Lessons learned while playing with YouTube

Hey everyone,

An image showing a chalkboard with Back To School written on it - lessons to be learned


As I write this, it’s Sunday lunchtime and I’m sitting in bed with my laptop…I went to bed rather late last night as I was on a video creation mission, so I’m having a leisurely morning (to be fair, I see a cat nap in my future for the afternoon!).


Anyway, you may be wondering what my new video is about. I’ll get to that in a second.


First, I want to share something amazing that I saw a couple of days ago. It’s a bit self-indulgent but I’m feeling proud of myself so you’ll just have to humour me for a minute.


As you all know, I created this video and it’s my first ever video, so I was proud enough that I’d managed to accomplish that. I’ve been watching other people take to video marketing with relative ease but it isn’t something I ever thought I’d be comfortable doing.


Then I know a lot of you reading this have been very kind and have shared my page using the various social media sites & the plugins that I have here to enable that.


My proud moment.


I was moseying about on Twitter (as you do), and then I saw this Tweet sent to me:


Screenshot of the Tweet from Camtasia giving me feedback on my video


(it’s here if you want to check for authenticity!)




That means that they actually watched it…me, doing my first video and rambling on like a mad woman as I tend to do!  I was totally blown away by this as my boyfriend will testify (he was cooking for me at the time & said my face just lit up when I read it).


How’s that for encouragement to make more videos?!


Actually, talking about encouragement, I want to thank everyone that has watched it & given me such positive feedback (no, this isn’t my Oscar-winning speech!). It really makes a difference when your peers and friends tell you that you’re doing a good job, so make sure you give feedback to people when you see something good – it’s always appreciated.


Anyway, moving on to my newest video.


After I created the previous video, I noticed that it had selected a completely random still image to use as the default (i.e. when you go to look at it on a page, before pressing play, what do you see?).


This didn’t please me – I had naively assumed that YouTube would have the beginning of the video as the default image, as that would make sense…but no.


So I went off to find a solution…



Incidentally – lesson learned – when using Powerpoint and you don’t want the black bars at the side of the video, make sure you change the slides to be 16:9 ratio not the default 4:3 ratio that I used above!!   Do this at the beginning of creating your presentation as otherwise it skews all your images etc.


Lesson learned, and it won’t happen again…I’m just not used to all this widescreen stuff as my previous laptop and my work computer were all 4:3 ratio…still, it’s all progress, right?


Please let me know what you think in the comments below, and please share this video with your networks as someone else may find it useful.


Time for more tea & some toast I think!


Speak soon,


The somewhat-nocturnal Nikki

(no, don’t worry, I’m not adding to my list of nicknames!!)

If you've enjoyed this post, I'd be grateful if you'd share it with your friends or anyone else that you feel it could help.

23 replies
  1. Dawn Kay
    Dawn Kay says:

    Hey Nikki

    How cool is that, the people from Camtasia watched your video whoooooooooo…

    That is a good enough reason itself for staying in bed all day lol

    As I’ve said before, your a natural in front of the video and your enthusiasm and passion for what your doing shines through…

    Which is fab for us watching !!!

    I did wander how come You Tube picked a crap image to display and didn’t realize you could choose one yourself so thanks for the tip and I’m off to You Tube now to change mine.

    Well done misses

    Dawn Kay recently posted..Not Bad But Needs Work


    Nikki Reply:

    Hey Dawn,

    I know, I was amazed when I saw that tweet – I felt so proud!

    Oh I did get out of bed & wandered over to the supermarket, but not before having a doze after uploading this post! But then I was up till 4am so that’s kind of justified…now I just have to make sure I go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight as I have to get up for work tomorrow…

    Thank you for saying that you think I’m a natural in front of the video – I think because I’m sitting on my sofa relaxing at home when I’m recording them, I don’t feel too daft (well, no more than usual!).

    Getting in front of the camera will be a different matter!

    YouTube only offers 3 thumbnails you can pick from, and you can’t choose which those are which isn’t ideal, but at least then you can pick the better one of the three.

    Thanks Dawn!

    Speak soon,



  2. Barry Wells
    Barry Wells says:

    WOW Nikki, that’s a great result that Camtasia tweeted your video details, well done. Feel proud my F F F Friend.

    I’ve watched the video and know that this will help loads of people. I actually tried changing the imageson mine but didn’t like any of the 3 so left it as is, but will look at this more closely when next uploading them.

    Nikki you said on the webinar about having a back up bookmarking plugin. I’ve been going through Sally’s videos to find the one you use beneath your posts but can’t find it. Partially due to Sundays being a back up and scan day for the PC, which makes it slow rrrrrrrright down. As we found with the reply to your comment 😉

    Anyway could you tell me the name of it please? I did use sexybookmarks, but had CPU issues so unistalled it. I’d like to give this one a try.

    Have a great week Nikki, I’m off to relax myself now. Working on Sundays isn’t healthy you know.

    Take care my Purple Princess

    Congrat’s again on the tweet from Camtasia
    Barry Wells recently posted..Journey To Success Part 5: Never Give Up, Focus and Hard Work.


    Nikki Reply:

    Hey Barry,

    Thanks – this FFF did feel very proud being recognised by CamtasiaTips – much as I appreciate peer-recognition (and believe me, I really appreciate it), there’s always that voice in my head that says “but they’re just saying that to be nice”. To be fair, I normally drown it out with tea…but anyway, to have that recognition from a stranger was really cool!

    Regarding the webinar – what I meant was at work I have a 4:3 screen (and my old laptop was the same), which means it can cut off the sides of the page – that’s why the Digg Digg plugin may not show to everyone.

    So, with that in mind, I’ve just trawled through my WP-Admin and the horizontal bar that appears at the bottom of my posts is a plugin called TF Social Share – actually, now I’ve checked in my plugin list (rather than looking at my LHS menu) it’s called Twitter Facebook Social Share – either way, you can get it here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/twitter-facebook-google-plusone-share/ – at least, that should be the right one!

    Let me know how you get on with that one. I had to edit the settings as you can change the spacing between each box to click, so you may want to bear that in mind.

    I definitely agree that working on a Sunday isn’t the way forward, but unfortunately my weekdays are busy enough already so I can only do really limited amounts then…so I have to dedicate some of my weekends to building my business.

    It’ll all be worth it in the end!

    Thanks for giving me the link to your Part 2 of your Journey To Success for the business planning elements – there’s some really useful information in there that I can actually follow (rather than just “make a plan” – you give proper logical instructions). So thank you very much for that!

    Speak soon,

    The Fabulous Fear Fighting Purple Princess!!


  3. Chris Griffiths
    Chris Griffiths says:

    Hi Sweetie

    Just because I know hat you are like with spelling mistakes etc I just thought I would point this out for you 🙂

    “Ths didn’t please me – I had naively assumed that YouTube would have the beginning of the video as the default image, as that would make sense…but no.”

    I’m sure you will see the problem here

    Chris Griffiths recently posted..No Feed Key Found


    Nikki Reply:

    Hey sweetie,

    Meh – this is why I shouldn’t write blog posts in bed & then go to sleep without checking them! I’ve made the alteration, thank you.

    Incidentally, as you have adopted my pedantic streak momentarily, then I shall do the same to you (see everyone, this is a loving couple at work here!!!)

    You put:

    “Just because I know hat you are like…”

    I’m sure you will see the problem here. (Merely quoting you sweetie!)



  4. Mike
    Mike says:

    I think you have EVERY reason to feel proud of the CamtasiaTips post!! Great video and another to follow here!! Excellent! Looking forward to the next!
    Bye for now

    Ol’ Sergei! (Who?)


    Nikki Reply:

    Daddy Sand…

    I actually mentioned you when I took people to my blog on our last webinar & pointed you out as my dad, so to be fair I don’t think you can hide for much longer!

    Now, you didn’t put your URL in your post above so how are people supposed to come over and see you if they choose? I may be able to enter it manually in the WP-admin settings…I shall investigate!

    Yes, I did (and still do!) feel very proud that my video was seen by the people at Camtasia & that they approved of it as well…always nice to know!

    Speak soon,

    Squirrel Nutkin xx
    (as explained before, this nickname is for family use!)


    Twitter: PhotosMikedf

    HAH! So, Sergei is becoming famous again….even if he has eaten a lot of someone’s sandwiches..
    The dog is a pain tho’ – deaf in one ear now!!
    Keep the videos coming, I’ll have to try to catch up soon as I have a load to do…
    Bye for now, Squirrel N
    Sergei, Miguel….whoever!!
    Mike recently posted..Are YOU New to Internet Marketing?


    Nikki Reply:

    Indeed…you are becoming famous (if not notorious?!)!!

    Incidentally, for those that are a tiny bit confused by all this, here are 2 videos of my dad (Sergei) at work:



    Speak soon Daddy Sergei!


  5. Ian Ieba
    Ian Ieba says:

    Hi Nikki

    I had the same problem when I produced my video the image that I actually wanted to front the video was not available from the 3 that was on offer so I chose what I thought was the best one!

    Your video is excellent Nikki and it will definitely be of great help to others.

    Also you star you…. getting that recognition from Camtasia well done you, “lookout Steven Spielberg” Nikki’s on your trail! 🙂

    Thanks for the information regarding TF Social Share, like Barry I was having problems with my CPU usage one of the plugins that has to go is “sexybookmarks” it’s a real drain the resources!

    Another great post Nikki, please keep them coming…

    Take care, catch up soon

    Ian 🙂
    Ian Ieba recently posted..Journey to Success Part 5: Never Give Up, Focus and Hard Work


    Nikki Reply:

    Hey Ian,

    Oh I know, it’s such a pain! The images I’ve chosen for my 2 videos aren’t the ones I’d ideally have, but they were the best of the three on offer.

    Ha ha Steven Spielberg – oh I doubt that very much! But it was still so amazing to be recognised in that way.

    TF Social Share is working well for me, and as I type this (on my lunchbreak at work) because my monitor here is 4:3 I can’t see my floating Digg Digg plugin, so I imagine other people with 4:3 monitors would have the same problem. That’s why I mentioned it on the webinar – we want to make it as easy as possible for people to share our content, hence having a few different options around for them to use.

    Thanks for adding your feedback here, it’s much appreciated.

    Speak soon,



  6. Mike
    Mike says:

    DAMN!!! My secret life is out!

    Interestingly though I think your voice changed a bit since your first recording gig: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoNkfOHBzQk

    Hmmm! Now we ARE being silly!! 😉

    Mike recently posted..Are YOU New to Internet Marketing?


    Nikki Reply:

    Yo Sandy Sergei!

    I enjoyed that! I played it when I got home from work and then promptly danced around my flat…I like to move it move it!

    King Julian / Squirrel Nutkin xx


  7. Sally
    Sally says:

    Hey Nikki 🙂

    Congrats on the shout out from Camtasia, see it just shows that they are watching lol, kinda nice that isnt it.

    Your video is excellent, those damn black bars are a pet hate of mine and I really dont like to see them in a video.

    Your a natural at videos and I can tell your really enjoying doing them, I do look forward to more videos from the posh girl.

    Catch ya later, Sally 🙂 x
    Sally recently posted..I’m soooooo proud of my LWS students already!


    Nikki Reply:

    Ha ha – well now I know what’s causing the black bars they won’t be in any more of my videos!!

    I just look at it all as good practice…after all, how else am I meant to improve?

    More videos from the posh girl (love how your nickname for me has stuck!) – well, I shall see what I can do!

    Catch up with you soon,

    Nikki xx


  8. Demi
    Demi says:

    First of all I want to say that I really like your blog and all the posts that are on it. I also learned a lot from youtube I really like it.


    Demi recently posted..luchtreiniger


    Nikki Reply:

    Thanks Demi, that’s really nice to hear! I hope you’ve found some of my posts useful?

    Yep, YouTube is great, I’m loving that I now know how to create videos and get them on there!

    Speak soon,



  9. Nigel Yip
    Nigel Yip says:

    Hi Nikki,

    Great informative blog post and video – and well done for creating your first video and now also your first video tutorial. You seem like a natural on video – so looking forward to your next video and how you get on with Easy Video Player. Keep up the great and fab work.

    Best wishes
    Nigel Yip recently posted..Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!


    Nikki Reply:

    Hey Nigel,

    How are you feeling now? A lot better I hope?

    I didn’t think I’d ever get around to creating video but having followed the really easy instructions that Sally provided, it’d be impossible to fail!

    I’m busy writing a report on Easy Video Player at the moment, that’s going to be part of my next post…

    Speak soon,




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