Once upon a time, the best way to create content online was to write a blog. While blogs still have their place in cyberspace, vlogs have become the “next big thing.” Learning how to make a vlog can be incredibly rewarding, personally and financially.
What is a Vlog?
A video blog (or vlog) is a style of video content that consists of a single person talking to the camera about their thoughts and experiences. The first vlog was uploaded in 2000 by Adam Kontras. However, the term “vlog” only emerged in 2002.
Since then, it has come to mean any type of video blog or journal that involves recording footage from your day-to-day life. Many vloggers use personal narration and present themselves over their videos as they talk directly to the viewer through voiceover or subtitles.
Others may choose not to have narration but focus solely on the visuals in front of them, with an audio track playing in the background.
Vlogs combine the best aspects of video and blogs into one highly-engaging format that people love.
How to Create a Vlog in 5 Easy Steps
Vlogging may seem like an intimidating experience, but with the right tools and a little bit of planning, it's relatively easy to open your mind to the world. Regardless of your primary reason for recording videos, the more you can do to prepare for that first vlog post, the smoother the process will go.
In this article, I'll explain what vlogging is and how to do it in 5 easy steps.
- Plan your content strategy
- Choose and prepare your vlog platform
- Invest in your equipment
- Film, edit and upload yur videos
- Market your vlog and make money
1. Plan Your Content Strategy
Creating a content strategy can feel like a lot of work. But doing it in advance can help you focus your content creation efforts and time in the long run. It can also help you avoid churning out content that your audience doesn't find valuable.
2. Choose and Prepare Your Vlog Platform
When the word “Vlog” comes up, the first platform that comes to mind is usually YouTube. There's nothing wrong with starting a vlog on YouTube, but it may impact long-term ambitions. Ready-made platforms like this offer fantastic tools and a ready audience. However, your monetization opportunities may be more limited in the long run.
Regardless of the platform chosen, you will also need to set things up and prepare it to receive viewers. That means some cosmetics, familiarization with the interface, and other streamlining activities.
3. Invest in Your Equipment
Creating a successful vlog needs more than simply strapping a camera to your head and pressing the record button. At the very least, you should ensure that you have the basics to create sharp, stable, and audible vlogs.
That means a decent camera, a stabilizing platform (depending on what type of videos you want to create), and a mic that can record audio correctly. Finally, there’s also a need for a laptop or PC, plus editing software for the finishing touches.
Gear You Need for Vlogging
What gear you use for vlogging heavily depends on what kind of videos you want to create and for which platform. For example, longer YouTube videos will do well with better cameras and sound systems. On the other hand, you can produce a TikTok video with just a good smartphone and microphone.
Some gear you may want to consider include;
Camera or Smartphone
A DSLR camera may be necessary if you’re planning on high-quality vlog content. You can also use your smartphone, but if you want to get into professional-level production, you'll probably want to invest in a higher-end camera designed for the job.
Tripod and Microphone
For extra stability and audio clarity, using a tripod will help avoid shaky shots and make it easier for viewers to focus on what's being said instead of how uncomfortable your hands look holding up the camera.
Also, consider getting an external microphone if possible so viewers can hear more clearly what you're saying (built-in mics are often of dubious quality).
Hardware, Software, and Headphones
To edit your videos, you’ll need a desktop or laptop PC. These will have to be relatively robust since video editing is often demanding on the system hardware. You will also need proper software for making changes to your videos before uploading them.
Lastly, no editing setup is complete without headphones. While editing your videos, it will allow you to focus on each noise, such as traffic and other people. Be sure to test out a pair in a store to see what suits you best.
4. Film, Edit and Upload Your Videos
Today's online video landscape is far more competitive than it used to be. As a result, if you want your videos to stand out, they'll need to be professional in appearance and easy to understand/follow. A fantastic video doesn't have to take a long time to film and edit.
Best Places To Host Your Vlog Videos
There are several options for hosting your vlogs. Here are some of the more typical places to host your vlog videos:
YouTube is most likely the first place you'll think of when you want to host a video, but it's not always the best choice. YouTube has rules on what kind of content you can share on their platform and how often you're allowed to upload new material.
This platform is excellent for vloggers who want to focus on their video content instead of everything else. It provides many ready-to-use tools and comes with a massive audience ready for you to tap.
Instagram is an excellent place for vlogging because it allows users to scroll through other people’s profiles without leaving the app itself. It also includes many filters that will enable users with less artistic skill than others an even playing field when creating content for their followers. There are limitations, of course, such as the limitations to vertical videos and mainly short clips.
TikTok is another popular social media platform where many people like sharing short clips from their day-to-day lives while having fun with friends too! You can share long videos here, too, so don't worry if something special happens in real-time, such as watching TV or going out together, etcetera).
Most of the platforms above have great features and a ready audience. However, you must comply with some of their terms and conditions on content, format, and sometimes even monetization.
Self-hosted blogs remove all those restrictions, but you must do much more work. For example, finding the right host, setting up the vlogging platform, and getting viewers onto your vlog. It’s a pretty big challenge, but long terms prospects are tremendous.
5. Market Your Vlog and Make Money
Once you’ve got some content into place, it’s time to market your vlog. The options available will depend on where you’re hosting the content. If you want to get the most out of your vlog, take the time to build up the channel and market yourself. That way, you can reap some real benefits from your efforts and will be much more likely to see your channel grow.
How Vloggers Make Money?
Finally, if you pardon the pun, we’re at the million-dollar question. Not everyone wants to vlog for free; even those who do won’t say no to earning some spare cash. Vlogging can be a massively rewarding endeavor.
There are several ways vloggers make money:
Many vloggers have sponsors that pay them to mention or use their products in a video. These videos can be anywhere from one sentence mentioning the product on a shelf in the background to an entire sponsored video of you talking about how great this specific brand of shampoo is.
This is similar to advertising, except instead of getting paid by ad platforms, one or more sponsors pay you to do something specific for them. One example is making a video on how to build a PC using the parts produced by the sponsor.
Some vloggers today combine open vlogs with subscription activities. For example, you could open subscribers' subscriptions to “behind the scenes” video content or consider doing something more unique for subscribers.
Affiliate marketing allows vloggers to get paid a commission when someone buys something after clicking on an affiliate link. The link can be in your video descriptions or even in the video itself. It’s convenient and easily trackable by yourself and the affiliate company.
More Vlogging Tips and Tricks
When you consider the massive following many popular vloggers have, it's clear that this niche is booming. There's a lot of room for growth and new vloggers, so there should also be plenty of room for you. To help you kick-off, here are some helpful vlogging tips and tricks;
Work With Your Audience
Authenticity goes a long way, so don't artificially force yourself into being something you're not. Think about the audience that you are targeting. Remember always to have fun and read the comments.
People will critique your videos, which can help you improve as a YouTuber or vlogger in the future. That's how people get to know you better and rely on you for content regularly. It's all about balance: find the right balance between personal life, passion, and commitment.
Plan Your Content Hooks Carefully
Whether the plan is executed flawlessly or the creator fails miserably, all vloggers are “TV” broadcasters. In other words, you’re doing a job in front of the camera. When you speak to the camera, it helps to have a hook that compels your audience to watch your message: power in words, energy in action, and powerful charisma asserts itself.
Use Subtitles to Access non-English Speakers
Many non-native English speakers visit English vlogs and other platforms. However, some may read better than they listen. This audience may miss a lot of information that can benefit them and help them communicate with others with unsubtitled blogs. Adding subtitles to videos ensures they can optimize their time and get the most out of their videos or blog posts.
Have the Right Equipment
The keyword here is “right” since you don’t always need the best. Know your audience, the videos you want to create, and the platform you use. These guidelines will help you choose the proper gear for the job.
Deliver Real Value
The best way for people to find out about your vlog is if they are genuinely interested in what you have to say and consider you an authority on your topic of choice. When someone comes across your vlog by chance or recommendation, they should want to share it with their friends.
Differences Between a Vlog vs. Blog
Vlogging is a form of blogging, but it’s also much more.
Blogging is creating content on the internet and sharing it with others. You can do this through written words or videos, podcasts, digital art—anything that falls under the “content creation” umbrella.
Vlogging also falls under this category. You are blogging when you upload a video to YouTube and tell your story in front of the camera. However, vlogs offer more direct, visual communication for an intimate connection with your audience.
Hopefully, the points above will serve as a helpful guide for anyone thinking of starting a vlog. There is certainly a lot more to being successful with your vlog than we could touch on here, but this primer should serve as a good starting point for those who want to get themselves started.
Above all, have fun with your videos. Try different techniques to see what works best for you, and try not to make too much of a commitment with your first video. It's hard to predict how popular your vlog will be or how often you'll be able to post. Just remember that the essential part is finding something you genuinely love doing.