How to Start a Vlog – Creating video content is currently one of the best ways to grow your business or personal brand. This is one of the reasons why YouTube vlogging has become really popular among content creators across different niches.
YouTube is the second most popular social media platform and welcomes around 2 billion active users on its platform every month. It also has more pulling power for video content than any other social media platform.
Also read: How To Start Making Money With Your Blog
So, if you’re looking at how to Start a Vlog and launch yourself into superstardom but don’t know how to go about it, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn some of the most important things about starting a YouTube vlog.
What is a Vlog?
Vlog simply means ‘video blog’ which is a type of blog that contains content created in video format. Just like your normal blog, you can create about anything with your vlog. The major difference between these two is the format.
Vlogging allows content creators to record thoughts, interests and opinions about a certain subject in a way that is unique to the audience. And this is one of the things that sets it apart from other types of videos – the personal touch that is present in the communication.
For instance, go to YouTube right and select a video of one of your favorite vloggers. Notice how they continuously look and talk into the camera like it’s an actual person. The best vloggers want to share their experiences but they also want to build an emotional connection with the audience.
Why is Vlogging so Popular?
We’re currently in an era where virality has become a norm. One click on any of your social apps and everyone is talking about at least one thing that went viral. Most times, this is the result of often-random videos that were shared amongst people. It isn’t therefore surprising that people spend 100 minutes watching online videos daily.
Vloggers are major contributors to this increasing trend. For instance, more than 44% of internet users watch vlogs every month and 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube daily. As a result of these, many businesses are using bloggers as part of their marketing strategy. Simply because of the influence that they have. This is one of the surest reasons to learn how to start a Vlog of your own.
Generally, humans want a peep into the lifestyle of other people. Vlogs allow them to experience this at no extra cost. Vloggers, on the other hand, have mastered the art of serenading viewers by simply creating interesting videos. And the more relatable these videos are to the audience, the higher your chances of gaining a huge following.
The Benefits of Vlogging for Growing an Audience
When it comes to growing an audience, one channel may not be enough. Whether you already have a blog, Facebook/twitter account, or podcast, starting a vlog can optimize your growth. This is because the content needs and preferences of people differ. But video remains one of the most consumed content forms.
Here are some of the benefits of starting a vlog today.
1. An opportunity to gain more exposure
Adopting video as part of your content creation process enables you to expand your reach. Not only because the audience is bigger but the platform is readily available – YouTube. The Google-owned video platform is home to 2 billion people, a lot of whom are there because they find the content more entertaining and relatable than TV.
YouTube’s search engine allows your content to be visible to more people compared to having the videos hosted on your personal or business website. The upside to this is the ability to direct the increasing number of people who watch your videos to your website or landing pages, ultimately increasing traffic.
2. Get closer to your audience
Vlogging makes it easier to engage directly with your audience. The relationship between you and your audience becomes much more productive and trustworthy when they can place a face on the brand. This way, you can grow a community of ‘loyal fans’ because it already feels like they know you in real life.
Establishing a loyal fanbase will also make it easy for them to follow you to other platforms. This is because, naturally you don’t own the audience on third-party platforms, as compared to the users you have in your mailing list for instance. Vlogging done right will ultimately be a source of generating leads, especially for marketing projects.
3. Showcase your knowledge and skills better
With blogging, you can easily pass knowledge to your audience. Viewers retain 95% of a message they watch in a video, compared to text which is only 10%. Also, 92% of people who watch videos on mobile will share it with their friends.
Humans are generally visually inclined. Hence, the increased relatability to video more than other types of content. So, it might end up being your best bet if you’re in an industry where the competition for customers is quite stiff.
However, this doesn’t remove the fact that the information you share has to be helpful to the audience. That is the only way to get them coming back for more content or eventually subscribe to your YouTube page.
4. Enhance your growth at little cost
The good thing about vlogging is that it allows you to do more at a budget-friendly cost. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment to get started. Many vloggers today push out videos from their smartphones. And most times, this is all you need – a smartphone with good sound quality and a brightly lit environment.
This is especially good for beginners because it allows you to focus on creating quality content to grow your audience. As you earn more from your vlogging, you can direct your attention towards getting more advanced gadgets for creating your videos.
Ultimately, vlogging provides you with plenty of benefits, even beyond growing your audience. You also have the potential to make it a full-time career which can bring you high streams of income, depending on the value of your content.
How to Start a Vlog: Step-By-Step Guide to YouTube Vlogging
While anyone can start vlogging on YouTube, it is important to approach it the right way in order to get optimum results. With this in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start your own YouTube vlog.
1. Do your research
Ideally, no one rushes into a business venture with only enthusiasm. It’s not just enough to be excited about vlogging about your favorite meals or reviewing the latest tech. You want to kick things off by doing a comprehensive research of your chosen niche.
The research will provide insights into what is considered best practice in that field. Take an in-depth look at some of the popular vloggers in (and sometimes, outside) your niche. Watch their most viewed videos and see how they engage with their audience. Take note, what you need may be in the little things. Among others, watch out for certain details like;
- Length of each video: see if they’re short or long videos. However, the reception to each video, whether it is long or short, usually depends on the topic they’re vlogging about. Look out for how these impact their views and comments.
- Vlogging style: some vloggers like to follow a script while others prefer to be spontaneous in their delivery. Compare and contrast across different vloggers and see which vlogging style works better with the audience.
- Supplements: do your favorite bloggers use things like background music in their videos? Do they use pop-ups and stickers when they drop a punchline? Watch out for these as well as you do your research.
All of this information will definitely influence how you run your own vlog. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a copy-and-paste process. It is rather looking at what works and how you can fit them into your own vlogging strategy.
3. Choose your audience
Vlogging doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all; you can’t appeal to everybody. There are over 2 billion users on YouTube alone. Hence, you must find your target audience. This involves categorizing your audience based on certain factors including their age, gender, occupation and so on.
You can use tools like Adwords Keyword Planner to achieve this. You will know how much people are looking for certain keywords which will in turn inform the kind of topics you are talking about. Not only will it be specific to a certain audience, you will be addressing real life pain points.
4. How to start a Vlog – Create your YouTube channel
Now that you’ve done your research and understood your audience, the next step is to create your own YouTube channel. To get started, you need to have a Google Account. So, if you don’t have one, create one quickly.
Then, proceed to creating a YouTube account. But first, you need to decide which name you want for the channel. It can be as simple as your name like “John Doe”. Many people prefer to go this route actually so that it can correspond with the names they have on other social media accounts. You can also choose a name that immediately tells the audience what your channel is about. For instance, if you’re going to be showcasing your cooking skills, your name can be something like “Maria Cooks”.
Next thing will be to create an icon and channel art for your account. The icon will naturally be a pictorial representation of what your vlog is about. However, it can just be a photo of you. Just like popular YouTube vloggers like Marques Brownlee and David Dobrik, for instance.
Follow this up with a channel description in the “About” tab. Here, you can briefly describe your channel in a few lines as well as links to your website, social media accounts, and/or portfolio. However, always use the relevant keywords in your description so that your channel shows up in search results.
5. Set up your equipment
Our fifth step for how to start a Vlog on Youtube is setting up your equipment. Your choice of equipment can have a major impact on the reception your video receives. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending a fortune on getting video gadgets, especially when you have a tight budget.
As a beginner, pay attention to your camera. Look out for good vlogging cameras within your budget. Cameras that have a flip screen offer greater advantage because they allow you to see yourself while recording.
Also, ensure that your sound is great. The last thing you want is your audience struggling to hear you. Like the cameras, you can find low budget mics that will get the job done.
In case you can’t get your hands on any of these, you can use your smartphone if you have a good one. Many vloggers started out with just their iPhones till they could afford more expensive equipment. You just can’t compromise on providing value to the audience.
6. How to start a Vlog – Create your Vlog
This is like the first draft of your blog post. You have an idea for what you want to achieve then set about filming it. Be as spontaneous as you can but also be strategic about it. There’s not exactly a blueprint to vlogging because the content and audience will determine this, as well as your personality.
Make sure you do the recording under good lighting so that people can see everything clearly. If there’s no sunlight, you can use bright artificial lights.
Most vloggers also like to do previews at the beginning of each video to create excitement. This can be like the highlight of the video or a really funny part of it.
7. Edit and upload your videos
Usually, the first set of videos are longer because they contain everything that comes spontaneously during the recording session. Once you’re done recording the final take, proceed to edit the vlog. In some cases, it might take longer than making the actual video.
However, there is lots of editing software around to make the process easier, some of which are free to use. Check for boring or irrelevant sections of the video and cut them out. This doesn’t mean it’s wrong to have longer YouTube videos. In fact, they’re perfect for when you only upload them weekly. They’re also good because it allows you to include more ads in your videos.
But remember that your videos should only be long because they have to not to accommodate more ads. Because at the end of the day, your audience is what matters most.
Once the final version of your video is ready, you can upload the video on YouTube while following YouTube’s policy on uploading videos.
8. Optimizing your Vlogs for Growth
Creating and uploading your vlogs on YouTube is one significant part of vlogging. There’s more work to be done in getting the required traction. Start by promoting your vlogs across social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and so on. You can also join forces with other vloggers to create content, especially when you’ve crossed your first few thousand subscribers.
Starting a Vlog and growing an audience on YouTube also requires patience on your end. You won’t reach a hundred thousand subscribers overnight. With experience, you will understand your audience better and know what attracts them. The idea is to maintain consistency and sooner or later, the subscribers will start flowing in.
Do you have any questions regarding how to start a Vlog of your own? Comment below.