In today’s digital age, where storytelling meets the camera lens, vlogging has emerged as a dynamic and easy medium for content material advent for everybody.
Further in this article, I will be showing you a few steps to start a vlog and how to find your target audience and niche and identify your competition. As you grow in this area, producing revenue out of your vlog can also be an opportunity to explore different options.
Whether you’re a content material author or want to discover the sector of vlogging, this article will serve as your remaining manual to navigating the exhilarating realm of online video content advent.
So, let’s embark on this exciting adventure and collectively release the secrets of vlogging success.
What is a vlog and who are vloggers
Are you interested in knowing how to start a vlog, but still have a muddled mind and don’t know how to start a new one? Or do you think you’re ready and just waiting for a little push and some confirmation to help you understand if you’re on the right path (or not)?
In both cases, you’re in the right place, so take this article as a small sign from the universe pushing you to embark on your new adventure. Read it all in one go, digest it, and then: ready, set, go… VLOG!
For those who have arrived out of genuine curiosity and find the word “vlog” mysterious, let’s clear things up: a vlog is a type of blog that communicates primarily through videos instead of written content. The term is a contraction of “video blog.” Therefore, a vlogger is someone who creates videos to share their perspective, interests, and passions.
Being a vlogger requires commitment. Yes, it’s a reality you must understand from the start. It requires determination, seriousness, and enthusiasm. If you truly want to embark on this journey, you have to realize that it’s real work that demands time and energy: from organization to creativity, production to post-production, not to mention personal branding and social media management. In short, the lesson is ”not to start a vlog just for the sake of it”, but out of passion and a desire to use it as a foundation for your digital activity.
After this introduction, here are some useful tips for entering the diverse universe of vlogging.
Where to start a vlog? The 5 Ws of vlogging
To become a vlogger, you have to ask and answer many questions. Let’s use the 5 Ws, a timeless journalistic method for clarity.
Ask yourself who you are and what kind of vlogger you want to be: do some self-analysis, discover your strengths and tendencies; consider skills and innovations you can bring to vlogging. Based on this, think about useful, creative, and innovative content. Be original and make a difference: communicate because you feel the need to. In short, be yourself with strategy!
Ask yourself why you want to become a vlogger: if you are considering starting a vlog, just like anything in life, you likely have a goal. This is your starting point: the goal is not only the endpoint of a project but also the starting point, as its achievement will influence the entire initial phase of choices and strategies: the reasons for starting a vlog can vary, for example:
- simply sharing one’s passions
- getting noticed by putting into practice what one knows how to do
- using the vlog as a tool to give a boost to one’s already established activity
- or a combination of all of the above.
Understand your objective and align every choice towards its achievement.
Ask yourself what you want to talk about: your objective is related to your interest. You could make a vlog about any topic, whether it’s cooking, DIY, science, fashion, finance, or travel, and understand the value you bring to the table. Be knowledgeable and provide valuable content. Your idea should be immediate, simple, and effective. Try to summarize the concept of your idea in a single line that can spark interest. If you succeed, it means:
- that you have a clear understanding
- that your idea has a strong foundation and identity
Quick advice: keep your idea in mind, but don’t get too attached. If during the various analyses that you conduct, you realize that the idea needs modifications to address specific needs or market gaps, don’t hesitate to make them.
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Ask yourself which platform to use for video uploads: YouTube is a primary choice, given its almost “entrepreneurial” structure. Furthermore, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world after Google, and using it as a platform can provide you with many advantages, including the ability to rank well in SEO. But don’t forget to share your videos on other platforms as well to expand your reach even further.
Consider how often you want to publish a video: take some time and create a good editorial plan. The editorial plan is a kind of scheduling for your videos, specifying the days and times to publish them. Evaluate the commitment you can undertake and decide whether to publish every day or a few days a week.
Regardless, create fixed appointments and avoid uploading fewer than one video per week. Being highly present and consistent allows you to capture the attention of more users, always eager for new content. Don’t forget to include on your YouTube channel all the reference links to your web pages: social media and website.
This will help you to get known and also increase conversions. For example, if you’re a vlogger who focuses on design and you have an e-commerce store where you sell your creations, include the link on your video channel and encourage your viewers to make purchases. In a few words, your YouTube channel should be the focal point from which a myriad of connections radiate.
Now comes the difficult part. Consider how you can achieve all of this, that is, how to become an innovative vlogger and achieve the results you’ve set for yourself. To understand which strategy to adopt, you’ll need to study a lot: yes, “you never stop learning” is not just a saying. Here are some tips to give shape to your idea in a structured way, without leaving anything to chance:
Identify your target audience
It’s crucial to establish the type of audience you want to reach, which is your target. Who do you want to address? What age group are you aiming for? Do you want to target a specific niche with particular topics, or do you aim for a broader audience? These are all questions you need to answer to implement targeted strategies.
Always keep your target audience in mind, once you’ve chosen who you want to reach, think about what they’re looking for; identify vlogs covering the same topics and read followers’ comments to understand their needs and even anticipate them: how? That’s easy. If you want to talk about a specific topic, it means that you are addressing an audience with whom you share a passion, so you have something in common. Utilize the connection you share with your audience.
Ask yourself what type of vlog you’d like to watch and what information you’d want. Remember the questions you had before becoming an expert in your field, they’re likely the same questions your target audience has. Use your experience as your primary source and discuss it with friends and acquaintances.
Look around and always remember that the key to success among followers is delivering useful, interesting, and valuable content.
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Study the competition
Knowledge of the landscape is your primary weapon. Analyze the vlogs of your competitors, from the most influential to the less known: being aware of what’s already out there is crucial to understanding the path to take.
But since every means is good for bringing water to one’s mill, study not just the content, but the person behind it, how they interact with followers, how they use social media channels, and supplementary activities they undertake to retain users. Broaden your perspective and think of it as an interconnected system where influences flow both ways.
Understanding the context empowers you to perform better and reach higher levels: creating a vlog without a clear understanding of the existing landscape could hinder your success, leave nothing to chance and analyze competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to ensure you not only meet but exceed expectations.
Identify what’s missing
While studying the context helps you understand what to improve, identifying what’s not present is a powerful tool at your disposal. Recognizing gaps allows you to fill an absent market segment and become a true pioneer. In this case, it’s essential to also consider the international market to understand what works elsewhere and what’s not yet present in your country.
Become a brand
By definition, a brand distinguishes a company from others in the market. If you aspire to be a vlogger, you must become a brand yourself: reflect your personality through content, interaction style, and overall video mood.
Discover what makes you unique and transform it into your brand, the special something that sets your offering apart from the rest. Becoming a brand means being instantly recognizable and associating with a specific image and philosophy. Utilize every detail:
- be yourself, don’t hesitate to show your true self, embrace your strengths, and humorously address your weaknesses.
- give your channel a name and select a cover image that represents you.
- invest time in visual elements, as they’re vital to make you unique and recognizable.
- maintain a visible and recognizable style in video mood: think about editing, colors, and graphics that represent you and support your content. This will undoubtedly make a difference.
- don’t forget about music as it enhances emotion, atmosphere, and engagement. It is also resourceful in capturing attention in intros and outros, aiding transitions, and highlighting key moments. Memorable tunes create a strong brand identity. When choosing music, make sure you have the appropriate rights and licenses to avoid copyright issues. You can also use royalty-free music, and licensed tracks, or opt for platforms like YouTube’s Audio Library for music.
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What videos to create?
Let’s continue with our list of questions. Now it’s time to ask yourself “what kind of videos do you want to create“? It may seem simple, but it’s not at all. Deciding the type of video is crucial for showcasing your brand, captivating users, and understanding how to shape your content.
First, choose the video duration: do you want to create longer videos or quick and dynamic clips? Do you want to include graphics? Do you prefer a natural style or a more eccentric one? Of course, it’s all aligned with the type of vlogger you aim to be.
Video style varies from a travel blogger to a food vlogger, for example. Remember that video is a versatile tool that enables you to tell the same story in various innovative ways, don’t underestimate this opportunity, consider both the medium and the content as equally important aspects.
This way, you can infuse your unique touch in all aspects: be creative! If you have technical limitations, don’t worry, no written vlogger rulebook mandates doing everything on your own. You can rely on talented friends for filming, editing, and graphics, and eventually learn the tricks of the trade yourself through hands-on experience.
What do you need to start a vlog?
After understanding your desired outcome, move on to the operational phase of creating your video. What do you need? For creating a vlog, you’ll mainly require:
- equipment for shooting videos
- graphic software for the editing phase
Let’s start with the pieces of equipment: the choice of the equipment depends closely on the type of vlog you want to create and also on the levels you want to reach.
Static vlog: if your idea is to speak in front of a fixed camera, you can opt for a good mobile phone or a not-too-expensive video camera that will certainly do its job.
For example, the Canon M10 is an economical mirrorless camera suitable for vlogging, thanks to its flip screen, or the Sony a6000. Remember to get a tripod to mount the phone or camera and pay attention to lighting. In most cases, the desired result is even lighting, and for this, you can get a Neewer LED: this light consists of 160 LEDs, is adjustable in power, and provides a fairly neutral colour. Alternatively, you can use a “ring light,” a ring-shaped light placed around the camera.
To add more dynamism, you could consider using multiple cameras and shooting from different angles, this will provide more options during editing. Audio recording is essential: if you’re recording in a room, the camera’s audio might suffice. However, for better quality, you can use external microphones. In this case, I recommend the Rode VideoMic: a microphone that’s reasonably good in terms of quality and cost.
Dynamic vlog: this is the case for travel vloggers or vloggers who create videos while out and about, capturing their “typical day.” Let’s take travel vloggers as an example: here, the situation steps up a level, nowadays, travel videos have reached high levels of quality in terms of storytelling, filming, and editing. If you want to enter this field, you can consider the following:
- a good DSLR or high-end mirrorless camera, the Sony a7sII, for instance, is popular among travel bloggers due to its lightweight and high-performance
- a set of different lenses
- spare batteries for when you’re out and about and can’t recharge a depleted one
- backup SD card
- external microphone
- stabilization equipment like a Steadicam, monopod, or gimbal
- an action camera if you plan to capture adrenaline-fueled adventures or underwater diving
- for the more ambitious, you might even consider getting a small, budget-friendly drone to start with
Once you’ve finished recording, it’s time for editing. This is one of the most creative phases, offering you a multitude of possibilities, however, you’ll need to choose the approach that suits you best.
There are several software options, but I recommend starting with Premiere, which will also allow you to integrate your project with other Adobe software like After Effects and Audition, but keep in mind that these programs require payment.
If you’re not ready to spend money at the beginning, you can use the free trial of Premiere or use Windows Movie Maker (free for Windows, but quite basic) or iMovie (free for Mac).
Think crossmedia and transmedia
Once you’ve created your video blog, don’t limit yourself to uploading it only on your YouTube channel. Be smart: to succeed, participate in various initiatives and share your videos on other social media platforms and also create different types of content to publish, such as photos on Instagram, stories, and live streams: all of this will help strengthen your online presence and your brand.
Remember not to isolate yourself; collaboration is powerful. Create new and original content with other vloggers or well-known personalities. Activate collaborations and be present for your audience.
At this point, here are some tips for discovering how to become a YouTuber and making the most of your channel to achieve significant results and even potential earnings.
Top 5 best YouTube vloggers
- PewDiePie: one of the most well-known and influential YouTubers. He gained fame primarily for his Let’s Play videos, where he played and commented on video games. His contents also include vlogs, challenges, reactions, and more.
- Casey Neistat: known for his dynamic cinematic style and creative narrative approach. His vlogs often provide a glimpse into his daily life and adventures
- Liza Koshy: a well-known American actress, comedian, and YouTuber. Her vlogs often feature a mix of comedic sketches, personal anecdotes, challenges, and creative character portrayals
- Emma Chamberlain: her Youtube channel features relatable vlogs that often include humour, lifestyle content, and personal experiences. Her interaction style resonates with a predominantly young audience
- RomanAtwoodVlogs: he is a prominent American YouTuber, prankster, and vlogger. His YouTube channel features a collection of his vlogs, pranks, family moments, and adventures.
YouTube is a search engine. Always keep this in mind, as it allows you to optimize your content using SEO logic to be found by users.When you upload a video, fill in all relevant areas with useful keywords (for this, you’ll need to research keywords on YouTube to understand where you can position yourself).
Choose catchy titles and thumbnails that immediately pique interest and curiosity, this can make a difference in receiving more clicks. Here’s a secret, have you noticed that many videos now include subtitles? Well, besides being helpful for those who can’t listen to audio at that moment, there’s also a strategic reason. Subtitles are also indexed.
This illustrates the point that you need to understand all the dynamics of the platform to make the most of it.
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How to generate revenue
Of course, you can aim to earn from your vlog: first of all, enable monetization for your channel, to do this, you have to access to your dashboard and click on “Channel,” then “Status and Features.” In the various sections, select “Monetization” and follow the provided procedures.
Once you’ve done this, you’re on the right track. Remember, earnings on YouTube are based on views, specifically on the CPM, or “cost per thousand views.” After achieving some success, you can consider incorporating advertisements through Google AdSense, which allows you to earn for every impression or click on the ads.
Look for collaborations and create sponsored or branded content videos or even affiliate partnerships. If you’re good at attracting attention, companies, from brands to production companies, might reach out to you. So put in your best effort and expand your horizons.
How to start a vlog using TikTok
TikTok is another platform that allows users to create and share short-form videos, making it a great place for vlogging. All you need to do to get started is:
- download the app and create an account using your email, phone number, or social media account
- use the TikTok app’s recording feature to create your vlogs or your mobile camera and shoot multiple clips and edit them together using the app’s editing tools
- just like any other platform, engage with your community and stay updated with the latest trends.
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Starting a vlogging channel on TikTok can be a fun way to share your experiences and connect with a worldwide audience by making short, creative, and engaging videos.
Now you have a solid starting base to initiate your endeavor, experiment, enjoy the process, use your intelligence, and always keep your goal in sight.
If you’re interested in becoming a vlogger but uncertain about the initial steps, reach out to a specialist. You will be able to plot the optimal route for your trip!