How to Start a Video Blog
A Step by Step Dummy Proof Guide
Every blogger gets a thought of making their own blog once in a while. Video blogging is the new age method of reaching to the masses and driving more traffic towards your site. Video blogging, also known as Vblogging, helps build and maintain personal connections with site visitors more than any other form of blogging.
I bet you’re now ready to take the thought beyond a thought. In this article I will guide you on how to set up your video blog from scratch. I don’t discriminate; I will make it as simple as possible to cater for those peeps who have no knowledge of coding or web design. Buckle up, we are going vblogging.
How to start your own Video Blog in 3 Easy Steps
Do you know a thing or two about computers? Check. Can you browse the internet for half an hour without asking for assistance? Check. Then you can have your video blog up and running within half an hour. The following is a three-step guide on how to set up your own video blog and a video tutorial to give a hands on experience…
1. Choose and Buy Your Domain
Your domain name (also referred to as a URL or web address) is you. It is your video blog. It is your online identity. Since the domain name will be your brand, make it simple, easy to remember and recognizable. A good domain name should be something like www.videopedia.com.
You will want to have a domain name with either a .com or .net extension. Why? Visitors will find it easy to remember plus, the browsers always auto-completes them for the lazy guys, like everyone on the internet. I know of these guys called BlueHost who give you a free Domain name just for buying their hosting package (I will preach this gospel next)…
2. Sign Up for Hosting
A web host is what keeps your blog live, and the performance of your blog will mostly depend on the quality of the hosting provider you choose. And since I have decided to play Santa today, I will tell you about the greatest host provider I have come across on the internet; BlueHost (I bet you guessed that right). I always recommend Bluehost for hosting because:
1. It is so easy to use
2. Signing up takes just moments
3. You get a free domain once you purchase a hosting package
4. They offer excellent 24/7 customer support if needed
5. It gives you all the space you need to store your videos and other media files
6. Their service is also very affordable so you don’t need to invest much at all to get your video blog up and running.
[Disclosure] BlueHost gives me a small commission for my referral and it doesn’t add anything to your cost. This helps me continue to provide lots of free information for bloggers.
3. Install WordPress
Spoiler: You can now call yourself a proud video blog owner after this step. Finally, you need to install WordPress on your BlueHost control panel. WordPress is the software that powers your website. It dictates the physical appearance of your website and the kind of information you can have on your website. For BlueHost, installing WordPress is just a simple click away.
I’ve found that it is easier to follow these steps if you can actually see them being done. With this in mind, I’ve created a simple video that will walk you through each of these steps so you can see how it is done yourself. Watch this video, and then follow the link, which will bring you to BlueHost where you can purchase your domain and hosting.
Tips for the Beginner Video Blogger
Okay, before you go bragging about your newly created video blog to the world, I would like to give you a few words that will make sure you don’t get embarrassed. Below I have compiled some few tips that will ensure your video blog is world class.
- YouTube is not a video blog
YouTube may be the undisputed king of internet videos (with around 72 hours of footage uploaded every sixty seconds) but it doesn’t make you a brand. The notion of ‘follow where others lead’ makes it a tempting offer, however, the problem with the popularity of YouTube is that you don’t get to ‘own’ it. You don’t dictate the theme, you can’t run your own Ads and other bureaucratic restrictions
- Content is key
Well, I assume you have already chosen a niche of your video blog (product reviews, tutorials, or simply a personal update blog) but what will you say in the video? Assuming you decide to do gadget reviews (I would have chosen this), will you be reviewing the Nokia 1110, that is no longer in stock, or will you be reviewing the just released Lumia 935? Find out what people want and give it to them.
- Keep it short. Cut the chase
Ideally, a video blog post should be less than ten minutes long. If you are doing longer than that, I hope it is a TV series you are producing (just kidding). In case the topic you are blogging about cannot fit within that time frame, you can separate it into two video blogs. Alternatively, you can pair the blog with interesting texts. If you ignore my advice and do a 30 minute video blog, it better be quite something otherwise that would be the last 30 minutes your visitors ever watch.
- Don’t bring a gun in a pillow fight
If you are blogging to bankers, don’t appear in a football jersey. Wear a suit and perhaps be straight-laced. Think about who your prospective visitors are, and make the necessary arrangements. A good way is to look at the people who are contributing to your posts.
- Promote your blog
Everyone who knows you should know you have a video blog. You can make this possible by Adding your blog URL to your email signature (your email contacts; check), social profiles (your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest friends; check), forum profiles and signatures (every other person on the internet; check)
Best Free & Paid WordPress Themes for your Video blog
If you want to really show off your amazing video blog, you’ll have to get a good WordPress theme. I found a whole bunch of video WordPress themes I know you will love.
Stumblr is a super minimalist Tumblr-styled theme ideal for video blogging. It adopts the Tumblr’s micro-blogging feel making it a perfect theme for posting quick videos from your smart phone. Stumblr also comes with two color schemes and a customizable widgetized sidebar so you can add your social media details.
Socially Awkward is modern with its responsive CSS3 and HTML5 media design. It has a single column layout that puts the emphasis on your content. You can also configure your social media accounts on this theme.
Wright is a perfect for a sleek design video-blog or video portfolio. With this theme you can use both self host or embed video clips with ease. This theme is loaded with great features that make it a great video blogging theme.
Shine bright like a diamond. Shiner is a simple, but a perfect parallax theme. It supports both self hosted and embedded videos. With its google font integration, you will find it as a useful modern theme.
Divi is one of the most impressive themes to come along in the last few months. Divi is a true multipurpose theme, with tons of layouts and features included. I think you’re going to love just about everything about this theme, the functionality, the design, the support from Elegant Themes and best of all, the price.
Recommended WordPress Plugins for Video Blogs
WordPress Plugins allow you to add custom features and abilities to your blog. The following are some of the most essential options for anyone who is looking to start a Video focused blog:
- TubePress – Allows you to embed YouTube and Vimeo videos into your blog. You can choose to display your YouTube channel, playlists or other random videos sorted by tags
- Contus Video Gallery – Creates a professional video gallery page on your video blog. It supports FLV, MP3, MP4, M4V, M4A, MOV, Mp4v and F4V.
- Responsive Video Embeds –Auto resizes embedded videos for a perfect fit
- Video Gallery – The plugin supports loading your ads in the type of YouTube, video or image before the video plays.
- WP-Backgrounds II – Adds full screen background image/video/YouTube video slideshow into your blog.
Great Video Blogs to Network With and Be Inspired By
You are going nowhere if you are not ready to take on and outwit the competition. To get inspiration and trigger your creative mind, here are five video blogs you should consider looking at:
- Freedomedia | The Blog of Josh Wolf – This blog site is simple, powered by WordPress and won the Vloggies (the People’s Choices) Award for best blog site.
- Galacticast – An entertainment video blog with loyal following and a dedicated staff. Updated regularly and has some nice plugins.
- Yourstru.ly– Well this blog doesn’t have a .com nor .net domain but the domain rhymes and is very easy to remember. It is run by young people and it will give you some great insight when it comes to content.
- Diggnation -This a weekly tech review and cultural show that is hosted by Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose. Good insight to help you with your confidence.
- Blip.TV – this is an interactive video hosting blog that lets other users upload their own creative work
It is without doubt that videos are an amazing way of reflecting your thoughts and ideas to your site visitors. Sell your personality in each of your vlog posts. Form a bond with your viewers, and who knows, you might be a one-man media house!
Now, we have finally reached the end of our video blogging guide (sobs), I hate to end this guide, but I want to give you time to go and market your video blog. However, I have decided to play Santa permanently. If you want to stay up to date with all my latest tips and tricks about blogging in general, as well as video specific blogging, please consider signing up for my free newsletter. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive occasional emails with valuable information.