Saturday, September 25, 2010

50% Off Global Program Through December!

“Everybody has a story!” Think about that for a second. Where have you been with another individual, group, the family or friends that someone, or all, have failed to share one anecdote, one story, relate one memory or synopsis of an occurrence. Whether it happened this morning, yesterday or to their great-grandfather, you’re going to hear somebody’s story today.

Even while recently conducting “Person-on-the-Sidewalk” interviews during a recent live marketing activity I had no problem getting total strangers to share their recollections of what they were doing and where they were during 9/11, The Challenger Explosion and JFK’s Assassination. Many of them shared more personal recollections as well and freely gave me permission to feature them on a website for worldwide preservation and sharing of stories — Video StoryTellers!™

It’s THAT easy! Video StoryTellers!™ is a global marketing and branding program for the preservation and sharing of people’s stories and memories. And PEOPLE WILL PAY YOU for this service, starting with the totally affordable base price for receiving their precious memory or story on DVD.

Find out more by checking the links throughout this blog. There is an extra added bonus for anyone coming onboard with Video StoryTellers!™ during the next few months. From NOW through December 31, 2010 you can become a part of this worldwide branding and marketing program for 50 percent off the standard investment price.

Sign up today for your service area, or go for state or country associate level and offer others in your “territory” their own franchise and service area for extra income.

A minimum effort, IF YOU WORK THE PROGRAM, based on eight hours a week (working part- or full-time) will bring you more than $26,000 a year ONLY producing stories — one at a time!

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

Monday, September 13, 2010

eCommerce with WordPress

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth and final installment in the “WordPress for Videographers” four-part series by guest author Heidi Mueller, of New Westminster, BC, Canada — an accomplished commercial video producer, website developer, editor and writer.

IN THE WORKS! Heidi will be developing and offering an up-to-date “how to” video that takes you through the necessary steps for developing a WordPress website using a “real world” project. Watch for the announcement here, and also on Twitter, Facebook, Videomaker Forums and DVProfessionals as well as the Video StoryTellers!™ Facebook Pages.

1. Overview of WordPress Article Series

So far in this article series we have explored WordPress as a possible website platform for a videographer or videography business. But what if you want to sell products on your website like DVDs, stock footage, movie posters, t-shirts and so on? Can this be done on your WordPress site? This is what we will discuss here.

2. Overview of eCommerce

Before we talk about the actual implementation, let’s do a quick review of what ecommerce is all about. In order to sell products over the Internet, you require essentially three components:

A Product Catalogue

This is essentially a list of all your products, typically stored in a database of some kind. For each product you would have at least a title, description, photo and price. You could also include additional optional information like size, colour, shipping, and so on, depending on the type of product.

A Shopping Cart

The shopping cart temporarily stores the information about products that a shopper has selected on your site. When the shopper is done selecting products, he or she can click the Checkout button to make the actual payment.

Payment Gateway

This is basically a system that allows a shopper to make a payment by providing the credit card information over a secure Internet connection. Commonly used systems include PayPal and Google Checkout.

While each of the ecommerce components are quite complex, with WordPress it is easy to add ecommerce capability to your website.

3. The Basic PayPal System

If you have only a few products to sell, say two DVDs, you can use the basic PayPal system. That way you don’t have to set up a product catalogue - all you need is a Products page in your website listing your DVDs. You then use PayPal’s shopping cart and buy now buttons.

I have set up a Our Products page and listed one (fictitious) DVD as shown below:

The Products Page with no ecommerce features

The next step is to log into your PayPal account (more on this later) and go to the Merchants section and select the Create Buy Now Button link as shown below:

The PayPal Merchant Page

Enter your first product details and click the Create Button Now button at the bottom of the page.

The PayPal product description page

PayPal will now create the button embed code. Select the code and copy to the clipboard.

The PayPal embed code

Back in your website, go to the Products page and, in the HTML editing window, past the button embed code close to your product area:

Pasting the code on Products page

And voila, you have a PayPal button!

Your Product page with PayPal buy now button

I have only done one DVD product. If you have several products, repeat the above steps to get a button for each product, and then finally to also get a Shopping Cart button.

Now when someone clicks the buy now button on your Products page, the product is added to the PayPal shopping cart. When the shopper checks out, PayPal manages the credit card transaction and you are informed by email and then you have to ship the product to the shopper. PayPal will transfer any monies in your account to your personal bank when you request it.

4. The PayPal Account

Whether you use the basic system that I have just described or a full ecommerce system, you will need a PayPal Account. There are many videos on YouTube that will take you through the steps of setting up your account, and PayPal has a useful Getting to Know PayPal help section.

5. Full eCommerce

The basic PayPal system described above can quickly become tedious when you have a large number of products, especially if some are products that need to be downloaded by the client (eg video clips). Fortunately there are several excellent plug-ins that will turn your WordPress site into a full-fledged ecommerce site. Perhaps the most popular plug-in is WP e-Commerce which, amazingly, is free!

These ecommerce systems are quite sophisticated and beyond the scope of a short article like this. I would recommend a new book "WordPress 2.9 e-Commerce" by Brian Bondari. He goes into how to set up and manage a WP e-Commerce site in great detail, and also discusses the other available plug-ins.

6. Conclusion

In this series of articles I have tried to show the WordPress is indeed a viable website platform for a videography business. It allows the videographer to easily create and maintain a professional website. The tools in WordPress allow you to showcase and market your products and services. In addition there is an extensive collection of plug-ins that allow you to add extra functionality, such as ecommerce as we discussed in this article, to your website as your business needs expand. The main benefit of using WordPress is that everything is fast and easy to implement, leaving you free to focus on your video production business.

“Easy” is of course relative. If you stick to the basics it is easy. But if you want to dig into the guts of WordPress, there is a learning curve. A final warning: there are so many fun things you can do in WordPress - it can become addictive.

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



Saturday, September 04, 2010

WordPress for Videographers Part 3 - Including Video

Editor’s Note: This is the third 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. The final article will discuss adding “eCommerce” to your WordPress website.

In the first two articles in this series we looked at reasons why a videographer would consider WordPress as a website platform for his or her business and what the process is to do that. In this article we will look at how to include video in your website. These days this is really easy.

Hosted Videos
If your video is already on a video host like, YouTube, Vidler, Vimeo, etc. then you can display that same video on one of your website pages or in a post in your blog. These sites will allow you to copy some embed code representing your video that you can use on your page.

The advantage of this approach is that the host company’s server does the heavy work, rather than the web server where your WordPress website is hosted. And as part of the embed code, they provide the video player.

Another advantage is that your video is promoted both by your website and the video host. The downside of course is the time it takes to prepare and upload the video to the video host.

There are basically two ways of using hosted videos, embedding and “shortcodes”. The end result is the same. I prefer to embed because then I have a bit more control over the position and look. We will use YouTube as an example. Here is my webpage without any videos as yet.

Screen with no video

The next step is to go to YouTube and obtain the embedding code for the video that you want to place on your website. On the YouTube screen you have options for the size of the player, as well as a colour scheme. I chose red to go with the H Mueller Design colours of course! Once you have chosen the options for the player, you highlight and copy the embed code as shown in the screen capture below.

Getting the Embed Code from YouTube

Next, switch back to your WordPress website, and open the Videos page in edit mode from the Dashboard. In the little edit pane where you normally put your text is where we will past the video embed code – but you have to do it in the HTML view as shown in the screen capture below:

Pasting the embed code in HTML view

That’s it! Click the Update button and admire your handiwork.

Uploading Videos to WordPress
If you do not have your video hosted on a video service, you can upload the video to your WordPress website. It does mean that your web server will have to serve the video which can slow it down if your video is large. The most common formats for video on your own server would be .flv (Flash) and .mov (Quicktime). You not only have to upload the video file but you also have to provide an appropriate player which can be a bit tricky.

But don’t worry, that’s why you chose WordPress—there are plugins for the tricky stuff! In fact there are many video plugins to choose from. If you need a solid, easy to use plug-in, consider the
Viper plug-in. The player will also allow you to play hosted videos as well as video files uploaded to your own website. This is an important feature as it will give you consistency in how your videos are displayed no matter where they are hosted.

Video Galleries
This is definitely a step up in sophistication. A video gallery page is basically a page showing a series of thumbnails of the videos in your gallery. When a visitor to your site clicks on a thumbnail, the corresponding video plays in a player. Again there are many plug-ins to choose from. The plug-in will do all the heavy lifting for you. But they can be a bit more tricky to configure and only worth the effort if you have many videos to show.

In this article we discussed how to embed hosted videos from YouTube and similar hosting services. This method is easy and quick to implement, and will not load your own web server. We also discussed other video display options briefly should you have need for them.

In the next article we will discuss the possibilities of adding ecommerce to your website in case you would like to sell video stock footage, DVDs, and so on.

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