TBEX Speaker Post: 5 Cool Video Apps for Travel Bloggers


heathercowperWith the growth of powerful mobile phones that shoot great-quality video, the video action these days seems to be all on the smartphone. Your smartphone is always with you, to capture the fun things you see and do on your travels, but who wants to spend endless hours uploading and editing? What you need are smartphone apps that make fun mini movies you’ll want to share and create professional looking videos that no-one will know that you only spent 30 minutes to make. Here are my recommendations for 5 video smartphone apps that will help you create short videos to share on your blog and social media channels. Apologies if the selection is a little iPhone-centric, but most apps seem to appear for iPhone first, so if you’re serious about making videos with apps, this is the smartphone of choice.

1. iMovie ($4.99)

This was the first video app that I ever tried and I still use it all the time. I’m sure that there’s a similar basic video editing app available for other brands of smartphone. This app is a cut-down version of the iMovie video editing tool that comes as standard on Apple computers. You can string together video clips that you’ve recorded on your iPhone, either pre-recorded clips or clips that you record in the moment. Then edit the clips to the right length, add captions or titles and add music that you already have stored on your phone in iTunes. You can also record audio to add to the video although not used this feature as I find it’s a bit difficult to get the timing right. To give your video that creative look, there are 12 Trailer themes and 8 Project themes which are fun to play around with, although I normally use the simplest theme and let the video speak for itself. Another similar video editing app for iPhone that was recommended to me by Greg Brand is Filmic Pro $4.99

Available for: iOS

Share to: YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo

Add your location: Yes | Embed: Yes from YouTube or Vimeo | Download: Yes, to your Camera Roll and from there to wherever you want | Add Music: Yes, from your iTunes library

If you can’t see the video below, view it on YouTube here

2. Vine (free)

Owned by Twitter, Vine allows you to record 6 seconds of video by pressing the screen of your phone. When you stop pressing, the recording also stops, allowing you to record a series of sequential clips to tell a story or capture a moment. The video loops in a never-ending stream which can be hypnotic or irritating in turn. I like this app for capturing meals, hotel rooms, markets, street scenes. Because you are recording “in the moment” you need to concentrate on getting the shots that tell the story (but only for 6 seconds).

Available for: iOS, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Android

Share to: Vine, Twitter, Facebook

Add your location: Yes | Embed: Yes | Download: No| Add Music: No

If you can’t see the Vine below, view the original here

Recorded by Josh Garcia when he was in Bristol – this is a bit of a Bristolian in-joke

3. Instagram Video (free)

The video feature within this popular photo-sharing app is similar to Vine in that it creates a video of of up to 15 seconds which is recorded when you press the phone screen. Unlike Vine the video doesn’t loop and there’s a handy feature where you can delete the most recent clip if you don’t like it. The option to choose a clip from your phone’s memory has also recently been added. Once you have recorded or selected your clips you can add filters and choose a cover frame. As I use instagram a lot for photo-shares, I’m wavering between consolidating all my activities on Instagram, or using Vine for the videos as there seems to be more engagement for the videos there, whereas people seem to be more into the photos on Instagram. Like Vine, this is good for making mini movies about food, hotels, street scenes and for capturing a moment or idea on video.

Available for: iOS, Android 4.0

Share to: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare, Email

Add your location: Yes| Embed: Yes | Download: No | Add Music: No

If you can’t see the Instagram Video below, view the original here

4. Qwiki (free)

Recently acquired by Yahoo, this app takes the photos and video clips on your phone and turns them into an impressive looking video/slide show up to a minute long, with fancy transitions. You can either allow the app to select the clips to use (normally all from one day) and then edit them, or alternatively select the 25 photos or video clips you want to use and then edit the transitions and add captions for each group of clips/photos or “moments”. This is a good app to make your still photos into a video or make a little video go a long way. I often use it to summarise a day or weekend of activities, grouping the photos and ‘moments” to tell the story. You need to make sure you’ve already got a few suitable tracks in your iTunes as this app doesn’t look so good without a catchy tune. Another new app that does a similar job is Voyzee

Available for: iOS

Share to: Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, SMS

Add your location: Yes | Embed: Yes | Download: No | Add Music: Yes, from your iTunes library

A week in Emilio Romagna by Keith Jenkins, Velvet Escape. If you can’t see the Qwiki below, view the original here

5. Directr (free)

This app is a bit like iMovie in that it allows you to string short video clips together, either those that are already on your camera roll or those that you record in the moment. Then you can trim the clips to the right length, add music from the app’s selection or from music that you have on your phone, add captions to each of the clips if you like. The point of difference is the storyboards available that give you an easy formula to make your mini Movie. There are plenty of different storyboards, including 13 in the travel theme, such as “This is where I’m staying”, “My Meal out” and “Road Trip”. The storyboards will give you a frame by frame guide for what to shoot in order to tell your story. The app does still seem to have some glitches and I lost a few along the way that didn’t upload correctly, however I think the Storyboard concept will be great for those who don’t have much of an idea where to start in shooting their mini Movie.

Available for: iOS

Share to: Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, SMS

Add your location: No | Embed: Yes | Download: Yes | Add Music: Yes, from the app’s selection or your iTunes library

If you can’t see the Villa La Angostura Directr movie from 5diegoasturi below – view the original here

TBEX Dublin Speaker, Heather Cowper , blogs about her travels around Europe and the world at Heatheronhertravels.com as well as sharing her tips for How to build a better travels blog at MyBloggingJourney.com. As a self-taught video-maker, Heather’s session at TBEX will cover Quick and Easy ways to get Video on your blog (without the Film-school training). Aimed at those of you who know they really should be doing video but don’t know quite where to start, Heather offers suggestions that you can put into practice immediately on how to put together simple but professional looking videos and how to use smartphone apps to make videos that look impressive but are quick to make.

The Seven Deadly Sins of YouTube


As a content creator, I’m a YouTube newbie. I’ve made the occasional video here and there, but I’m more of a consumer than a producer in that field. And maybe that’s a good thing for a post about what you should and shouldn’t do on YouTube.

youtubeOf course, different viewers are going to like different things, but there are a few general mistakes that I see a lot of YouTube-ers making. Today, I’d like to share with you the seven deadly sins of YouTube – seven mistakes that will prevent me from subscribing to your page, checking out more of your videos or even finishing the video I’m currently watching.


Pride may be a cardinal sin, but I do think you should take pride in your work! It only becomes a problem when you have an inflated sense of how awesome you are. Confidence is cool. Arrogance is not.

On YouTube, this pride manifests itself when a vlogger takes for granted that people will still know who he/she is. Sorry, but no one is that awesome. Every fan you have was a first-time viewer at some point, and even if your stuff is really cool, they probably aren’t going to Google you to find your blog or other non-YouTube profiles. If you’re lucky, they’ll subscribe, but unless you encourage them to find out more about you with a link in the description, that’s probably as far as it will go. Visitors to sites you own are much more valuable than viewers on YouTube, since you can get them to sign up for your email list, make purchases in your store, and more.

The Bottom Line: Don’t assume people know who you are. Give newbie links to find more information about you.


Whenever someone has anything resembling success on YouTube, about 500 other people try to replicate this success. It’s not going to work. Unless you’re doing a spoof (which can be quite funny), taking too much inspiration from another vlogger just makes you look like a copycat. Envious of another person’s success? You can have it too! You just need to come up with your own idea.

The Bottom Line: Be original.


YouTube is the bottom of the comment barrel. Seriously, I have no idea why, but on that site in particular, people leave the most vile, nasty comments! It’s easy to get sucked in by the trolls. Wrath takes on a whole new meaning when you virtually wrestle with someone calling you racist or homophobic names.

But if you stoop to that level, it reflects on you too, not just the initial immature commenter. I’m not saying to avoid defending yourself, but before you respond to a negative comment, give it a few hours of thought. Often, people will come to your rescue so you don’t have to step in at all! But if they don’t and you feel compelled to reply to a troll, make sure the comment you leave in return is classy.

The same goes for other YouTube videos. If you uploaded a cool video, I might click on your name to see where you’ve left comments on other videos. If you’re acting like a troll elsewhere, I’m not going to support the work you do.

The Bottom Line: Mind your manners in the comment section and avoid feeding the trolls.


There are a lot of lazy YouTubers out there. Yes, it takes a little extra time, but YouTube is one of the biggest search engines out there. Take the time to title your video well, write an accurate description with links, and add tags. More importantly, do a little research on how to make a good video. Here are a few places to start:

If you’re not lazy and actually take the time to do your research, your video content will be much better.

The Bottom Line: Everything is better if you take the time to do it right.


Few things annoy me more on YouTube than those silly little bubble links popping up every two minutes. I know that you want more viewers and subscribers, and I can appreciate how important it is to remind people to check out your channel…but I don’t need this kind of crap interrupting the video I’m trying to watch. I’m less likely to share or subscribe if links keep popping up, because it makes you seem greedy – like you’re only interested in me watching your videos if I’m also going to check out all of your links. Save the linking and subscription messages for the end of the video instead. I just want to sit back and enjoy the content you’ve created before I make decisions about that kind of thing.

The Bottom Line: Let me watch your video before trying to upsell me.


Traditionally, we think of gluttony as eating too much, but this term can be used to describe any kind of excess. In videos, the excess that bothers me the most is length. If you’re creating videos, you need to learn to edit them well.

This definitely doesn’t mean that every video you make needs to be under three minutes long. What it does mean is that you shouldn’t take 12 minutes to say something you could have said in half that time. Nothing will make me click the back button faster than someone rambling. So as you’re creating videos, keep this in mind and cut out anything that isn’t essential to the goal of your video. Shorter is better if you want people to watch to the end.

The Bottom Line: Learn to edit your videos to keep the time as short as possible for your content.


Lastly, we have everyone’s favorite sin: lust. In videos, I actually think most creators don’t have enough lust! Okay, not that kind of lust. More loosely, lust means passion, and I see a lot of videos where people just don’t really care about what they’re recorded. The reason someone like Jenna Marbles, for example, is so popular is that she is passionate about what she’s talking about. You don’t even have to be covering a controversial subject to show passion for your topic. Even a how-to video on someone boring can be made better by a host who’s clearly excited about the topic. If you don’t care about what you’re doing on camera, why should I?

The Bottom Line: Be passionate about your video topics.

Photo credit:  Rego Korosi via flickr