Reader Questions: Wireless Microphones for Wedding Videography

Tim asks: 

I do weddings. What's a good wireless mic system to use for that?
Answer:

I started my video production career working for a wedding videography company, so... I'm sorry ;)

But seriously... Here's a system I use and can personally vouch for:

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Audio-Technica ATW-1821

You'll want to mic the groom and the bride as covertly as possible, but this is a great system if you want to be able to get a quality recording from a distance and still be able to move around with the camera. The only downside is that this system will cost $1,200-$1,400. If you're doing this kind of thing a lot, it's definitely worth it.

On the other hand... There are some less expensive options like this Shure BLX188 Dual Wireless System. Stuff like this is going to get you a quality recording, but it's designed to be attached to a stationary soundboard, and the receiver needs to be plugged into an outlet, so you'll either have to have your camera in a stationary place connected to the receiver, or you'll need to record the audio separately and re-sync it with your footage later on. 

Another more affordable option I'd recommend if you're only  recording the bride & groom (or, you know... bride & bride/groom & groom/etc.) when they're performing their vows, would be to rig a shotgun microphone with an XLR-based wireless transmitter above them hanging down, or on a short stand pointing upward between the couple. Audio Technica, Sony, Shure, Sennheiser, etc. all make one-channel transmitter/receivers for between $400-700. 

Unfortunately, usually a boom operator is too intrusive at a wedding, or I'd recommend going with a shotgun and a boom run wirelessly through a single-channel system so that you could follow all that action at the reception as well without being limited only to the featured couple. But a shotgun mounted on the camera works pretty well too!

All that said, I will note that wireless systems can always be a risk as they can be disrupted by other radio signals. This is why I tend to prefer wired set-ups wherever possible.

 

Reader Questions: Good Ways to Promote Your Blog

Isaac asks: 

What are some good ways to promote a blog?

 Answer:

Up-front, I should disclaim the fact that this really isn't my area of expertise. That said, I do have an answer.

Basically, it comes down to this. You need to learn to get really good at SEO.

Mostly this means you need to write great headlines that accurately describe the content of the post, and do a lot of targeted meta-data tagging.

But more than that, I think it's really just about having great content and updating regularly and often. The more content your blog has, and the more times people visit it per day, the better it does in everyone's search rankings... So produce content people want to read and do it every day. That's by far the best way to promote a blog.

Also, you can ask other - more prominent - bloggers to link to your blog on their blogs, if the content makes sense for their audiences, and there's always the option of just buying advertisements and promote it with cold, hard, cash.

Via Forbes, Cognito PR & Marketing recently created this infographic on SEO tips for 2013 that might be helpful (and confirms my point about frequently posting great content): 

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I would add to this one important thing.

Do NOT just spam links to your blog on every other platform that's more prominent than yours.

It's super annoying, and it doesn't really help you get more blog subscribers anyway since it turns off potential readers and because the same IP address posting the same links over and over doesn't get you anywhere in search engines anyway. 

All that said, I probably have some friends who can offer a lot more advice, since this really isn't what I do.