Deciding you want to become a vlogger is one thing. Knowing where to start? Well – that’s a different story. After the year we’ve had, it seems just about everyone has favorite software, gear, social media strategies, and tips for someone trying to figure out how to start a vlog. The amount of information out there can be a little…overwhelming.
Since we’ve been in the video content making game for a while now, we wanted to help you cut through the noise with our short list of favorite tips, products, and dos and don’ts to keep in mind as you start your vlog project. Some of these things we learned the hard way, and some are solutions we came up with to solve problems we ran into.
Here’s what we think beginning vloggers should know:
1. Be a Specialist, not a Generalist
First things first – what will your vlog be about? The most successful vlogs out there pick a topic they know they can provide quality content about and stick to it. Whether your specialty is makeup tutorials, gaming, or home décor, it’s a good idea to spend some time defining exactly what your vlog will be about. Having a consistent theme will help you find your target market, draw them in, and keep them coming back for more.
Once you’ve narrowed down your specialty, take some time to explore what successful vloggers in your category are up to. What do you think they do well? Where do you think there’s some room for improvement? What can you offer on the subject that’s uniquely yours?
Remember- audiences LOVE authenticity. The more you you can be, the more followers will feel connected to your brand. There are thousands of vloggers out there, but only one you. If you’re sarcastic and witty IRL, be a sarcastic and witty vlogger. Super nerdy about a particular fandom? Bring it in! Don’t waste any time trying to be someone or something you aren’t. If it isn’t authentic, audiences aren’t gonna buy it.
2. Set the Scene
If you want to build an audience, your vlog needs to look and sound professional. The three things that separate the pros from the amateurs are lighting, sound, and editing. Luckily, all you need to succeed is the right basic vlogging equipment!
- Lighting – We’re obviously pretty biased toward great vlogging lighting. The right light will make you look enthusiastic, put together, and on top of your game, even on days you’re winging it a little. A good ring light, like this one , is the simplest way to make sure you’ve got lighting covered. Adjustable temperature, brightness, and built-in diffusion give you a ton of versatility to play with, and battery packs that last for over an hour mean you can look great even when you can’t plug in.
- Sound – If your followers can’t hear you, they aren’t going to listen. It’s worth investing in a quality external microphone for vlogging with your phone. Not relying on your built-in phone mic will cut down on static or wind noise, give you more control over volume, and provide a clean, crisp sound that guarantees you’ll be heard and understood.
- Editing – Listen, you don’t have to be a video editing pro to master the art of clean, concise videos. iMovie, Lightworks, Blender, and countless other free editing tools let you cut out awkward pauses or misspoken phrases and edit in a good intro, logo, or text. Take notes on what you like about other vloggers' editing style and try to replicate the same vibe.
3. Know Your Dos and Your Don’ts
Creating Internet content can be a pretty wild ride. You’ll meet some interesting characters, lose Wifi signal when you need it most, and probably say something you wish you hadn’t at some point. It’s good to have a strategy in place for staying flexible, responding to feedback, and engaging with your audience. Here are a few simple dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Do: engage with your followers! Respond to comments, answer questions, mention people by name – they’ll LOVE the personal attention.
- Don’t: feed the trolls. Don’t waste your time engaging with haters or negative comments – ignore, or block, and keep on doing your thing.
- Don’t: get stuck in one place. We’ve all learned how quickly the world can change! Think ahead to what might happen if you can’t get to the studio, or your office and…
- Do:invest in portable, lightweight equipment! Our Mobile Creator Kit has everything you need for pro lighting, sound, and video in a super portable package so your “studio” is anywhere you go!
- Do: pay attention to the details – titles, tags, and thumbnails. Write titles for your vlogs that are memorable and enticing (Fun fact: statistics show folks LOVE to click through when there’s a number in the title. Who knew?) and choose tags that will help your video get in the hands of your specific audience.
- Don’t: settle for the automated thumbnail. Your thumbnail is an opportunity to draw people in. There are some GREAT vlogs out there on how to make and use excellent thumbnails – take some time to do the research and make sure yours are as awesome as your vlog deserves.
4. Be Consistent
Whether you choose to post every day, once a week, or once a month, make sure you choose a schedule you can stick to. The more regularly and reliably you post content, the more likely you are to build and retain a following. If you’re worried about time, maybe start with a posting schedule that’s easy to maintain, like once every two weeks. Once you’ve developed a rhythm, and your shooting and editing skills, you can always up the frequency!
5. Use Your Team to Share
You’ve probably already made social media accounts to promote your new vlog, but it can be hard to get views and engagement with anything new. In order to get the best traction on your YouTube channel, ask your friends and family specifically to follow, like, comment, and share your first few posts and videos across multiple platforms - TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, or any other platform you’ve chosen for promotion. Their engagement will help you get a little traction so new followers can find you! Chances are you have a few friends who share your interest in your vlog topic – don’t hesitate to ask them for a little like/comment love!
If you do wind up using Lume Cube products, make sure to tag us when you start promoting your vlog! We’d love to come check it out.
Good luck out there!