To start vlogging, you could basically take up your phone and hit record and then upload that video to YouTube. If you do this 1000 times, you will get some subscribers, I can almost guarantee that.
But there are better, easier and smarter ways to grow a YouTube channel. Get a strategy and learn what needs to be done in order to promote your channel on the correct platforms. In this post, I will discuss that, as well as to give you other important tips when you are getting started to YouTube. On top of that, I’ll share my template for creating a strategy for your channel. Continue reading to find out more.
1. Create a Strategy
As with any other project or work in life, a strategy needs to be created in order to have something to follow. Making sure that you know your goals and how to get there is important and will help you in the future. Winging it is not an option, that’s not how you become successful.
Your strategy should cover the most important part of vlogging. Answering questions like these give you a much better focus:
- What platforms will you use?
- How will you promote your vlog?
- Will you use Instagram or other social media?
You should also know who your audience is. Will you be making videos for teenagers or will you vlog for grown adults with a special skill? It is much easier to target an audience if you know who it is. For example, if you have a cooking show for amateur cooks, you could have a video named “Top 3 skills that all amateur cooks should have”. As an amateur cook, I would click on that.
When you have a strategy in the works, starting a YouTube channel becomes much easier. Trust me, I have done both ways and having something to look back at when questions come up is extremely helpful.
2. Use What You Have When Starting Out
When you create your first video, there is no point in running out and buying an expensive camera. You should start with what you have, like your phone. Google the camera for your phone and you’ll see that it, with 99% certainty, will support 1080p video, which is all you need in the beginning.
Sure, to make it easier, you might want to invest in Selfie Stick/Tripod Combo, like this one on Amazon, as well as a better microphone, like the Rode SmartLav+, also on Amazon (read my review here), but these are low-cost items, you are not spending hundreds of dollars.
This will get you very far in the beginning and you should not have any problem creating at least your first 100 videos using a simple setup like this unless you feel that you can afford a better camera. The point is that you should not purchase equipment until you know that this is something you want to keep doing.
3. Keep it Short
While some people enjoy watching 40-minute videos, I am not one of them, and most people aren’t. There is a reason why most videos are just 10 minutes or less because people don’t want to watch for longer than that. I even hesitate to watch a video if it’s 12 minutes or more unless it’s something that I am really interested in.
Wistia, who is another video platform similar to YouTube, made a study on how long a video should be and they realized that after just 4-5 minutes, 60% of the audience had stopped watching. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should just create videos that are five minutes long, but you should not go over 10 minutes unless you think there is a topic that is really worth it and it works with a long video.
If you have a topic that needs to be covered in a video that is longer than 10 minutes, you should divide it into multiple videos. This is good for two reasons. First, you keep the video short and people are not enticed to watch the whole video. Two, they want to come back to your channel to see the second part of the discussion. Three, you have the possibility to see comments from the first video and answer some of the questions that come up.
4. Make Your Own Spin On it
So, maybe you have found your perfect niche and you just want to get started. But then, you see that there is someone else doing that. Don’t let this stop you. There are about 300 hours of video that are uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s impossible to find something that no one else has done. But that is not a bad thing.
If others are doing it and are successful, it means that there are people watching these kinds of videos, which in turn means that there is an audience for your videos. What you should do is to create your own spin on it so that you don’t just do the same thing as the others are doing. Maybe you create videos with more humor in them, or more serious. Why should someone watch your video instead of the other? Because your video is more fun/gives more information/better explanation/better graphics? You get the idea.
But the most important thing to note is to keep doing your stuff and not comparing your videos with others. It’s better to focus on your own channel than comparing what you are doing from others.
5. You Will Get-Hate – Make Sure it Doesn’t Stick
All influencers and famous people get hate and are being called bad words and being a vlogger is no exception. Some people have something better to do than trying to make the world a bad place and they will criticize you and your personality. What you need to do is to prepare for the hard work and make sure they don’t stick.
Focus on the other 98% comments, which will be good comments from people that love what you do. There is always the little 2% of stupid people that can’t behave. Don’t trigger them more by answering back, they were probably not loved by their parents growing up.
6. Engage in Social Media
If you start your own vlog, you will need to keep your followers or viewers updated. That means you will need to know how to utilize social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and many others. Of course, you don’t need to use all the platforms and which ones you go for will depend on where your audience is.
Remember the strategy that I talked about in the first point? If you did that, then you have an idea on who your audience is and it shouldn’t be hard to find where that audience hangs out. If they are on Instagram and Twitter, then you should be on Instagram and Twitter. If they are on Pinterest and Facebook, then you should be on Pinterest and Facebook.
Do not try to be on all platforms, at least not in the beginning. This is overwhelming and you will quickly burn out yourself, losing interest in vlogging and social media.
7. Connect with Others
Again, do you remember that strategy that I talked about before? If you downloaded my strategy plan, then you have an idea of what YouTubers you can reach out to for collaboration. Do not be afraid to do this, the worst that can happen is that you get a no.
However, if you get a yes, then you will probably see an increase in subscribers when the videos go live. Collaborating with others and talking with others is a great way to gain new subscribers, even if you are new. On top of that, you get a friend that is sharing the same interest as you which is worth gold.
8. Don’t Think About the Money
This is a classic but it’s true. You should not start vlogging because you want to be rich and famous. It’s better to start vlogging because it’s something you like and an interest. Of course, you can make money, and you should plan for it, but it should not be the only reason why you are starting a vlog. Have other things in mind as well.
9. Avoid Plagiarism and Respect Copyrights
One essential thing you should always keep in mind when starting a vlog is to never to copy the works of others and publish it as your own. This is illegal and if you are unlucky, you can get sued for plagiarism. This is for music, videos, photos and other content that you might have an interest in showing in your videos.
There is also something called Copyright Strike on YouTube. This is when someone else reports to YouTube that you are showing something that is not rightfully yours and it’s probably the worst thing that can happen to a YouTube channel. You should take time to read the Copyright Strike Basics from YouTube to avoid this. If your channel gets stricken three times, YouTube will shut down your channel.
10. Enjoy What You Do
Vlogging is not a single activity. When you get started, you better keep doing it or people will find other videos to watch. Enjoy what you are doing and have fun at the same time. You should not create videos to entertain your viewers, it should entertain you as well.
Vlogging has definitely become a big thing in this century and people are watching millions of videos every day. It’s not easy getting started with vlogging today but if you want to get started, you simply have to press record on your phone and get started.
Take benefit of YouTube to get your voice heard, share your ideas and feelings and build a community around your channel. Always remember why you got started and you will become the successful YouTuber that you always wanted to be.