How to Change Your YouTube Channel Background (Video)

I’ve written a previous post on how to customize your YouTube channel background using PowerPoint. That article gets more clicks on my blog than any other.

I just created a video on how to replace the default YouTube channel background with a customized graphic that fits your brand and style.

Video – Replace YouTube Channel Background (Updated December 2011)


My Workshop and Booklet are Available – Learn More

If you want more information on building a YouTube channel, I’ve written a 24-page booklet (also an ebook) that walks you through it step by step in a logical work flow. I conduct workshops too.

Stay tuned by adding your email address to my private list (see left sidebar).

Click here for more details,


Animoto Video: Record Your Memories and Produce Movies for Work or Play

This past Wednesday was Administrative Professionals Day, and I do hope you honored them. One of my clients, Global Evaluation & Applied Research Solutions, Inc., (, held their second annual Administrative Professionals Conference. Organizations that invested in their employees and sent them to this training included the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), MARTA, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), and more.

I was the keynote speaker, and my speech was titled, “Spend Your Time Right and Your Dreams Will Come True.” I talked about my journey from my first job after college at IBM as a secretary and how my skills landed me a promotion to project manager, and also how I’m using those same skills to run my business. That afternoon, I demonstrated some of my favorite tips and tricks in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

My main advice for the day: turn off the TV and spend your time and your money feeding your brain. There is too much you need to learn to waste your time on some so-called Housewives of Atlanta.

What a great day we had! The following is a video I created that captures it.

A colleague, LaTonya Blount, used my Flip camcorder to record a one-hour video. I used Movavi Video Converter to convert the Flip’s MP4 to the Windows Media Video format (so I could import to Camtasia, which I used to edit the video). We’d taken some photos also, and I used Windows Live Photo Gallery to crop them. After all that, I pulled everything into the Plus version of Animoto and created this finished product (for video, Animoto’s limit is 10 seconds per clip, and that’s all you need).

Animoto adds all the animation. I purchased their Plus version so I could make something longer than what’s available with the free version, and I wanted to add videos. When I used the embed code from Animoto, their logo showed on the screen during playback (the logo comes with their embeddable flash player). I’d have to move up to the Pro version to create an unbranded video (and to get their coolest transitions), but that’s just not happening. They jump from free to $30/year to $249/year. I uploaded the video to YouTube so I could use their player instead. After that, I used to create the banner that’s on top of the video that reads, Hire This Woman! The music is my official theme song, Time Catchers, that my ex-husband, Larry, wrote for me.

Converting the video consumed the most time. I always start this process and keep working on something else. When I get my Kodak PlayTouch (zi10) camcorder, this will be a step I’ll be able to omit. I love the Movavi Video Converter because no matter the format, it keeps the quality.

Let me know what you think. Give Animoto a try, and use the free version to get a feel for how easy it is. And to create your YouTube channel the right way in the first place, or take the one you have to the next level, you’ll want my booklet, Create, Build, and Manage a YouTube Channel Made Easy. It’s available on my main Website with free shipping.



Create High Resolution Graphics Inside PowerPoint and Use for Printing

If you’re familiar with me and my blog, you already know that I love me some technology! I’ve written before about how I use PowerPoint to create all my graphic projects, from my customized Twitter background to my business card. I’ve even recorded a series of videos to show you how to do it. Check them out on my YouTube channel, digitalbreakthroughs.


When I use PowerPoint to create graphics that I need to have printed such as a postcard, I have to save it in a higher resolution that native PowerPoint is capable of (it’s 96dpi). But ImageExport from PPTools solves that problem. With the click of a button, I can turn a PowerPoint slide into a high resolution graphic. It came in handy to create a cover for this Computer Magic booklet, for example.

But what about when I didn’t need the entire slide? Sometimes, I just needed the graphic that’s on the slide, such as a banner or button like my registration button.

Improved! Free Trial

Announcing….ImageExport has been improved! You can now click your graphic (after grouping it as one object), hold down the Shift key before you click the Export button, and only export the graphic! No more exporting the whole slide, then cropping to what you need. I am zipping through my projects so much quicker, and that frees up some more of my time.

Thank you Steve Rindsberg at PPTools! Try the free trial today!

UPDATE: I’ve recorded a video on how to use ImageExport.


Get Rid of Comment Spam on Your Blog – It's Looking More Like a Valid Comment

I spoke with a client who was very excited that he had thousands of comments on his new blog. I knew that didn’t sound right. When I checked his log, 100% of comments turned out to be spam.

Spammers create identical comments and post them across domains with links to whatever they’re selling.

How You Can Tell if a Comment is Spam

Here’s how a lot of this spam will read.

“Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!”

“Good information. I like the blog. Will try to see whether the information provided herein is useful or not by the specific outcome after putting into use in real world practice. Thanks a lot.”

“Best info on the web. Thanks for this.”

“I was going to write a similar blog concerning this topic, you beat me to it. You did a nice job! Thanks and I well add your RSS to our blogs.”

“Thanks for posting this, reading your blog I’m amazed how much time you have put into it.”

Things to look for in a comment before you approve it include:

  • Is very generic, doesn’t mention anything in particular from the post.
  • Includes typos and strange spellings of simple words.
  • Has no salutation such as Hi Peggy, etc.

If you Google comments on your blog that you suspect of being spam (enclose the comment in quotation marks so the entire phrase will be searched), you’ll find the exact comments all over the Web.

Protect Yourself

To prevent comment spam, here are the two free solutions I use (Suite Minute is a blog).

  • Akismet. Akismet filters out your comment and track-back spam. You have to have an API key to make Akismet work on your blog. I had a site which generates this key for free, and I use it on all of my sites. When you sign up for a free site, you’ll receive the API key in a welcome email. Keep up with this key! You can also generate an API key on this Google site for free, but I haven’t tried it with a WordPress site.
  • Disqus. The Disqus (pronounced like discuss) plugin is not only a comment box, it has built-in spam protection.

Regardless of the blogging platform you use or the spam fighter you choose, always turn on the option to approve comments before they post.