Vlogging popularity has exploded. Not only can it be profitable, it can be fun and it dosen’t have to take over your life. If you own a business, it is also a perfect platform to promote your businessand drive traffic to it.
In order to start a vlog that will attract engaged viewers, you will first have to do some planning, practicing and develop a marketing strategy and that’s where we come in and help you out.
Before you even open up a YouTube channel, you need to sit down and start brainstorming how you will start a vlog.
Ask yourselves Questions:
WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE IN VLOGGING?
This will be your ultimate factor that decides where your vlog will go. Is this so you can start a YouTube career? Is this just a hobby? Is this a tool that you’re mainly going to use to drive traffic to your business? Is this for fame?
If you do plan on making vlogging a big part of your life, then you have to allocate a lot of time for it. You need to plan out how to maintain your channel on a weekly or daily basis. You need to be aware of the time commitment you will have to make.
If you’re vlogging for a hobby, then you don’t really need to set a dedicated schedule yet if you have other commitments going on in your life. You can still work to make a following with it however and can still achieve success. If it is just for a hobby, your planning stage won’t have to be as complicated.
WHAT IS YOUR TOPIC?
What are you going to vlog about? What is the main theme of your vlog? Find something you are passionate about and vlog about that. If you aren’t passionate about a certain topic, you won’t end up enjoying vlogging. Your passion will make you want to continue to vlog even when you’re close to running out of ideas.
Identify yourself in a niche. Be someone that people can look up to in that niche. When someone has a question or is looking for a certain type of video, they’ll know to look for you if you establish yourself in a specific niche. This will help you out with branding and gain visitors.
If you are using vlogs to drive people to your business, then focus on niches that answers questions. Be the person that has the answers. People will look up to you and will reciprocate to your business promotions.
WHO WILL WATCH YOUR VIDEOS?
Think of your potential audience. Think of the demographics that will watch your vlog. Once you have an idea of who will watch your videos, brainstorm your delivery. What is your tone of voice like? What is your personality like? How are you going to act? Are you going to cuss or not?
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
Where do you see your vlog in 4 months? Where do you see your vlog in 4 years? How will you measure success after you start a vlog? Write down your goals and create steps that will help you achieve those goals
Choose a YouTube Name
This is an essential part of knowing how to start a vlog channel. Your name should be unique and should stand out. Depending on your niche, your name should include keywords that make people know that your channel is in that certain niche.
Coming up with an effective name takes time so you will need to be patient. Try to also encorporate your personality into it. If you have come up with a name and someone else has taken it, brainstorm again. It is a bad idea to try doing variations of that name.
Vlogging is an artform. Learning how to start a vlog also means practicing how to vlog. Obviously. Don’t rush to get your first video out there. No one likes watching a poorly made vlog. No one likes watching someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing or talking about.
Even doing a little bit of practice has a significant effect on the quality of your vlog. If you have never vlogged before, keep practicing even after you’ve uploaded some videos. Over time, you will improve the quality of your vlogs.
Here are some practices you should do before you put out your very first vlog
PRACTICE IN FRONT OF A MIRROR
You don’t need a camera involved here. Just go in front of a mirror and start talking to yourself. Watch yourself. Watch your facial expressions, hand movements, body language, etc… Improve on any flaws you find. It will seem awkward at first, but this is what you will need to get used to. Keep doing this until you feel more comfortable and confident doing it. This will transfer over to you actually recording yourself.
SHOOT A TEST FOOTAGE
Do the same thing what you did earlier but now do it in front of your vlogging camera. The main purpose of this is to find out which angle works best and to test the lighting and sound. This also assesses how well your voice translates to the camera. This is where you can even try editing the footage to make it top quality.
SPEAK INTO THE LENS
A lot of vloggers starting out will constantly look away from the camera or will watch the LCD screen in their camera if they have one. This will look very awkward in video and this is a habit that needs to be broken before you even record your first real take. Try moving around and keeping your eyes on the lens.
Remember the lens is your viewer’s eye. Communicating directly to your viewers is a fundamental on how to start a vlog.
Now that you’re comfortable with being in front of the camera and have developed good habits for it, it’s time to actually start recording yourself for YouTube. This isn’t practice anymore. It’s the real deal.
We probably should’ve talked about this earlier, but better late than never right? Anyway, it’s time to discuss your equipment
While there are no “vlogger specific” cameras out there, there are tons of choices you can pick from. The main thing you will need to have though is the ability to shoot HD. 1080p resolution minimum. With the birth and growth of 4k video, 720p as a minimum doesn’t cut it anymore. 1080p has become the new HD norm.
No one will stick around a vlog with bad quality video. If you think these cameras that shoot 1080p minimum are expensive, well…. you are very very wrong. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars. You can even find some for under $200.
A lot of people use entry level DSLRs for their vlogs and it’s completely fine. As long as your lighting setup is good, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on super high quality equipment.
Built-in microphones in cameras or even laptops suck. Good quality videos must have good quality audio. You can get inexpensive external microphones that you can hook up to your camera. Make sure to go into your editing program and also edit the audio quality.
Get a ring light. If you can’t afford one, use lamps, posterboards or anything that can direct light and play around with it. Good lighting will always guarantee good video footage in tems of quality.
When planning out how to start a vlog, you need to be aware of the monetary investments you will have to make on equipment. Don’t always go for cheap but instead go for equipment that will yield you the highest quality content.
We’ll have a better list of products in the near future.
Now that you have videos, this is where the hard part comes in. Branding and promotion are by far the hardest part in starting a vlog. It applies to anything out there really, like business, games, apps, etc…
But here are some things you can do now to give you a kick start:
CREATE A LOGO
You will need a profile picture. While a beauty shot of your face is also an option, logos actually help brand your channel a lot better. When they see your logo, they will know it is your channel. It is your identity. Logos are the kingpins of branding. Include your logo in your videos. This helps increase your brand awareness and recognition.
Your background image for your YouTube channel also play a huge part in boosting your online presence. This will also help people recognize your brand.
CREATE SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES
Vlogs are very social-media centered when it comes to sharing videos. This is where most of your traffic will come from and how people will begin to recognize you. Get active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. For profile pictures, use your logo and for background art, use your banner art.
BRAND YOUR VIDEOS
Not only should you have to include your logo, include a unique intro and outro. Also don’t forget to post links of your social media so people know where to find you elsewhere.
Building A Community
What makes a vlog channel so popular and successful is its community. This means you need to have engaging viewers and you have to also interact with them. Here’s how you can build a community
Reply to people’s comments. Have a conversation on there. If people see that you are interacting with your viewers, they will also want to comment on your videos. If no one has commented yet, you can start but adding a question in the comments section.
Same thing applies here. Have conversations with your fans on social media. Retween your fan’s tweets. Reply to people FaceBook comments. Start a poll. Repost pictures that peope have tagged you in. Provide teasers for upcoming blogs. Ask your viewers questions like what they would like to see next. Take part in a Google Hangouts video chat.
The list goes on.
Give shoutouts to individual fans. This helps boost engagement by ALOT. A popular thing to do is “comment of the week”. Not only do you make your fans feel special but it gives them an incentive to try to interact with your channel more.
Final Vlog Tips
You’re all set to go, so here are some extra tips you should keep in mind when your start your vlog.
LOOK INTO THE LENS
We already went through this but this is very essential for your videos.
FILM EXTRA FOOTAGE
Film different angles. See which ones you like better. If you mess up on one take, you have a backup. It’s always good to have more than less.
MESSING UP IS NORMAL
Just take a break, take a deep breath and continue where you left off. Remember, the editing stage is your friend!
FIND YOUR VOICE
Find you voice that comes out clear. This includes tone and speed.
Your vlog should show off your personality. Let your personality shine and have fun vlogging. Your personality is what makes you stand out from others. Everyone has their own unique personality.
CREATE A SCHEDULE
Consistency is a major key when starting out a vlog. This will increase your return rate significantly. Let viewers know when your regular uploads are going to be. “Stay tuned every Tuesday for a brand new video!”
We hope this guide helps you a lot in your vlogging career. If you have any questions or tips regarding how to start a vlog, let us know in the comment section below! Remember to be patient when first starting out your vlog. Your audience will come as long as you keep persistent and have a good marketing plan.