Want to vlog, but not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered.
Since the dawn of YouTube time, y’kno when Charlie McDonnell did that video where he made a cup of tea, vloggers have become the rock of the YouTube community. But vlogging isn’t as easy as it looks. Many people take to it – after all, how hard can it be? Turn on a camera, talk about your life, get a spoon of cinnamon and choke on it. Easy, right?
As with most things in life, it’s never that simple. And even some of YouTube’s finest spent years before they mastered their art (and most of them are still learning). However, there are some tips all vloggers have picked up along the way that could really help you get your first leg up. So now that you know why you should start making videos, let’s look at how you get vlogging…
Many creators will attest to the value of planning your videos. This doesn’t mean you have to write pages and pages of everything you want to say or do, it just means having an idea of what you’re going to talk about.
Some people like to write scripts, some like to write brief bullet points, others just have a rough idea that’s not written down. Either way, thinking about your video before you hit record will make things easier, and usually, entertaining for the viewer.
After all, nobody wants to sit through a video of someone talking about nothing. Or worse than that, someone making a video for the sake of making a video.
2. Get energised.
Vlogs are always enjoyable to watch when you can tell the creator is happy, enthusiastic and having a good time. Good times are infectious, bro! So get excited!
Listen to that guilty pleasure song, call up that friend who gets you talking faster, or think of something that made you laugh so much you ROFLcopter-ed. “To up my energy levels for vlogging, I’ll have a cup of tea, blast some great music and have a bit of a dance,” admits magic man Steven Bridges. “I’ll sometimes start off by being SUPER energetic as a warm-up, so when I bring it back down my energy level is naturally higher.”
Putting yourself in a positive and happy mindset before you film really makes a difference. You’ll smile, talk with more enthusiasm, come across charismatic and hopefully, have fun making it. Otherwise you’ll just end up looking shifty and awkward on camera.
3. Connect with your audience.
Talking to a camera might seem strange at first, but its important to remember that you’re actually talking to people. OK, not people there in the room, but the audience that will watch the video. And when you’re talking to someone in real life – unless you’re a spirit from the afterlife – you want to be seen, heard and maintain eye contact.
To be seen, you need to stick some lamps on or sit by a window. Get some light on your face, after all you are the focus of this video so you need to be seen.
To be heard, you need to test the microphone on your camera. Sound can make or break a video, and if the quality of the built-in camera microphone isn’t good, try recording the audio on a separate device.
This doesn’t mean you need to buy something expensive: you’ve already got a great one in your phone! Place the phone near by and record your audio though that: it will make a world of difference.
And finally, to maintain eye contact you need to look at your audience. It’s tempting to look at your own face on the viewfinder to see what you look like, but it creates a disconnect. Wether consciously or not, the audience with notice you looking away from them. So eyeball that camera lens!
4. Find what works for you.
There is no set method for how you should create your vlogs, its all about testing the waters and finding a method you find comfortable. Some people do multiple takes so when they get to editing they have a variety of choices. While others may completely wing-it.
Funny man Jack Howard prefers an improvised approach. “I find it more natural in my own vlogs to do it more on the go,” he explains. “I only do multiple takes in vlogs if I think I’m rambling or I can find a more concise way of saying something.”
Ultimately, it may take a few attempts to find out what works for you, so allow yourself time to find your method.
5. Edit, edit, edit.
Not only will editing allow you to take out the inevitable ‘umms’ and ‘errs’ that will occur (trust us, we’ve all been there), but it’s also your chance to really craft the video. Editing lets you take out the filler and make everything tighter.
Think of it like cooking. You have all your individual ingredients – your desired narrative, your footage, music, etc – but it’s only once they’re all cooked together do you get your finished meal. Editing is cooking, see?
Take your time to cut down the video – get rid of those calories by keeping it short. Viewers are unlikely to sit through a 10-minute video of someone new, unless they have already established themselves.
“Editing is what turns your videos from 20 minutes of you talking about nothing into something fun and entertaining,” explains baby-faced Ewan McIntosh. “It also gives you the ability to make things larger than life, and to really emphasise aspects of your videos.”
But don’t fret if it doesn’t fall into place the first time because editing is a skill that takes time to develop. The best way to learn is by observing how others edit. Try and work out why your favourite YouTuber has edited their videos in the way they have. Then use what you’ve discovered to aid you on your journey.
Just, do it!
Vlogging isn’t a natural skill that people are born with. It can take time to find your style, find an audience and feel natural. However, it’s a great hobby, that’s often rewarding and, above all else, fun. Want more tips? Why not check out these:
- 6 Reasons You Should Start Making Videos
- Charlie McDonnell’s Guide to Rebranding Your Content
- TenEighty’s Guide to Joining a Network