If you’re ready to get started vlogging on YouTube, you’ll be embarking on a fun, and potentially profitable new venture. Creating great quality vlogs with an audience of viewers who are truly engaged with you requires just a small amount of practice, marketing, and planning. Following a few basic tips and best practices will ensure you’re well on the path to success as a YouTube vlogger.
Figure out your “why” for vlogging
The first step in becoming a vlogger is to figure out with a basic pen and piece of paper why you are choosing to embark on this path. What is your reason for vlogging? Is it as a new career choice, or just to share content with friends and family? If you want to go pro, you need to think about YouTube vlogging as a full time job, something you’ll have to do on a weekly and preferably a daily basis. However, if you’re just vlogging because you have a bit of extra time and want a new hobby to share, you can go ahead and put some content out without quite as much planning and preparation.
Pick your industry/niche
You definitely want to consider the main topics you’ll be vlogging about. It helps to pick an industry or a niche that you really love because if you choose a subject you aren’t truly into, you won’t stick with it. But choosing an industry you love will ensure that you continue making videos even if you don’t have many ideas.
Pick one industry — fashion, entertainment, music, sports — whatever it may be. Then create your channel based on that specific topic, narrowing it down as much as possible. This will help a lot when it is time to brand your channel and build a following.
Define your short term and long-term goals
Where will your channel be in 2 months after you begin your vlogging ventures? How about 1-2 years down? Make a long-term plan — and a short term one — in how you will develop your channel.
Pick a YouTube name
Try to pick a name for your channel that has something about your industry in it, but also stands out from the crowd. As an example, if you plan a vlog on basketball tips for beginners, you might call it “Hefty Hoops With Sam” or “Jake’s Juvenile Jumping Journey.”
Figure out a fun name that showcases your talent, your topic, and your unique creativity.
Get a good quality camera
YouTube has plenty of HD capabilities, and with smart TVs being more and more prolific now, a lot of folks just watch YouTube right from their HDTVs at home. You can get a good HD camera such as the Canon Powershot for less than $99. The more you pay, the better quality audio and video you get, as well as lighting and mic setup.
Don’t skimp on audio
Getting a great quality mic is also key in building a good audience, because your sound contributes immensely to your video quality. Look for a good in-camera microphone and be sure to minimize background noise as much as possible.
Make sure your lighting quality is high
If you can’t simply film outside during the day, where natural light is strongest, you can try getting some simple white poster board and a few lamps placed strategically around your room. Pointing the light toward you at different angles is one way to get good lighting. You can play around with poster board reflectors and lighting placements until your quality of shot is clear and bright, showing off your face in a flattering, professional light.
Simple, effective video editing
Be sure that when you make your videos, you’re putting in a few simple transitions in the editing process, such as straight cuts. There are a few basic free software choices out there, as well as YouTube’s inbuilt video editor. If you have Windows, you can simply use Windows Movie Maker, which uploads videos straight to YouTube after you’ve produced them, or go with a bit higher quality editor when you have reached professional level. Be sure whatever editors you pick, you choose ones that seem natural and easy to use, because it will be much simpler to learn — and easier to stick with.
Engage your audience with social media
Finally, be sure to spend some time building up Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and Google+ feeds to promote you channel. Learn the best practices of each network. For example, of Facebook, only one or two posts per day are best to use, while on Twitter you can post as much as you want.
Spend a bit of time learning how best to interact with your followers on each network. And finally, be sure to interact naturally, using your own communication style, talent, and voice. Before long, your channel will start to take off and followers will naturally start to come to you.
Bonus: Successful YouTubers
Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, has earned more than $7 million in 2014. Kjellberg knew that he needed to do something he loved: playing computer games. Of course, he also did something really powerful on YouTube: engaged with his audience.
Another successful YouTuber, Zoe Sugg aka Zoella, started making fashion and style videos where she built up a following of more than 9 million subscribers. By going with her passion and making appearances on TV, in music, and through published works, Zoella has been able to build a strong brand online that has contributed to her YouTube success.
Jenna Marbles, who also has built a successful following, knew how to make videos that are entertaining and funny, using her dogs in many of them. She also knows how to portray an authentic persona, one who seems able to relate to a large audience. By using a personable style, she has managed to build up a large following and maintain subscribers over the years, building her unique brand.
About the author
This post is written by Andy Merchant, Co-founder of Bloggers Required. When Andy is not working, he can found him with a camera in hand, pretending to be an amateur photographer. Find him on Google+ and Twitter.
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