We are in an era of vlogging. Not as in it’s the hot new thing, though it is. As in, there are already people who are retiring from vlogging, it’s that far into it.
Below, I want to give some helpful tips about vlogging, which include the equipment, using an online video service like YouTube, and some other neat tips to help you grow your channel.
Lighting and Sound Is Best, Not Video
Brady Shearer had a comment a while back that the importance of video goes 1) Sound, 2) Lighting, 3) Video, yet the number one question I am seen asked to vloggers is “what camera you using?” It makes sense, that is the main way we are communicating the medium. But what you do not see is the setup with the lighting so that the sun or the night-time lights are in your face and the shotgun microphone that is fully charged and attached to the camera are also there.
If you are interested in getting a great setup, Brady has a good list of cheap gear to get you going, but my recommendation is to start now and get the gear later.
Zoom In To Focus On DSLRs
Using a phone or point and click camera is pretty simple, but if you decide to upgrade your camera (and really you don’t need to) to a DSLR, you will need to make sure everything is in focus. Even if you set the camera to auto-zoom, it doesn’t do that until you activate it.
My recommendation is to use manual focus, but that runs the risk as I have experienced too many times, of being mildly out of focus. Why? The screen is so small on the camera so it looks good enough, but when put at 1920 resolution on your computer, it just looks miserable.
The solution? Zoom all the way in on your face as you hold out the camera and then manually focus. Now when you go back to the correct zoom length, everything is set.
Allow For A Good Amount of Time
Unless you are an expert at editing, and I know I’m not, allow for a good amount of time to edit. Sure, you could just upload the raw footage, but I know I won’t sit through 5 minutes of a single shot of you talking at the camera.
How are you going to keep the audiences attention? Jump cuts and short scenes. Background music to muted video clips. Transition clips. That means you need to think out how you are going to record your video and then spend some time trimming clips, aligning audio, etc. I typically average 1 hour of editing which does not include render time (which can be long on older computers) and upload times.
Use YouTube’s End Screen Widgets
Note: This is YouTube specific. If you watch a video all of the way through, you will notice at the end of the videos special widgets that Youtube offers for you to use so that viewers can quickly click the link to more of your content or a preapproved website. Why is this important? YouTube actually rewards people who have viewers who continue on to more videos after watching yours. Naturally, if a viewer clicks your next video, YouTube loves that and ranks your videos higher.
So this is a must-use feature and you can learn more about it here.
Have Custom Thumbnails
This is one of those good to great aspects. It is not required to increase traffic, nor to be considered a serious vlogger. Many I know use simple screenshots of the video footage.
That being said, using Photoshop with a screenshot of your video along with some graphics, color, and a title of the episode does make your video stand out from everyone else using the YouTube Creator mobile app.
And honestly, after you figure out the style you like (and I would just see what everyone else is doing and creatively use there design as a basis), it takes seconds to do for a significant improvement for your viewers’ video feeds.
What other tips do you have for creating a good vlog?
[Image via PicJumbo]