Vlogging is a YouTube mainstay. In the early years of YouTube, people simply used the platform to watch amusing videos. But today, vlogging has become a mainstay of the popular site, and it’s now a multi-million dollar industry.
The beauty of vlogging is that anyone can get started, whether you’re someone who simply wants to share your life with others or a business owner wanting to engage with your audience on a more personal level. YouTube is the perfect place to do so. But how do you get in on the act? And what do you need to know before you get started?
Calvin Fisher, owner of Pandabomb, a digital production house that specialises in photography, videography and social media marketing, has put together a guide for those who would like to start vlogging in their personal capacity.
Find your niche
The first thing you need to do is define the type of content you want to create. Having a clear niche will allow viewers to easily understand what to expect from your videos, which will make it more likely for the relevant audience to subscribe to your channel. Some of the most popular vlogging categories include fitness, food, make-up, travel and gaming. While you don’t need to stick to one of these fields, it’s important to ensure the type of content you want to create is in demand.
Get inspiration from other vloggers
Once you have determined the type of content you want to create, it’s time to get inspired. Take the time to look at content similar to what you want to create. Look up the most popular vloggers in your space and find out what makes them different from the competition.
Understand your audience
It’s important to understand who your (potential) viewers are and what they like and dislike. How old are they? What are they passionate about? Are they predominantly male or female or both genders? Once you have a good idea of who your audience is you can better tailor your vlogs to your audience.
Keep it original
Developing unique content is crucial if you want to become a successful vlogger. As you enter the competitive world of vlogging, it’s important that you start seeing yourself as a brand and your content as a product. Not only do you need to create interesting videos, but they need to be aesthetically appealing and generally entice the audience into watching more.
Invest in proper equipment
The equipment you need will largely depend on the type of vlog you want to create.
Generally, there are six main pieces of vlogging equipment you’ll need to keep in mind:
- Camera: The best camera for vlogging varies significantly depending on the type of content you create. While nowadays mirrorless cameras seem to be an industry-favourite, some may benefit from investing in DSLRs or action cameras.
- Lens: If you choose to use an interchangeable lens camera, you need to understand that the lens you use will have a huge impact on the quality of your work. Many vloggers tend to choose wider angles that require less maneuvering space and enable you to fit more elements in the frame.
- Tripod: Having a tripod or stabiliser is an absolute must as you learn how to vlog. No one will spend their precious time watching shaky footage, no matter how great your content actually is.
- Microphone: Up there with unstabilised image, bad sound is one of the biggest turnoffs for vlogging audiences. Even if you plan to use royalty-free music with most of your content, you’ll need to have a microphone to record high-quality audio whenever needed.
- Lighting: If you plan to record indoors, artificial lighting is an absolute must. If you plan to record strictly outdoors, artificial lighting would be a great addition to your gear. It will help you avoid camera noise and ensure your footage is always clear, as well as soften shadows for a more even look.
- Editing software: Last, but most certainly not least, you’ll need the right tools to convert your footage into an actual vlog. While professional editors can be quite expensive, there is free video editing software which you could use.
As soon as you’ve recorded all the footage you’d like to add to your vlog, it’s time to get down to the hard work – editing. As tempting as it can be to just read a script and shoot a video in one take, the best of them need a little more work. All the prolonged pauses need to be trimmed, along with all the excessive “um” usage.
Ready, Set, Upload! Once you’ve done all the editing and you’re happy with the final version of the video, go ahead and upload it to the web! Don’t forget to track its performance by checking the number of views, click-throughs and social media engagements it gets.
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