How To Create A Successful Video Blog: Interview With Camping Gear TV

February 9, 2011

11:48 am

Offline, first it was print, then radio, and finally television. Online, first it was traditional blogging; next came podcasts.

Enter the video blogging gold rush.

Today, due to the excess of competition, carving out space amongst the sea of blogs requires a true differentiating factor. It’s very possible that a quality contribution will simply get lost in the abyss – chances are someone else has said what you’re saying, or is saying something very similar.

Instead of thinking of different ideas to convey, think of the new ways in which to say them.

Video blogging offers an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in looking for this differentiating factor, due to its relative open landscape. Intelligent businesspeople such as Gary Vaynerchuk, are not only capitalizing on this opportunity, but making a living in endorsing its potential. Many early adopters to the video blogging movement are seizing this opportunity and carving out their own product spaces.

One such example would be Ben Kniffen and Josh Turner from Camping Gear TV, a successful video blog dedicated to informing, inspiring, and educating on all things camping gear related.

I had the good fortune of interviewing Josh Turner, the show’s co-host and co-founder of I asked Josh to shed some insight on what goes into creating a successful video blog.

Video Blogging, Advantage or Disadvantage?
When asked if he saw the lack of tangible benchmarks in the video blogging landscape as an advantage or disadvantage, Josh responded that both were the case.  He feels that video blogging is an advantage because there’s tremendous potential for carving out new product spaces, using untapped creativity to stand out amongst the crowd, and by facing less competition, a brand could win it’s space simply by default.

Turner also acknowledges that video blogging comes with certain disadvantages as well.  Not only can it be difficult to convey the benefits of an online show, but there’s also often a necessity to educate sponsors in the most accurate ways of measuring true reach and distribution.  Currently, sponsors are used to tracking popularity through a service such as Alexa, but when distributing content over several platforms, in their case 15, additional education becomes a necessity.

Who Do You Model Your Video Blog After?
In terms of resources that Camping Gear TV models their show after, Turner offered a few examples. Unsurprisingly, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV was at the top of the list.  Kniffen and Turner also drew inspiration for their Skype-style, sit down interviews from David Siteman Garland’s TheRiseToTheTop.comChris Guillebeau’s site has also motivated the guys at Camping Gear TV to focus on making their show inspiring, educating, and entertaining.

How to Get New Viewers to Your Video Blog?
As Turner himself notes, “the name of the game is getting eyeballs.” In an effort to obtain new viewership, Turner stresses the importance of testing as many platforms as possible. Currently Camping Gear TV distributes their show across 15 platforms, and using sites such as TubeMogul, which can make the posting process more efficient, it shouldn’t be relied upon as the only answer.  It’s important to discover which channels work best for your niche.

Additionally, they’re fortunate in that sponsors, during particular giveaways, will help to cross promote Camping Gear TV’s shows directly. Getting new fans directly from the companies who are providing your show’s products is both cheap and effective.   Although not every video blog can have this same model, it’s extremely valuable to consider different ways an aspiring video blogger can collaborate with businesses eager to draw attention to their products.

Lastly, traditional blogging practices still apply to the world of video blogging as well.  Building relationships, offering guest posts, and suggesting that like-minded blogs re-purpose your quality content can all be methods of success for all parties involved.  Although the medium may change, the value of relationships will forever remain them same.

To get all of Josh Turner’s advice on how to build a successful video blog please watch the full video interview below.

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When Zach Davis isn't getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail's Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.

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