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At this point in time, most people understand the concept of a blog. Although thoughts vary, blogs remain provide a depth of knowledge or expertise for everyone from individuals to corporations. Traditionally, blogs function as a part of content marketing, which aims at engaging with potential customers or any core audience.
However, what about other alternative ways to engage with your audience. For example, podcasting or vlogs?
What’s a Vlog?
Video blog or vlog conveys similar information as a typical blog communicated through video.
“Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata. Entries can be recorded in one take or cut into multiple parts. Vlog category is popular on the video sharing platform YouTube. [Vlogs] also often take advantage of web syndication to allow for the distribution of video over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats, for automatic aggregation and playback on mobile devices and personal computers.”
Interestingly, most of the prominent vlogs leverage third-party platforms, such as YouTube. As a result, YouTube vloggers rank highly among the most visited channels on the platform. For example, prominent YouTube vloggers join the YouTube Partner Program, which adds professionalization.
“This professionalization additionally helps increase exposure to various channels as well as creates a sense of stability within the field. Additionally, this professionalization allows content creators to be deemed a credible source by their viewers. Furthermore, many vloggers have been able to turn their channels into sustainable careers.”
How to Vlog
Vlogging works like blogging (or any other type of content marketing). The best YouTube vloggers offer perspective on a topic (mainstream or niche) and provide engaging information. Just like in the traditional blogging environment, competition remains fierce in the vlogging world. However, as vlogging gains momentum and more people spend more time watching online video, the market continues growing. As a result, new or aspiring YouTube vloggers must learn the basics.
For example, anyone new to an industry must start with networking. And networking starts with some research. Research the current vloggers in your field and understand the various niches that currently exists. Ask yourself some questions such as:
- What is my area of expertise?
- Do any vloggers cover my niche?
- How successful are the current vloggers?
- How will my vlog differ from the competition?
- Is it possible to add value to the leaders in my field?
In particular, producing content adjacent to a leader provides an interesting opportunity.
If your vlog competes head on with the “800 pound gorilla” in your space, then you need lots of resources, including budget, to gain any traction. However, if your vlog takes a different spin, but adds value to existing content, then you have an opportunity to leverage the market leader.
Plus, collaboration always helps in any field. As the experts share, collaborating with your peer group helps everyone cross-promote content and gain visibility into new audiences.
“Find somebody with a similar engagement and subscriber count and talk to them. If you have 10 subscribers don’t go to someone with 10m subscribers and go ‘hey, let’s make a video’ because they’re not going to answer you. You need to talk to people on your level and then everybody grows at the same time together.”
10 Vlogging Tips
Everyone needs some help learning a new field. To help how to vlog and the basics required to get started, here are some vlogging tips from around the web!
“The brand has to be consistent in its message…So if you want to be an actor, make content that you can act in and showcases your skills and don’t’ be led astray by the views…Give the viewers what they want and they will respond.”
“Before you get set on starting a YouTube channel, select your niche wisely. Although it’s totally up to you which niche you would like to talk to your viewers about, it’s also not bad to take a look at the most sought after niches. Do some research on the most popular vlog niches and see if you find them interesting. Base your channel around a theme or a niche. This is basically a topic area that you are passionate about. While some people choose a broad theme, others opt for a more specific angle. Either way it is important to pinpoint what you want to do with your YouTube channel and the audience that you want to target to get your vlogs on top.”
“You want to vlog well and do it often. It’s important to focus on quality, but it’s just as important to be active. Don’t wait weeks or months until uploading your next vlog on YouTube. Viewers prefer to subscribe to channels that are active. So it’s important to keep your channel active by uploading frequently. This helps to build your audience. Frequent vlogs that are engaging and entertaining will bring viewers back, and before you know it you will have loyal fans.”
“This is vital. Even an ordinary footage looks highly engaging if you have good video editing skills. A synchronization of video and audio with a perfect mix would surely add some extra subscribers to your channel. Try to magnet viewers with catchy headlines. Use of sub-titles in the footage makes even more attractive and professional. It’s your editing skills that can differentiate your works with others despite the mediocre content.”
“Indulge yourself in a bigger vlogging community. Comment on vlogs of other vloggers that address the same topics of yours. Subscribe to their channels and make friendship with the fellow vloggers. You may invite other vloggers to watch your content. This will give you more exposure and a larger network.”
“If you’re starting a vlog, it’s essential for you to promote it. No one starts a vlog with a ready-made following of 1,000,000 enthusiastic fans, so you’ve got to put some work into promotion before you’ll see results. If you’re as new to vlogging as you are blogging, a good place to start is to connect with other vloggers. Commenting on other vlogger’s videos is a great way to make connections and start conversations with people that are likely to be interested in your vlog. However, this doesn’t mean spam – you need to make sure you write genuinely interesting comments which are likely to spark up conversation.”
“I HATE listening to a Vlogger and they start with 5 minutes on who they are and why they are talking to you. Saying who you are and your blog name and then what the subject will be is fine. Let the rest of who you are and why they might want to listen to you unfold naturally as you lead them through the video. Another pet peeve of mine is when the Vlogger tells me the points that will be discussed in the video before they start. This wastes time, and no one wants to have their time wasted.”
“Q&As are a great idea for YouTube videos to get closer to your audience and to stimulate the engagement on your videos. You’ll get more comments, and your followers will appreciate you for answering their queries.”
“The best way to be a successful vlogger is to learn what is good about your videos and what needs to be changed. Relying solely on intuition is not a sustainable strategy. Learn how to use YouTube Analytics and collect real data. You’ll find out what makes your viewers go away, what they rewatch because they enjoyed it, and you’ll also learn more about who your audience is.”
“This is the most important part of your successful vlog, if your camera [or vlogging equipment] is good enough then you can able to do vlogging in every situation. No matter what types of weather out there, after all, you get better results and clarity which always helps you to get more views. And the popularity of your vlog grows.”
Vlogging Equipment Needed to Start Your Vlog
Just like starting a podcast, vlogs require some equipment to get going. For example, necessary vlogging equipment includes a camera, lighting, video editor, microphone and other things. From proper lighting that ensures a bright and clean appearance to microphones that enable crisp and audible voice, vlogging equipment makes a difference in engagement.
As a result, conducting proper due diligence into the right vlogging equipment for your specific space matters. To help, find a list of some of the best vlogging equipment available on the market.
How do you determine the best video camera for vlogging? It depends on your niche and type of blog. For example, for a simple vlog where you only show your headshot, then a standard smartphone, tablet or laptop works. However, if you want to attract attention, then a more sophisticated vlogging camera, which is easily transportable is required.
The Canon EOS features an optical viewfinder with a 45-point all cross-type AF system, along with a fast and accurate dual pixel AF with phase-detection. This camera helps capture the action right as it happens with extensive, customizable controls and brilliant image quality.
The Fujifilm X-A5 allows vloggers (or anyone) to create with confidence and style. The X-A5 sports a retro design and offers a host of features, which includes a 180 degree tilting rear LCD screen, built-in bluetooth technology and an extended battery life (such as up to 450 frames possible per charge).
The GoPro Hero6 transforms adventures and all life activities into incredible stories directly on your smartphone. The Hero6 includes an all-new GP1 chip and next-level video stabilization that offers double the performance.
The Nikon D5600 helps anyone stand out from the crowd with photos and videos that provide the inspiration need to keep shooting and learning. This Nikon camera offers plenty of out of the box functionality, which means you can immediately start taking great photos and videos without the learning curve.
If you build it (or vlog it), will they come? The answer is no if they can’t hear you. Therefore, the microphone is one of the most important components of your vlogging equipment. Although many cameras include a microphone, built in microphones harm the consumer experience. Why? Microphones included with cameras pick up all sounds (and generally at a low quality), so your potential listeners have a difficult time hearing only your voice. As a result, the best vlogging microphones are unidirectional and focus on your voice.
The Blue Snowball vlogging microphone provide high quality sound for computer-based audio recordings. The microphone offers an easy and seamless experience that delivers audio quality beyond the built in capabilities of the standard computer.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 offers a microphone ideal for home studio applications, such as vlogging. Plus, the cardioid polar pattern reduces the extraneous sounds from the rear and sides of the microphone making it perfect for the home vlogger.
The Zoom H1 offers an evolution in portable recording equipment that is ideal for content creators. The microphone includes built in 90-degree X/Y stereo mics, advanced one-touch button controls and distortion-free recording. The microphone remains powerful enough for professional projects yet small enough to fit into your pocket.
The PowerWise Professional Grade Lavalier provides a dependable microphone for any activity, including podcasting and vlogging. The PowerWise lavalier microphone works on Apple devices and includes an extra durable wind muff, which makes this an ideal external mobile microphone.
The Takstar SGC offers a vlogging microphone that enhances the quality of any recording and is specifically designed for the camera and high sensitivity condenser, which makes this a practical microphone that effectively reduces the surrounding noise.
The best YouTube vloggers possess a sense of style and individuality. Plus, their videos constantly stand out, which means proper lighting. To help promote a sense of professionalism and ensure potential viewers engage with your videos, proper vlogging lighting equipment is needed. From ring lights to umbrella lights, learn about vlogging lighting essentials.
The Stellar Photo Ring Light offers vloggers with a perfect LED ring light that includes professional grade features such as dimming and adjustable color temperature. Plus, the ring light kit offers flexibility and makes attaching additional equipment, such as microphones and cameras incredibly easy.
The LimoStudio Ring Light captures close-up filming and other portrait shots with perfect lighting. The ring light draws attention to the eyes, which makes engagement with viewers quite easy. Plus, the light combines with a dimming feature and 360° angle adjustable mounting plate, which easily creates a professional shoot and remains a great product for all general lighting purposes.
The StudioFX Softbox offers an ideal lighting kit for portraits and video shoots. The softbox includes multiple lights that provide the best performance by eliminating glare and distributing even lighting. Plus, the kit provides soft lighting controls, along with easy controls that enable simple operation of the softbox.
The Fancierstudio light kit offers professional grade digital fluorescent video quality, which includes adjustable light outputs that work in any location. The kits is compatible with any camera on the market today like Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus and more, so your vlogging equipment remains high quality and improves your performance.
The LimoStudio Box Light helps provide professional grade light spread at a low and convenient cost. The kit offers an excellent option for anyone setting up a home studio and works in most locations. Plus, the softbox lights enhance the overall quality of any shoot, which makes it a great addition for any YouTube vloggers.
As some of the expert vlogging tips noted, professional grade quality video makes a difference. And nothing portrays amatuer like a shaking video in a stable environment. Yes, vlogging tripods help provide a professional image. From weight and size to mounts and compatibility, learn about some of the best vlogging tripods on the market.
The Magnus PV Tripod features a 3-way pan and tilting head that facilitates smooth positioning and precise alignment. Additionally, the tripod includes sure-grip rubber feet that ensures traction on all surfaces, along with a quick release mount that helps provide with a smooth and properly aligned video.
The Joby Gorillapod Flexible Tripod offers pan that provides extra-versatility with the range of shots desired. Additionally, the quick release plate enables seamlessly transition matched with flexible, wrappable legs that helps secure your camera.
The Magnus VT-4000 Tripod maintains a small base, but packs some punch as it supports cameras up to 8.8 pounds. In addition, the tripod includes 2-way fluid head that allows smooth motion between shots, along with a fixed counter-balance spring that provides smooth tilt movements.
The Manfrotto MTPIXI Mini Tripod satisfies the needs of consumers looking for lightweight, portable and easy to use video support. The tripod helps people achieve hard to get video shots while keeping the camera steady. Plus, with its solid construction, the tripod provides a secure base in every situation and the rubber feet guarantee a stable and slip-free purchase on any surface.
The Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod offers new vloggers with an entry level device that helps people shoot a lot of photos and movies. The tripod features an ergonomic joystick head with scroll-wheel locking mechanism that remains intuitive and easy to use. Plus, the comfortable grip allows anyone to capture smooth movies and great images with little effort.
Undoubtedly, once an aspiring vlogger captures some video, the most important step remains editing. The most successful YouTube vloggers provide engaging content, which means removing tangents and unnecessary information that distracts attention from the main point. Keep your viewers engaged with some simple editing. To help, find a vlog editor that integrates with your system and works with your process.
Blender provides a free and open source 3D creation suite, which supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline. From modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation, Blender software works for any developing vlogger.
The Lightworks team provides a professional grade vlog editor, which is based on over 25 years film editing experience. The team recently released Lightworks v14.0 that helps people create a complete video creative package which stands out from the crowd.
Shotcut provides a free, open source, cross-platform video editor for Windows, Mac and Linux. The software features include support for a wide range of formats, along with no import requirements that means native timeline editing. Plus, Shotcut offers new cross-platform capabilities of MLT especially in conjunction with the WebVfx and Movit plugins.
Avidemux provides a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. Additionally, the software supports multiple file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Plus, vlog editors can automate certain tasks using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license.
HitFilm provides video editing, VFX, and all the power any vlogger needs to produce quality content. The software, created by FXhome, focuses on an array of tools that work great for students, YouTuber vloggers and novice filmmakers.
Although many YouTube vloggers rely on a camera and studio setup, successful vloggers provide an authentic video based on their niche. If you find yourself on the go or simply need a lower cost option, while producing high quality content, a vlogging phone works well.
Apple produces great products that are ideal for everyone from amateurs to professionals. The iPhone X works for everyone that needs a vlogging phone with its all‑new 5.8‑inch Super Retina screen. Plus, the display employs new techniques and technology that helps capture great content.
The LG V30 Plus offers balanced design with a surprisingly compact and lightweight body. The phone, which is constructed from premium materials and wrapped around a brilliant OLED full vision display brings a cinematic viewing experience to the palm of your hand.
The Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra takes the Sony borderless smartphone series to new heights by adding a host of enhancements that make this large-screen device stand out even further from its competition. With its beautiful large display, switchable dual front cameras, and upgraded design and performance, Xperia XA2 Ultra is the perfect large-screen smartphone for capturing and sharing a wider variety of your life moments in style.
The HTC U11+ offers a stunning design featuring the first edge sense squeeze, which enables quick interaction of your favorite features, such as the camera. Plus, the phone incorporates Corning Gorilla Glass display that provides high quality photos and video.
The Galaxy S8 rethought every part of the phone’s layout, which helps break through the confines of the smartphone screen through the Infinity Display. This means all you see is pure content and no bezel. The S8 offers the biggest, most immersive screen on a Galaxy smartphone of this size, and it’s easy to hold in one hand, which makes shooting video simple and easy.
In addition to a vlog editor, vlogging apps help people on the go. Many of these apps work with iOS and Android operating systems, so regardless of your vlogging phone of choice, you can still find an editing app that helps condense material and retain high quality content for your audience.
VivaVideo helps create video stories. The company remains one of the best video camera and video editor apps in mobile app market. It has over 380 million users all over the world so far and ranked as No.1 free video editor and video maker app in 70+ countries. With VivaVideo, you can easily create your video story and share with your friends and family, transforming everyday moments into works of art as you want.
Magisto smart video editor transforms the video and photos you shoot into polished short movies with emotion and excitement at the core of every story.
Apple helps content creates capture and edit their material and iMovie remains a useful option. The software makes it easy to browse clips and create high quality videos with and stunning 4K-resolution. Plus, Apple owners can even start editing on iPhone or iPad, then finish on a Mac.
KineMaster is a video editing application that brings a full suite of editing tools to iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android devices. Plus, the software remains designed for productivity on the go. As a result, KineMaster delivers the ability to create professional video content without being tied to a computer.
Cute Cut offers intuitive editing software that helps manage the video production process. Plus, the editing app provides more customizable utilities than any other movie makers on iPhone/iPad. As a result, vloggers can produce unique content that differs from the competition due to the 30+ tools and advanced brushes that help create professional effects.
YouTube Vloggers Share How To Vlog
Ultimately, the best vloggers find their niche and delivers an authentic voice while engaging an interested audience. Similar to blogging or any outbound marketing initiatives, successful vloggers add value to their audience. Therefore, start with a unique perspective and find your way to engagement.
Take the cues from others in the field and find ways to collaborate with your peers, while not directly competing with them. Add in some quality vlogging equipment and some patience and soon you’ll be working your way up the YouTube vlogging charts!