How to vlog: a guide to start vlogging

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A quick search on YouTube will prove that vlogging is all around. This is a trend that has been around for quite a while, but most recently it seems like every YouTuber around – no matter their theme – has at least one vlogging video in their channel.

So what’s the big buzz around vlogging? Most likely any psychologist will talk about the need of human beings to know how other people’s lives are, even if YouTubers just show us an edited version of their lives. Some YouTubers have made special channels only to post vlogs, that’s how relevant they have become.

But vlogging is not as simple as recording your daily life. There are some things you should know before pressing the record button, and in this article we will tell you about them.

What is a vlog?

A vlog is a piece of video that documents a person’s life. The name comes from merging the words video and blogs, so basically they are video blogs. Think of it as the visual representation of blog entries. 

The main difference between vlogs and other types of videos, is that vlogs are intended to connect with audiences on a more personal level. Let’s make one thing straight: even if vloggers are YouTubers, not all YouTubers are vloggers. In fact, some vloggers are not even on YouTube. 

Vlogs tend to revolve around the YouTuber as a person rather than a brand. For example, a travel vlog shows the experience of the YouTuber in a certain country, usually with scenes recorded on the go, while a travel video would be more focused on the place and with a voice-over. 

How long should a vlog be?

Vlogs usually have an average length of around five minutes, but you can find some on YouTube that last up to 40 minutes. We recommend you to keep it on the shorter side, as a longer vlog requires a lot of commitment not only from you, but also from your followers. In other words, the viewer has to be extra interested in your life in order to watch a full 40 minutes video. 

What are vlogs about?

There are two types of vlogs: “talking-head” and “follow me around”. The first one usually involves a steady camera, where the vlogger talks about a certain subject. Common examples of this type of vlogs are the “get ready with me” ones where they do their hair and make up while they talk. 

As for the follow me around vlogs, they usually show a day or a week in the life. A day in the life during lockdown video were huge the past year due to the pandemic, while others have focused these videos on their careers (for example a day in the life of a musician) or around a special event (a day in the life of a bride-to-be).

Can you make money as a vlogger?

This is the question most people wanna know and the answer is yes. But just like everything online, it takes a lot of time. If you have checked our article about how to make money on YouTube, you will know that monetizing a YouTube channel involves a lot of work, consistency and patience.

Some ways in which you can earn money by vlogging are:

  • Advertising: whether you are posting the video on YouTube or a website, you can always allow ads on your videos or channel. They either come in the form of banners or video ads, but the downside is that you have little control on what they are about. Usually the host website will filter any of those ads that go against their policies, but still you wouldn’t be able to choose the type of ads that are shown. 
  • Subscriptions: some websites allow you to have subscribers who pay to access your content. Check out our picks for the best monetization platforms in 2021. YouTube also allows you to have members in your channel, who pay a small fee to access special features. 
  • Affiliate marketing: this is when a brand or company partners with you to encourage your followers to buy a product from them while using a special discount code. This is a win-win situation, as the company gets more sales and the YouTubers usually get a commission from every sale that they drive-in. Do you have a YouTube account and are looking for royalty free music and sound effects? Apply for our affiliates program and benefit from accessing our entire library of royalty free music to use on your videos.
  • Sponsored content: this is a huge deal for all online content creators as is the way they can make the most money. Sponsored content can be product placement, a mention or even a review, and the price depends on the type, the length and, of course, your fees should be based on the amount of subscribers, viewers, and most importantly, engagement that you have.

How to start a vlog?

As we said, creating a vlog is no easy task. Not only you will need special gear, but also a concept, a lot of recording time and some editing skills to potentiate your content. 

The concept

You will first need to decide what type of content you want to create. Having a theme will help you to choose specific subjects and it will also allow you to create an audience interested in what you are creating. Popular vlogging categories are food, unboxing, fashion, fitness, travel and beauty but of course there’s always an audience willing to watch other types of videos. 

Choosing a category doesn’t mean that you will have to stick to it forever, but it will be very helpful to start and define your path. Start by browsing the category you are interested in, check out other people’s vlogs and see how audiences react. Doing this market research will help you to create a balance between the content you want to create and the content people want to watch.

The gear

Once you are set on the theme is time to record. The type of gear you will need depends on the type of content you want to create. If you will do a vlog in which you are moving around, you will need a good vlogging camera that is easy-to-transport and not too heavy to carry around. You will also need a good camera stabilizator, otherwise the footage will be too messy. 

On the other hand, if you are recording a vlog in which you don’t need to move, then you can have a bigger camera with a microphone and a tripod (or basically somewhere to set the camera). In this case, you should also invest in some lighting gear to make the set even more professional.

No matter the type of vlog you decide to make, you will always need a good editing software to edit afterwards. Even if vlogs are long and show an entire day or week, you will still need some editing tricks to make it dynamic. As honest as you want to be on your video, there will always be some footage you don’t want to use and here is where the editing comes in.

The music

Music is a huge part of any type of video, and vlogs aren’t the exception. So where to find music for your vlog? You can check our royalty free music library where you will find thousands of tracks perfect to musicalize your vlogs. Best thing is that you won’t get any copyright notices and you will be able to monetize your videos (this is not possible though with the use & mention license).

You can add music all along the video, just on some parts or as the intro or outro of your videos. Be creative and take time to choose the perfect background music for your vlog.

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