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Top Five Things To Easily Share Selfies & Live Videos to Social Media

A lot of small businesses and bloggers are turning to social media to share their ideas and products. That usually means posting short videos, going live and selfies or pictures of products. Most of this can be done from our smart phones or our computers and other video and camera equipment. But for the most part a smart phone and few apps and some cool inexpensive equipment will get you started and looking like a pro!!

First of all you will need the apps for the social media platforms you want to start with. There are a lot, but you can start with one or two and add more as you go. Facebook is my first social media to go to, but that may not be the one that’s best for your business. Download the app, register and sign in. If your new to social media then you may want to take a few days to play around with the app and learn how it all works first. Most of you already have the apps you want and know how to use them. And most social medias enable you to post photos and videos or go LIVE directly from the app. You can also take and edit photos and videos from your phone using other apps and then upload them to your social medias when you are ready. However, going LIVE is just that, LIVE, and done directly from the social media app. They say going LIVE is the way to go!

Photo Editing and Resizing Apps

I like experimenting with different apps. I’ll use them for a while then uninstall and try another one. Most of what I do can be done with the default photo editing in my phone, which is cropping and brightening. Lately I’ve wanted to take photos or images and make collages and/or add text to the pictures for products, etc. I’m still trying different ones. If I find one that stands out I’ll update this at then, but for now they all do basically the same things.

Taking photos with your phone and using photo editing apps to crop and add text and clip art can be a fun way for posting to social media. There are tons of photo editing apps and some editing tools are already installed on your phone. Most of these apps are just personal preference and trying out different apps to see which you prefer. Using these apps to take selfies or pictures of products, etc and then being able to crop it, add filters, add text and clip art and creating collages and slide shows are a great way to share online. I also use a resizing app because some of the graphics I create or too big for banners on my social medias. This allows me to make my pic smaller in size so that the whole pic shows up in my banners. Nifty!

Video apps

iMovie, Viva Video

These apps are a ton of fun. And again there a more than one so play around with them to find the one you like best. There are templates you can use with music, filters, etc. to use. A lot of them you are able to upgrade and pay for more options. I’m new to recording and live videos of myself to post online. So far, I like the option to play music during a quick video of me demonstrating a new lip color and I don’t have to talk. Plus, I have the option to edit it and crop out the things I want before I post it for the world to see. You can add text and clip art to these as well. This is also helpful when there is no talking on the video. You always have the option to talk as you record, as well.

Tripod

Smart phones, cameras, video recorders

Tripods will make your life so much easier. Especially while recording videos or going LIVE. There are tripods for smart phones for less than $20, and there are tripods for cameras and videos too. You can pay a lot of money for these, but there are a lot to choose from that are affordable for the novice.

Lighting

Selfie Ring Light, Ring Light, Studio Lighting
I’ve seen a lot of DIY videos on making some clever lighting for photos and videos. One of the newest and least expensive lighting options is the selfie ring light. It is usually and LED light that is circular and around 4 to 5″ in diameter that clips on to your smart phone and uses batteries. There usually less than $15 and really do a great job. You can also pay a little more and get the same idea but bigger diameter around 10 to 15 inches and most come on a tripod or easily attach to a tripod. You can also go big and get the studio light with the umbrellas, soft boxes, on the stands, etc. There not as expensive as you might think and could be worth the investment depending on your needs because finding good light can be frustrating sometimes and having a studio set up for use at any time of the day or night could be pretty groovy!

Backdrops

These can be made by taping a sheet to the wall with painter’s tape, making a backdrop frame with PVC, or using a clothes line type set up to drape a sheet from using binder clips, clothes pins, or curtain rings with the clips. Backdrops can be a flat sheet from your closet or discount stores, paper rolls from craft stores, or you can get creative and use banners, or go to the party supply store and your options and endless and it can be a lot of fun. Backdrops are also sold online with all kinds of “walls” printed on them. There are also kits you can buy for less than $100 that include studio lighting and the backdrop clothe and clips and the frame that holds the clothe. These are nice because they are easy to assemble and disassemble and usually have a bag that make it portable and easy to store.

There are many clever ways to make your own DIY equipment and a lot of tutorials are available on Pinterest.  Of course, there is always Amazon and other stores that make it easy and sometimes inexpensive to purchase these things.  So, when you find what works best for you, I’d love to know and for you to share your experience and insight here with me below in the comments and add pictures, too, if you have them!

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How to Set Up Your Website

10 Steps to Building Your Own Website in One Day

Ready to build your own website?  Setting up a website doesn’t take that long, nor does it cost a lot of money.

  1. Create your Niche. – First you want to decide what you want to make your website about.  This is called your niche.  A niche can be anything you want it to be.  You will need to do some brainstorming about your passions and intersests, the things you are good at, the things you enjoy doing to find your niche.  I find making a list of these things is helpful. Research your interests to find what you have to offer that people are searching for.  Skills, knowledge, inspiration, community, support, etc. Maybe some of things people are willing to pay for??Then, narrow that list down to two or three topics and find a creative way to make them work together.  The best advice I was given is:  Just get started.  Don’t overthink this.  A niche will grow and evolve with you.  It will never be perfect.
  2. Now, come up with a name for your site. www.yourownwebsite.com or (.net) or (.org)or (.uk), etc.  It is better to find a .com marketing wise, but hey, it’s yours, you can name it whatever you like!  It’s best to have a name relevant to your niche, but you can be creative and have fun with it, too.  Don’t get stuck on a name for your website. Find one that fits best and go with it.  You can always start as many sites as you like.  It’s important to keep moving forward.  So what if it’s not perfect.  It never will be, but it can be wonderful and fun.
  3. Register your domain name. Once you a have a few names in mind you are ready to buy a website and register your domain name.  This does not have to cost you an arm and a leg.  I used Namecheap.com via Bluehost (a hosting company) to purchase my domain and cost me, in the fall of 2015, a whopping $12.  Now, I use  SiteDomains on SiteRubix.com at Wealthy Affiliate.  Their link will walk you through the process. Some hosting companies also sell domains or will direct you to a site to do so. These type companies offer a variety of services.  A hosting site is where your files will live in cyber world.  Similar to when you go out and buy a computer and you buy a certain amount of memory space and the amount of processing speed, as well as a variety of support for your site.  The more memory and speed and the more support you require the more the computer costs.  Well, the same is true when you have a website, just on a larger scale.  And typically a new website does not have a lot of traffic or content at first.  That is something you can worry about as your site grows.  Usually host companies have a basic plan for new sites for less than 5 bucks a month, however you usually have to pay for the whole year (or two) up front.
  4. Downloading WordPress would be your next step, assuming you will using WordPress as your platform, which I do and I highly recommend.  WordPress is what you use to make your site look like you want and do the things you wants.  It is simple to use and they have YouTube tutorials that walk you through any step if you need it.
  5. Now your site is ready to design.  You will pick out a theme (free or paid for) and activate it. Themes are designed to give your site a certain aesthetic look and there are thousands to choose from.  WordPress makes it simple to preview a theme on your site and you can change your theme at any time, however they all work a little differently.  Changing your theme not only changes the colors and the fonts, but it can change where and how your menus, posts and images are displayed, too.  Most of themes have some customizing options built in, as well.
  6. You will need a few recommended plugins, next.  That is an option on your WordPress dashboard menu.  It will take you to a library of thousands of plugins, some are free and some are not.  You only need the free kind that will stop spam, and such.  I’ll update these shortly, as I want to verify the names and functions first.
  7. At this point, I suggest you learn to use WordPress by playing around with the options, adding some legal jargon to cover your @&&.  There are some free copy and paste options on the web.  A few common ones are a privacy policy which states that you will not sell or spam your followers emails, a disclosure which states that some of the content they interact with on your site pays you a commission at no extra cost to them.  A disclaimer claims you are not responsible for their actions (basically).  And if you have digital content to sell such as digital images, ebooks, downloads then you will want a copywright page.  I suggest making each of these their own page and link the page where needed throughout your site as well as somewhere on your home page or landing page.
  8. Now, you have the option to launch your site and let the world watch your site grow or some people prefer to build their site first and launch it at some point they are more comfortable with being exposed to the world.  It is sometimes recommended that you have atleast 10 posts and 3 pages before you launch.
  9.  Add Content.  So, build it and they will come!!  Have fun, don’t stress, make an outline of your content structure, make a list of post ideas, make a plan with several different deadlines throughout the next year, and get busy!  It is said that it takes about a year or so to create a decent amount of content for a site.
  10. You still have MUCH to learn and do at this point.   You can learn to monetize your site, use Google Analytics software to learn what works and doesn’t work on your site to bring in traffic, you can set up pages on social networks for your site to network all your content and get more readers.  I have found that having a site with enough content to share on several social medias first before you can do any of this in step 10, otherwise you look like a spammer to Google if you don’t know what your doing.  Google is key if you want to monetize your site.  We are all trying to do the things that makes Google like us.  And Bing and Yahoo, too!  Those two still get, I think 30%, of search traffic.  That is called SEO or search engine optimization. There are tons of websites out there that teach this stuff.  I use Wealthy Affiliate, they are a all-in-one-build-your-own-website site.  They are an all-in-one because teach how to build it, monetize it, and have the tools to do it.

It all starts with an idea.  Play around with some ideas.  Maybe you’ll find your niche, too!

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Why I Chose the Canon T6s Over The T5i & T6i

Take careof your bodyWhy I Chose the Canon T6s Over The T5i & T6i

I originally bought the Canon T5 camera and I’m going to tell you about why I sold it to buy the Canon T6s.  My photography skills need a lot of practice, and I just wanted a decent camera for learning and practicing photography skills.  At that time, I really didn’t want to buy a camera with all the bells and whistles.  All those extras seemed like they would make the learning more complicated.  The T5 was the best choice for the price and my needs…..I thought.  Once I bought it I immediately started practicing with it and reading more about it.  It was great.

Then, my daughter had her first recital for her musical theater class  The other parents had their cameras set up on tripods in the middle of the seating area while they sat relaxed in their seats and their camera was filming their kid’s performance.  I knew I would start right away learning the video capability of my nifty T5.  That’s when I came to understand where my T5 fell short.

Canon T5

  • The T5 was not able to auto focus in video mode.  So, if I were to set up the camera on a tripod at my kids next recital and got a nice focus on the stage before the show, it would not keep her in focus as she was moving around on stage.

Another little tidbit that seemed unimportant to me when I bought it, was:

  • The T5 does not have a flip out screen that rotates.  A screen that flips out and pivots enables you to be in the frame and see what your camera sees at the same time.  This is great when you are doing self photos or videos for something like tutorials for perhaps a blog.  I could also set up the camera in more convenient places to video a show on stage and still see the screen from some other angle than just directly behind the camera.  I started researching what other cameras had to offer.

Canon T5i

  • The T5i would have been perfect.  It has video auto focus. However, the T5i couldn’t offer all the features a newer model could , I felt like I would want to update it sooner than would be financially feasible.

Canon T6i

  • Next, I compared it to the T6i and there wasn’t any major improvements that seemed worth the money, compared to the T6s.

Canon T6s

 

Then, I found the Canon T6s  and it was the obvious answer for me because it offers much more for the price.  Since I would eventually end up buying a video camera for my daughters performances.  It made sense to sell the T5 and put that money toward a camera that had better video features.

  • This camera would give me a lot of the latest technology in both video cameras and dslr camera function.
  • The T6s has the flip out and rotating screen, and did I mention, it has a touch screen?  Yep.  Pretty Cool.
  • It also has the auto focus in video mode for recording my daughters performances.  Yay!
  •  A few other cool features I like about the T6s camera is the Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities.  I can send pictures to other wi-fi/NFC devices instantly, like a cell phone, computer, a printer and even social networks.
  • There is also an app, Canon Camera Connect App, that I’ve downloaded on my phone that gives me remote control for a few of the settings and the shutter.
  • I also like the extra settings view screen on the top of the camera.  I’m able to see the ISO, Apeture and Shutter Speed at all times. This is a great feature while I’m learning to see the results of any changes I make to the settings.
  • The easy selection wheel on this camera makes it much convenient to change the manual funtions, too.

 

 

 

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