Essential Knowledge for Starting Your Vlogging Journey in 2023
What is vlogging?
Vlogging, which is the video-based form of blogging, is a widely popular entertainment format commonly found on video-sharing platforms such as YouTube. While vlogs offer enjoyment, they also have the potential for educational value, emotional impact, and fostering a sense of belonging within a community. The defining characteristic of vlogs in comparison to other video formats is their focus on the content creator.
Did you know?
In April 2005, Jawed Karim, one of the co-founders of YouTube, shared the very first video on the platform. Titled “Me at the zoo,” this vlog marked the beginning of YouTube’s journey and is considered the introduction of vlogging.
Types of vlogs
Vlogs can be categorised into two main types: stationary vlogs, where the person stays in one place and talks directly to the camera, and in-motion vlogs, where the person takes the viewers along while filming their activities.
Talking-head videos involve a stationary camera where the vlogger speaks directly into it. These types of videos can include tutorials on makeup application or storytelling segments. On the other hand, “Follow me around” vlogs showcase the creators in various locations, giving viewers a glimpse into their travels.
Tips for launching a vlog
To embark on a prosperous vlog venture, it is imperative to follow these sequential guidelines:
- Choose a platform for sharing videos.
- Obtain a vlogging equipment configuration
- Discover your specific area of expertise and uncover your unique narrative.
- Expand your viewer base
Follow along with this article, and you could potentially emerge as a successful vlogger in no time!
YouTube remains the reigning champion in the realm of user-generated video content, but it is not the sole platform worthy of consideration.
Twitch, Vimeo, and Instagram are experiencing an increase in their viewership, and their audience may differ from that of YouTube. Facebook and Flickr also hold promise in terms of reaching a larger audience or experimenting with various video formats.
Tips for Generating Story Ideas for Your Vlogs
Prior to commencing, it is crucial to allocate some time to contemplate the trajectory you wish to pursue for your video blog.
Being spontaneous and authentic is crucial for success as a vlogger, but it is also essential to have a clear vision. Envisioning your ideal channel six months down the line is a valuable exercise. Take a moment to reflect and answer the following questions:
- What activities will be featured in your vlogs? Which specific types of vlogs will you create? Will you invite guests to participate? Will you primarily film in one location or will you occasionally be on the move?
- How do you plan on communicating with your audience? Are you aiming for humour, authenticity, or a consistently diplomatic approach? To what extent do you wish to establish a personal connection with your viewers? Will the content you create be suitable for all ages?
- How frequently will you be posting content? Will you be able to adhere to a consistent schedule? How much time can you dedicate each month, week, or day towards advancing your vlogging journey?
To captivate your audience with your content, it is essential for them to comprehend your identity. The crucial element here is consistency.
Knowledgeable viewers tend to subscribe to channels that consistently deliver the high-calibre content they have come to anticipate. In order to cultivate a committed and engaged audience, it is essential to produce consistently recognizable content, while also allowing for occasional variations.
Discover a specialised market segment and provide valuable offerings.
If you’re struggling to quickly gain the attention of a large audience, rest assured that you’re not alone. A simple strategy to begin is by identifying a specific topic of interest that your viewers would appreciate learning about!
Your area of expertise can encompass various areas such as hobbies, interests, professions, or even lifestyles. Even daily video blogs (vlogs) can centre around specific themes such as cooking, home improvement, family life, or stories from school, just to name a few possibilities. The options are limitless.
When you discover a subject that ignites your passion, it will radiate through the screen. Strive to offer something valuable in each vlog, whether it’s entertainment, knowledge, or a sense of community. Avoid speaking without purpose; your viewers should feel that their time spent watching you is worthwhile.
Essential Requirements for Beginning Vlogging
If you have a good understanding of the field, you don’t have to invest too much. You can start with a basic setup and consider upgrading your equipment once you have gained more expertise, made more investments, or started monetizing your vlogs. Regardless of your situation, there are some essential items you will likely need to get started.
Although smartphones nowadays can capture high-quality videos when necessary, cameras still surpass them in terms of manual controls and especially audio capabilities.
Why not take a look at the Canon M50 MKII camera. It combines the portability of a compact camera with the quality of a DSLR, is perfect for vlogging with a swivel screen, records in 4K and HD video as well as live streaming to YouTube.
Knowledgeable viewers in the year 2023 have little tolerance for shaky camera footage. To address this issue, it is recommended that you invest in a tripod, as they are reasonably priced and user-friendly.
Clear audio is essential. If you intend to speak, the most straightforward approach to recording is by using an external microphone connected to the camera’s hot shoe.
Mastering the skill of syncing sound in post-production may require some practice, but the effort is definitely worthwhile.
The amount of equipment required for lighting is dependent on the environment in which you are working.
If you’re familiar with lighting setups, you could consider using a traditional 3-point lighting arrangement consisting of a key light, fill light, and back light. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to invest in or rent professional lighting equipment.
To enhance your surroundings, you have various options available. These include utilising desk lamps, making the most of natural light, or purchasing affordable, energy-efficient LED board lights. Additionally, if you desire a more sophisticated appearance, you may want to consider using a ring light to achieve a stunning beauty effect.
If you are fortunate enough to have a setup that is positioned towards large windows and allows for recording during moments with gentle, natural lighting, consider yourself fortunate! However, it may still be beneficial to acquire a fill light or reflector to attain a refined and professional appearance. If your goal is to achieve a cinematic aesthetic, it would be advantageous to expand your knowledge on the subject of film lighting.
How to vlog
Is the camera recording? Are we set? Let the action begin!
When it’s time to begin recording, it’s important to feel alert, prepared, and enthusiastic. Prior to starting the camera, establish a personal routine, enjoy a pleasant cup of coffee, and review the structure of your planned vlog.
If you lack experience in front of the camera, it is important not to rush the process. It may take some time to feel comfortable speaking to the camera, so don’t hesitate to continue practicing. In the early stages, certain days might pose challenges, but don’t let that discourage you. Every successful vlogger had to begin from somewhere. Focus on articulating yourself clearly and maintaining consistent eye contact with the camera throughout your video. To achieve a professional appearance, apply the fundamental principles of filmmaking – after all, a vlog can be seen as a short film where you are the main character. Keep your spirits high and remember, with practice, it will become easier.
Be authentic when speaking to your audience. It is important not to pretend to be someone else, as it will come off as insincere. However, it is also crucial to note that appearing tired or timid does not convey well on camera. Present yourself as your best self, and your audience will be able to connect with your genuine personality.
Consistently establish your personal brand. Developing a logo and a channel banner is a solid initial step in visually presenting your brand. However, it is also important to consider branding during the recording process. Numerous vloggers employ catchphrases, for instance. Additionally, you can create distinctive segments or recurring characters that will contribute to shaping your persona.
Editing your vlog
Developing editing skills, much like any other skill, requires a considerable investment of time. It’s important to stay motivated and not let setbacks discourage you.
Numerous editing software options are available, including several free ones.
iMovie is readily available For Mac users, either being preinstalled on their devices or can be downloaded for free. On the other hand, Windows users can opt for Windows Movie Maker as a comparable alternative.
If you’re looking for a software that offers a wider range of capabilities while remaining user-friendly, consider exploring Adobe Premiere Elements or Pinnacle Studio.
If you’re in need of more advanced software options, consider exploring Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Sony Vegas Pro. These applications provide a higher level of functionality and features.
Repetition is key when it comes to honing your skills. Embrace experimentation without fear of failure.
Explore different arrangements, timing, and connections between your footage to discover your unique editing style, just as you would with your on-camera presence. Ensure that any music used in your vlogs is free from copyright restrictions.
Ways to gain visibility and expand your fanbase
To accelerate the growth of your channel, it is important to implement certain strategies. Although building a substantial audience requires time, effort, and consistency, there are effective techniques that can expedite the process. Below, you will find a list of recommended practices to attract viewers and increase engagement with your latest video.
1. Generate an impressive thumbnail
To capture the attention of viewers and encourage them to click on your video as they scroll through, it is crucial to first grab their visual interest.
Crafting an impressive thumbnail is a method you can employ. Dabbling a little in a photo editing program such as Photoshop won’t demand excessive time, yet it has the potential to differentiate your vlog from others, making it a highly advisable practice.
In the thumbnail competition, it is common to see bright colours, easy-to-read text, or even a picture of yourself with a pleasant or humorous expression. However, it is important to add your personal touch to stand out.
This is an opportunity for you to create an impressive initial impact, so make the most of it! Consider your personal image and brand, explore different colours and styles that resonate with you the most. Keep experimenting with your modifications until you discover a solution that is effective for you!
To accomplish this, proceed to the video manager and upload your custom thumbnail. It is important to note that the current specification for the image is that it should be smaller than 2MB, with the suggested dimensions being 1280 x 720 pixels.
2. Provide YouTube with an overview of your content
Indeed! YouTube, not only your audience, is what I’m referring to – specifically, YouTube search engine optimization.
Just like how Google aims to provide the most relevant search results, YouTube also analyses videos and search intent whenever someone searches for “vlog” to deliver the best possible content. Are you interested in that content?
To improve your YouTube SEO, it is essential to determine the primary keyword you wish to rank for in each video. This keyword represents your main topic, such as “relocating to New York” or “spending time with family during holidays.” Ensuring consistency, you should incorporate this keyword in various relevant sections, along with some related variations.
Complete the required fields as prompted by the platform. Ensure that your title begins with or at least prominently features your chosen keyword. Craft a concise description that highlights the key aspects of your video. If your video covers multiple topics, be sure to mention all of them in the description. Additionally, remember to include relevant tags.
3. Encourage viewers to watch Additional Content and Subscribe
As an informed and neutral audience, allow me to inform you that there is a rationale behind the common practice of successful YouTubers asking for engagement at the conclusion of their videos. The underlying reason is quite simple yet effective.
To expand your vlogging reach and cultivate a devoted following, it is essential to grow your subscriber base.
End screens serve as a valuable resource for achieving this goal! Within the final 15 seconds of your video, you have the opportunity to incorporate end screens that offer options like a subscribe button or additional videos to view. This allows you to select particular vlogs or rely on YouTube’s algorithm. Take the time to explore and experiment with these features.
Enhance Engagement with Your Audience
This is crucial, particularly if you are new to YouTube and have a small following. Each like, comment, and share holds immense importance, so ensure that you actively involve your audience in order to maximise engagement.
In your vlogs, it is beneficial to engage with your audience by posing questions, responding to comments, and actively participating on social media platforms. Additionally, collaborating with fellow content creators and sharing user-generated content, with appropriate consent, can enhance the overall experience for both you and your viewers.
When it comes to social media, it is essential to utilise all the available channels to establish your online brand. Encourage your audience to follow you on social media platforms, and reciprocate by including easily accessible links in your profiles. It is advisable to diversify the content you share, taking into consideration the unique characteristics of each platform. If you continuously post the same 5 vlog snippets on Instagram, individuals may become irritated and opt to unfollow you.
5. Track and assess your progress
How can you determine if your vlogs are heading in the right direction? By utilising channel analytics, of course!
Almost all popular platforms for sharing videos have an analytics section that provides insights into the demographics of your viewers. Utilising this feature can assist you in understanding the direction of your vlogs and identifying topics that may captivate your audience’s interest.
In addition, an abundance of information is available, including statistics on viewer engagement such as average viewing duration, drop-off points, and whether your video is a viewer’s initial encounter with your channel. Take the opportunity to navigate through these insights, gaining a deeper understanding of your audience and performance. This knowledge will enable you to enhance successful elements and steer clear of those that are less effective.
Ways to monetize your vlogs
Earning a living as a vlogger becomes more manageable when you already have a dedicated following. When you’re ready to monetize your vlogging activities, there are several avenues you can explore, including advertising, partnering with affiliates, and creating sponsored videos.
If you choose to monetize your platform and link it to your AdSense account, advertisements will appear. However, the average payment for every thousand viewers is relatively low, approximately $3, and you will not receive the full amount.
Affiliate partnerships refer to cooperative arrangements between vloggers and brands. This entails an agreement in which the content creator agrees to endorse the business or products, often providing a discount to attract new customers. Whenever a viewer utilises the unique discount code during a purchase, the vlogger receives a portion of that sale.
Sponsored videos are typically funded by larger brands, and they tend to generate the highest earnings. It can be challenging to secure sponsorship from prominent brands, thus it is advisable to have a substantial number of followers.
If you’re prepared to begin, discover the optimal vlogging camera that suits your needs. Establish your profile, grasp the art of self-branding, commence content creation, and pave your way to becoming a prominent vlogger. Wishing you luck and enjoyable filming!