are fantastic, and people will enjoy it, but it’s the signboard on the gate of the amusement park that will encourage more people to get into the park. If people won’t click on your video, they will also not watch your video. If another video has a better thumbnail in the list of videos, it will have more chances of getting clicked, making your video lose in the eyes of the YouTube algorithm. There are some basic rules you should follow while creating a YouTube thumbnail, such as, it should have elements that are in your video. You can grab a screenshot of an exciting part of your video and use Canva to add some text to it to generate curiosity. You can study other people’s YouTube thumbnails in your topic area.

Tags and Other Elements of YouTube

You can set up other things while uploading the video, such as adding a related video or link in the Card section, Tags, Related video, Subscribe in the End screen. You don’t necessarily have to do all these things, but YouTube offers some features to optimize your video. For example, you can use the Card and entry feature to direct the user to another video or a webpage. It is particularly helpful for teachers who have created multiple lessons in multiple videos to lead the user from lesson 1 to Lesson 2 and so on. You can also automate some parts of it by using Chrome extensions such as Tubebuddy or VidIQ. We have made a comparison article to help you pick the best one for you.

Promoting (After the Video is live on YouTube)

Promotion is wide and cannot be summed up in a paragraph. That’s why we have a dedicated category called marketing and promotion, where you can read different ways you can try to promote your content. If you have a large audience on some other platform, you can utilize it by promoting your YouTube video link. You can read this study-created article that talks about promoting your video content in the right way. You gain something in return for your effort in putting your YouTube content on other platforms.

Speed Up for Blog Post Creation Process by Applying This Technique

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If you are someone who has to spend a lot of time typing on a computer, be it to write articles or for doing your school assignments, here is a simple trick that can help you speed up your writing process three times. And the trick is to use speech-to-text software. Many of you would already be aware and maybe already have tried it but never found it good enough to continue. But I am going to help you with that.

Use VOice Tpying in Google Docs

The easiest option for using speech-to-text service is to write inside Google Docs. Google Docs has a voice typing feature, and the best part is you can also select the language you want to talk in and convert it into text. And it works amazingly. But the problem is it is pretty limited and works inside Google Docs.

Use Dictation Feature of Your Computer OS

Indeed, you can use the native speech-to-text feature on your computer. Windows and Mac have a dictation feature where you can use your speech to convert it into text directly. I have found it doesn’t work that well. For example, if I use Dictation on my Mac, it gets disabled whenever I have to type something or correct something using the keyboard. And then, I have to enable it again to use it.

Best Solution: Use This Chrome Extension

I use a Google Chrome extension called Voice In Voice Typing. The great thing about this chrome extension is that it can be enabled using a keyboard shortcut and remains active even if you switch between different tabs. For example, if I have to write an article inside WordPress, I have to enable it using the keyboard shortcut and start speaking into the microphone, which will convert my speech into text. Then if I go to some other website, like Facebook, I can use my voice to comment on a Facebook post. Similarly, I can do this on Twitter or any other social media platform. It also works inside Gmail, which is quite helpful for applying to email. And it is far better than the native dictation features on Windows and Mac. The only thing is that it works inside google chrome, but you can download google chrome. It’s free and better than any other browsers out there.  

YouTube Handles – Some Tips to Grab A Unique Handle if Yours Isn’t Available

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In this article, we will discuss how you can grab your unique handle if the one you desire is unavailable. Youtube is finally rolling out there newest feature called Youtube Handles to its users to make it easy for them to tag, mention, and communicate with any youtube account. It is only available to those monetized as the non-monetized channels are yet to get it.

Why Handles Now If We already have custom URLs

Interestingly, YouTube is going hard on short-form content, competing with Instagram Reels and TikTok. These two already have been eating the market share of video content, and these video platforms also being social media apps where people can communicate with east other via @username. YouTube perhaps wants to add a similar feel of communication on Shorts. It has already offered easy tools to create Shorts from uploaded content on YouTube or add a clip directly from your mobile phone. It also plans to start monetization for the creator looking to create Short content on YouTube.

How different is it from a custom URL?

If you are unaware, YouTube allows users to create custom URLs to brand their YouTube Channels. For example, youtube.com/yourchannelname For most channels, their custom URL is the name of their track if they haven’t changed its name after creating a custom URL.

Custom URL name is most likely your reserved Handle

On one of my channels, my custom URL is reserved as my handle, and on one channel, my original username is reserved as my custom URL. Although I have the option to pick the one I desire. And this is where it can get tricky. Because you will have to compete with others to get the desired one, in my case, the handle for my channel name has been given to some other YouTube channel as it was their original name (and they pricked it first), and I had changed my channel name.

How to pick the next best Handle

If the one you want isn’t available, you can add an extra letter at the channel name’s start or end or the user’s first or last name. Or, you can add some prefixes or suffixes. Here is a list of some.
  • Official
  • The
  • My
  • Pro
  • TV
  • Short
  • Guide
  • City
  • Game
I hope this will give you an idea of how you can add an extra word to get your desired handle. Here’s a list of 5000 most frequently used prefixes and suffixes.  

Hire someone who can do the job you hate, and focus on the things you love to do

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Would you like to spend your time doing what you love instead of doing what you hate? Well, the things you hate might be loved by someone else. That’s how the world works. 

Outsource your work

You can hire someone who can do the job you hate and focus on the things you love to do. Maybe you love being in front of the camera and hate it when you go through the tiring process of editing your videos.  Maybe you are good at it but struggle to do multiple things. Outsourcing is the key to being efficient at what you do. 

I am that person who loves what you hate.

I am talking about editing. I have been editing videos for myself, friends, and family, and I love the process. I have become efficient at it. 

Best Editing Software 

Final Cut Pro (FCP) is the editing software of my choice. Although I’ve worked on other evading apps like PremierPro, Sony Vegas, Filmora, and Camtasia, I feel like a superhero when using the FCP.  Over the years, I have created a system and bought pro tools to help speed up my editing and create the best output. 

How much will it cost to edit a video?

I am exploring the idea of editing videos for other people. I have just set up a gig on Fiverr, and since I am new to this, I am offering my services for as low as $5. I won’t minimize the barrier for everyone out there.  So, check out my gig on Fiverr and hire me if you need help with your video content. 

YouTube vs Facebook: Which Platform Should You Choose for Your Video Content?

Suppose you are a video content creator and you are at a point where you have to choose between Facebook and YouTube, two of the best video sharing platforms available on the web. In that case, as you have to focus on just one platform, I hope this article might help you make a decision. YouTube is the go-to source for people who want to create video content because it is dedicated to that form for videos. In comparison, Facebook is majorly a social networking site, where you can add friends, follow brands and share content in different formats, which would be linked to articles, GIFs, Cat with your baby photos. But over the years, Facebook has seriously tried to give YouTube tough competition in Long-form video content. And now it is at a stage where Facebook and YouTube both are neck-to-neck when it comes to videos. Before we go further about picking up the best platform for your use case, here are some stats about both platforms. There are 2.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook and it generates around 4 billion views per day as per this article. There are 2 Billion monthly active users on YouTube and it generates 1 billion video views per day as per this article. However, their metric of calculating views is different. While YouTube considers it a view when a user watches a video for more than 20 seconds, while for Facebook, this duration is only 3 seconds.

Who Should Pick YouTube?

Ideally, for most people who want to create video content, YouTube would be the best solution, as it is a dedicated video sharing platform. And since Google owns it, it has integrated YouTube Kriti neatly in Google search. These days whenever you make a Google search, you are most likely to find its videos from YouTube in the search results, proving that if you are content revolves around solution to problems people are searching for, YouTube should be your pick. Not just problem solving, if you are into creating leisure content, such as travel videos, or daily vlogs, short stories, comedy sketches etc., YouTube works fine because it is a dedicated video platform. Users have YouTube app installed on their mobile phone, and it has become a reflex to launch YouTube whenever they want to watch a video. However, it is easier for users to use YouTube and Subscribe to your channel and get notifications to watch videos as soon as it is uploaded. The User experience of the YouTube app has enabled users to rely on the app for consuming video content, and you also can benefit from it if you opt for or YouTube.

Who Should Pick Facebook?

There are still some scenarios where Facebook would be a better option for sharing videos. For example, suppose you want to share video content related to a particular region, like a city or a state. In that case, Facebook can help reach your target audience because of its social networking design. People on Facebook are connected to other people who mostly belong to the cities they have lived in. Therefore, this setting improves your chances of getting your videos shared further, helping you acquire local followers. Facebook also offers better targeting options, so you can boost your video content and customise the audience you want to target if you are impatient with organic reach. You can surely promote your videos on YouTube, but it is not as elaborate as the Facebooks Ad system is. And since Facebook is mainly a social networking site, people use it to check on their friends and celebrities, what they are up to and consume their friends’ content, which lands on their news feed. And since a lot is happening in the Newsfeed, video content is not a Priority. Instead, it’s the most engaging posts, be it Text or a Photo, that lands in the newsfeed.
It is why video content likes travel videos, and daily vlogs don’t do well on Facebook. You may have seen Travel Vloggers, Comedy Sketch YouTubers repackaging their long videos into small chunks and uploading them on Facebook. Because Ain’t nobody got time for that, on Facebook.
One benefit of using Facebook for sharing video content is that you can post content in different formats, which lifts the pressure of creating videos to please the algorithm. You can post text or a photo and still keep your followers engaged or upload a less polished video. If you want videos to embed back to your websites, then YouTube seal is the best option. YouTube embeds are much more cleaners than Facebook embeds, and you also get better options to categorise your videos on YouTube for better organisation.

My Experience Before and After Implementing AMP on My Tech Blog

In 2015, Google with some of it partner’s started pushing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), as an optimised way to consume content on mobile phones. It aimed at addressing one of the most common problems faced by web Publishers. The loading speed of their websites. Before AMP, publishers had mainly two ways to render their content to their mobile users.
  1. Create a mobile version of their website, which is only served to visitors coming from a mobile phone.
  2. Use a responsive design on the website, which dynamically resizes the content according to the screen size of the device visitor uses to visit the website
Both ways have a few issues. The mobile version of the website sometimes is rendered to the visitor using a desktop. It also created separate versions of a website that raised issues about duplicate content, which is penalised by Google by downgrading the rankings in the Google search engine. Many people opted for responsive design because it did not require extra efforts and cap to the website’s branding seamless across multiple devices. But the problem was the responsive design’s loading speed on mobile phones. Responsive design made dynamically change its size to fit the device’s screen size, but it still loads all the elements of the website loaded on a desktop. But unlike Wi-Fi on desktop, some people use mobile data on their mobile phones to access these web pages. Rendering a responsive web page on the mobile phone is an expensive affair, especially in countries where mobile data is still expensive. And it is not just about the cost but also about the time it takes to load the website, which is sometimes between 5 to 9 seconds and even more on poorly coded websites. AMP promised to fix all these problems by rendering a stripped-down version of the actual web page. And it is still available in 2021. It is pretty easy to integrate into a wordpress website. You have to install the AMP plugin, activate it, go to the design section, make some changes, and be done. The AMP version of a web page will only have the content, ads, header, and footer. And it consumes ten times fewer data than the responsive web page that fits dynamically on a mobile phone. And this also allows Google to index AMP pages and serve them to the users from their servers. After reading positive reviews about AMP, E I also implemented it on one of my tech blogs which had a poor loading speed on mobile phones, despite doing all the optimisations. I implemented AMP in 2017 and also wrote a guide about how to enable it which you can read here. ⚡ I was amazed by how the AMP pages would load and was happy about the better User experience my visitors would be getting. But after a month of usage, when I look into the revenue reports in my AdSense dashboard, it was quite depressing to see a significant drop in revenue. Going dip further in the reports, I realised that about 20% of my visitors were served with the AMP version of my website and contributed only 1% of the revenue. Several other people also reported similar experiences where the revenue from AMP was less compared to the revenue on normal web pages, even when they were Access on mobile phones. I tried optimising a by using third party WP Plugins that allowed more control over AMP design and ads insertion. But the result always remained pretty much similar to what I experience in the first month. There were also discussions about AMP improving search engine traffic since AMP enable pages had this sign ⚡ that motivated the visitors to click on it since it would load fast. And this was the only reason I went with AMP despite the ad revenue dropping. In the hopes that at least the User experience is better for the visitors, the rankings will also improve, compensating for the lost ad revenue. Sadly it did not happen, and after a few months, I decided to disable it on the Tech blog. Right after disabling AMP on the Tech blog, the revenue was back to normal, the loading time of web pages went up, but there was no loss in either ranking are search engine traffic.

Is AMP still relevant in 2021?

I stop using AMP in 2017 itself after using it for several months. Maybe they improved AMP further. Maybe they fixed the issues with ads not loading, maybe uses have more control over the look and feel of AMP webpages natively. But AMP is history now. We have 4G mobile data in almost every corner of the world. Some countries even have got 5G, which is as good as fast broadband Wi-Fi. The data has also got cheaper. And apart from that, wordpress themes have also introduced Technologies that makes website loading on mobile phones faster than what it was five years ago. Not all the elements required for a desktop version of a website are loaded in the background when the web page is rendered on a mobile phone, which saves many KBs to be loaded, which also speeds up the website load. And considering 90% of the visitors to top websites use their mobile phones to access their content, publishers should create mobile-first websites with a design-focused mobile User experience. So if there is any curious newbie blogger, whether they should use AMP on their blog or not, I would recommend not bothering about it and using your time to create better content and maybe work on optimising your mobile phone website opting for a mobile-first experience. On this blog, we have got a lot of resources for new and advanced bloggers who would want to know how to create great content, increase visitors and improve their revenue.