7 Tips on How To Start a Vlog
Looking to build an online following? From blogs to podcasts, there’s no shortage of ways to get your message out to the world. One of the most effective ways to do so is through a vlog. Five billion videos are watched on YouTube every day, so you can imagine the impact vlogs have on viewers. However, we know that vlogging can be a little scary for newcomers, which is why we made this simple guide to help you figure out how to start a vlog and build your tribe in no time.
Whether you already have an online presence or are starting from scratch, vlogging makes it much easier to connect with your followers and promote your services and products. Your audience can see your facial expressions and hand gestures, which can help you to appear more authentic while retaining their attention. By seeing your face, followers feel more connected to you. They stop seeing you as an unidentified creator and start seeing you as a trusted source of unique content and opinions.
Along with connection, vlogging has a practical side. Video is more engaging than written content, so you’re doubling your chances of getting visitors that stick. Successful vlogs also have the opportunity to host ads or get sponsors, therefore enabling creators of all niches to earn a substantial profit from their vlogs.
One of the best aspects of starting a vlog is that there’s no one way to do it. The best way to start a vlog is to simply be creative. Don’t know how to make a vlog the way you want it? Experiment until you find the style that sticks, and then switch things up to keep your audience engaged as your relationship progresses.
If you’re not convinced yet, we have a few tips for starting a vlog that shows how easy it is to get it rolling.
How To Start a Vlog
Before you fire up your laptop and start recording yourself, there are some things you should consider so that you can start off on the right foot. Whether you want to use YouTube or another form of social media, here’s what you’ll need to get started with carving out your following:
1. Get Inspired
While the logistics of starting a vlog aren’t too complicated, you’ve got to have a platform or a niche in order to make an impact. Not sure what you want to talk about, the vlog topics you’ll be covering or the style you want to use? We get it. If this is where you find yourself, the best thing to do is to study the work of other vloggers.
Do a search on topics that interest you and spend time watching videos from some of the results that come up. According to Lifewire, here’s what you should take notes on as you watch these videos.
- What kind of topics do they cover?
- How long are the videos?
- How frequently do they put out videos?
- Why do you find them interesting?
- What are their followers saying and how do they respond?
Even if you’re not sure how to start a vlog yet or if you even want one, start taking notes while you watch your favorite vloggers. What makes them stand out to you? Pay attention to practices or techniques that you could implement.
2. Get Your Style
Based on what you find interesting and the examples of vloggers you’ve studied, it’s time for you to decide on a theme and style for your vlog. Write down some vlog topics that you’d like to cover, and if the topics aren’t all along the same vein, consider how you can weave them together so that they can all fit under your brand. Keep your list of things to vlog about close for future reference.
For example, if you want your vlog to be about nutrition, an appropriate topic that’s not specifically food-related can deal with how mental health can impact nutrition. On the other hand, dedicating episodes to talking about the best winter hairstyles may not be appropriate for a nutrition vlog.
If you’re worried about finding your niche, use these four questions from Entrepreneur to help you decide. What matters most is that you start vlogging about something you enjoy. Find ways to incorporate other interests, but keep in mind what will attract followers.
3. Get Your Equipment
Some of the more seasoned vloggers invest in expensive cameras and lighting fixtures that can help their videos visually stand out from the crowd. Others do just as well without these things – especially with how far technology has come with smartphone cameras. Since you’re just learning how to start a vlog, it’s perfectly fine to start on the basic end. Here are some of the baseline tools you’ll need, according to the site Start Blogging Online.
- Camera: Many people use their smartphones to record their videos. If you’re not too fond of the quality of your phone’s videos, try to get a hold of a nice digital camera.
- Microphone: It’s best that you invest in a separate microphone that can record and render professional sound. Depending on your setup, you can invest in either a stand-up microphone or one that clips onto your shirt.
- Camera Stand: You’ll need something to hold your camera or phone in place during your recording. Nothing screams “unprofessional” more than a video that’s bouncing around (unless that’s your intent).
- Editing Software: You’ll find that some vloggers upload their videos unedited. While that may be great for some, it’s best to purchase video editing software to make it easier on yourself and to uphold your professional appearance. Editing software will also allow you to add subtitles and other effects which have become a staple of modern professional videos.
- Positioning: Ideally, you’ll want to make sure your camera is at eye level. Make sure it’s not positioned too far away (making it feel more like a lecture), or too close (making it feel like a FaceTime call.)
With these basic items, you can set up a solid filming station and feel satisfied with your results.
Go the Extra Mile
Although these are the typical items you’ll need to start vlogging, you don’t have to stop there. There are hundreds of gadgets out there that can help you accomplish your vlogging wants and needs. Consider adding these gadgets to your arsenal:
- Wind Muffler: If you’re going to film outside a lot, this keeps audio sounding crisp. The furry windscreen blocks out distant noises and controls vocal levels. The audio typically turns out a lot quieter, but a little video editing can adjust the sound exactly how you want it.
- Drone: Looking for cool shots? A drone can capture large events or film unique angles that you couldn’t recreate with your own hands. Depending on the model, you can program the drone to execute specific functions to fulfill your filming needs.
- GoPro: Some vlogs are full of adventure. If you want to film your backpacking trips or bike rides, a GoPro can catch those incredible moments in action. These hands-free cameras have great video quality and are exceptionally durable.
If you’d like to experiment with more equipment, do some research to find out what you need. Check out reviews and ratings to pick the best gadgets with the best quality and price.
4. Get Practicing
Now that you have your equipment, put your vlog ideas into action. It’s a good idea to do a few dry runs before shooting your first video. You don’t have to worry about perfecting it, but you should make sure you can get through it with very few “ums” and “you know what I mean” breaks.
Also, since you’re just learning how to start a vlog, you can use a notepad or cards that can help you stay on topic and ensure you cover everything you had in mind. If you’re using notes, be sure to monitor how frequently you look at them and for how long.
If you’re not used to being on camera, that’s okay! Take it slow. Try to avoid talking too fast or showing nervous ticks. Start building up that confidence, even if that means talking in front of a mirror first or imagining people you trust watching you.
Get advice from others who are more familiar with vlogging. Here are a few suggestions from TechSmith on how to look and do your best on camera:
- Improve your posture.
- Know where to look (try looking directly or just above the camera).
- Smile and be yourself.
- Schedule enough time to film.
- Remember that you’re human, and it’s okay to make mistakes.
As you prepare yourself to be on camera, try to be genuine. You have specific strengths, funny quirks and a unique sense of humor. People want to know who you are! Spend less time worrying, and more time practicing. Over time, you can feel comfortable and confident as you vlog.
5. Get an Account
Whether you’re creating a new YouTube channel or social media account or need to update an existing one, make sure the design aligns with your vlog’s brand. The colors you use are vital. For example, if your vlog is promoting healthy living, it’s best to use bright, vivid colors over darker, more muted tones.
As you find the right design and messaging that fits your niche, remember that brand consistency is important. The videos, words and design you use need to line up with your brand or image that you are creating for yourself. The more consistent a brand is, the more likely followers are going to develop loyalty and trust in your channel.
Although you may not know what your account will look like yet or become, start getting a general idea of what your messaging and design will be. As you follow that, viewers will start to recognize you and the specific factors that define your vlog.
6. Get Your Timing Right
Understanding your audience is a major part of learning how to start a vlog. They, along with your topic, will help determine how frequently you post videos. A gaming vlog can have multiple posts in a week, but that may not be ideal for other topics where the audience may need time to digest and implement the ideas you share.
And depending on the effort you put into your videos, you may need more time to put them together. Deciding how often to post depends a lot on your own capability. If this is a new hobby, you may feel inclined to keep vlogging stress at a minimum.
Once you pick a frequency that works, stick to it. This will help you gain a following and build more loyalty in followers. Edgy suggests posting on weekdays from 2-4 p.m. as these times are when most internet users spend their time online.
Just as important as the frequency of vlogging you do is the length of your recordings. Statistics show that most videos that get watched in their entirety last two minutes or less. Of course, there are some vlogs that go on for 30 minutes or more. However, depending on your topic, you can expect folks to drop off anywhere between six and 12 minutes. This is where vlog editing can come in handy to help you take the meat of your vlog content and whittle it down into something more consumable.
7. Get Moving!
As with most new endeavors, figuring out how to start a vlog can be a bit intimidating. However, once you get started, you’ll quickly realize that it’s not as bad as you thought. The truth is that once you get moving, you’ll get better as you go. Get started today! Think of some vlog topics, get filming equipment and begin practicing.
Start Your Vlog Today
If you have a desire to start a vlog, now is the time to do it. There has never been a bigger market for vloggers. Start brainstorming and get your voice out there. The capabilities, experiences and opinions you have can inspire hundreds, thousands or even millions of people out there.
Have any more great tips on how to start a vlog or keep it going? Please leave them below!
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