I am always flattered when I am asked questions about YouTube and vlogging. I feel I have a long way to go before I can call myself a “successful vlogger”. However, as someone who has been making YouTube videos for over two years now, I have learnt a couple of things I’d would love to share with you. Here are my top tips on how to become a successful Vlogger – from zero to hero.
Find Your Niche
Before you start vlogging, make some notes about the kind of content you want to make. Ensure this is something you feel passionate about and will be able to talk about comfortably. This will of course evolve over time, but it’s important to know your niche when initially starting out.
Focus on Quality
That’s not to say that you need a super expensive camera, box lights and an external microphone the moment you start. Rather think consciously about the shots you’re capturing and how best to do this. You can use an iPhone or a point and shoot camera, propped up on a tripod or just on a stack of books! One key thing to think about is lighting – try to ensure you are well-lit when you’re filming as this makes the viewing experience much more enjoyable. I recommend using soft natural lighting when possible. And before you ask, these are the camera and tripod I use.
Edit Your Videos.
This is the bit no one talks about, even though its the longest and hardest part of vlogging. Especially if you’ve never done it before. You can start off using free software such as iMovie, which is incredible for beginners. I highly recommend watching some free YouTube videos on how to use iit, as they will teach you the basics in just a couple of hours. When you want to step it up a level I recommend Final Cut Pro, but don’t feel the need to make this leap when you first start!
Look at what other video-bloggers are doing and take inspiration. I am not saying simply copy them, but observe what sort of content is successful. How have they edited them? What equipment are they using? How have they titled their videos? What do their thumbnails look like? (Canva is a great free online software you can use to make thumbnails!).
This is where the vast majority of people fall down; they upload a couple of videos and realise that YouTube is hard work, then they stop. Sporadically uploading videos once a month or so will not help your channel grow. Please don’t let this be you! Stick with it. One video a week is a very realistic starting point.
Support & Share
Support your own content across other social media platforms. Share links to your YouTube videos on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you can, make dedicated accounts which are associated with your YouTube page, following other relevant bloggers in your area. Sharing this content across other social media platforms will be one of the main drivers to your new videos.
This is so much more important than you may think. Write comments on other vlogger’s videos on similar topics, start conversions and make friends in the area you’re interested in. Chat to them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram and engage with them. Even more importantly, engage with your audience. Reply to comments on your videos, respond to requests and listen to their feedback. The more engaged you are with them, the more likely they are to stick around!
P.S. You will cringe when you edit your first video of yourself! But I promise you get used to the sound of your own voice really quickly!
Now, go get ‘em!