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How to Vlog: 22 Tips to Get Started

Want to learn how to vlog? Review this guide and learn all the best tips and tricks to help you get started.

It’s no secret that content creators use vlogging as a huge part of their marketing strategy. If you have great content, a target audience in mind, and a willingness to get it done, vlogging may be a good niche for you. While most people are wondering how to vlog, you’ve got all the tips listed here. The goal is to grow your audience so you can monetize it while doing what you love.

Now, before you start vlogging, it’s important to know what a vlog is and the fundamentals of how to make a vlog so you won’t make any missteps that could have been avoided. A successful vlog takes time and effort. You may not experience immediate traction, especially if vlogging on YouTube, but you should have the mindset to grow and learn as you go.

What is a vlog?

A vlog is a blog, but in video form. If you’ve visited a YouTube channel to watch someone speak or demonstrate how-to videos or other video content, that’s a vlog. There are multiple platforms where vlogs are housed. Twitch is a popular one, in addition to Instagram.

If you’re publishing on the internet and have high-quality videos, you’re well on your way to creating a following for your video blogs. The beauty of vlog content is that you are the author of your dreams. Your video ideas come to life in any form.

You may be wondering what type of video you should make, and that’s entirely up to you. You can do instructional videos, comedy, spoken word, a video with just images, or whatever you desire. People know when you’re not really into what you’re doing, so make sure your vlog is something you enjoy talking about or sharing with others. Connect your vlog to your social media accounts and let others start following your vlog channel.

What you need to start vlogging

Vlogging as a beginner isn’t as hard as it may seem. Once you have the foundation started, building on that will be a breeze.

Have a plan

Just like everything else, when building a brand (because that’s what you are doing), you must have a plan to figure out what you want, why you’re vlogging, how you will present your content, the topic, and the niche area, your strategy, equipment when you’ll be recording, and more. The saying is true – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Don’t be that person.

Video camera

The type of video camera you should use is up to you. Some people record their entire vlog on their phones. The key to being successful is the content you produce that makes people want to come back for more. High-quality videos do very well, but if you don’t have content that engages your audience, they won’t watch.

Document whatever you want

One of the most interesting things about YouTubers' videos is that they are diverse and fall into many categories. The key is to develop a niche where you can stand out and be yourself. The one thing you don’t want is to create content no one wants. When you’re passionate about what you’re talking about, it will come through in your presentation.

Use a good microphone

Now we’re getting into the nuts and bolts of what you’ll need to get the results you want. As you progress on your vlogging journey, you may realize you want to get a high-quality camera and tripod instead of just using the video on your phone. While you’re considering that, think about using a good microphone so you’ll come across clear and the listener will have a great listening experience. There are many different microphones on the market, so finding the one that suits you best will take a little research.

Consider your lighting

It doesn’t matter if you’re taping inside or outside, you should have the best lighting conditions you can. Natural light is always the best. Standing or sitting near a window is optimal, but you can also invest in different types of lighting to create an illusion of natural light. There are also lights you can attach to your smartphone to provide additional light right in front of your face.

Video editing software

Once you record, figuring out how to edit your videos is the next step. There are many video editing tools on the market, and doing it yourself can save money. If you can’t get the hang of it or don’t have time, finding someone who can edit your videos just how you want them will make a difference. With so many free video editing tools online, taking a chance and learning a new skill can come in handy down the line.

Once you’ve gotten to this stage, it’s time to consider the branding of your vlog. If you’re creating a YouTube vlog, it’s important to have visually engaging creatives that will draw people in. Creating your online identity is key. These are some things you want to do to enhance your video marketing tactics and grow your audience.

Your logo will be one of the most identifiable elements of your brand. It helps you stand out among the competition and people will remember you by your logo. Make sure your brand colors are identifiable throughout your logo. They should convey everything your personality expresses. For instance, if your vlog is one that is bold and fun, you want to choose colors that are bold and bright like yellow, orange, red, etc. There are many free online tools that you can use to create a logo and other marketing materials.

Create a banner for your channel

Your YouTube banner establishes your vlog’s presence and brings your brand to life. Having polished creatives sends the message that you are serious about building your niche area and brand. It also conveys you are dedicated to providing the best content you can for your audience.

Create a website or landing page

One of the best ways to attract visitors and engage them is to have a landing page or website. You can add videos to content blocks so they will have a snippet of what to expect once they get to your YouTube channel. If you’re wondering what a video content block is, it’s when a preview image or thumbnail is pulled from your actual video. When people click the video, it sends them directly to the video in a separate window.

How to get people to watch your vlog

Who wants to watch or listen to your vlog? You’re going to have to find that out. Once you’re in your niche, you must consider those people you want to speak to and the ones that are interested in the subject you’re vlogging about. Think about delivery – what type of tone are you using? When you start vlogging, you’re building a brand.

That means you must think about your brand personality and voice, the graphics, and how all of them will be perceived by your audience (and the audience Youtube attracts). You always want to deliver value for everything else. The next step in the equation is getting traffic. There are a few ways to accomplish this.

Choosing the right keywords

If you’ve heard the word SEO as it relates to Google, you’re on the right track. While it may seem strange, people find vlogs through Google all the time. That means you should have the best possible keywords that will direct them your way. If you’re doing a tutorial, add “how to” to your video, or something along those lines so it will show up in the search engines.

Use descriptive titles and video descriptions

Make sure you keep the titles short, using your keywords in the first half of the title. On the other hand, make sure your descriptions are 5000 characters or less. Make sure your keywords are in the description and title. Create a content page. Timestamps are good too so your viewers can find the content they are looking for. If you’re wondering what a timestamp is, it’s the time within the show notes that tells where certain topics are. Many people use timestamps to go back to something they felt was relevant, which is a good thing. Add links to playlists that are relevant to your topic. This helps create relationships with other vloggers. Use some hashtags but don’t overdo it.

Create a custom thumbnail

People pay attention to the thumbnails you choose for your videos. Use the right format and size, great imagery, and make sure everything is consistent with the other elements of your brand.

Let your audience know when you’ll be dropping episodes

Consistency is key. You want to create a schedule where they know where to come to see what you have going on each time you post. Stick to it as best as you can because as you grow, your fans will expect that of you. Also, always have a way for someone to contact you. You never know who’s watching and wants to sponsor or have a partnership with you.

Interact with your audience

People who watch YouTube videos love leaving comments at the bottom. You should respond to everyone whether their comment is good or bad. Monitoring your videos and the comments under them is one way to develop brand loyalty. When you engage and interact, you become known as someone who wants to be authentic. You can either leave a comment or a response video. The analytics from both transactions will help you figure out what works best.

Be very active

Once you establish your community, you need to be active and engage with other vloggers. Go to their channels and watch videos. Leave comments or recommend them in your videos. You can also tag them so they will know you are recommending them to your audience. While this is a good way to expand your network, it also provides insight into the competition.

What type of vlogs should you create?

Just like you made a plan for learning how to create a vlog, you should plan each episode of your videos. You want to make sure your content is seen as valuable and watch-worthy. YouTube is big on viewer experience. When you’re planning, think about why you’re making the video.

Are you solving a problem? Are you demonstrating how to do something? Are you introducing a new product? Are you giving a review of something? Next, ask yourself if it’s entertaining. No one wants to watch a boring video unless they absolutely have to. Your videos should improve the viewer’s opinion of something or give them a reason to come back.

Do Q&A videos

People love to be seen and heard. Do a Q&A video where you’re responding to viewers that sent you an email, tweet, or comment. Creating videos that directly answer the questions and calling them by name shows that they matter. More people will hear about the way you respond to viewers and want to be part of that experience too. This works well when you’re trying to plan for another video and need a break.

Consider creating a series of videos

People love series that they can follow. If you’re doing an interesting series on something, you’d be surprised at the number of people waiting for the next episode to drop. Come up with an interesting name that is catchy and friendly. This builds traction as other people start mentioning it and following.

Create a playlist

People also like playlists. Group your videos together under a theme. Each theme has a series of videos so they will continue watching all the way through. You can also add videos from other people doing some of the same things to help them get traction too. This also builds authority, and your viewers will recognize that you are on top of things on your channel and off.

Do a livestream

As you’re using marketing tactics to engage and retain viewers, one of the most popular things vloggers do now is going live. Livestreams are really cool because you get to speak to people up close and personal in real-time. You get to direct them to like and share right then and there, which can add additional viewers to your live stream. As you grow in your editing, you can add custom shots to the beginning before you come on, during the middle of the live stream when taking a break or showing something, and at the end so your name and logo will be remembered.

Promote your vlog on social media and personal websites

While this was briefly mentioned before, there is so much power in social media when used correctly. You’re speaking differently on each platform (hopefully) but remaining consistent across the board. Make sure each creative you design is the right size for the platform. You can take snippets of your current video and use them as teasers on social media to get people to come and view or use GIFs to lead them to your channel.

If you vlog, then a blog is a no-brainer. Embed your videos on your website’s blog to increase the number of page views you get. Your vlog should help in getting new ideas for content on your blog, and vice versa. With different avenues for your vlog, you can track the analytics to see which one gets the most traffic, when the most traffic occurs, and which videos work best on each platform.

Although you’re using your videos to get people to come to watch, you’re actually promoting your video channel – don’t forget that. You should promote both, linking to your account as much as you can, wherever you can. The more people watching, the higher your videos rank if you’re on YouTube or another platform.

Use holidays and special days to have special episodes. New movie coming out? Try and tie that into your marketing for your next video. The goal is to give your viewers a multitude of reasons as to why they should be coming to your channel to see what’s going on. All these tips should point you in the right direction as you learn how to create a vlog, as you start your new journey.

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