In simple terms, vlogging is just recording and uploading your daily life, but, the inner workings of a successful vlog is much more complicated than that.
Sure, you can stick with shoving a camera in front of your face and talking about your day, but, if you really want to make hyper-engaging vlog content, you need to take some notes.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the best vlogging tips for beginners. As a YouTube partner, I’ll leave you here some of my best tips. But also, I will show you some of my favorite tips from other content creators that I’ve collected throughout the years.
My Top Tips for Beginner Vloggers
1) Have a Passion for Making Videos
It will take a long time to have a successful channel. You will need to be consistent and make a lot of videos. This is why, if you’re not passionate from the start, you already lost.
You will get exhausted after a while if you don’t really like it.
And have fun! If you’re not fun while creating videos, you’re not going to last for long, and it’s just probably not for you.
2) Think like a brand
What’s the theme of your vlog? What helps it stand out from others in your field? Create a brand that will help decide what the purpose of your vlog is and how you’re planning on communicating it to your audience.
This is done by thinking about the entire image of your channel, even its own name.
Your theme can be as simple or complex as you like, but it will help you decide what to vlog about in the future.
For example, when you enter Casey Neistat’s channel, he makes an impact in you with a beautifully composed picture of himself standing on the streets of New York, where he records most of his vlogs.
After that, he introduces his channel by showing an impactful video that is a good example of what his channel is all about: inspiration and telling stories.
3) Have a plan
Unscripted vlogging is a great way to show your viewers the natural side of you, but it’s also a great way to stammer, stutter, and trip your way through every vlog.
Instead, develop a plan for each episode. While you don’t have to have a strict script, you should know:
- What the purpose of your vlog is
- What you’re hoping to accomplish
- A basic story arc or outline
- When you’re going to be done
It’s just as important to know how you’re going to end your vlog as it is to know how you’re going to begin it.
Sometimes, inspiration will occur in a flash of lighting, and you’ll change things up.
Other times, however, you’ll find that it’s much more effective to have an idea of where things are going before you get started.
4) Be confident in front of the camera
One of the biggest challenges associated with vlogging is developing the confidence to speak on camera.
Try some of these strategies to improve your confidence and have better vlogging sessions:
- Speak clearly and at a reasonable pace.
- Observe yourself in front of a mirror. See how your face looks in certain expressions.
- Do a trial take. Ask yourself what’s missing, then try to put it in.
- Limit your number of takes. It’s okay for a vlog to have a few elements of personality left in it!
- Pay attention to what you do right. You can spend a lot of time tearing yourself down when you watch your vlogs. Try building yourself up instead to help increase your overall confidence.
5) Pay attention to video length
As an amateur vlogger, 5-7 minutes at a time in front of the camera is plenty.
Shorter segments are more likely to keep your viewers’ attention to the end, while longer segments may leave your viewers falling off around the halfway point.
Try to keep your vlogs under the 10-12 minute mark if you’re feeling overwhelmed. You can always upload future vlogs on similar topics.
Once you get more comfortable in front of the camera, you can start recording longer videos. No problemo (as a Spanish native speaker, I always found this phrase hilarious, lo siento).
6) Know Your Equipment
Sure, many successful vloggers are able to get away with minimal equipment.
They may even be able to record highly successful videos on their phones.
If you want your vlog to look truly professional, however, make sure that you have the right equipment. This includes:
- A camera that can shoot in HD
Appeal to the widest possible audience. Many of your viewers may put their videos up on televisions and other large screens. Don’t let yours be the blurry, out-of-focus video!
- A tripod
Whether you’re using your phone or your camera, this is a highly important investment. A tripod stabilizes your camera and ensures that you get a steady picture, not one that’s bouncing around and making everyone motion sick.
- Audio equipment
What you have to say is important, and you want to be sure that you can be heard clearly!
- Light boxes and other lighting equipment
It’s amazing how much of a difference lighting can make in your overall setup. Take the time to shoot videos under different light conditions until you find the one that fits your needs for your vlog.
7) Learn to edit
If you really want to give a professional look to your videos, it’s editing that will give you those final pieces. In editing, make sure that you:
- Sharpen audio and/or add music and effects so that your sound is just as crisp as your visual presentation.
- Add appropriate visual effects to get the effect that you’re looking for. Keep in mind that these effects should, ideally, be in keeping with your vlog.
- Add text and logos as needed.
- Take out any errors in your presentation. Did you stutter over a word? Struggle to finish a specific segment? Editing is a great time to remove those errors. Make sure that your flow is consistent and that your presentation is interesting throughout.
Editing can be the difference between a vlog that your viewers watch all the way through and one that quickly loses their attention.
This is a complicated process that takes skills.
And that means it takes practice to learn completely.
It’s important that you pick one editor and stick with it until you master it because the process varies a lot depending on the software you use.
After a while, you’ll notice that you start finishing your videos faster and with better flow and quality.
8) Make a habit of watching other vlogs
There is an incredible number of vlogs out there on a wide range of different topics.
Make a habit of watching them and learning from them.
You don’t want your vlog to be an exact copy of anyone else’s No matter how good they are, they aren’t you–and you want to present something that is uniquely your own.
You do, however, want to learn from other vloggers. When you watch a vlog, ask yourself:
- What did they do well? How can you learn from it?
- Is there something you can adapt from this vlog to make yours better?
- What did the vlogger do poorly? How can you learn from that to do better in your own vlogging efforts?
- What makes this vlog unique?
Becoming a vlogger is an incredible way to increase your reach and create content that is more likely to spread.
Video content gets more shares and more engagement than many other types of content, including blogging.
In order to make the most of your vlogging efforts, make sure that you’re creating clear, professional-looking vlogs that are sure to engage your audience. These simple strategies will improve your vlogging efforts and give you more professional look that will be sure to help you thrive.
9) Don’t ask for anything before giving
Don’t you get annoyed when you click on a video and the person just never gets to the point of the video and you just end up leaving?
What about the annoying “please like my video and subscriber” before the video even starts? This works well when you already have an audience, but many of them aren’t yet subscribed to you (most views always come from unsubscribed people).
But when you’re starting, you need to build rapport with your viewers. Be a good one and give to them before asking anything back. Entertain them or an audience, and later ask for a like and subscribe. People will be more likely to give you what you want and they won’t get mad at you.
10) Pay special attention to the first couple of minutes
Every year, the average attention span shortens. And it is especially short on YouTube, where there are literally dozens of videos calling for your viewer’s attention right next to your own video.
This means that you need to be really good at making people pay attention to you. The first 15 seconds are crucial for this. Most people leave your video within the first minute. This is the amount of time you have to convince them to watch.
If you get their attention quickly, they will be more likely to stick around for longer.
That’s why I like to avoid things like using a channel intro. Those precious seconds are being wasted, so think well about how you start every video.
11) Make videos about things YOU like
You need to choose the main topic of your channel. The best way to build a successful channel is by making it niche.
You will need to like your topics because you will be talking about them a lot. Nobody likes watching someone who is not passionate about what they talk about!
You can also choose a topic based on your skills. You might know how to do something a lot of people are interested in learning.
Either way, remember this:
Don’t worry about not being that good at that skill. You will always be able to teach people that know less than you.
12) Post videos regularly
You should be vlogging at least once every week. This is the only way to encourage people to follow you.
Not only that but this way you will generate more watched time and YouTube is going to rank your video higher because of that.
The competition is now fiercer than ever, so the more you vlog and publish long videos (around 10 minutes long), the more you will grow.
Making a schedule helps a lot with this, so don’t forget to be consistent.
It will also make you a better vlogger because you’ll get more practice out of it.
13) Forget about money in the beginning
Worrying about how much money you will be making can destroy the possibilities of having a successful channel.
You won’t become rich in one day from your YouTube channel.
Knowing this and embracing it can free you from the pressure of making money.
Just like the top creators on the platform did. They all began out of passion when YouTube wasn’t considered a business.
However, they became better at monetizing after many years.
Before you can start making money, you will need an audience. So focus on building your audience first, and worry about the money later.
14) Be yourself
Be crazy in your own way.
Or be relaxed and calm as you normally are, if you’re that type (like me).
Or you can even create a fictional character and become him in your videos! Some content creators have found huge success this way.
This personality will transfer to your channel and it will make it stand out from the rest.
15) Worry about sound quality, not so much image quality
This is the only real technical thing you will need to worry about.
The sound of your videos is more important than image quality. Nobody will keep watching a channel that is hard to listen to.
If there’s too much noise or echo in your audio, your audience will lose interest.
This is why, when choosing a vlogging camera, you should get one that allows an external microphone. Most built-in microphones are not good for vlogging.
You should also worry about using lighting if you’re recording from home. This will improve your image quality drastically.
Tips for From Famous Vloggers
16) Story is Important (Casey Neistat +10 Million Subs)
If you’re interested in vlogging, or already doing it, you probably know who Casey Neistat is. He’s one of the world’s most popular vlogger (in terms of time, sub count, and recognition.)
Casey didn’t start off doing vlogs, he actually started as a filmmaker. Before Casey was filming himself every day, he was working with Tom Sachs — a contemporary sculptor — to produce some films on the artists work. Afterward, he even had a show on HBO entitled The Neistat Brothers, which was about him and his brother.
One of the things that has fueled Casey’s success as a vlogger has always been his ability to create a story out of every day. Instead of simply following Casey around, viewers of his vlog are subject to a neverending story, where each day follows a script of sorts.
In his video — How to Vlog Like Casey Neistat by Casey Neistat — Casey lays out how he crafts a story by making each video follow a narrative.
The most important thing (about vlogging) is, of course, the story, but what is a story… every good story follows this rule, you’ve got a beginning, you’ve got a middle, and you’ve got an end. Setup, conflict, resolution.”Casey Neistat
Casey positions his vlogs like a narrative.
- Setup: What’s going on? Who is the video about? What’s the environment? What feelings and emotions are happening in the video?
- Conflict: In a typical story, this would be the part where the villain is introduced, but, in vlogging, this would be where a problem comes up. What’s the point of the video? What happens that makes the users want to watch it? This is the conflict.
- Resolution: What ends up happening? Is the ending happy, sad, or in-between?
Now, you don’t have to have some insane conflict in every video — that’s not possible. But, if you go into each video with the mindset of creating a compelling narrative, your video structure and tone will be killer.
17) How to Deal With the Haters (Roman Atwood + 14.1 Million Subs)
Haters can be hard to deal with when your first starting out vlogging. You pour your heart and soul into the camera, spend hours editing, and spend time writing the perfect script only to have a stream of negative comments blasted at you.
It’s especially tough to deal with when you have very few subscribers/views. It can feel like the world pushing you down into a corner. Haters can make you question whether or not you should even be vlogging in the first place.
I get hate for sure. You could find a video of a kitten rolling on the floor with a yarn ball and there would be some nasty comments. You have to become numb to it. Vlogging will acclimate you into the world of the internet.”Roman Atwood
It’s important to take a step back, understand that the culture of the internet breeds haters, and continue on.
You will have haters. No matter who you are. There will be negativity in the comments of every single one of your videos.
The hope is that there will be far more positivity to drown out the haters. If you post your first video, get some negative feedback, and start to second-guess yourself. Just remember this. Having haters is a right of passage for vlogging. Don’t let it get to you.
18) Aim for Consistency (Jonathan Joly + 1.9 Million Subs)
Jonathan Joly’s families daily vlog, SACCONEJOLYs, is the second longest running vlog in YouTube history. Joly and his family have posted videos every single day for 10 years. Which makes Jonathan the perfect person to give advice regarding consistency.
Jonathan talked on Video Influencers about working for years to get to 20,000 subscribers (he gets around 100,000 a month these days.)
It was so important to lay that foundation and not be deterred by other people doing more videos or more views than me. I never had a plan to make a big viral video. I just wanted to be consistent. Don’t get the biggest audience in the world get a quality audience. Instead of a huge inflated number of subscribers that aren’t watching your content. Just have a small amount that will watch your videos subscribe… just be like good quality viewers.”Jonathan Joly
Instead of trying to do over-the-top videos and vlogs every time, be consistent instead. The end result will be a fully engaged audience that will watch your videos and comment regularly.
19) Find a Passion (Nadine Sykora +400,000 Subs)
Nadine Sykora is one of the most popular travel vloggers on YouTube. She started making YouTube videos back in 2006, which makes her one of the oldest vets on YouTube. She has managed to make a living vlogging her travels around the world.
In an interview with Video Influencers, Nadine talked about having passion.
Find a passion. Find something that you are going to love. For me that was travel. It took me a while to get there, you may not know off the bat so experimenting can be good. I’m on my 10 year anniversary here. Guys, it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon. You’re going to be making videos for a long time if you want to make it here.”Nadine Sykora
Having a passion can help push you on those days where you really just don’t feel like vlogging. If you’re not vlogging about something you have some passion about — whether that be your job, skateboarding, your family, marketing, or whatever.
Vlogging requires you to upload so much content that it’s important to be passionate about what you do. You won’t have that sub count at the beginning of your career. Find something that can drive you.
20) Come Up With a Theme (Ashley Nicole +1.1 Million Subs)
Ashley is another super-popular YouTube vlogger. Ashley does weekly thematic vlogs instead of daily blogs, but she has found the perfect balance between consistency and theme.
Speaking of theme, Ashley uploaded a video on her channel titled “How to Vlog” in which she goes over how important having a theme is to her channel, and gave a little theme advice.
Coming up with a theme for a vlog ever single day is hard, it’s hard. Usually, I don’t even know what the theme of my blog is until I’m sitting down editing and I’m like, oh, this is what I’ll title it. When you finally think of that theme for the vlog make sure to get a thumbnail that fits the theme of that vlog.”Ashley Nicole
Being able to put your video to a theme gives you context for both the title and the thumbnail. Don’t just throw up a vlog and title it “my vlog day 1.” Use your theme. Whether that’s walking your dog or going to the grocery store, use your theme to structure your editing and thumbnails/titles.
Also, make sure you get the name for your vlogging channel right so people can remember you easily.
Tips for From Other Content Creators
21) Express yourself by using YOUR unique voice
Aaron Lee is a Malaysian blogger and social media whose blog, Ask Aaron Lee, has over 60,000 readers. He’s featured in some of the biggest online publications on the planet, including:
- The Huffington Post
What can you learn from Aaron? He explains that the most important thing is to be yourself and that means Vlogging with your own unique voice. As Aaron explains: “When I started blogging, I had the opportunity to learn from experienced and successful bloggers in the industry. One of the best lessons I’ve learned from them is to simply be me. I didn’t have to be too “professional” or use “big words” to impress others. I had to simply be me.”
22) Know your audience but create content for yourself
To have a successful Vlog you need to have an audience and means producing content that’s in tune with your audience’s needs. However, while you know what your audience want from you, you have to write for yourself before you Vlog for anyone else.
Create content that you believe in and enjoy is how the most successful bloggers have made a living from their content.
Adii Pienaar co-founded WooThemes/WooCommerce and is an authority on the importance of good content. His advice is that you must: “Write for yourself first & foremost. Ignore the fact that anyone else will read what you write; just focus on your thoughts, ideas, opinions and figure out how to put those into words. Write it and they will come.”
23) Creating consistent and regular content matters
If you want to increase the traffic your Vlog gets then there’s one thing you can do which will guarantee you to get more visitors: create consistent and regular content.
A study carried out by Hubspot, one of the the biggest marketing software companies on the planet, showed that if you Vlog regularly you will have 10 times the number of visitors that if you Vlog once a month. Check out the screenshot below to see the results…
Neil Patel is one of the best-known bloggers in content marketing and he is evidence of the value of producing consistent and regular content. As Neil explains: “Consistency is one of the most important things that bloggers tend to forget. It’s much easier to lose your traffic than it is to build it up, so make sure you consistently blog.”
24) Don’t underestimate the importance of a content calendar
A content calendar is a document on which you plan and map out the content that is going to feature on your Vlog. It looks as far into the future as possible and ticks off a range of important topics and events.
Content calendars have long been employed by successful marketers and bloggers to get their content to their audience quicker than their rivals. This is one of the most valuable lessons your Vlog can take from traditional bloggers because it lets you make the most of your time.
Think about what topics and events are relevant to your Vlog’s niche. Once you’ve done this, use content calendar templates, tools, and software to help you plan out your calendar as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Crackerjack Marketing has a free template that you can use to create your content calendar, making it ideal if you are just starting out your Vlog. Basecamp is an enormously popular project management tool which you can use to create your content calendar. However, Basecamp is not free. This means Basecamp is more suited to experienced Vloggers who really want to monetize their Vlog.
25) Learn to monetize your channel
Your Vlog is more than just your voice. Your Vlog is your brand and if you want to make a living from Vlogging then you have to monetize your brand.
Perez Hilton is one of the most notorious bloggers in the world. He’s courted controversy with some of the biggest celebrities on the planet and is no stranger to a scandal. But he’s also one of the most successful bloggers around, as you can see below:
- $575,000 – Perez Hilton’s estimated monthly revenue
- 14,500,000 – Estimated monthly unique visitors to Perez Hilton’s blog
In order to monetize his brand and earn more than half a million dollars a month, Perez Hilton has set up an online store to sell his merchandize. If you want to earn a living from your Vlog then you should learn from Perez and build your own online store. If the success of Perez Hilton isn’t reason enough for your to monetize your Vlog brand then consider PewDiePie too.
- $12 million – PewDiePie’s earnings in 2017
- 64,231,129 – Subscribers to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel
Along with having over 10 billion views, giving him the chance to make money from advertising, PewDiePie has created his own online store to sell his branded swag. So, if you want to be a really successful Vlogger then you need to monetize your Vlog and brand.
Vlogging Tips for Beginners Summed Up
These tips were curated by some of the most popular and successful vloggers on the planet. Try to take them to heart and use them. They’ve been there and done that.
- Structure your vlogs like a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
- Don’t let the haters get to you; keep at it.
- Be consistent. People will start to expect your content, and you need to deliver content in a structured and consistent way.
- Find a passion. Find something that you’re passionate about and use it. It will fuel you to work harder.
- Come up with a theme for each video. When you’re editing, find the theme of your video and use it to create your thumbnails and titles.
I would add that there are also some legal things about vlogging that you should take into account. For example, most newcomers don’t know that they are not allowed to vlog in certain places. So make sure you know the rules of vlogging before you start recording.
There we have it.
I hope that this post will help some of you on your vlogging journey. Vlogging can be tough.
Between the haters and the constant uploading content, you’ll have a lot on your hands. But, if the people mentioned in this post are any indication of the power of vlogging, a camera, and a content platform could literally change your life.
Good luck to everyone out there. Keep your head up, and good luck vlogging!
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.