How to Vlog Like a Pro
If you’ve ever watched videos online, you’ve probably come across vloggers. Like bloggers, vloggers create online content that interests people in a particular niche. Whereas bloggers post written content, vloggers post video content.
Why Should You Do It?
Of course, vlogging isn’t for everyone, but it can be a really fun way to create interesting content and connect with like-minded people.
If you’ve always had an interest in making your own videos or shows, vlogging might just be the perfect medium for you to explore such hobbies.
While some people simply enjoy making videos to upload to online platforms and connect with people, some people use it as a vehicle for becoming well-known or even famous. Typically, the more views and subscribers a vlog has, the greater chance the vlogger has to not just connect with thousands of people, but also to make some money.
With all of this being said, it needs to be pointed out that very few vloggers ever become famous or even rich off of their work!
First and foremost, you should take up vlogging because it interests you and you want to share something with the world.
How Do You Start?
If you don’t have any vlogging experience, starting a vlog it might seem a bit daunting at first. The good news is that there are some steps to follow that can make it easier. Consider the following advice for getting your vlog up and running:
How to Vlog
1. Tools and Equipment
If you have a decent mid-range smartphone, you already have everything you need to make your first vlog.
As long as it can record HD video and sound, you can get started on your first vlog!
Of course, lots of vloggers invest in much more expensive equipment. If you already have a DSLR and a tripod, you can definitely up your game.
Lots of solo vloggers set up a DSLR vlogging camera on a tripod in front of them and have it set to auto-focus on them. If you want the best sound possible, you should probably also invest in a separate microphone that can attach to the DSLR.
2. Make a Plan
It might seem like most vlogs are spontaneous and in the moment, but the truth is that a lot of thought goes into the best ones before the vlogger even turns on the video camera.
If you’re going to vlog, you need to make sure you have some sort of outline or plan in mind. If you simply switch the camera on without any sort of plan, you’ll likely end up just babbling for a few minutes!
The first thing you need to do is create a plan. What will your vlog entry be about? What will you talk about? Do you need any props?
It’s also a good idea to have some sort of loosely outlined script in place so you have an idea of what you’re going to be talking about and doing. You can still be spontaneous as you vlog, but having some sort of plan in place beforehand will provide you with some confidence.
3. Do You Have a Shtick or Gimmick?
Lots of vloggers insert some kind of gimmick that makes them recognizable. Maybe you’ll wear brightly colored hats every time you vlog. Maybe you’ll have a really cool title sequence. Or maybe you’ll use certain kinds of sound and music.
The best way to get a feel for this is to watch lots of established vloggers. You’ll quickly notice that the best ones have a familiar routine and a set of gimmicks for each vlog that makes them recognizable and unique.
4. Where Will You Shoot Your Video?
Unless you’re walking around with handheld video, you’ll need a static set as your background. Just like the gimmicks you use, the background setting for your videos will become a part of your brand and your online character.
Lots of vloggers like to include props in their backgrounds. For example, board-gaming vlogs will often include a set of shelves in the background that are full of games. The key here is that it relates to your topic and becomes an integral part of your vlogging brand.
5. Think about Your Content
One thing that makes a vlog compelling and makes it more likely that people will come back for more or subscribe to your channel is if you post diverse content.
Talking about the same topic every week will only lead to boredom, both for you and your listeners. It will kill your vlog quickly, no matter how many gimmicks you use.
Make sure that you have something different to talk about each time you vlog. Fresh content is critical to the success of any online content, and when it comes to video, there’s really nowhere to hide, even if you use a lot of special effects and gimmicks.
6. Try Special Effects
Modern video editing software makes it easy even for beginners to edit their videos, and lots of apps can be found on smartphones these days. One way to make your vlog more exciting is to use special effects, like speed-ups.
This can speed up some parts of your vlog so that you can get to the point of the day’s entry. It’s also a great way to excite the eye of viewers and keep them engaged and wanting more content.
7. It’s Important to Be Yourself
Vlogging definitely isn’t for everyone, but one thing you have to be when you vlog is yourself.
Online users these days have a very low tolerance for fake personalities, so if you’re genuinely yourself when you vlog, warts and all, people will be more forgiving of any mistakes and will find you much more relatable.
The one exception to this is when you have created an interesting online persona for your vlogging exploits. This might be some gimmick that has turned into a character, for example. Even though it may not be genuinely you in these cases, if you’re consistent and present this persona all the time, people will be OK with it.
8. Learn about Video Editing
You might have a lot of footage to post, but how much of that is going to be of interest to your potential viewers?
One thing you have to learn a lot about if you’re going to vlog is video editing.
The right kind of editing can transform an average video into something a lot more interesting.
One editing skill you should definitely learn is jump-cuts. This is when you cut out the quiet bits in your video that may not be quite so interesting to viewers, and jump between all of the interesting bits.
This kind of editing is modern and captures a real sense of energy. It’s better to post a five-minute video full of jump cuts than to post a ten-minute video where there are awkward silences and shots of you doing repetitive things on camera.
One good example of this working is in cooking vlogs. How often do you see all of the fine details, like chopping, mixing, and baking in their entirety?
You might get several jump-cut edits where you know what’s going on but you don’t have to sit through every second of it. Just remember that online video is a medium you can manipulate to make more or less exciting. It’s not real life, but an edited version of real life.
9. Learn about Marketing
These days, everyone is their own marketer online. The “vlogosphere” might be pretty saturated, but you can still make an impact and get the word out by using social media platforms. Here are some beginners vlogging tips:
When you upload your video to a platform like YouTube, always fill out the description area in full.
Use the tag function to help people find your vlog.
In your videos, give your viewers a call to action and make sure to ask people to like and subscribe to your channel.
Remember that you can upload to more than one social media video platform to test out different features and try to get more views and subscriptions.
Remember to post a link to your latest videos on all of your social media channels so other people can click through to see what you’ve created.
10. Know Your Audience
Who are you trying to reach? What kinds of people will be interested in what you’re saying?
Answering these questions will give you a good basis for planning out your daily vlogs so you can provide content that’s interesting.
Your vlog won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s always better to have a niche audience than to try to please every single person.
How Professional Does It Need to Be?
Ultimately, vlogging is about having fun and creating content. Not everyone is going to want to produce a super professional vlog, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Having said that, it’s still important to strike a good balance between having fun and creating compelling content that people will want to watch.
The whole point of vlogging is putting content out there online and connecting with an audience of interested people. Whether you want to be famous or not is beside the point.
Vlogging, after all, is about connecting with others and keeping them interested.
Of course, it’s always vital that you have fun in the process, and this should always be your primary objective. If it stops being fun, then it might be time to move onto something else. In this sense, building an audience and creating interesting vlogs is also a big part of the fun.
So, how professional does your blog need to be? Well, the answer to that depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re creating content that looks and sounds great and has a massive audience but you’re not actually enjoying it, then what’s the point?
Some Ideas for Vlogs
There are all sorts of vlogs out there that appeal to a wide range of people. If you’re really stuck for topics, here are some great vlog ideas:
This is such a wide ranging topic that it can be pretty overwhelming. Whether you specialize and talk about one specific camera system or you write about vintage camera lenses, there’s really no shortage of topics in this area.
2. Daily vlogs
If you’re the sort of person who is quite extroverted and has a pretty active social life, vlogging about what happens to you and who you meet could be interesting to other people, especially if you make it exciting and include a few gimmicks around it.
For example, talking about your busy dating life is always a winner with an audience, but just be sure to not use the real names of your dates!
Fashion and makeup blogs have always been highly popular with audiences because they are both helpful and relatable. The same is true when these topics are translated to video blogging.
There are so many lifestyle vlogs out there already that it can be tough to make an impact, but they do lend themselves well to super quick jump-cuts and exciting editing. Just imagine jump-cuts of applying a brand new cosmetic product—It’s exciting and gets to the point quickly for the audience.
Whether you’re into video games or board games, gaming vlogs are very popular. If this is a topic you really enjoy, reviewing games is a good way to get into vlogging and also provides audiences with useful information.
Keeping It Fun
If you really want to get into vlogging, it can be a great way to connect with new people and build an audience.
Many of the best vlogs aren’t famous at all, but they still have a solid audience of people who are interested in watching compelling content.
Just remember to have fun and be yourself in front of the camera.