If You’ve Got It, Vlog It
No-Frills Tips On How To Start Vlogging
You’ve got something the world needs—a little more of you! Naturally, a vlog is the answer. Whether it’s a side hustle or you’re planning on being a career vlogger, these no-mess tips will help you to start on the right foot.
Psst! For those who need it: Vlog = Video Blog 😉
What Every Non-Flop Vlog Needs
A Darn Good Username
Your username is one thing you can’t go back and change once you start building momentum. It also hugely influences your “Followbility”. If people don’t remember or can’t spell your user name, they can’t search for your channel! Keep it:
- Easy to type
- Avoid unconventional spelling like “u” instead of “you.”
- Stick to letters only
- Give viewers an indication of what you do and/or
- Include a keyword)
- Look for double entendres! You think your username says “pen island”, but in reality, it’s “penisland”
Or, in a very diplomatic way (that makes it loose most of its meaning), gutsy. The right mix of courage, audacity, charisma, and a slight devil-may-care disposition.
You may need to elbow your way through the crowd to get noticed. It also takes a solid pair to start talking to a camera and then share that with the world.
It can be an entirely unique topic or an old topic that’s covered in a new way. It doesn’t matter as long as one thing about your vlog is different from the rest.
Your vlog also needs a description so YouTube can recommend it to the right audience. It’ll also help to keep you on track. Use it as a mission statement, making sure each episode (log) aligns with your description.
Call-out: People will find you based on your description; they’ll follow you when you live it up to it.
The Steps And Tools To Start A Vlog
It doesn’t have to be detailed off the bat; start with a broad overview of where and how you want this thing to go. You can firm up the details from there (recommended).
Think about episode length, how frequently you’ll post, and topics for at least 5 future posts.
Better equipment equates to a better quality video. But phone cameras are so sophisticated these days that they’ll suffice until you buy the good stuff.
Use a tripod if you’re going for a studio-feel (or video diary entry or webinar vibe). Lighting and audio are important. Lights, shades and a mic will do you right.
You’ll need a decent fibre Internet connection from day one. There’s almost nothing more infuriating than slow—or interrupted—uploads (see what we did there ?). If you’re planning on doing live sessions, Q&A’s and such, then reliable,high-speed connectivity isn’t even a question.
Record yourself a couple times before going for the money shot. You need to be comfortable to appear natural in your vids. Talk to the camera when you record. Make eye contact and engage with your audience. Do interactive stuff; make your audience feel like they’ve entered your world.
4. Editing Software
Polish your videos and add some pizazz. Your options are virtually endless. Adobe alone has roughly 10 cloud editing and after-effects apps.
5. Mind the Copyright
Use royalty-free images and music. If you must use someone else’s work, get permission and always credit the source. While we’re here, label your work as copyrighted too!
6. Create a Cushion
You can start with the best intentions thinking you’ll always be able to create 1 video per week (or day or month), BUT life will happen. The can’t-say-no-event, getting sick, or just proper losing track of time. Keep a back-up of “evergreen” content that you post a moment’s notice.
7. Keep Going
Don’t stop. Be Consistent. It could take five years to take off. Even if you’re happy with a select few followers, you’ll only keep them if you keep giving them what they signed up for.
8. YouTube Partnership
If your end goal is monetisation, you’ll need to hit 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watched content in 12 months to apply for a YouTube partnership. There’s more on making money from blogs and vlogs to come.
Until then, Happy Vlogging!