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  • Writer's picturePhil Davenport

10 tips to successful Vlogging

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

What is a Vlog, and how do I get started?

Vlog. The word was coined in the year 2000, which stands for either video blog or video log, and in 2021 is now ubiquitous. Everyone is vlogging these days, and everyone wants their vlog to become big.

Here’s how to start a successful vlog: Starting your own vlog is harder than it looks, but with the right focus, preparation, and equipment, there’s no reason you can’t become a successful vlogger in 2021.

If you visit YouTube in 2021, you can easily look up a long list of influencers, streamers, and your average, regular people, who have a ton of video content being shared with the online world.

But one thing that all of these vloggers have in common is that they all have thousands, and in some cases, even millions, of subscribers.

And while this is great for celebrities and influencers, if you’re like me, these numbers have probably left you wondering how you too can build a similar-sized vlog community on YouTube or another channel, with just as many subscribers, likes, comments, and overall popularity.

So with that in mind, I have crafted the following guide to help you launch your very own vlog and to help get you started on your way to effervescent vlogging stardom.

If you are ready to create an awesome and super successful vlog, then it’s time to jump right in!

Start Your Vlog Today:

Step 1: Know What You’re Talking About, And Who’s Listening

Your first step into the vlog life should be to determine what your interests are, and whether your target audience is interested in listening to them.

Defining your vlog topics to suit your audience will give you the tone, style, and even the language that you’ll need to use to help your content connect with your audience before starting your vlog. Basically, learning about your audience will help you determine the language you should be using in your videos.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience

As I’ve mentioned, once you’ve really worked to narrow down your topics, you’ll need to get to know who you want to be talking to, or the people that are going to be interested in what you have to say.

This is referred to as niching down, which is essentially finding your target audience and narrowing down the core problems they face, which, in turn, will allow you to offer them the information, products, or services that they actually want and need.

So, as an example, let’s just say that you’re planning on starting a vlog about personal fitness, where you plan on sharing information about nutrition and keeping yourself in shape.

In order to create vlog content that your audience will actually want to watch, you’re going to need to learn about the types of problems these people face on a daily basis.

By understanding the problems your audience members are currently facing, you’ll be able to craft your content in response to their needs, enabling your vlog to become a trusted source of information to your viewers.

For this, marketers typically create buyer personas, which are semi-fictional representations of your potential viewers. These are then used to learn more about how you can create video content your audience will love.

Step 3: Build a Unique and Catchy Vlog Brand

Armed with the most epic concept, your next step is to start building your vlog brand and vlog channel.

Unlike companies that produce and sell actual products, the only thing you’re selling is YOU.

Therefore, there are three key things you should be considering at this stage, which include:

1; Your vlog channel’s name, which needs to be unique, but still relatable to your industry.

2; Your vlog logo, which should be simple enough easily fit in a small YouTube icon, while also being memorable.

3; Your internal branding for vlogging videos, which will be used to present your content any time you upload a video. Think of this as the credits, or other pertinent information that will help brand your videos as your own.

Most importantly, you need to start building your brand on social media by interacting with other influencers, building your audience, and getting the word out about your content.

The fact is that if you want your vlog to be successful, you’ll need to gain followers on almost every digital channel there is. This includes being active on social media, as well as your own blog and the blogs of other influencers in your industry.

In the end, the more people that you can get your brand in front of, the better it will be in terms of future growth.

Step 4: Determining Which Channels You’re Going to Use for Vlogging

In today’s digital landscape, there are literally dozens of platforms that you can use to host your vlog content. For instance, you might want to host your videos directly on your own personal WordPress website, or you might choose to post your vlog content solely to your YouTube Channel.

Regardless of the platform you choose, it’s important to be promoting your content on the channel where your target audience is already hanging out.

So, for instance, let’s say that you’re planning on creating a vlog about video gaming.

Because of the fact that video gamers are known to spend a lot of time on YouTube, watching videos of other people playing, it would be wise of you to post your vlog content on YouTube, where you already know that a large number of your potential viewers are already spending their time.

Step 5: Have the Right Vlogging Equipment, and Practice With It

Sometimes, it seems like YouTubers are streaming directly from their PCs, using built-in mics and webcams.

While you can certainly start out with these types of basic, built-in recording equipment, in order to become a successful video blogger, who posts high-quality videos, you’re going to need a lot more than a built-in mic and camera on your laptop.

In fact, most popular vloggers use dedicated recording devices, or even their own smartphones, to record their videos.

You’d actually be surprised at how many famous vloggers use their smartphones as their recording devices, which today can shoot and record in ultra-high-quality.

So, either way, if you’re serious about your videos, you’ll need these three things:

A fantastic smartphone, with a camera capable of recording in high-resolution

Good video editing software that gives you full control over your final product.

Lighting equipment, if you really want to get serious about creating high-quality videos.

Then, once you have your recording setup, you should take the time to get familiar with it, and then, by embracing the fun of learning about your recording equipment, you can get started making and publishing videos to your first vlog!

Step 6: Brainstorm Relevant, Fun Content

Everything so far has built up to this, but the key point is that you need to get to work brainstorming content that your audience is actually going to want to watch.

Vlog video content should always be fun, engaging, and most importantly, relevant to your audience.

Improvisation can be good sometimes, but you should never rely on it as your go-to when filming videos. Instead, think about your vlog topics ahead of time, do your research, and have your vlogs planned out in advance.

Of course, you should also make sure to find the right time for publishing your YouTube videos.

In the end, the key to creating engaging content is to craft your topics around the problems and issues that your audience members routinely face.

Then, by providing them with solutions to their problems via your video content, you’ll be able to almost guarantee that people will be interested in what you have to say.

Step 7: Craft Your First Episode

Now that you’ve brainstormed your vlog topics and have done your research, it’s time to craft an actual episode for your vlog!

One of the most important elements, besides your actual footage, is your introduction.

Whether animated or filmed in real life, this is the part of your vlog that’s either going to hook your audience or have them scrolling past without even giving you a second thought.

Therefore, be sure to make a good impression by presenting to your audience who you are, what they’re about to learn or witness in the video, and exactly why they should tune in.

The “why” itself should quickly and easily explain the solution to the viewer’s problem. So for example, similar to this marketing idea, a good first vlog episode might explain to your viewer why they should follow your vlog.

Vlogging while driving with video camera attached to car for vlog show

The key is to immediately offer the benefits the viewer will get by watching your vlog post.

Your intro should also present any branding materials you may, including your brand name, catch-phrase, or logo add to your video. Consistently integrating these brand elements will also help make it easier for your viewers to associate the information they’re learning with your brand in the future.

When presenting your branding in your vlogs, video overlays are going to be needed to help you achieve this. For this, you’re going to want to use a high-quality video making tool, which can be an essential tool to the success of any vlog.

Finally, another important element of your vlog channel content is going to be the outro of your videos.

Rather than just saying goodbye and having the screen fade to black, use your outro as a chance to remind your audience how they can further connect with you. And don’t forget to invite them to engage with you by leaving feedback in the comments, sharing the video with their friends, or by subscribing to future episodes.

Step 8: Marketing Your Vlog

Once you’ve learned about your audience, and have started & crafted a vlogging brand that addresses their core needs and values, you’re ready to start pumping out content and working to build your online presence.

But don’t fool yourself; you can’t expect to go from zero followers to a million overnight. In fact, it’s probably going to take you weeks, months, and maybe even years before you reach a million followers.

But the point is that you need to work at marketing your vlog, which means promoting your content and being active on all social media channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

Step 9: Earn Money as a Vlogger Influencer

Finally, once you’ve gained a bit of popularity and have built up your vlog’s audience, you might want to start thinking about the ways that you can monetize your blog in order to start earning a bit of extra money.

There are many ways that vloggers can turn a profit, which includes selling products directly to their audience, or by promoting affiliate products, which are only a few of the ways a vlog can be used to generate profits.

Step 10: Growing Your Network

With your first vlog channel episodes published, unfortunately, the hard work doesn’t quite end there.

In fact, it’s vital to remember that networking, marketing, and promoting your vlog is an on-going, continuous effort, that is, of course, if you want to be successful. With that said, posting a vlog episode to your social channels, and then logging off is the equivalent to walking into a room full of people, yelling “look!” and walking back out.

My main point here is that your vlog’s engagement should never be entirely dependent on your followers initiating the conversation with their comments and messages to you. In fact, you should always be always be inviting them to engage with you, not the other way around.

Therefore, make an effort to find other likeminded content creators and engage with their content, especially anyone that appears to be just starting out.

Be friendly, positive, and engage with new users by leaving comments or messages that are genuine and more than just a few words. However, always avoid pandering any other users by asking directly for likes, views and follows.

When it comes to marketing yourself online, mutual support and encouragement are the keys to the relationships that you’ll build.

So at the same time, when people do take the time to engage with you, return the favour with well-thought out responses that will make them feel like they’re connecting with a real person, and not just a robot, who’s only talking to them because they said hello first.

I did mention equipment and yes it can prove expensive, even a top of the range mobile phone is just that, expensive. So here’s an option I think worthy of your consideration. And yes it’s something I use, the DJI Pocket2 it's a tiny camera that lets you single-handedly record memorable moments. Equipped to stabilize movement and take sharp photos and smooth videos, Pocket 2 gives you the freedom to create easily, it’s pretty much the ultimate all in one.

Check it out here, highly recommended and my favourite Vlogging tool.

Finally, whether on-camera or online, remember to always be authentic and yourself. When it comes to starting a successful vlog channel, there are only 3 things you need: Keep it real, keep it fun, and let your creativity soar!

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