Maybe you've already published a few vlogs or perhaps you're contemplating it still, whatever the case may be, you probably know just how popular vlogs have become in recent years. For those looking to get their own slice of internet stardom, vlogging seems like the perfect way to go.
But, the trouble is: How do you go about making a vlog that people actually want to watch? That's what we'll cover in this short guide. With these tips, you'll be able to put together vlogs that actually get people's attention and get them to want to subscribe to your channel.
Read on to find out what it takes to become a successful vlogger and what you can do to get your channel growing quickly while avoiding the common pitfalls.
What's Your Unique Angle?
One of the most important aspects of being a vlogger is having a unique angle. There’s got to be something that sets you apart and makes you stand out from all the other vloggers who are trying to make it online. Your unique angle could be anything, look at some of the successful bloggers for inspiration and see what sets them apart.
Sometimes, a fun personality is all it takes to stand out, but other times, you might want to supplement it with something else too. A certain kind of comedy, an interesting place that you live, a fresh view on the things around you--all of that can be part of your own unique angle that encourages viewers to stay tuned and watch out for new videos.
Of course, with a unique angle, realize that not everyone is going to love your content. There are haters (and ‘dislikers’) everywhere, so be prepared for some constructive, and not so constructive, criticism when you publish a video. Just keep rolling with the punches and don’t let your fun fade!
No Need for Expensive Cameras
A cell phone is good enough in the beginning, and is it really any surprise? With smartphones now easily capable of shooting high definition video better than your mom’s digital camera, there’s really no wonder why a cell phone is just about all you need to get going with your new vlogging career.
Now, at a later date, you might choose to invest in some more expensive equipment depending on what sort of videos you decide to add to your channel, but don’t make that a prerequisite to starting out with vlogging. You’ll just complicate the process and add hurdles to your success. Start with what you’ve got and work from there! If you look at just about any popular vlogger today and scroll back to their first video, you’ll see that they did the same.
When audiences come to see vlogs, they aren’t looking for super high def, production quality videos. They come because they want to see you, they want to hear what you have to say, and they want to laugh. Obviously, you should try to live up to basic quality standards by maybe picking up a cheap tripod or getting a clip-on microphone that feeds into your phone’s headphone jack, but you don’t have to get a multi-camera setup, a Bluetooth microphone, or any of that jazz.
Record Your First Video
The hardest part about getting started with your vlogging adventure is just recording your first video. The secret? Just do it! Stop putting it off. A vlog is just supposed to be a casual, yet entertaining, recollection of your day. It’s like you’re talking to your closest friend so just turn on the camera and begin speaking.
Talk, and talk, and keep talking. The first recording might be scrapped, but as you speak into the camera, you’ll find yourself getting more and more comfortable with the thought of it. As the words start to come out of your mouth, you might hit on a topic that you realize you could go on about for some time. Maybe that’s the topic you should focus on for your first video.
Again, just speak naturally and see what comes to your mind. As you allow yourself to talk, you’ll naturally be learning things like the best camera angle for your future vlogs and the fact that it really isn’t that hard to record yourself talking, even if you generally consider yourself a shy person! Once you get going, you might even find that you really enjoy hearing the sound of your own voice.
Also, keep in mind that you can edit your vlogs as much as needed, and you don’t need special know-how or expensive software for this part either. Just take your video into your native editing program, whether that’s MovieMaker or iMovie, and start editing! There are also some free programs on the web with a few more features. Crop out what you didn’t want to make it to the final cut and then make notes for the future about some things you can improve on. Like, maybe you mumble sometimes or could talk a bit louder.
Personalize Your YouTube Channel
With your first vlog edited and ready to be published, now it’s time to make sure your YouTube channel is ready to be seen by the public. When you upload your first video, add it into a playlist that you will slowly build upon. Make a special, eye-catching thumbnail for it (or enlist someone on a site like Fiverr to do it for you) and then come up with a catchy title.
Adding a description and keywords will help your vlog get found by the masses. You should then finish up your profile with a profile picture and cover image before the views begin to roll in. Being active in the YouTube community, like by commenting on the videos of other new vloggers, can help you get subscribers and build buzz to your channel.
Make sure your fun personality shines through in your comments!
Promote, Promote, Promote
Promoting your channel is probably the second hardest part of being a vlogger. But, the key is to post regularly. Commit to uploading a vlog at least once per week. Ideally, you should be uploading at least once per day when you are first starting out. This will increase the chances of your channel being seen exponentially. Keep posting even if a week goes by and you have no subscribers. Even if a month goes by and you have no subscribers! Just keep posting.
Next, ask all your friends and family to subscribe. Tweet out your channel link, Instagram it, Facebook it and share it everywhere else links are allowed (but don’t spam anybody). You should also mention every time a new video is up on your channel and tease to its contents like, “My vlog just caught the craziest thing to happen at Target today…” This will help encourage people to click through and see the video for themselves.
In addition to getting your friends and family members to subscribe, you should also be actively commenting on forums, websites, and videos that relate to you or your life. As mentioned earlier, this will help you get seen by others. Don’t be afraid to leave funny comments on trending videos and new videos either, this can even lead to one of your comments becoming a top comment which can give you added exposure.
These comments should be self-promotional, just fun! Your profile picture and username are usually enough to get people to click through if they like your comment to see if you have any videos posted. If they see recent uploads, they are even more likely to watch and subscribe.
Now, when you do get viewers, another great way to promote your channel is by having incentives for people sharing your video and subscribing. Doing subscriber giveaways from the very start of your channel will help encourage growth from the very beginning. It doesn’t have to be anything big, and branded gear is the best because it’s a win/win! For instance, give away a t-shirt that has your channel name, a quote from your channel, or a #hashtag that you’ve started.
This helps build a loyal following straight from the start and give the feeling of an “inside joke” which helps build a stronger fan base. If you can enlist someone to create some fun, conversation-starting t-shirt designs and merch ideas for you, that will be an investment well worth the money you put in! Just go to a print-on-demand shirt website and you can get a t-shirt made for less than $30.
Finally, it would do you good to learn a bit about SEO and keywords. This is a big thing with YouTube these days and it will ultimately help you outpace the competition. There are plenty of quick-start guides if you are serious about growing your vlogging channel.