Start Vlogging. Has anyone told you that? Starting a vlog channel is a beginning of a long journey. This A-to-Z guide to starting a vlog channel is written to help guide new vloggers who wish to start vlogging as full-time or part-time vloggers. This article would ensure to cover all the aspects of vlogging. Not only will you find the brighter sides of the vlogging career, but you’ll also find the difficulties and challenges a vlogger faces while pursuing it as a career.
The best part of this article is that it is written by a vlogger whose career as a vlogger is 6 months old and that’s me which makes it even interesting because I would love to share the challenges, opportunities, positive vibes, and most importantly how to cope with the problems. I took vlogging as a side hustle and ensure that vlogging should keep rolling and getting better every single day without disturbing my main business. To make it work, I often share my other experiences (including business ones) into my vlogs that add up to my perspectives and I get to share more value to the audience.
There will be a bundle of lessons in this article. I’ll make sure that I keep things simple and easy-to-understand but I’d straight away recommend vlogging only if you’re really passionate about filming and shooting videos. If you want to just try it and want to see that whether it works for you or not, then you better invest that time into something you love because just like any other field, vlogging also requires PASSION to succeed. I’m passionate about vlogging, which is why I survived 6 months and every positive comment and thumbs up on my vlogs on YouTube increase my passion every single day.
I began with 3-day vlogging a week routine and did it more or less 3 months that way — Then, I decided to go for daily vlogs, which is challenging and difficult to do, but enjoyable too. When you learn something and get ideas to film innovatively, you feel so encouraged and pumped up.
So, that was a brief confession. I want to be honest with you people, always. That’s why I didn’t start this article right away from guiding you how to start a vlogging channel. I’m pursuing this side hustle and want to make it bigger than anyone expected. I believe in this and I believe in myself too. The purpose of this blog is to share the best thing I’m pursuing personally with others especially in Pakistan.
I hope you’re buckled up for this.
Let’s roll the wheels.
In order to get started with your vlog channel, you must know that there are certain things that will ensure your success. Before getting deeper into this, I’d like you to take a look at three important elements of a vlog channel:
3 Elements of a Vlog Channel
1. Platform: The platform is the video uploading website which you would be using as your vlogging platform. The recommended platform is YouTube for obvious reasons. It’s the biggest online video site with lots of features and options to manage your videos. However, Dailymotion, Vid.me, and Tune.pk are the YouTube alternatives you can try.
2. Value: It’s the core message of your vlog. This part defines why people like your vlog, why they’re sticking to your vlog channel, and why you would grow as a vlogger. Find that reason that you could deliver to the audience and gather love from them. It could be the great ideas, tips, problem-solving suggestions, or even real-life experiences. Anything that helps others and they (audience) feel cared and privileged could be the value.
3. Uniqueness: This is something that will differentiate you from the others. You must find that unique voice of your personality. It must be original and pure. Roman Atwood is funny and motivator. Casey is phenomenal with film shooting and video recording ideas. Mr. Ben Brown has a positive vibe. Find your uniqueness that could fascinate the audience and they fall in love with you.
How to Start a Vlog Channel
I started off this guide with an in-depth point of view on vlogging and by this point, I’m sure you would have gotten a whole new and wider concept of vlogging. Don’t worry if it’s still a vague idea in your mind. The point most of you guys might struggle could be ‘what to say in the vlog’ — trust me I face this challenge sometimes, and in the early days I used to think the same thing but things kept on changing as my vlogging proceeded.
Here are some 8 useful tips to get started with your vlogging channel:
1. Choose your Video Platform
You got to be right with this. It’s something you should be taking very seriously. The platform is where you would be uploading your vlogs mainly. Of course, there would be more social platforms to hang out and build your audiences like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, but a video platform means the main platform to upload your vlogs. There are a few ones out there but I think everyone knows the best choice is YouTube. It’s bigger than every other video platform out there and everybody knows about it. Most importantly, the audience is bigger and opportunities are wider on YouTube.
This doesn’t end here. It’s my duty to share even briefly that why YouTube is important for vloggers to start a vlogging career. YouTube has certain features that many other video platforms don’t have. For instance, these benefits you get when you jump to YouTube:
- Multiple Channels with One Gmail Account: You can create multiple channels under your same account from Google/Gmail. It would have been a lot of pain if you would have to sign out and sign into your different YouTube channel with a different Gmail account. Multiple channels feature is a huge plus.
- Channel Subscription System: Channel subscription and following system is something almost every video site has in their system but what YouTube does is, it sends your subscribers a notification (if they activate) whenever their favorite channel uploads a new video, they get an email notification.
- Channel Art and Management: YouTube does provide a number of tools and options to customize the channel through channel art. A YouTube user can add a banner, display picture, featured channels, social and website links on YouTube channel. Use Canva for banner making.
- Editing and Enhancement: One of the perks of using YouTube is a wide range of video editing and enhancement tools. You can stabilize your video, increase brightness, add annotations, and much more. These features are incredibly useful for video creators and the other video uploading sites don’t offer such tools yet. I personally use Filmora for editing videos.
2. Design a Vlogging Strategy
It’s extremely important to have a vlogging strategy in place just like we do it in blogging. The content strategy in vlogging helps us define our goals, targets, and the audience to reach out and help. Similarly, in the vlogging strategy you must define that:
- What to Vlog
- What to Cover
- What to Convey
- What to Share
- How to Entertain
- How to Engage
- How to Help
- How to Collaborate
- How to Grow
- How to Inspire
These questions will help guide you to decide where to take your vlog. A pointless vlog channel may get subscribers but might not exponentially grow because people aren’t sure about the mission, they aren’t aware what’s going on in your life, they have no idea what you do, and thus, they have nothing to expect from you.
If you follow vloggers like Louis, Casey Neistat, Mr. Ben Brown, you’ll notice that they keep vlog audience updated with their upcoming ventures, projects, and traveling schedules. This is the way of keeping the audience interested in your vlog.
3. Choose What to Shoot
This might make the point #2 clearer. When you have a vlogging strategy to follow, the next thing comes in the process is what to shoot exactly. Family vloggers shoot everyday life. Their shopping, playing with kids, talking to each other, interaction with family & friends, and traveling. Watch CandidMommy and Ellie & Jared channels to see it practically.
There are a dozen activities in a day. It’s up to the vlogger what to choose to share with the audience. The best way to get it done is by making a routine that either you make every day or on the weekly basis but updating the audience is the key in this.
How to do it:
- Line up your everyday routine
- Develop a schedule of spending the time
- Record different activities
- Choose the best ones for vlog
Top vloggers skip the boring parts or what they think might not interest the audience. So they edit it out and keep the entertaining and eye-catching part of the vlogs. For instance, if a dinner at the hotel took 1 hour, so they would film like 5 to 10 minutes and might wrap the dinner footage for vlog for hardly a minute to add up into the vlog. Roman Atwood does that often.
4. Give Every Vlog a New Theme (Everyday)
This is extremely important. It’s like the story of the film. If the story of the film is catchy and interesting, the film does well on the market. Similarly, when you come up with an interesting story in your daily vlog, people find it interesting and extremely entertaining. Just imagine, if every single day, you share a cool and real-life story, people would literally fall in love with your vlogs. Now the point is, it’s up to your talent of storytelling that how well you execute the whole plan.
Casey Neistat updates the viewers at the beginning if he is up to something on that day. In fact, he tries to film that whole experience that even makes more sense, plus, his cinematography skills make things incredibly well.
The secret behind this point is that vloggers prefer to engage the audience with their title + thumbnail, which hooks the audience to click and watch. They didn’t give everything away in the title and thumbnail, but rather try to keep the twist inside it and let people watch it themselves. That’s the key.
For instance, Lord Aleem‘s vlog has the title which says Vlog 98: I Love Texas, whereas BFvGF‘s vlog has the title WE HAD TO DO IT (of course, with an intriguing thumbnail) — in both the vlogs, BFvGF channel has more mesmerizing and engaging title because Lord Aleem has probably told everything in the title and BFvGF channel didn’t give it away, instead, they kept the secret and made people watch it themselves.
5. Deliver Value to the Audience
This is something that keeps people coming back. The new viewers subscribe to your vlog channel when they land on any of the vlogs and get engaged with your content. It’s up to you that how to keep that momentum (of engagement) going in your every vlog.
There are certain things that will bring value to your content. Take a look at them:
- Happiness: It’s a feeling that you give to the audience. Whether you entertain them with your art, jokes, or any other talent. Whatever you create something in your vlog, if that does make the audience happy, in this way, they’ll stick to your channel.
- Experience: When you share your experience with them, it means you’re sharing your learning with them and it could benefit many of the viewers or subscribers. This shows that you care about your audience and this will make you human. Such things build an association between the creator and the audience.
- Lesson: When you share the lessons you learned in life, this is pure knowledge, information, and insights that could help others along the way. People get closer to us when we help others without asking for anything. Sharing valuable lessons with them does the very same thing. Tim Schmoyer told that his YouTube videos could have done a lot better if he knew all those YouTube secrets early on that he tells to his audience now.
6. Keep Improving Camera Gear and Vlog Equipment
Camera gear, editing software, and other equipment always help us improve our vlog but you don’t need that hefty stuff to start your vlog from the scratch. Almost every new YouTuber and vlogger begins with a smartphone shooting. Make a start and keep upgrading your equipment along the way. I started off shooting with my phone and then I bought Sony WX350.
A few Tips for Vlogging Starters:
- Start shooting your vlog with your smartphone
- Use iMovie or Movie Maker for editing
- Use YouTube Audio Library for free music
- Try Canva for creating thumbnails for free
Of course, you should upgrade your camera gear and editing software along the way. It’s always good to have high-quality videos on your vlog channel but it shouldn’t stop you from going off the ground. Make a start and do it.
Casey always says to his followers that you don’t fancy cameras to make great videos, instead, you should have a great message to convey and ideas to film the video. His guide to filmmaking would clarify a lot of doubts that you may have in your mind before starting your vlogging.
7. Do More and More
It’s actually true. The more you create, the better it becomes. As a vlogger, I see my vlogs’ quality has gone way up than it used to in the beginning probably 6 months back, all because I didn’t stop and wait for fancy and expensive cameras to arrive at the doorstep. Instead, I started off with my Android smartphone. In fact, upgraded my Android phone once to help support my vlog.
I’ve reached here. I’m still learning. And I’ll keep learning and (making vlogs, of course).
Now doing more isn’t that easy. People find it difficult to actually make videos. First off, start vlogging if you’re really in love with vlogging.
To check whether you’re in love with vlogging or not, just ask yourself the following questions:
Q1: Do you have a YouTube account?
Q2: Do you follow other vloggers on YouTube?
Q3: Do you have a favorite vlogger on YouTube?
Q4: Are you shy of cameras?
Q5: Do you like to share stories?
Q6: Do you like to be popular?
Q7: Do you like to help and inspire others?
By the time you’ll answer all these questions, you’ll be able to understand whether you should be vlogging or not.
Before concluding this guide, let me share the products I’m using:
- Nikon D5300 – (DSLR): http://amzn.to/2kH9oZk
- Sony WX350 – (Cybershot): http://amzn.to/2hfDuBf
- GorillaPod – (Tripod): http://amzn.to/2kSllh1
- Lightweight Tripod: http://amzn.to/2lnyITr
- Dell Core i3 – (Laptop): http://amzn.to/2lnJlpm
- Blue Snowball USB – (Microphone): http://amzn.to/2lnvcsi
- Filmora – (Video editing software): http://vlogging.pk/go/filmora
- Huawei Honor 6 – (Smartphone): http://amzn.to/2lnxyHE
The odds are, you’re interested in vlogging, which is why you clicked on this article and made it this far. So, if you really are, then don’t hesitate to follow your vlogging dream. It is always hard at the beginning.
In order to get better at this, just start it and keep doing it. After a few weeks, you’ll be much better at this.
Trust me, when I started vlogging, I didn’t know anything.
In fact, I used to think that in my entire life, I won’t be able to operate an editing software other than the Movie Maker because editing software pictures/footages give a feel that they’re complex and hard to operate. And, now I use Filmora for my vlog editing. That’s the difference of trying and stepping up.
I stepped up to pursue my passion.
You should too.
What else would you like to ask about vlogging?
Feel free to ask in the comments section.
Disclaimer: This guide contains affiliate links.