Vlogging couldn’t be more easier these days. Every person has the basic equipment required for a Vlog – their smartphone. Almost every smartphone has an awesome camera. To be honest that is the only equipment required to Vlog.
To start Vlogging with Phone you need to decide on a topic, make a script, shoot a video and publish it onto a video hosting platformsuch as YouTube. Then we embed that video in our Blog and it is now called a vlog or video blog.
Vlogging is one of the easiest ways to gain credibility, establish authority for yourself and business. I had a Blog with no purpose, well it had a purpose it was a review site, but it lacked a proper focus.
I then moved onto making YouTube videos, which was just on a whim. I was just fed up of being unwell and all the self-pity. I thought I could help others and keep myself active.
Thought this time I had an aim it still wasn’t enough and I failed miserably.
In this article we will first tackle the most important factor in starting a Vlog – Purpose.
Purpose of Vlogging
Ask yourself the question why is it you want to vlog. Cut through all the outer fluff and focus on the core why.
My why was helping others, but this wasn’t focused enough. Help others in what? I tried what I thought I could help others with cleaning the house and simplifying housework.
I finally figured out that I really wanted to help small entrepreneurs start a business and take it to the next level. I also wanted to share free ways to market themselves, and low cost advertisements.
Once I knew my why, my Youtube channel took a 180 degrees. I lost a lot of views. Like a lot. This was okay for me as now my focus was not on vanity metrics like the number of subscribers or the number of views on each video.
Now my purpose was to help entrepreneurs. So even if one person watched the video that was a lot.
So you have found your purpose, now decide on a topic or sub topic if you want to make it easier for yourself.
Focusing on a niche will help you generate much better content which is actually helpful to others. Do not narrow the topic too much or you might not be able to sustain the vlog.
Remember your vlog is all about sharing your experiences with others. Let us take an example
You are an entrepreneur or just a person who makes soaps for fun. You can use a vlog to establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can share videos on soap making basics, what equipment is required to make soaps, how to make certain types of soaps such as soaps for dry skin.
I love this kind of selling where there is no hard selling. This is soft sell.
How do you Start a Video Blog for Free
I just had to share this here. I started vlogging for free..
Let me back up a bit. I first started a blog, long long ago. I just had no clue of anything I was doing but I still made money. I did not know SEO, I never understood keywords and had no clue on how to write a post.
Yet, people found me, I made sales here and there and then started making a consistent income.
Then I had a major shift in my personal life, so I ignored the blogs and I lost everything. The free blogs were taken down and my own paid domain I couldn’t renew so someone else immediately purchased it.
That was years of hard work down the drain. I then started a Youtube Channel and did not stick with it becuase it lacked focus and passion to push me.
Now I have decided to get back into blogging ( no vlogging).
You can totally test out Vlogging by using Google FREE applications. Blogger allows you to blog for free and YouTube lets you share videos for FREE.
Google ensures that you get a good reach and I have noticed blogger gets me a lot of visibility.
If you want to test the waters out I would say go ahead…
Personally after having seen the finicky nature of free sites, I am very uncomfortable to use the free platforms.
I have purchased a domain and also hosting. I am using the free video hosting provided by YouTube. Youtube is very good if you can learn SEO and how to optimise your videos.
What Videos should you take?
There are different types of videos you can make. Most of my videos are the Talking head and How To videos. I have an article on how to make videos without showing your face. You can check that out for more ideas.
The talking head is simply sitting in front of the camera and talking. These are easy to make and perfect for a beginner.
You just need to focus the camera on yourself and I use the rear camera on my phone to capture the video.
This is helpful as I can see what I am filming.
How to Videos are explanatory videos explaining how I do something. This could be how to clean, how to implement a concept, how to assemble something.
The camera is my smartphone, and I use the microphone from my smartphone for the audio. The only other equipment I use is the tripod. This is one investment I wish I had made earlier. It makes it very easy to film videos.
Some people do not find the audio from the smartphone very professional. They use an external microphone. A lavaliere or clip-on lapel mic should do just fine.
If you are filming for longer hours you would require a spare battery. Daily vlogs in which you are filming the entire day require a spare battery.
I also have a 30 GB memory card SD memory card in my phone. I save all my videos an pictures there. The video editing apps require a lot of memory to process and the extra memory helps.
Once I am done I upload the videos and delete it.
Sometimes I do save them on Google Drive.
Video Editor Apps
Ideally it would be better if you could transfer the video footage to your computer and edit it using some video editor.
I just use the video editing apps for Android. These are the video editors I use.
I also add text where required. The text feature is okay, it doesn’t really look the way I would like it to, but I am not complaining.
You can animate the text and also put in transitions in between videos.
There is a Watermark added to the end of the video. This can be trimmed later if you want. I just leave it as it is.
The paid version will remove the watermark.
PowerDirector – This is a very nice video editing app. I use it when I want to embed b-roll while I am talking. So you can add video in
I like this a lot because it simplifies my video creation process.
I just sit and decide what I want to speak in the video and film myself speaking it.
Then I create b-roll or footage for the points I want and add that to the video. This footage is added where I am speaking about that particular topic.
PoweDirector adds a watermark throughout the video. The upgraded version which I think is Rs. 430 per month, will remove that watermark and give you access to additional features.
KineMaster – This is the very first video editing app I used. It was very easy to use. You can embed pictures,videos, add audio tracks.
This application adds a watermark throughout the video. I have uploaded videos with the watermark and no one seemed to care. People are more concerned of the content.
How to Record and Edit Videos for Vlogging
This is the step by step process I use for recording my Vlogs. If you are just starting first create a YouTube Channel.
Create a YouTube Channel – Go to YouTube.com and Sign in with your
Once you create a YouTube Channel you need to customize it.
Set a image or logo for the channel. Create and upload a YouTube banner. Add some channel links. I have linked out to my website and my other social media channels ( Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter).
I will make a
If you spend some time and optimise your channel,your videos and channel will start ranking very quickly.
Film a Vlog – The next step is to film your video. This is how I do it. I make a mental note of what I would like to speak about in the video. Ideally, you should be scripting your video. A script is an outline for the video. Having a script makes it easy to film. You know exactly what to say and how to say it. You get a fair idea on what all B-roll you would need to put the point across.
I do script but not the traditional way. I make a mental note about what the video is about. Once I know the purpose of my video, I know exactly what needs to be said.
I get straight to the point and speak from my heart. The main aim of my videos is to help with utmost honesty.
Many marketers use videos to make people do something. While yes, I do want them to visit my website or buy the product I refer, I also want to focus on giving.
Give all you can and more.
People start trusting an liking you and will connect with your videos.
YouTube algorithm has changed a lot. Even top publishers have very few views on their videos. I was disappointed initially but now I am excited because the few people who watch seem to click through to my website and read up my blog.
Lighting is very important for videos. Even though the videos might not be high quality, just make sure the lighting is good because this matters. I had the most awful lighting in my earlier videos.
I was surprised at how people came back and watched the videos again and gain. They always complained about poor lighting but they still watched the videos. Once the lighting improved, I started receiving more views.
Use a tripod for the videos. Else the videos tend to get shaky and the lighting might change if you move the camera.
One more important thing. People love storylines. I am not very good at this, but if you could draw them into a story, they will stick on to your video ( which is rewarded by YouTube).
Edit your Vlog – I just use the Editors I shared above to edit my videos. Ensure that you do not use any music which has copyright. Even if you film a video in public and say
So, don’t add any music which isn’t from YouTube audio library, or some music which your purchased and can be used for commercial purposes. Just search for Royalty Free Music and follow the directions.
Some providers will ask you to purchase the audio file. Others ask that you link out to them with specific words. You can also download music from the youtube music library. That is copyright free.
I do minimal editing. I just add in the Broll and sometext and images.
For a professional look and for better rankings show a sample of what they will get in the video if they watch to the end.
For example the before and after pictures of a Room. Give them an incentive to stay till the end. Maybe you will give a freebie or a discount code or learn a secret or learn a quick tip.
This will increase the watch time of your videos which is an important metric for rankings coupled with interactions on your video ( such as comments, clicks on related videos etc).
You can also add an intro and Extro the the video. You can record an intro or you can have one made by using a service provider on sites like Fiver.
Upload the video to the YouTube – Once you are happy with the video, upload it into a video hosting platform. I use YouTube, some use Vimeo. Vimeo has a paid platform for small businesses.
Before uploading your video rename the video to match the topic you are creating the video on. For example “3 Unique Tips to clean the kitchen” .
Once you start uploading to YouTube you will see a couple of options
loTitle– Enter the Topic of your Video
- Description – Enter a description of the video. Try to add as much content as you can. Add hashtags in the description which are related to the topic. Example #kitchencleaning
- Privacy ( Public, Unlisted, Private) – On a smartphone, you have 3 modes of upload. Public means your video can be seen by anyone and is searchable on YouTube. This is the option I use. Unlisted means only the person having the link can view the video. Private videos are only visible to you. You can toggle between these settings after upload. When you upload to YouTube from your computer you can schedule videos to a later date and time.
- Location – Geotagging is a wonderful way to be found locally. If you geotag your city, your video will be shown to people searching for information in your city. The video will be available worldwide as well, but it will be given a preference in local searches since you have added the location.
- Music ( Top Left) – You can add audio from the YouTube audio library.
- Editing ( Top Right ) – There are different filters you can choose from.
Promote Videos – Now it is time to promote your videos. Before that first copy the
This has just made your blog post a vlog post.
Right below the video on
Share it on whatsapp groups and with friends and family. YouTube uses the number of views the video had within the hour as a metric for promoting the video. Once YouTube finds your videos are watched immediately ( within 24 hours) liked, shared and commented on, YouTube algorithm can take the video viral.
Make Vlog Interesting – Use stories, jokes, to connect with the users. Emotions pull users right into the video and if they feel drawn to your story they will stick on to watch more.
Most big YouTubers spend a lot of time creating a storyboard for their videos. They usually have a social media manager managing their channels.
I still remember I had asked a YouTuber if she would like to collaborate and she said she needed to ask her Social media manager. Apparently she couldn’t post random videos anymore. They had to be scripted and approved by her managaer.
While this has been good for her channel… it would not fit in with my random style of publishing.
I am too spontaneous and all my videos are taken in one take. This is not the best way to grow a brand and channel. Use scripts, and be mindful of your content, and schedule.
Other Vlogging Tips to help you
Join in Monthly Vlogging Challenges – There are many challenges on YouTube. Here are two I know of.
Vlogmas – You vlog every day in the lead up to Christmas
VEDA – Vlog Every Day in April
Just look them up on YouTube. You can simply join in. Just create videos as per the theme and upload in that month.
There are other challenges such as 30 day Blogging, 30 Day Manifestion, 30 Day Cleaning. Search youtube for challenges in your niche and join in. Some hosts want a link back and mention of their channel. You can find these challenges in Facebook as well. Check Facebook Groups.
Shoot in Airplane mode – I have been disrupted with calls so many times while filming. I still forget to use the Airplane Mode. No distractions while filming.
Phone should be horizontal – YouTube videos have to be filmed horizontal.Else you get black lines on the sides of the videos.
How to Record and Edit Videos for Vlogging
I use the phone to record my video.
Once I am done recording the video, I then record the necessary B-Roll. Sometimes it is the footage which is required to explain the topic better.
I then use the video editing apps I mentioned above to edit the video. I also add a logo to my videos.
While editing I also add necessary text,audio and any other images which I need to explain the topic of the video.
Finally I save the video using the topic of the video. Then I upload it to YouTube and make it public.
The last part is to share the video with others.
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