Courtesy of Creative Commons/THE REVIEW
Vlogging is the new normal. Now everyone and their mom are doing it.
A vlog is a video as short as five minutes or as long as one hour that documents a person’s life or expertise. It’s the combination of “video” and “blog,” which is the motion-picture version of the type of content you could expect to find in a traditional blog. It has become a creative way for people to document their lives and is a great way for viewers to be entertained. You don’t need a degree to start vlogging. However, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Before even starting to vlog, you need to dedicate some time to doing research. Here are some preparations prior to your first encounter with vlogging.
1. Choosing your niche
The first step of vlogging is to determine what type of content you want to present. Having a clear niche will not only allow your viewers to understand what to expect from the video, but can also help you plan the layout of the video. If you want to get more audiences on your channel, hot topics like fitness, food, make-up, unboxing or gaming are good choices. Even simpler, some people use their vlogs as a sort of diary to document their day.
2. Get some vlogging inspiration
Browse through YouTube and look at your favorite vloggers; check out some popular channels that relate to your niche. For example, if you like vlogs that focus more on daily routines and inspirations, Michelle Choi, Jenn Im and Margot Lee are some great vloggers to check out. See what you can draw from them, and integrate it into your videos. Learning how to vlog, like any other skills, comes from paying attention to what people with experience in the field are doing. The more time you dedicate to this step, the more knowledge you’ll have to base your own journey on. However, it is important to stay genuine and be yourself. Don’t imitate others’ content and style; find yourself.
3. Choose your camera
Figure out what tool is good for you. For beginner vloggers, a camera phone is a great filming tool to start up. It’s with you all the time, and it won’t feel too unnatural to use it in public. A GoPro camera is also a great choice; it is smaller and easier to carry. It is also waterproof so even if you are someone that is into watersports or extreme sports it can get the job done. Many professionals end up investing in things like microphones or lighting equipment. Microphones are essential in providing a higher quality audio, and lightings are a must have if you plan to record indoors. It will help you avoid the background noise, and ensure your footage is always clear, as well as soften shadows for a more even look.
4. Decide your content
Once everything is set up and ready to go, figure out whether your content will be improvised or scripted. Some vloggers prefer to set the camera and talk away, simply enjoy the flow of living in the moment and gather whatever comes out of it, while others create a short list beforehand.
5. Once you have an idea of what you are going to shoot, just start vlogging! Keep the tips listed below in mind.
a. Stay calm and don’t overplan: It can be hard and uncomfortable to talk to a camera all day and bring it with you everywhere. Overplanning will ruin the natural spontaneity that comes with vlogging. Press the recording button, and just be yourself.
b. Good lighting and audio quality: Make sure to speak clearly and don’t stay silent for too long. Try to record the video in daylight or with artificial lights if you want to record at night.
c. Interact with your audiences: instead of talking to yourself, imagine the camera as your friends. Engage with your viewers, ask about their opinions and remind them to leave comments and subscribe. When they leave comments, be sure to respond.
d. Create a preview for your video: Creating a preview or including a funny scene will give your viewers a sneak peek of the video, increasing their interest to see it.
Now that you know what it takes to get started, what are you waiting for? Pick up your phone or your camera, and just start vlogging!