How To Start a Vlog: 7 Simple Tips
How To Start a Vlog: 7 Simple Tips
On a mission 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. However, we know that it 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.
One of the best aspects of vlogging is that there’s no one way to do it. Experiment until you find the style that sticks, and then switch things up to keep your audience engaged as your relationship progresses.
Before you fire up your laptop and start recording yourself, there are a few 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 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 bloggers. Do a search on topics that interest you and spend some 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?
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 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. 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.
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. 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 on to 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.)
4. Get Practicing
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, it’s a great idea to 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.
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.
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.
Just as important as the frequency 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.
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 scary thoughts go away once you get moving, and you’ll get better as you go.