Vlogging as a mean of hobby or profession has garnered a lot of popularity over the last few years. The unprecedented success of vloggers such as Logan Paul, Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson, and James Charles has taken everyone by surprise. Some of the top vloggers in the world are earning in millions. Yes, you heard that right. It is not a typo. Therefore, if you are wondering how these people manage to pull off as a vlogger or how to start vlogging in 2020, we have you covered.
The following is a comprehensive guide containing some absolutely genuine vlogging tips for beginners. The article will also discuss how to start vlogging on YouTube and become an influencer in your area of specialty.
What is a Vlog?
Before we talk about how to start vlogging, it is necessary to explain what actually a vlog is. As you may have already guessed, the word vlog is a combination of two words that are blog and video. A vlog is simply a video in which a person documents his hobbies, experiences, or personal life as a whole. You need to keep in mind that vlog is a blog in the video format. However, a person records his opinions, interests, and thoughts, specifically for publishing the video on the internet.
Vlogging is one of the biggest methods to enhance your social media presence. Nothing can come close to a viral YouTube video when you are looking to get people’s attention. Vlogging is a brilliant method of self-promotion regardless of your purpose of becoming a vlogger.
The best thing about vlogging is that you don’t need any experience to start. Just pick up your camera, record a video and upload it on YouTube. It is a process of constant experimentation and you will learn with time. Don’t try to be perfect right from start. Just give vent to your ideas even if your first video is a clumsy, shaky, and dark one. The best way forward is to constantly change and tweak your vlogging style. You need to adapt according to changing industry standards and requirements of your viewers. This is what some of the vloggers mentioned above do. You just have to ensure that your content is relevant, consistent and interesting.
It is always exciting to start a new vlog. But, you must keep a few things in mind before you impatiently get on the bandwagon yourself.
Important Tips for Vlogging to Consider
The following are some of the most important tips for vlogging to consider and implement if you want to create a successful vlog of your own.
1. Take Inspiration from Successful Vloggers
Before you do anything, it is imperative to take inspiration from some of the most successful vloggers in the world. Choose two to three vloggers of your choice. Examine their vlogging habits, behavior, and style for at least two weeks. Try to learn how they choose their ideas, arrange their content, and keep their viewers engaged throughout the video. Figure out what is so special about them. What are the reasons they are so popular and exciting for people? However, never try to copy them otherwise you won’t have a style of your own. You can find a lot of vlogging ideas and learn how to start vlogging by studying these vloggers.
2. Pick Your Vlogging Theme
Once you have a good idea of what works for pros and what are some of the topics they regularly vlog about, it is time to pick your own vlogging theme. However, choosing a theme is easier said than done. Some newbies are pretty clear about it right from the bat while others require careful consideration. The rule of thumb is to choose the topic you have complete authority on. It should be a topic you can speak confidently about. For example, you can choose biking as your main vlog theme if you have a genuine interest in it.
There are thousands of vloggers in the world uploading new videos on YouTube every single day. It is difficult for a newbie to make a name for himself among such a vast ocean of vloggers. However, it can also be a blessing in disguise. You can spare some time to study what they are doing. As mentioned above, it will give you a lot of tips for vlogging. However, it is essential to make your theme unique and stand out from the crowd if you want people to know you exist.
3. Choose a Name for Your Vlog
This is perhaps the most important factor to consider when you decide to start your vlog. You need a catchy name for your vlog. Most vloggers opt for fun and quirky names for their vlogs. It becomes easier for people to remember such names instead of cliché titles. The name of your vlog can contain many things including your main theme, your name as well as your country’s or city’s name. Or, it could be totally random. The choices are limitless. Ensure that the name does provide some insight into what you are vlogging about. This is the only way to attract more subscribers.
4. Identify Your Audience
You cannot possibly create a vlog if you haven’t identified your audience yet. Think who the people you want to vlog about are. For example, travel enthusiasts are your audience if you are a travel vlogger. If you are a chef, you should focus your vlog on people who love cooking. Then, there are many different types of travel vloggers. Some vloggers only vlog about air travel. Other vloggers are passionate road travelers. Therefore, you should narrow down your audience according to your passion and vlog theme. It will also make it easier for you to choose the initial vlog ideas without any hassle.
5. Select Your Presentation Style
One of the best tips for vlogging someone can give you is to choose your own vlogging style. You can present the same content in a million different ways. For example, you can show the beauty of a place without appearing on the screen yourself. Or, you can appear on the camera and explain everything you are recording using your face and hand gestures. The style you choose is entirely up to you. You can appear on camera if you feel confident about it. If not, just rely on your technical skills and camera quality to deliver your message. There are many channels, such as CGP Grey, where the creators never appears on screen yet they have millions of subscribers.
Creating a YouTube Channel
6. Create Your YouTube Channel
All the vloggers in the world must have a YouTube channel and you are no different. Therefore, create your YouTube channel at the earliest if you haven’t created one yet. It only takes a few minutes to create one and it is free as well.
“Make sure to pick a memorable channel name. Design Wizard’s “YouTube Channel Names For Your New Account” is a great guide on how to come up with a great YouTube channel name idea.”
It is also possible to customize the YouTube channel. For example, you can transfer some or all of your Google+ profile such as your name and photo to your Youtube channel. Secondly, you can also customize features like channel’s cover photo, the About section, channel tips, and links to other websites and social media profiles.
The following video explains how to start vlogging on YouTube
If you are finding it difficult to create a YouTube channel, take help from the following video.
7. Familiarize Yourself with YouTube
It is necessary to understand how YouTube works otherwise you will only indulge in wild goose chase. Even some of the biggest companies have failed to excite their audience with their content. They take it for guaranteed that their videos will get viral without understanding the ins and outs of YouTube. The lack of knowledge regarding this platform can result in your videos falling into obscurity and never to be seen again.
You should spare enough time to understand how YouTube works. Use YouTube’s search engine and find what kinds of videos come up related to your topic. Study different but successful channels. Find what keywords and thumbnails they are using. Successful vloggers also promote each other’s videos through interactive substitutes and links. And, you should learn how they do it.
Familiarize yourself with all the features of YouTube and remember them on your fingertips. This is the only way to achieve success on this wonderful platform. It is the tiniest details that make a real difference in the long run. Learning how they work will give you all the knowledge and a decisive edge you need to succeed in this crowded field.
8. Convert Your Channel into a Brand
Now that you have learned how to start vlogging on YouTube, you should strive hard to convert the channel into your brand. One of the best advice someone can give you is to separate your personal viewing YouTube account from your professional vlogging channel. By doing this, you will be able to maintain your brand identity. More importantly, any of your activity on your personal account will not ruin your hard work on your professional one.
Building a brand also takes some time. Even successful YouTubers engage in strategic branding throughout all of their videos even after years of creating their channel. For instance, most vloggers has an attractive banner photo. Similarly, their profile photos clearly illustrate what their channel is all about. They also put links to all other social media accounts in their video description.
These details look small but they grant a much need legitimacy to your account. People will not consider your channel as fake even if you haven’t uploaded any videos yet. Keep everything as simple as possible. Only include media of the highest quality in your videos if you want to catch the attention of your target audience. Refrain from adding cheap photoshopped images and flashy graphics. Stick to the latest marketing standards. Remember that your channel is a platform to announce your next content and use it as such.
Filming Your First Vlog
9. Be Confident
It is a cumbersome task to speak in front of the camera even if you are oozing with confidence. It is better to practice all you can before recording your video if the camera is creating hurdles for you. Do as many practice runs and retakes as possible. It will take a lot of time and effort but it will help you tackle your nerves. After all, you don’t want to stumble your words or feel rushed. If you do, you will simply leave your audience confused and wondering what you have just said. Practice hard and long and everything will fall into place.
10. What about the Script?
Should you write script for your videos or not? It is a matter of personal preference. Some experts vote in favor of having a script while others don’t. On the other hand, some vloggers cannot explain their point of view spontaneously and do need a script.
There is no need for a script if you want to sound natural instead of a commentator in your vlog. However, do write down specific sentences that you think can have a greater impact on your audience. They will also prevent you from deviating from the main topic. Scripting is especially important for people who find it difficult to face the camera or cannot stay on topic for too long. For that matter, my personal opinion is that you should write everything down beforehand while you are still learning how to make a vlog. Some people do find it unneeded and rather difficult to write a script for their vlog.
11. Don’t Overthink
Planning is obligatory but don’t overthink. Planning too much will only confuse you and put unnecessary doubts in your mind. As mentioned above, just start recording your vlog and give vent to your ideas without worrying much the results. Being spontaneous means you will appear as a person not a robot to your viewers.
12. Sound should be Good
Good sound is always synonymous with a good video. Excellent sound quality helps you clearly explain everything to your viewers. It is important to get the best possible vlogging camera or lens for your videos but investing in a good microphone is equally important. An expensive DSLR will make you look glamorous but it is not the best approach. People will always tolerate a video with good sound even it has poor video. But, they will reject a video with crisp and sharp visuals but poor sound. Some experts even suggest picking a microphone every time if you have to decide between a microphone and a camera because of your limited budget.
The two main types of microphones you can choose from are shotgun microphones and lavalier microphones. You can clip the latter to your shirt or color because they are very small. They deliver great sound by allowing you to record very close to your mouth.
Shotgun microphone resembles tubes and they are not as exciting as they sound. However, they reject sounds from all directions other than the direction you are pointing them to. They are not suitable for recording vocals only but they are much more versatile than their lavalier counterparts.
13. Picking the Right Camera
The first thing that flashes in the mind of a new vlogger when he thinks about how to start vlogging is to purchase the most expensive vlogging camera there is. High quality video blogging equipment does considerably improve your videos without any doubt. However, lack of a good camera should not stop you in your tracks or stall your progress.
Understandably, not everyone can afford C920/HD webcam, a DSLR or an expensive smartphone. If you don’t have means to buy any of these things, you need not worry. Vlogging with iPhone is indeed fashionable but if you don’t have an iPhone, it is not the end of the world. What if told you that you don’t have to put 1080p or 60fps of your face in the video.
An average camera is perfect for vlogging as long as the video does not seem like a potato. On most occasions, anything at 360p or above is acceptable. Most smartphones currently available in the market offer at least 720p of video resolution which is more than enough. Therefore, you can easily use your phone for creating your vlog. It struggles to stay in place but it will do the job for you.
Lighting conditions can make or break your vlog. A combination of a mediocre camera and excellent lighting will always win the competition against the best possible camera and poor lighting. Some of the biggest YouTubers or vloggers nowadays employ softbox lighting technique. Another very popular choice among them is placing a light behind or around their camera. This particular setup is usually referred to as ring lighting. But, not everyone has the means to afford such an apparatus. It is entirely up to you to find the best lighting in your house but never think about creating a vlog in the bathroom.
You can also gather all the lamps and lights in your house and put them to good use. An important rule to follow is to avoid dark shadows but try not to light your house like a shopping mall. The type of lighting you get for your vlog depends upon your house, video equipment you have, and how you set everything up.
15. Vlog Length
When you start learning how to start vlogging, the first thing someone will tell you is to keep your videos short. A popular but unreliable rule is shorter the video, more likely people are to finish it provided your video is interesting enough in the first place.
However, there is no hard and fast rule about how long a vlog should be. It can be only 30 seconds or it can span over an hour. A shorter video is more likely to grab the audience’s attention. You should never worry about random people’s expectations and fully explain your point no matter how long it takes.
One way of keeping your video to optimal length is to stay on your topic (refer to point number 6). Just try to describe “why” you have created this video and never beat about the bush. People will lose interest if you start talking about the marriage of your third cousin if you are filming about a railroad trip in Thailand. You can always include a drift off but it must relate to something your audience is interested in.
16. Picking the Right Place to Record Your Vlog
The choice of the place to record your video matters a lot. You need to consider this factor every time you create a vlog. You have to pay special attention to this aspect while creating your first vlog.
Bear in mind that some vloggers make the location of their first vlog the backdrop for all of their videos. Therefore, you have to choose wisely if you are thinking on these lines. You can maintain consistency by recording all your videos at the same place. This rule does not apply to travel vloggers for obvious reasons. In this regard, how the location will look on camera and its practicality are the two factors you must consider while making the final decision. In general, the location you choose should be tranquil with a plain background and plenty of natural light.
The ideal location, in my opinion, is an indoor location where you can easily control noise levels and lighting. Similarly, the outdoor weather will never even bother you as well. Also, ensure that there is no distraction and clutter in the background. You must take the center stage in your video.
17. Physical Presentation
Your turnout while filming the video should be impeccable. You can introduce yourself to the world with a bang by maintaining a strong and flawless look. People will move away if you are dressed shabbily or appear on the screen as you have just woken up. You should also dress up according to the theme of your video. You should look authoritative if you are explaining a scientific topic. On the other hand, it is better to look friendly if you are a travel vlogger or solving a tech problem related to Windows 10. In short, you should be presentable enough no matter what kind of video you are filming.
If you are learning how to start vlogging these days, you must also have learned about the importance of introducing yourself the right way. The introduction part should not linger on and on. Keep the introduction short, concise, and sweet. Avoid boring people to their core by talking too much about yourself. The introduction should only inform people who you are, the purpose of making the video, and what the viewers are going to see. Even that should not take more than a couple of minutes.
The following video beautifully explains how to make a vlog intro.
19. Approach and Tone
You should also pay special attention to your approach and tone. Should I use technical terms in this video? Is it safe to use a specific phrase or word or will the audience understand it? Should I speak slowly or pick up the speed as the video goes on? Should I sound authoritative or friendly to the viewers? How much content I can include in the video if I have limited time available?
You have to answer all these questions when it comes to determining what should be your tone and approach in the video. Bid farewell to all the useless jargon and phrases which can be confusing for your audience. Always use familiar and simple terminology and you are good to go. And, never forget to smile.
Some other Considerations
20. Engage Your Audience
One of the biggest benefits of vlogging is that you can connect as a person to your viewers. You can easily engage your audience and interact with them by asking their opinion and views about your vlog. Ask them questions like what they want you to include in the next vlog. Similarly, responding to their comments on your vlog will only make them feel valued and connected.
21. Choose a Unique Personal Phrase for Yourself
Apart from interacting with your audience, you must also personalize your vlogs. The easiest method of accomplishing this task is to choose a unique personal phrase for yourself. All the successful vloggers have such a phrase they use to sign off their videos. Therefore, you should also have a unique and interesting phrase you can use to end your video.
22. Beware of Copyright Issues
Copyright issues can create quite a lot of problems for you. Therefore, you should always include original content in your vlogs. By extra careful while adding third party content in your vlog as it may be copyright protected. Always take due permission before using copyrighted video clips or music. It is advisable to contact the person or company that owns the content and inquire if you have to mention their name in the vlog.
The situation can get very grave if you infringe on copyright material. First of all, YouTube can suspend or even terminate your account. Secondly, you may have to fight a legal battle with the content owner which you don’t want to do at the beginning of your vlogging journey.
Editing Your Vlog
23. How to Edit Your Vlog
Once you have created a video, it is time to edit it to make it more presentable and interesting for your viewers. Editing is one step that seems very daunting to the beginners. However, you can master the art of editing a video after a little learning. It is, in fact, the most important and rewarding skill you have to learn.
If you are finding it hard to learn how to edit a vlog or use editing software, I recommend watching some helpful videos on Youtube. Taking help from the pros themselves will go a long way in becoming a successful vlogger yourself.
24. Choosing the Right Editing Software
What puts new vloggers off is the choice of editing software. Professional software are very, very costly. On the other hand, most free licenses just don’t cut it. However, there are numerous cheap alternatives such as Windows Movie Maker and Virtual Dub that you can use. Each of these programs has different features and functions. As such, different programs are suitable for people with different levels of knowledge. Some are perfect for advanced users while others easily meet the requirements of novice vloggers.
Most vloggers who go for cheap software choose Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. However, YouTube’s own editor is a highly useful yet underrated video editing software. However, all these editors have one thing in common. They make video editing as easy, quick, and simple as possible. These free software are more than enough for 90% of vloggers. After all, you want to narrate the story as clearly and simply as possible instead of demonstrating your editing techniques.
You can also purchase the paid software once you have developed a larger audience and start making money from your vlog. In this regard, here is the list of all the free software you can use. But, there are also many paid and thus, more advanced software to consider.
Optimizing the Vlog
25. Optimize Your Vlogs
After creating your vlog, you must optimize your video both for people and search engines. An optimized video will help you bring a lot of traffic to your vlog and website if you have any. You can make your vlog visible to more people by optimizing your videos. Optimizing videos against a specific keyword or two enables your vlog to appear higher in YouTube’s search rankings as well.
The following are some of the optimization tips to implement.
- The title of your video should contain the main keyword.
- Never forget to add a video description. The description may contain a how-to list in case of a tutorial or product details in case you are explaining the features of a product or service. You can also include an introduction if you are talking about a person or a story.
- Include an attractive thumbnail for all the videos.
26. Make Your Vlog Interesting
It is not enough to learn how to make a vlog. Your vlog has to be interesting as well. Remember that people will only watch your vlog if it manages to entertain them. Therefore, it is imperative that your vlogs are more interesting and exciting than others vloggers.
Everyone has different criteria when it comes to interesting vlogs but the following are general considerations.
- Be original. Don’t do things thousands of other vloggers are doing. It will make it difficult for you to stand out from the crowd.
- Look interesting to others. Always appear enthusiastic and energetic. Try to tell interesting things and smile regularly in your vlogs. If there is a single moment in which you look lethargic, sad, or bored, people will lose interest.
- Do interesting things. What do you mean by that? You don’t need to jump like a grasshopper. By interesting things mean don’t sit on your sofa all day long. Try to change your shooting location. Go outside, meet new people, find some scary sights, or a beautiful place to record your vlogs.
How to Promote the Vlog?
27. Promoting Your Blog
If you have come this far in your journey then congratulations. Now, you have learned how to start vlogging. It is a remarkable job, to say the least. But, you should not rest on your laurels. Creating your vlog is one thing but promoting it is totally another story. Believing in the notion that people will come once you have created your video is outright silliness. You need to promote your blog if you have spent time creating it.
It takes plenty of time, effort, energy, and more importantly, dedication to promote your vlog. You cannot simply have one million subscribers in a fortnight. You have to work hard to reach that coveted milestone. The desired results are only possible if you put some effort into your promotion and be patient.
28. Connect with Other Vloggers
One of the first steps you should take when it comes to promoting your vlog is to connect with other vloggers. The easiest method to start a conversation with people and make new connections is to comment on videos of other vloggers who make videos relevant to your vlog’s theme. Such vloggers already have an audience that is interested in the type of videos you upload on your vlog. By making friends with other vloggers, you can attract a lot of people from their vlog to your vlog.
One thing you should avoid is spamming their videos. Restrict yourself to sparking a genuine and interesting conversation with your comments.
29. Share Your Content on Social Media
Another brilliant method to share your message and promote your vlog is to upload your videos on social media. Share your videos on all the social media platforms you use including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In fact, social media can help you find a large number of viewers for your vlog only if you manage to use it properly.
30. Build an Audience
We cannot emphasise this point enough. Building the audience that frequently comes back to your vlog and watches your videos is gold. It is even better if they are fully engaged in your vlog and regularly leave feedback and comments. This is also a great way of building your reputation on YouTube. On top of that, your videos will end up in the “recommended videos” section, helping you get even more viewers.
With this, we conclude our guide about how to start vlogging. Concluding, we must say that you have to put some effort, show some dedication, and keep going if you want to become a successful vlogger. There is no shortcut to success and the same is the case with vlogging.