What You Need to Start Vlogging
So you wanna blog, but writing is not your thing…
Let’s talk about what you need to start vlogging!
Yes! Instead of a blog, you can start a vlog.
If you don’t like to write, and prefer “talking with your hands” over typing on a keyboard, you should consider vlogging instead.
The word vlog is short for video blog. Which means most of the content on the vlog is in video form.
This could be a perfect fit if writing doesn’t excite you, but talking does!
You can get your message out to the world using very little writing. Just start vlogging instead!
Let’s look at what you need to get going…
What You Need to Start Vlogging
Of course, I’m going to recommend starting off with your own website. No surprise there.
It’s not in my nature to advise you to start vlogging with only a YouTube channel and no website of your own, because I’ve seen too many people lose all their work that way.
At any time, YouTube can take down your channel on their platform. They are not even legally required to give you a reason why.
Too many people have lost all of their content overnight, with little or no explanation given.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t use YouTube at all…I use YouTube.
I just don’t use it as a standalone platform.
So, the first step to start vlogging is…
Step 1: Start a Blog
You can use a WordPress blog to share all your videos. Of course, you’ll want to include good hosting with that blog, and I can help you get this started in 20 minutes.
This way, you OWN this online real estate, and nobody can take this away from you (unless your content is illegal.)
Then, you can go to YouTube and…
Step 2: Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube will help you get viewers, but with your own website, you can place links on your account that take people to an opt-in form, so you can build an email list (another thing YouTube can’t take away from you.)
Ideally, you’ll want to upload your videos on both your website and the YouTube channel. If you do embed your YouTube videos onto your website, just keep in mind if your YT channel goes down, the embedded videos on your site will also stop working, so it’s best to directly upload videos to your website.
Now you’re ready to get started creating videos.
Step 3: Choose What Video Equipment You Want to Use
With today’s smartphones, you don’t need to start out vlogging with a high priced camera.
Myself, along with many people who create video content, use their iPhone or Android phone to film their videos. It gets the job done with quality results. In fact, you can shoot professional-quality video on your iPhone if you know how.
As you grow, you can always upgrade to a better vlogging camera along with a boom microphone, tripod, lightening, etc. Stuff that will definitely take your videos to another level, but still, these are not necessary for initial success.
Once your equipment is set, you can then begin the fun part…
Step 4: Prepare the Vlog
The best thing to do is put some planning and thought into your videos.
“Winging it” is not the best way to start out. If you are a subject expert and able to talk all day, you still need to at least think about the presentation: where is the best location for the video to be shot? What will you wear? Will you add any music to the video?
If you need to write a script first, that’s fine, as long as you don’t read from it when the camera is live…in other words, try to use keywords or spend some time memorizing, because reading from a teleprompter can come across as boring or inauthentic.
A few simple key phrases can help you recall what you are going to talk about from start to finish. Having an outline in front of you or behind the camera can prevent you from “spacing out” or rambling off topic.
Another good way to prepare for vlogging is to watch some of the most successful vloggers out there and take notes on what they’re doing.
Here are a few I recommend that have built ginormous audiences:
And this guy does all his videos on his phone–everything, including editing and posting: Jamie Dlux
Step 5: Film the Vlog
When you are set on what you want the vlog to look like, it’s time to start recording.
Vlogging Pro has a handy post called 31 Vlogging Tips for Beginners you can check out…
Here are the first three tips:
1. Set A Goal
If you want to be successful in vlogging it’s important to set a goal. If you don’t know what you want to achieve with your vlogs you don’t know the steps you need to take to get there.
What is it that you want to accomplish with your vlogs? Do you want to get over your camera shyness, get better at video editing or do you want to reach 10.000 subscribers and get sponsorships?
Set a few small short-term goals and some bigger long-term goals so you know what you are working towards and can adjust when necessary.
2. Find Your Passion
A lot of people are creating vlogs based on what they think will get the most views. This is a huge mistake which will prevent you from ever becoming a popular vlogger! You can try to fake enthusiasm at first but after a few vlogs your viewers will see that you don’t really like what you are doing. It will also become increasingly difficult to get yourself motivated to vlog if you have to talk about things you don’t enjoy talking about!
3. Select A Niche
Try to find a niche for your vlogs that you are passionate about, is big enough to attract viewers and subscribers and isn’t extremely competitive.
Of course your passion and your niche should overlap so you also enjoy creating videos about this topic.
Like written content, vlogs need to be entertaining as well as informative.
Being yourself is a good place to start. Branding starts with the individual who founded the brand. Your vlog will be interesting if you stick to being yourself, instead of trying to be someone else.
Authenticity is the easiest way to deliver a unique vlog.
Another point to being entertaining, compelling, or interesting with a vlog is to show some energy in your voice and body language. I read somewhere that we should be 25% more energetic on camera than how we are off camera. If you appear to be bored, or if your voice is monotone, people will tune out.
Also, the location of your video shoot is important–instead of always sitting on the same couch, try going out to scenic or interesting locations.
Step 6: Editing the Vlog
After recording your raw footage, you will then want to edit it down to a finished product.
There are many different video editing programs to choose from for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. As I said, some vloggers do their entire process on their phones. But you can use a desktop if you prefer.
What I use to edit video is called Camtasia Studio. It is well put together, kept up to date and is owned by Tech Smith, which does provide good customer service as well.
When you edit video, I recommend deleting the slow parts or parts that don’t contribute to the message. If you stumble on some words, feel free to edit those out.
Most vlogging experts say that shorter videos are the most effective–2 to 5 minutes. Although you can go longer, many in the industry agree that videos should normally be kept under 20 minutes. (You know those three successful YouTubers I linked to above? Notice how they all keep their videos well under 20 minutes.)
If you do want to load a video onto YouTube that is over 15 minutes, they will ask you to verify your account with your phone number.
“Export” the Finished Product
After the video is edited, you will then “render” the video, which means save it as a finished video file. Then, it is ready to be uploaded onto your website and/or YouTube.
Step 7: Promote Your Video
To help your audience grow, you will need to do more than just upload your videos onto YouTube or your own blog….you will want to promote your vlog to get more views.
I mean, if you are using Facebook, why not utilize it? You could start a business page on Facebook for your vlog, and also share the vlog on your personal profile.
Be sure to ask for Likes on Facebook, and on YouTube, encourage people to comment and subscribe, which helps your videos rank higher and appear in the YouTube “recommended” section.
Build relationships with other vloggers: as you develop relationships with other vloggers, especially in your niche or a complimentary niche, you can share one another’s vlogs–help each other out!
Step 8: Stay Enthusiastic & Vlog On!
Everyone starts at zero. You won’t jump right out the gate with thousands of views and subscribers. This is a long game. And the best way to win the long game of vlogging is to:
— set a schedule on what day and time you will be uploading videos
— Continue to make connections with other vloggers on social media. This will help you grow faster
— Keep doing it, and you will get better over time at vlogging, editing, and promoting
Step 9: Monetize
If you want to monetize, you certainly can do that over on YouTube.
However, you will want to wait until you build up a scriber base and get a decent amount of video views.
You can apply to the YouTube Partnership Program. Here are the requirements to become a partner:
- Your videos have more than 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- You need more than 1,000 subscribers.
IMPORTANT: Remember that YouTube will not allow you to monetize your videos if they include copyrighted material, and that includes music. Be sure you never use music you don’t own the rights to.
As a new blogger, maybe someone who hasn’t actually started yet, I hope this post has opened your eyes to the possibilities…you don’t have to be a writer to be a blogger.
Be a vlogger!
Keep in touch and let me know how things are going.