What are you passionate about? Do you love to draw? Are you fashion-obsessed? Do you enjoy deep sea fishing? Whatever it may be, you have an opportunity to show not only friends and family, but the world, what you love to do. Share experiences, reviews, or memories with followers and viewers across the web, grow an audience, and discover the world of vlogging. (Hey, you might be a YouTube star before you know it!). You are probably wondering though, what is a vlog? How do I start my own vlog? What materials do I need? Can I create a YouTube channel? How do I get subscribers? We’ll cover all of these popular questions we’ve read, as well as list a few vlogging tips below for you. Read on to learn our top 10 tips on how to become a rockstar vlogger in no time.
How to Start Your Own Vlog
What is a Vlog?
Vlog = blog + video, or in other words, a vlog stands for video blogging. Vloggers create video content about their lives, products, businesses, & more, that they share across social media like YouTube or Facebook. The most popular video content site on the internet is YouTube, but vloggers share videos on other social media channels, too.
It seems like everyone nowadays has a YouTube channel or vlog, but do not let that discourage you. You are unique, you are different and the vlog universe is happy to have you join the fun. So, let’s dive right into starting your own vlog.
Be Real and Be You!
Starting to vlog tip number one: be yourself. Subscribers out there can be super observant. Make sure to stay loyal to who you are and what you are passionate about (your followers will smell a fake from a mile away!). And keep in mind, your subscribers already love you and are interested in what you are sharing with them, so just be real. You can do this.
I know it can be tough to jump right in front of the camera and act natural. I totally get it, I’m the type to go “gross, did you hear my voice in that?!”, but don’t cut yourself so short. Make sure to be confident and remember, people are tuning in for you, so just take a deep breathe, relax, be yourself, and hit ‘record’. Making your own vlog should be fun and not stressful, so be natural and be you.
Topics, Topics, Topics!
This is the tricky part about getting start with your new vlog. What should you vlog about? Successful vloggers seem to stay in line (consistency is key!) with what they are sharing with the world. For example, beauty vloggers stick to all things beauty, like makeup, hair, nails, etc. If you are into a certain topic and love it, run with it (just make sure that it is not illegal or insulting). What is important to keep in mind is that it is challenging to create fresh content on the same topic but get creative and be unique. Don’t copy another person because they are successful, create content that you are excited about and just like that, the views will flood in.
Another tip for topic choice is to ask yourself, “what do my followers or potential followers want to see?” Do a bit of competitive research to understand what is attractive to your target audience. Where are they engaging the most? What are they searching for?
Also, make sure to stay consistent with your topics. Are your topics entertaining? Educational? Promotional? Figure out what direction you want your channel to go in and the topics will eventually flow right out of you. If you are still looking for ideas, look into popular vloggers and see what they do — just watch, write down notes, observe, and try to notice the small things they incorporate into their vlogs.
Yes, topics are important, but another kicker is title choice. When your viewers are searching, they are browsing through thousands of content pieces. You want to stand out, right? Get creative with your titles. Add relevant keywords in your titles and try to stick between 60-65 characters (including spaces). Go check out what your competitors are titling their videos and think of a more creative way. Look into popular keywords and think like the mind if your views — what are they going to be typing into that search box?
Get the Right Vlogging Equipment
Did you know that most vloggers will share what equipment they use to shoot their videos? Check out your favorite YouTube star’s channel for equipment and camera details. Can’t find what you are looking for? We have a few guides that may of interest for you. Read our cameras for YouTube or vlogging camera guides for our recommendations. We cover a few budget ranges to help those with different needs.
You are not a professional vlogger just yet (soon, however), but why not start looking for the right equipment that will help you start your own vlog? Investing in a camera for vlogging in your budget could be extremely beneficial. Don’t go breaking the bank though, look for entry-level DSLR or mirrorless cameras in your price range. Or for now, start playing around with your smart phone or GoPro to shoot quality videos.
Shaky hands are a given when trying to shoot a video yourself. Invest in a tripod or other camera accessories to keep the camera stable and your video shots still. Nobody enjoys a trembling scene.
YouTube Vlog Channel Set Up
By now, you’re well on your way to starting your own vlog! Check out these 6 easy steps to creating your first YT channel:
- Step 1: Create an account with YouTube & sign in
- Step 2: Log into the Google Account you want connected to your YouTube (If you do not have a Google Account, create one now)
- Step 3: Find the ‘Settings’ button in the top right-hand corner and click on it
- Step 4: Click on “Create a channel”
- Step 5: Decide if you are creating a personal channel or business channel
- Step 6: Time to name your brand & select a category — and you did it!
Congratulations, your YouTube channel is now officially set up! But there are a few other details that I suggest you working on to complete the process. For example, a YouTube cover image or “channel art” is essential. This image lays across the screen near your profile image (similar to Facebook cover images) and is the first impression viewers will have on your brand. Create a customized cover image to let users know immediately what the channel is all about. You can search online for “freelancers” or even head on over to Fiverr.com to purchase some cheap art for now.
Also, make sure to optimize your “About Me” or description area. Add information about yourself or product/business you are discussing. In this section, make sure to list contact details so that users can reach out to you professionally. Optimizing your videos with description content will get you discovered on search and YT. Check out Google and YouTube’s algorithm’s and stay on trend with what will give you more exposure online.
Another tip that I recommend to get your channel in front of thousands of viewers is to post a video consistently. Launch your videos consistently and you will see a rise in viewers. Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Content should be pushed out regularly and I promise your subscribers will be happy followers. Look into “tagging” your content with popular keywords as well.
Vlog Background Details
Sounds silly, right? Background details, but it is important. How your background looks can make your video attractive or unattractive to viewers (imagine watching a video and seeing a vlogger’s dirty laundry on the floor behind them!). Try to get creative with your filming. Set up an area in your home that has great lighting and a fun back drop or take your video outside. Just make sure to check your lighting.
Also, the first 5 seconds of your video is also extremely important. Everyone nowadays is in a rush and they have an attention span of a toddler, so get to the point quickly and naturally. Make sure your background looks good, your focus is on point and you quickly welcome your viewers. You can have an introduction video and song but don’t make it more than 5-7 seconds.
You Know What They Say — Lighting is Key
You know when you’re trying to take the perfect selfie and the lighting is just terrible? It goes the same for vlogging and video content. If you’re not sure where to start when creating your own vlog, then a good place to start is with lighting. Good lighting is essential. Not only does proper lighting make you look good, it’s engaging and attractive to subscribers.
If you are struggling to find the perfect lighting for your video, invest in lighting accessories for the area you are going to shoot. Lighting tools are a game changer. Also, before you do record your first vlog, play around and experiment for a week at different times of the day with different lighting setups. You want to find that money spot for future videos before you start recording your first vlog.
Editing and Perfecting Your Vlogs
Not sure how to shoot your video? I completely understand. It took me awhile to get the hang of my DSLR and camera accessories, too. I suggest shooting your camera in manual exposure mode. The manual mode will avoid over or under exposure in your scenes. For example, without manual mode, the camera might focus on the background instead of your face.
You’re the star of the show, but you’re probably producing and editing the video, too. Make sure to work on getting the focus of your camera just right before you start recording. Take a look at your camera and figure out if it has face detection focus tracking. Most cameras should have this feature and it is super helpful when shooting your camera on a tripod for yourself (my EOS Rebel T6i thankfully has autofocus and I love it.)
Audio is very important as well. Find a quiet place (to start) to get in the groove of your audio. Make sure your sound is loud and clear so that viewers will not get frustrated with static or muted moments. There are many microphone accessories that attach to cameras that I suggest looking into, they could really be a life saver. You don’t want to film an entire video to edit it and find out there was poor sound, do you? Check your audio and vlogging will be a cinch.
Of course, it will be difficult to “edit” without proper video software. Our best video editing software guide can help, but we also have a free video software article if you’d like a budget-friendly option to first “try” out and perhaps purchase a more expensive and professional solution later down the road.
Being Social and Marketing Your Vlog
“Like, follow, like, comment, like” — yes, there’s a reason so many vloggers rinse and repeat these statements every single video. Start engaging with your subscribers across all channels that you manage, such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and more! A lot of successful vloggers market their videos and update their followers about their channel and what they are working on. It makes your viewers feel involved and on their toes about your content. They are excited and want more, so keep them posted on what is coming up next.
Once you get the hang of vlogging, start to create your own brand and your own vlogging community. Encourage viewers to comment and get to know one another. Create a hashtag for your brand that others can use to build a vlogging family. And not only do I recommend that you be social with your subscribers, but to reach out to other successful vloggers in your industry. Create a giveaway, run a contest with these other vloggers and learn to network with your peers.
Once you start to engage within the YouTube community and are well-known in the vlogging world, try to become a YouTube partner. A YouTube partner will have the opportunity to make money off advertisements that flash before, during or after their videos. You do need a couple thousand views to become a YT partner, but you’re well on your way to that, so keep the opportunity in mind.
To be a YouTube partner, you need views and viewer engagement. Viewer engagement is when followers like, comment, subscribe or favorite your channel. To increase this, just ask. Ask your viewers to engage, ask them to subscribe, ask them to leave a comment below. You never know if you don’t ask, right? YouTube measures and ranks the “viewed minutes” on your videos, which means how long people are watching. Do they bounce off your video after a few seconds or do they watch for 2+ minutes? Watch time is extremely important, so try to engage with viewers right away. Get them involved and keep them entertained.
Last but not least, vlogging is extremely fun and a meaningful passion for many. It allows viewers to get a glimpse into your life and what you are passionate about, but it is important to make sure to enjoy your vlogging experience and enjoy starting your own vlog! Do not stress too much about the small stuff, but make sure you are representing yourself and your brand correctly. Be silly, be fun, be free and get out there and start recording. The world is waiting to see what you will create!