How to Start Vlogging on YouTube

Get in on this big YouTube trend

What to Know

  • Follow some successful vloggers and note their upload schedule, editing techniques, and the length of videos.
  • Choose a topic, theme, or style, then determine what equipment you need for filming, editing, and uploading.
  • Create your YouTube channel and promote your vlogs on other social media sites.

This article explains how to start your own vlog. A vlog is a video log (or video blog) that acts as a diary, journal, or blog in video format. It's one of the most popular forms of online video content today—especially on YouTube.

Find Inspiration From Watching Other Vloggers

Woman holds a webcam connected to a laptop

Tim Roberts / Getty Images

If you know what vlogging is, chances are you've watched some vlog videos already. If you don't regularly follow the vlogs of some successful vloggers already, now is the time to start doing that.

Pick a few vloggers and spend at least a week or two studying their vlogging style. You certainly don't want to completely copy them, but getting a look at what makes them seem interesting can give you some good ideas for your own vlogs.

As you spend time watching, ask yourself some questions like:

  • What topic are they vlogging about?
  • What makes their vlogs interesting?
  • How long are their videos?
  • What trends can you pick out in every video?
  • Do they edit their videos?
  • Do they film their vlogs in one take?
  • How often do they upload new vlogs?
  • What are their viewers saying in the comments?
  • How are they interacting with their viewers?

You're doing research here not only to explore your own possible vlogging style but also to see what works for the pros. If you find several vloggers using the same little techniques, make a note of it.

Here are some of YouTube's most popular vlogger channels you can check out:

There are lots more vloggers out there, both big and small. Not all of them have the word "vlog" incorporated into their videos or channels, but if it involves talking to a camera, then it can be considered vlogging.

Do a search for your favorite interests on YouTube to see what comes up. There are vloggers out there that vlog about everything, from celebrities and relationship advice to amazing science facts and video games.

Choose a Vlogging Topic, Theme or Style

Based on your own interests and the vloggers you watched in step two, you can now decide what your vlogs should be focused on. You should be looking to provide value to your viewers through your vlogs.

If necessary, jot down a list of possible topics. If you have multiple topics you want to vlog about, think about how you can do that in a way that each topic compliments one another and works to diversify the variety of information you can offer through your vlogs.

For example, there are lifestyle vloggers out there who may vlog about a health food trend in one video, then talk about relationship advice in the next video. As long as your vlog style and personal brand ​stay relatively consistent, vlogging about different topics is very possible and a great way to mix things up.

On the other hand, it may not be the best idea to upload three very professional vlogs on the topic of entrepreneurship, then make two laidback videos about a few Hollywood movies you just watched, then go back to vlogging all serious about small business management. The consistency doesn't flow very well here at all.

Some vloggers don't really have a topic or group of topics they vlog about, and instead just vlog about their daily lives. They'll talk about what they did, where they went, what they learned, and sometimes they'll even film their vlog as they're out and about doing what they do during the day.

The beauty of vlogging is that it's incredibly open-ended and flexible. As long as you can use it to establish and build your own personal brand, you can pretty much vlog about almost anything.

Decide What Equipment You'll Use to Film, Edit, and Upload

You don't need a fancy camera, light fixtures or editing software to get started with vlogging. Most vloggers start off with simple or everyday technology they already have, then progress to investing in cameras and other more specialized equipment as their audience grows and they want to improve the quality of their vlogs.

If you have a smartphone, you can do all of your filming, editing, and uploading through that. Today's smartphones have such high-quality cameras ideal for filming awesome videos, and there are both free and paid apps you can use to edit them.

On the other hand, if you have a laptop, you won't even need a camera to film your video if it has one built-in. Lots of vloggers start out by vlogging with their laptops, eliminating the need to transfer the video to the computer later to edit and upload.

If this is a casual venture, simply use your smartphone, laptop, or existing digital camera to film your videos. You can edit directly on your phone or with dedicated editing software.

Professional vloggers who want more of an advanced look and feel need higher-end equipment. If you're at that stage, you may want to consider investing in a good HD camera and editing software like Final Cut Pro.

The YouTube channel creation process is a lot different now than it was years ago, mainly because it's now integrated into your Google account. Once you have that set up, you can create your YouTube channel.

You can customize additional features like your About tab, your channel cover art, links to other social profiles or websites, channel tips, featured channels and more.

Uploading to YouTube is easy. On the web, simply hit the Upload button in the top right corner to choose the video file and fill in necessary information like title, description, and tags.

You can also upload through the official YouTube video app from your smartphone or tablet computer. This is a great option for casual vloggers who do all their filming on their mobile devices and don't want to waste time transferring their video to a computer just to upload it.

Promote Your Videos and Build an Audience

Filming, editing, and uploading your vlogs is often the easy part. The hard part comes when you're competing against all these other vloggers and creators for viewers.

Popular vloggers often promote their vlogs on all sorts of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others.

Promoting your vlogs on social media is an essential first step, but there are a lot of other great techniques for building an audience.

Once you build up your subscriber count and have viewers watching and interacting with your vlogs, you'll want to know how to interact with the good ones and keep out the trolls.

Why You Should Start Vlogging

If you're looking to beef up your social media presence, there's nothing quite like a video that gets people's attention. Whether you're running a business or just looking to be a part of an online community for fun, vlogging is one of the best ways to promote yourself, your products and your services.

Perhaps the best part of vlogging is that there's no right way to do it, and you can look at it as a constant experiment. There's no need to be perfect right off the bat when you upload your first video, and some of the most seasoned vloggers tweak and change their vlogging habits even years after they started so their content stays interesting and their viewers stay satisfied.

Before you excitedly jump on board with your own vlogging journey, there are a few things you should plan and look into before getting started. Browse through the following slides to find out what basic things you should have in order first.

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