How to Start a Vlog the Right Way
We have produced this post on "How to Start a Vlog" as a lot of newbie vloggers don't seem to get the basics down from the start
Thousands of people try to start vlogs and only a handful are successful. Vlogging requires a lot of hard work and dedication.
It also requires that you get the following down right from the beginning:
Top notch content with the right promotion are the keys to success
You can of course just start recording and uploading but these days the competition is fierce and it is some what of a hit and miss approach.
What do you need to start a vlog?
The following vlogging tips can help point you in the right direction. Use this guide to start your first vlog and begin building your follower base.
What You'll Learn in This Post
- Niche selection
- Setting up accounts the right way
- Equipment you will need
- Film, edit and upload
- How to promote your vlog
How to Start a Vlog
Choose Your Niche and Username
Before you start vlogging and uploading videos to YouTube and other social media platforms, you should decide what you are going to vlog about.
Most vloggers focus on a niche market. They choose a topic that they know a lot about. For example, if you enjoy cooking, you may focus your vlogs on cooking tips and recipes.
After choosing the primary topic of your vlog, you should create new social media profiles. If you are serious about vlogging, you may want to have your vlog accounts separate from your personal accounts.
You also need a username for these new accounts. Short usernames are preferred. Like any brand name, your username should be memorable and easy to read. Replacing letters with numbers or using slang spelling of common words can make it harder for people to find your account or remember it.
You should also use the same username across your social media accounts. The name that you use on YouTube should match the name that you use on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Purchase an HD Vlogging Camera
You do not need a lot of equipment to create your first vlog. However, you do need an HD video camera.
While most laptops, smartphones, and tablets include cameras, they rarely provide the clarity and sharpness that you need to produce a quality video.
For your first few vlogs by all means use your phone, but purchase a small tripod for it so that you at least get a stable picture.
Once you are certain that'll vlogging is for you then you can make the decision to buy a more expensive, specialized vlog camera.
Many vloggers prefer to use DSLR cameras. These cameras now allow you to record exceptional HD footage and they typically fit in the palm of your hand. You can carry one of these cameras with you everywhere so that you are always prepared to record a segment for your vlog.
All the to brands that you would associate with photography produce great camera's for vlogging such as:
You can even use a vlog with a gopro if you are after a lot of action shots or are around water a lot.
Accessories(not all essential):
- External microphone
- Spare batteries
- Spare SD cards
Tips for Filming Your First Vlog
With your social media profiles set up, you are ready to start uploading vlogs. However, before you film a vlog, you should create an outline.
Decide what you are going to discuss or showcase in the vlog. You may even want to write a script and rehearse it several times.
If you are filming indoors, ensure that you allow plenty of natural light into the room. The soft lighting helps minimize noise, which is the static that you see when recording in poorly lit rooms.
Whether you are filming indoors or outdoors, ensure that you do not have your back to the sunlight. When you are backlit, your face or the subject becomes darker.
Edit Your Vlogs with Editing Software
Editing your video allows you to create a professional-looking vlog. Even if the video quality is not superb, a well-edited video can still perform well.
There are many free and paid video editing programs for all devices. However, you should edit your videos on a laptop, desktop, or a tablet with a large screen.
You should also pay attention to the length of the video. The average viewer only watches about two minutes of video before moving on to the next video.
Upload Your Vlog to the Internet
When you are done editing your video, you can upload it to the internet. You can upload your video everywhere. Besides YouTube, you can upload your videos to Facebook, Twitter, and your website.
Even if you do not upload your videos to every social media profile, you should promote your latest videos through every profile. Tweet about your latest vlog and include a link to your website or YouTube channel.
When uploading a video to YouTube, you have a few extra steps that you need to complete. You need to choose a title and a description.
The title and description are what people see as they scroll through YouTube. It should catch their attention and properly explain the topic of your video.
Create a Website and Monetize it(Non-essential step)
While you can upload your vlogs to social media profiles, a website can help you build your online presence. It also provides a central place for people to discover your vlog and your various social media accounts.
You can easily create a website using a free website-building platform. There are also many affordable hosting plans that include a free domain name.
Your website only needs a few pages. You should have a home page, about page, and contact page. You may also have a vlog section if you plan to upload your videos to your website.
After creating your site, you can monetize it using Google AdSense. Keep in mind that it will take a long time for you to begin earning money from ad revenue. You first need to build an audience and get people to visit your website.
How to Start a Successful Vlog
Once you have your vlog channel setup and have your first few vlogs uploaded you may be a little disappointed at the lack of views you are getting...
So what makes a vlog successful?
Great content and promoting that content is the life blood of any successful vlogThere are probably thousands of YouTube channels out there with lots of good content however most of them will never see the light of day.
Because the vlogger has failed to promote their content i.e make it known to their target audience.
So how should you go about promoting your YouTube channel ?
Probably the most important place to start out is on YouTube itself:
- Make a list of other YouTube channels in your niche
- Subscribe to their channels
- Start commenting on their video's
- Build up a rapport with them
- Promote your own video's in their comments
Just be super careful not to come across as spammy. Don't just drop your links onto a tonne of different channels and not bother to interact with them.
Always be genuine !
Websites in Your Niche
In a similar way that you commented on other vloggers YouTube channels above search online for the biggest websites in your niche and start to comment on the pages that are of interest to you.
Ideally if you can find pages that have content similar to your vlogs the it will be a much more natural fit.
Leverage the contacts you already have. Start to share your vlogs on Facebook and Instagram. Reach out to your friends and family and ask them to subscribe.
Use Online Marketing to Promote Your Vlog
After completing the steps discussed, you still need to attract viewers. People may not instantly discover your videos.
You can use common online marketing techniques to promote your vlog. Start with social media marketing.
Always use your social media accounts to announce the release of a new vlog. Just make sure that you do not bombard your followers with constant updates. Stick to one or two posts for each new video release.
You may also use your website to start building an email list. You can use the email list to grow your audience and fan base by sending out regular email newsletter updates.
If you need to boost viewership, you may try promoting your vlog through paid advertisements. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads Manager allow you to drive traffic to your videos without spending a fortune.
As you gain more subscribers on YouTube, you may gain the option to monetize your videos. You can use this option to start earning revenue from your video postings.
You also need to remain consistent. Follow a set schedule for uploading new videos to make it easier for your audience to check back for the latest vlogs.
Besides these tips, you should continue to find ways to improve your vlogging skills. Research video filming and editing techniques and explore new online marketing strategies.