by Sean Davis
And one thing I'm finding increasingly important is some sort of ability to create graphics and videos.
In the last few weeks, I've been asked by my clients at More Money Review to produce video reviews of some money-making opportunities.
I've also been asked to create a video testimonial for another company I work with, and to perform various other video- and graphics-related tasks as well.
None of this comes naturally to me - I became a writer for a reason! - but it's something I've had to get to grips with. If you're looking to boost your writing income, you need to think about it as well.
Video in particular is huge these days, and more and more businesses are looking for help in this area. You could argue that it's not something writers should be expected to do, but I see it as just another channel through which we can communicate.
If you can write a story or an article, you can plan and script a short video - and with inexpensive modern technology you can even produce it as well. It then becomes another service you can offer for a fee to clients and potential clients. And you can use videos and graphics to to promote your own books and services as well, of course.
Obviously, you're not going to produce broadcast-quality videos (initially anyway), but for many purposes that doesn't matter. As long as you can put your (or your client's) message across in a clear and reasonably entertaining way, that will often be good enough.
I guess you may be waiting for a sales pitch now, but I don't have one. For screencasts such as these - where you show what's happening on your computer while providing a spoken commentary - I currently use the free Screenr or Screencast-o-Matic services, with audio via my Skype phone. I really must get a proper microphone, but for now this set-up works fine for me.
For videos where I'm talking to the camera (gulp!) I bought a cheap (10 UKP) webcam and am using it in conjunction with Debut, a video recording and editing program that's free for home use.
Just for fun, I recorded a quick video using this set-up with Christmas best wishes for my blog readers. I've embedded this below...
As always, if you are receiving this post by email or RSS, you may need to visit my blog to see the video.
As you will notice, I still have a bit to learn about creating videos (and graphics), so if anyone can recommend a good book or course suitable for writers, do let me know!
And if you have any other comments or suggestions about the use of videos and graphics by writers, I'd love to hear them as well. Please post your comments below!