How To Start Vlogging – 5 Steps For Beginners
We live in a world that is changing rapidly. The last two decades have completely changed the way that we do things – not only the big ones like going to space and driving electric cars but even things as essential as communication.
Comparing the way we communicate in 2021 to 10 years ago, we’ve witnessed a radical change. In fact, the development of online communication and social media is a significant part of the change. As of 2010, there are three times as many people with social media accounts as in 2010. We also use emojis to express ourselves more than ever before, texting over calling, and using three letters instead of a six-letter word (for example, pls instead of please).
In the end, what daily changes is the way that we experience interaction with others.
Why are we referring to this, and what does it have to do with vlogging?
The value of vlogs lies in the fact that they allow us to reveal our own story, later representing a new form of self-expression. Society is affected by changes in communication technology on many levels. A blogging and vlogging trend is having a similar effect as the development and adoption of the printing press in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
We will assess this topic thoroughly, meaning that you will learn in In this article:
- What is vlogging?
- What is the best platform to use for vlogging?
- How to choose your vlogging expertise?
- What are the crucial steps to becoming a successful vlogger?
Mentioned above are the questions we will be answering throughout this blog post so that by the time you finish reading the article, you are more than equipped with five steps every beginner should take if they have a tendency to become successful at vlogging.
Without further ado, let’s get to the bottom of what vlogging is!
Bearing in mind that you are here with an aim to learn how to become a successful vlogger, we acknowledge that you are familiar with the term vlogging; what might come to you as a surprise is that the term vlog usually refers to something much narrower than it is.
The term ‘vlog’ stands for a video blog, which has the same meaning as the blog post; the only difference reflects in not writing your story but talking about it (on camera or any other video recording device).
Video blogging has two basic types: “talking-heads,” where the vlogger talks while the camera is on a tripod, and “follow me around” videos where the vlogger records clips as they go about their work or daily activities.
The history of vlogging might intrigue you if you’re even remotely interested in it.
Considering vlogging is a video blog, it began alongside websites that posted videos for various purposes. In 2005, vlogging became more popular when YouTube — the world’s #1 video sharing platform — was launched. It may surprise you to learn that the first YouTube vlogger appeared at the beginning of YouTube.
In the first video blog series, Andrew Baron presented the news with comedic sketches and included news clips. Considering it was the first online vlog, it attracted approximately 300,000 viewers every day, which is impressive. During this time, YouTube started growing, and now it is considered the second most visited site worldwide, with over 500 hours of videos uploaded every minute.
Now that it has been 15 years, you are probably wondering, “Can I be successful in 2021 if I start vlogging?; What are my chances of beating the competition? Is it too late to start now?’’
Well, we are here to tell you to go for it! And if this wasn’t so encouraging, here are some facts that will help you answer your questions:
- There are 2 billion YouTube users
- Over 44% of internet users watch vlogs every month
- Over 30 million people check out YouTube every day
But it’s not just about YouTube statistics. In 2021, video format will become the top content for marketing strategy; statistics say that people spend up to 2.6 times as long on web pages with video than without video. Predictions say that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017.
Even without statistics, reels on Instagram and the Tik Tok application prove that video content is more widely consumed daily.
To conclude, video files have enormous potential in the future. If you are passionate about it and ready to learn, right now can be the best time for you to start vlogging.
And now, if your decision is made, let’s start answering the next big question – how to become a successful vlogger.
When the word vlogger is mentioned, our first association is YouTube. Vlogging and YouTube have become inseparable over the years, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that many people relate being a vlogger to being a YouTuber. In the end, YouTube is home to many well-known vloggers.
However, vlogging goes far beyond that, with YouTube being only one of the many platforms built for video sharing. If you are long-term thinking about making a loyal fan base, understanding different vlogging platforms should be the first step in the process. We prepared an overview of the most popular vlogging platforms to help you diversify your content and open it to new vlogging platforms. Let’s dig in!
Let’s start with the well-known one: YouTube. YouTube has become a go-to platform for anyone looking to start a vlogging business, as it allows its users to create and upload a video for free. Another benefit is that YouTube has built its reputation in the past years, so it is well known among different audiences.
YouTube rewards its most popular content creators by allowing them to monetize their YouTube channels with ads. There is a criterion to be met – once you reach 4,000 hours of watch time and 1,000 subscribers to your channel, you can start monetizing your channel.
If you are considering YouTube as your central platform, there is a way for you to learn more about it.
We will leave you with two blog posts we already prepared:
Recently, Instagram has been emphasizing improving the video experience for its users. Over the past few years, a significant update allowed the visual storytelling platform to reach 1 billion monthly active users. Among them are 60-second video, Instagram Stories, and filters used by 500 million people daily, live video, ‘hands-free’ video, IGTV, and most recently – reels. There is also an ample opportunity for businesses since 200 million Instagram users visit one business profile daily.
Vlog platforms like this have many advantages, including a large user base, advertising options, and better search engine optimization.
But be careful – you can’t use absolutely the same approach as you use on other platforms. Instagram requires personalization and talking directly to your audience without trying to reach and keep every Instagram user that passes by your page.
Tik Tok might be one of the youngest platforms, but it’s also one of the fastest-growing platforms in the past couple of years. Tik Tok has become a Gen Z favorite social video platform where anyone can show their creativity and authenticity and earn fifteen minutes of fame.
Many were skeptical once the platform appeared, especially if they were not a Gen Z. To many people worldwide, Tik Tok seemed like a platform with short funny videos, nothing to be compared to YouTube or other video platforms we were used to.
However, the statistics from the past two years have shown us a different side of Tik Tok – it is a platform where you can watch and learn from storytelling videos, create your community, and use it for your business.
Additionally, there are numerous platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Dailymotion, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vimeo, etc., that you could also think about. Their effectiveness may even exceed those we mentioned above, depending on your niche and the goal you have for your vlogs.
The main question here is – Which one is the most adequate for you?
It is possible to attract a large audience by combining platforms, and it might seem like a good idea. However, using different platforms requires understanding your audience at each platform and adjusting your content to them. This could bring you much more effort than the return of investment and can result in you losing your focus, thus losing your audience.
Our honest advice is to choose the central platform you will be using, with the potential of diversifying your content to ideally one more platform. The best-case scenario is for you to be able to monetize your vlogging and become an independent full-time creator. That’s why our number one recommendation is GroupApp.
GroupApp is a community software that allows you to build, own and host your community. It is a platform that offers you all the possibilities and features you might need for your business. From sharing video content to designing and selling online courses, GroupApp has it all.
A key advantage is that — as a community admin — you are allowed to set up and charge subscriptions, allowing you to monetize your vlogging and eventually become an independent full-time creator.
GroupApp was built for digital creators and their communities so that the features can satisfy any of your and your audience’s needs.
Some of the features include:
- Members Profile: ‘Community directory that allows members to discover and connect with each other.’
- Activity Feed: ‘Community activity feed allows members to share a post, leave comments, and follow topics.’
- Posting Types: ‘Creators and members can write a post, upload photos, ask questions, and share videos.’
- Notifications: ‘Send in-app and email notifications to your community members with a simple click of a button.’
- Invite members: ‘Invite members to join your community with your community invite link and email invitation.’
- Privacy Settings: ‘Share your community with the public or set your privacy setting to members only.’
- Paid channels: ‘Share premium content in specific community channels and have members upgrade to access it.’
- Export Data: ‘Own 100% of your member’s data and export it at any time without any restrictions. It all belongs to you.’
- Custom Domain: ‘Maintain a consistent branding experience and drive community traffic to your website by using your custom domain with your community.’
You could apply and use many other features and possibilities to make GroupApp the best platform for your vlogging. You could manage who has access to your vlogs, charge the subscriptions, reward those who follow you the most, etc.
GroupApp allows you to show your authentic self and own and manage your audience, unlike any other platform. If you are looking forward to becoming an independent full-time creator, then you have found your platform.
Now we come to the crucial point. We’ve studied the most successful vloggers worldwide, only to come with the following five steps every vlogging beginner should take. Take your pen and paper, as we will walk you through starting your own vlogging business from scratch.
The most important thing that you need to establish before you start vlogging is your identity. The identity of your video goes beyond your photo and name (although these factors are also important). Identity is the answer to the question: Who are you, and what makes you different from others?
To provide your audience with value, let’s start with answering a simple question: What will be your niche? You need to choose your niche carefully to be able to answer these questions. Your niche should be something you care about and something you have enough knowledge to share with others.
Channels are based on niches, and to be able to create them, you should think about whether you will publish videos on specific topics or they will be randomly selected. Choosing the former is the more innovative option if you’re looking to succeed. Countless video bloggers have tried to grow on video content platforms. Yet, only a tiny percentage of them followed through. What is the reason behind this statistic? It’s their recognizable identity built in a specific niche.
Let’s check out some of the biggest names on the platform. The PewDiePie YouTube channel has tens of millions of subscribers. Even though his channel has diversified a bit over the years, gaming is still his main focus.
Take a glance at so-called ‘beauty’ YouTubers. NikkieTutorials and other vloggers are gaining popularity by reviewing products and featuring original makeup tutorials that their viewers can try at home.
Vlogging has many different styles, so make sure to research before deciding what style will shape your identity. You can easily find niche-related vlogs by searching Google, YouTube, or any other video platform to gain inspiration and more insight on the niche.
Please ensure that the niche you are looking for is related to something you care about and that you are knowledgeable about. In other words, talking about games without any knowledge can make your chances of succeeding in vlogging equal to zero.
Among the most popular vlog niches are travel, beauty, lifestyle, gaming, etc. This can be a starting point for your research; just bear in mind that you are not tied to these niches only. Reflect and understand what you are good at – if you do this step right, the rest will follow.
Once you choose the niche you will create an identity around, it’s not over. On the contrary, the process of building your identity only begins. The next step is to elaborate on your ideas and vlogging style. You should clarify what you want to discuss and how you want to communicate before fully committing to vlogging.
These questions should help you in the process:
- What is your plan for video releases?
- How long will the videos be?
- Are your family members or friends a part of your vlogs?
- How and where will you make your vlogs?
Although these questions seem plain, many people ignore answering them before starting with their vlogs, resulting in ending their careers before they even begin.
By now, you have probably realized the importance of knowing your audience. Now we will go in-depth through it. Identifying your target audience and figuring out their core problems, habits, and needs will allow you to offer them the information, products, or services they want and need. In other words, you will be able to provide them with value; thus, they will be looking forward to your vlogs daily.
It’s essential to learn about what your audience faces daily if you want to create vlog content they’ll enjoy. A necessary part of starting a business, including vlogging, is knowing your target audience and what they like or dislike.
There are simple three steps:
- Describe your audience thoroughly (their age, habits, behaviors, problems, needs, goals, etc.)
- Get to know them (talk to them, get the live feedback, ask questions so you can understand the context)
- Find them (once you understand their behaviors, you’ll know where to look for them and what kind of approach to have)
Let’s try with an example of a vlog about internships for high school students.
First step – Describe your audience
How old are high school students? Are there more male or female high school students? Which country are they from? What about districts and cities? Which high schools do they attend?
The second step – Get to know your audience
Why would they be interested in an internship? What kind of other opportunities would they be interested in? What do they like about internships, and what concerns them?
The third step – Find your audience
Everyone at the beginning of this journey might find themselves wondering if this is just one too many questions asked.
Yet, we assure you that these are necessary steps to take if you want to succeed in vlogging – whether it’s creating a youtube account, uploading high-quality videos to your vlogging channel, or even starting your own vlog from scratch; the good news is that you can find all the answers you’re looking for from the comfort of your home – on the Internet.
We encourage you to go one step further and get in touch with a few people to have a one-to-one talk in person (or over the phone or Internet), so you can right away get live feedback, deepen your perspective, and understand the context of your audience; this will all guide you to leading a successful vlog and uploading the best videos, which we believe is your end goal.
Answering above mentioned questions will provide you with all the insight you need to create a ‘vlogger persona’ – the starting point of your vlog channel.
This will be more than enough information for you to understand the answer to the question – ‘Where can I find my audience?’
Even though filming can sound scary – especially if you are not tech-savvy, we assure you that it is just another technical skill that can be improved through practice.
The first thing that pops into everyone’s mind is whether they’ll be able to afford the right equipment needed for the first vlog. The well-hidden secret is that you can start vlogging even without an expensive vlogging DSLR camera or other needed gear and still make the same great videos.
Yes, we are serious. You can start with your iPhone or Android camera with an option for video with high resolution and good house lighting, but you should be aware that vlogging, as a business of its own, requires investments.
As you level up in vlogging, proportionally should the quality of your technical equipment rise (whether it’s a video camera, vlogging camera, video editing software, or anything else).
If your goal is to have a high-quality video, be prepared to improvise with the equipment you own and rely more on a video editor to get good videos in the end. No one likes the shaky video shoot in low resolution and with unclear audio.
During the filming of your vlog, follow these steps:
- Shoot proper format: Consider the platform you are using and don’t back down from its configuration. If you are doing YouTube videos, always shoot horizontally, but if you are shooting for TikTok or Instagram story, shoot the video vertically.
- Tell your story: The most successful vloggers tell their stories while recording their vlog. Stories need to have a beginning, middle, and end. Describe your experience as if it were a conversation with a best friend.
- You are you: There’s no point in pretending to be someone you’re not. Having a more natural appearance comes from acting like you usually would. You can be silly if you want to. Also, try to be more personal. Remember that the most considerable value of your vlogging channel is you.
- Interact: Engagement with your audience is crucial for creating the best videos. Viewers should not be perceived only as statistics or numbers. On the contrary, their opinion and thoughts are unique and vital to your vlog. Address the video camera as if you were talking to a living, breathing human being. Most importantly – encourage your audience to comment and ask questions.
- Your identity: Identify yourself by using personal phrases at the beginning and end of your blog. Vloggers often do this. There are many YouTubers with unique signature phrases or gestures. Your brand will also benefit from having a personal touch for future videos.
One extra vlogging tip for a new video – have a script in front of you to use it as a step-by-step guide to help you keep the flow of your new vlog and ensure that your message is communicated clearly and well perceived by your audience.
Suppose you are not a professional video editor and don’t have friends who are Adobe Premiere Pro and content creators adept. In that case, you should plan some quality time in your schedule for editing your video. However, there is no need to panic – video editing is like any other skill – it can be learned through practice.
The market has many video editing software options to offer; many vloggers find the range of offers overwhelming and face struggles choosing the right one. Investing in Adobe Premiere Pro is an option, but you can also accomplish a lot with free applications on your Windows or Mac laptop.
Suppose you are a person who doesn’t like video editing. In that case, you should consider hiring a freelancer to do it instead of you but have in mind that this is also considered an investment so that you can think of some more straightforward video editor program as Filmora or iMovie.
The vital thing to take care of is the intro of your video. This is the first thing your audience will see, and the impression you make is crucial to your brand and identity.
The intro of your video should provide your audience with a general idea of what to expect in your vlog, as well as to grab their attention and ensure that they watch it; many vloggers think through their catchphrases and unique introductions to ensure that the audience recognizes the value in the beginning.
And last but not least, it must be connected to your niche! This rule applies to your thumbnail and the titles of your videos.
Ensure that you dedicate enough time to do this professionally, and we guarantee you that you will see results after a couple of videos.
We reached the final step every beginner should take – following the algorithm. Probably this is not the first thing people think about when they create a YouTube account or post a video file on their social media channel. Still, with the ever-growing vlogging competition, everyone who does not understand the algorithm will not succeed.
Every social media platform has its own algorithm that determines which content will be placed to users and to what extent. This can play a huge role in your business, so make sure that you also understand thoroughly how its algorithm works once you choose your central platform.
For example, besides being a video platform, YouTube is also a search engine, meaning that a bit of awareness of search engine optimization (SEO) is essential.
Are there any methods that will help you climb the ranks of a search engine after you upload a video? Yes, of course, there are:
- Keywords: Your video’s metadata contains keywords that help the search algorithm decide what is in your video. It is essential to include the keywords to get people to see your video when searching for the topic you are covering.
- Performance: Once the algorithm has picked a hypothesis about what your video is about, it will test it by showing it alongside the results in search. Performance metrics (click-through rate, watch duration, likes, feedback, etc.) become necessary at this point.
If following the algorithm seems like an unnecessary challenge, we have good news for you. GroupApp does not use any algorithm to determine what content your audience will receive. On the contrary, once you have your audience registered on GroupApp, you own your community, and you — as the only admin — can choose what content and how much of it will be placed to your audience.
In addition to everything explained above, we prepared the final recommendations for you to consider before starting the journey.
Instead of going just for one most specific part of the niche, try to create three close subjects that you can talk about. This will give you much more inspiration and space to make new videos.
This might sound impossible due to the fact that there are many vloggers out there; still, we encourage you to be original, as your most successful video file will be the one that no one made before you.
You can start vlogging through different channels – we covered all the possibilities, advantages, and disadvantages. However, whatever channel you choose, there is one thing you should bear in mind: your community.
GroupApp can help you create and host the online community you own so your videos can find the perfect audience, time, and place to be seen and heard. With GroupApp, you can further connect and encourage your audience to share and interact with you and each other. This will give a special note to your videos.
Finally, GroupApp is an ideal platform to monetize your vlogging. You can set up and charge the subscriptions, which will allow you to become an independent full-time content creator.
We have reached the end of this blog post, which can mean only one thing – so far, you became familiar with what vlogging is, how it works in practice, and what are the five steps you should follow to become a successful vlogger – quite impressive for the short time you’ve been exploring and absorbing knowledge about this topic.
If you plan to implement the steps mentioned above, we encourage you to join GroupApp and build your community. We’re looking forward to all the video content you’ll create and hope to hear your name next time we talk about successful vloggers!