Many people don’t know exactly what a vlog is, and they especially don’t know everything that goes into putting one together.
The dictionary defines “vlog” pretty basically: “a video journal uploaded to the internet.”
But this doesn’t tell the true story of why anyone would actually start a vlog—because there is more to vlogging than meets the eye. Perhaps you may be curious about starting a vlog?
The good news is vlogging is easy and effortless for both the viewer and the creator. You just have to get started. If you’re fascinated about vlogging and want to know how to start, here are a few things about getting your new vlog off the ground.
Vlogging 101: The Basics
Basically, a vlog is a video showing and documenting the life of a person. This is a video that details your thoughts, opinions, and experiences.
It can be as uncut or edited as you want before you post it on the internet. Vlogging is a mix of the words video and logging. It’s similar to the idea of blogging (hence, the similar term), but instead of writing out your thoughts, you’re talking about them and filming yourself or your surroundings.
The main thing to know about a vlog is that it is a personal document. This means, there are no firm rules about what a vlog should be about. It can be as personal and intimate as you want it to be. Most people who have a vlog, organize it around a theme.
They may talk about a specific topic or hobby (maybe music, travel, fashion, or just their everyday life) or offer instructional guides on things like technology or various products. A vlog is not a documentary because the nature of a vlog is its frequency. A vlog is usually updated daily, weekly, monthly, or even more depending on the nature of the content.
Sharing your own and unique experience is the essence of vlogging. Vlogs are like video diaries. They’re a way to showcase who you are and what you’re all about. You can also invite your friends or family or guests to your vlog—it’s all up to you.
A vlog is all about sharing your personal interests or experiences in order to connect with an audience. All you need is a camera (or even just a phone with a camera) and an internet connection, and you can start a vlog. Yes, it’s that easy.
People will be able to watch your vlog on a variety of devices, including their phones, tablets, laptops, or “smart” TVs. But unlike watching traditional television that is limited and not seen outside of the confines of a controlled space, a vlog is viewable almost anywhere and at any time. In reality, the content can come to you wherever you are and whenever you want it.
History of Vlogging
Vlogging started all the way back in January 2000 in the USA. This was the first time it was possible to record a video journal and upload it to the internet. The first noted vlog was created by Adam Kontras.
Kontras filmed and posted his personal and travel experiences while making his way to Los Angeles. He documented his cross-country road trip and recorded it on video instead of writing a web journal, or blog, like most people were doing at the time.
Since his first vlog, the idea of filming yourself and posting it online has grown ever more popular. Today, vlogging is huge. You can find people vlogging about basically anything and everything you could imagine. It’s especially easy now with the ease and ability to use Youtube to upload and showcase videos.
If you’re wondering what platform is best to feature your vlog, you’re going to want to start with YouTube. It’s simply the easiest, best, and most popular platform to start a vlog. YouTube offers quick and immediate access to a varied audience around the world.
How to Start a Vlog
First, you need to be able to film and record yourself.
So, you want to be sure you own or have access to the correct equipment. Recording a video can now be as easy as using your cell phone. Therefore, you don’t necessarily need a pricey DSLR camera or even an expensive microphone.
However, you do want to make sure that your vlog can be recorded with the capability to be at least 720 pixels The video quality is determined by the pixel and resolution output, so 720 pixels would give enough clarity.
Related: Our Top Picks vlogging cameras.
Sound and audio quality is very important as well. If you are recording a vlog with a handheld camera or phone, then you may need to invest in a microphone, especially if you plan to film outside or in noisy areas. You will find that good equipment will make your vlog easier to make and more enjoyable for your audience.
Secondly, you need to organize or at least outline your thoughts about the goal or purpose of your vlog.
Any vlog, no matter how spontaneous or random, has a purpose or goal in mind. Simply being yourself could be all that it takes to vlog, especially if you’re comfortable on camera. If this is you, then make your vlog personal and keep things genuine.
Avoid trying to act, entertain, or be something that you are not. Being in front of the camera can seem natural to some people while completely awkward and strange to others. But don’t give up that quickly because many vlogs gradually grow, improve, and transform into fulfilling and successful vlogs over time.
Thirdly, you need to find a niche or special topic that makes your vlog stand out from the pack.
Do you want to have a travel vlog and document your adventures on the road? Do you like to talk about your career in a specific industry? Or are you more personable and want to talk about your life, your relationships, your ambitions, and your hardships?
Some of the more popular vlogging genres include home video family vlogging, daily vlogs, science or education vlogs on particular areas, comedy and entertainment vlogging, and travel and adventure vlogs. You will be surprised to find vloggers that vlog about everything, from celebrities and food to weird and random science facts and even video games.
It will be helpful to do some research about vlogging and see what other vlogs are out there, especially pertaining to the topic you may want to cover. Watch other vlogs and see what it is you like or don’t like about them. What could you do better and differently?
Publishing Your Vlog
The world of vlogging and YouTube are quite linked. YouTube is a great platform that many around the world use.
However, do know that some people can’t access it, don’t like the ads, or want to find an alternative. Aside from YouTube, there’s also Dailymotion, Vimeo, and more that offer popular and reliable platforms to post and publish videos. There are blog hosts that share videos on their websites as well, like WordPress, Weebly, Medium, and much more.
Once you have decided on a platform to host your vlog then you have to set up an account to host you. The most popular sites for vlogging, YouTube and Vimeo, provide simple and streamlined ways to quickly start posting your videos.
For example, with YouTube, all you have to do is hit the “upload” button and directly post your video. However, before you publish your video you should consider several important factors, like video editing.
Video editing is an important skill to learn as a vlogger. Whether you are a beginner or casual vlogger, who uses your phone to upload videos, the quality of your videos can greatly improve with the right editing and presentation.
Beyond filming your video, the post-production process can greatly enhance and improve your video. Take advantage of free editing apps from your phone or go online and check out Wondershare Filmora9 or Adobe, which even have free versions.
Promoting Your Vlog
Your vlog may be neglected or ignored if you don’t try to promote it. You don’t have to pay for promotion if you’re starting a vlog because there are many ways to increase your audience in simple ways.
No matter how inexperienced of a vlogger you are, the easiest way to publicize and go beyond your friends and family group is to use hashtags. Researching and adding trending and popular hashtags can do wonders. Once you know the popular hashtags then try to link them to your vlog content.
When it comes to vlogging, the overall product is a continual journey. The best piece of advice is not to give up. The biggest advantage and challenge to vlogging is that anyone can be a vlogger.
The inclusive nature of this medium is what makes vlogging so powerful. The long road to success really comes down to how much you want to put into your vlog—but first you just have to get started!