We thought after our vlog launch of last year we would let you into 10 hot shot tips from the world of vlogging, secrets to success they don’t want you to know!
So what is vlogging?
Well, to you and me it’s another way to say video blogging.
Most popularly hosted and watched on YouTube, vlogs take blogging to a more visual level.
As the more engaging big brother of blogs, vlogs are often shared across other social channels much more.
With the growing success of influencer and video content out on the web this year, we’re going to let you into the TOP TEN secrets from the vlogging world – so hang tight and get your notepads out!
1. YOU DON’T NEED LOADS OF CASH
Well hello there.
I see you have the enthusiasm, but maybe not the technical knowledge or deep pockets to start?
The beauty of vlogs is in their transparency – taking the wider world under your wing or into your personal lives… You have a smartphone? A cheap camera with video options? Then you’re already halfway there.
Do not be held back by what you feel needs to be an expensive set up – you need to focus on your content quality over everything.
Getting things like a tripod or camera stabilizer will definitely help improve the visual outputs – but if propping your iPhone up against a phone book supported by a coat hanger balanced on top of a toaster (off please) does the trick then get to it!
Key things to keep in mind, whether you spend a lot of cash or use things you already have, is SOUND and VISUAL.
Sounds obvious right?
Make a short video on your phone or camera and LISTEN BACK to it – does it sound muffled? Too loud? Kids screaming in the background?
LOOK at the screen – is it in focus? Is it blurry? Is there a cat grooming itself in an unsophisticated manner in the background?
2. YOU DON’T NEED A SWANKY LOCATION
You’ve tested your equipment. Amazing start, and I have to say the real key is simply to START.
Contrary to what you may be led to believe, you can start your success at home!
It’s very important for the quality of your videos that you choose somewhere with good light – and this can come down to things as simple as the angle at which you sit or stand from a window.
Here’s an example of a photo I took in the same room from two different angles just seconds apart.
There are no filters or edits used here, simply changed my position in the room. Neat eh?
In image one, I have my back to the window in my kitchen. This means the light is behind me (notice the white glow around my hair) and the harsh light from the kitchen bulbs come right down from above me. This harsh and artificial lighting is not particularly attractive on film or still image.
Most household bulbs and lamps have what is known as a ‘yellow light’ which cast (you guessed it) a yellow and orange shade across the subject on camera. This often looks dated, affects the focus of an image and is often too warm for subjects specifically people, altering things like eye colour and skin tone.
Image two I have taken facing the window, where the natural light from outside is coming into the frame.
This light here is known as ‘white light’ and is much better for lighting things on camera. It makes skin look clearer, avoids nasty shadows, and shows subjects colours in a more realistic way.
It’s worth noting this natural ‘white light’ is usually during the day, but early morning and later in the evening more of the ‘yellow light’ effect comes into play as the sun may be setting or rising.
You can invest in lighting set ups too, and they can be pretty cheap these days! Meaning all day, inside or out, lighting will be similar in all your videos.
If you decide to travel out of your home for a more dynamic location, then keep this light in mind – remembering to keep your visual and audio quality in mind.
Lots of people like to take a camera with them behind the scenes of their lives, going on transport, out to dinner, to an exciting event. Please do check with where you’re going what the rules are with filming – some airports require pre-approved discussions. Same with shopping centres and some events.
3. WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
Every video you make, for business, personal, vlogs, clients… they all require a narrative to be successful.
How many videos, adverts or films have you watched and ended up saying “what the heck did I just watch?”
You need to establish a very clear plan – we have a previous blog here that talks about the importance of planning. You can use the downloadable form featured there to fill in a brief if that helps you.
To start sometimes though it’s best to just dive in – experiment with your tone of voice and you’ll find something you’re comfortable with.
Speaking to camera will be pretty new to most people, give yourself the time to settle in and don’t worry – no one has to see your first cuts!
…Or do they David… (throwback time)
Eventually you may end up finding you naturally fall into a pattern with your videos, which is great for consistency. If you’re making tutorials for example, maybe they could look like this each time:
– start your vlogs with an intro to a new technique or equipment
– ease in with some simple tricks
– show some more advanced tips after that
– end with something you’ve created
– finally a call to action asking viewers to subscribe
4. GROWING YOUR CHANNEL
There’s a lot to be said for those people who create just for themselves, but what if we want more people to see what we’re making?
One of the most important secrets to vlogging is that you must put in the time and work to GROW your channel, and not sit back hoping subscribers will start ringing up.
If there’s ever been any doubt in the power of social media, you just have to look at some of the amazing influencers we met on our adventure to Vid Summit 2017 last year in L.A.
Growing to thousands if not millions of followers in less than a year is not only possible, it’s becoming more and more common especially on YouTube.
I have worked for years building networks and growth hacks for both brand accounts and influencers, and the next few tips regarding growth are based on this experience!.
[P.s If you want to hear more about influencers or growth hacks, send us an email and let us know – we want to write content YOU’RE interested in!]
‘Call To Action’ refers to including a prompt in your content for the viewer to take an action. This includes asking them to subscribe to your YouTube, follow your other social media accounts, download an app or click a link.
Viddyoze has some great ways to showcase this on screen, with many social media templates available to suit lots of different styles of vlogs.
Consider putting links inside your video, there are some great tools that help you do this. You can also put links below your video and use animations such as Arrow Fold Down to point to the link whilst you reference it on screen.
If you say you’re going to be posting ‘every day!’ then you need to fulfil your promise. Don’t overwhelm yourself with lots and lots to do, dedicate as much time as you can.
Saying you’ll post on Wednesdays or the first of every month give you a deadline but also gives your audience a date or time to return to your channel, knowing there will be new content to see.
Hungry viewers is what we’re aiming for so don’t let them down!
Not just WHEN you post but also WHAT you post needs to be consistent.
Viddyoze can help you here! I don’t want you to worry about your intros and outros because we have that covered.
Think about your channel’s tone and overall visual theme and choose a set of templates that you will use IN EVERY VIDEO to keep them looking like they all belong to you.
Like many video content chats we have, I want to keep pushing to everyone that slap dashing 20 templates together won’t look super pro – instead pick key animations that compliment each other. There are many lower thirds, intros and outros that actually belong together in a set – this is a great starting point.
Hold on, who just said they don’t have Viddyoze? Can’t have that can we – click below on the little blue button and we’ll take you to a special page to check out how to join our family.
7. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Many YouTubers I’ve worked with understand their audience – and they have to be clear when making content that they stick to guidelines which will keep the viewers happy.
Often the struggle I had with talent was as they transitioned between their teenage years, their content began to mould and shape with them. Assuming not all followers stay with you forever, younger talent had to decide whether to stay PG-13 or make the subscribers aware that more adult themed content could be on the horizon as they creep into their late teens.
I had plenty of YouTubers in their 20’s who still catered for young teens, as this was great for them to keep the channel voice the same. This was mostly for brands! Companies want to see an influencer as ‘brand safe’ which means they’ll be keeping to the tone of the product and not being inappropriate for the target audience.
Lots of big brand will turn down a vlogger because they regularly swear, tell stories unsuitable for children, or drink alcohol on camera.
‘Crisp Gate’ was the worst week of my life when one huge talent actually dropped a contract with a huge crisp company worth hundreds of thousands of pounds because they had decided to be vegan, and the brand no longer aligned with their ‘image’.
Can’t say they weren’t dedicated!
8. CROSS PLATFORM PROMOTION
Strength in numbers – a little cliche but honestly worth considering. If you have other social media that’s followed or engaged with by lots of people (even family and friends!) then start promoting your new vlogs here.
Tease them with a little intro but keep the actual video on sites like YouTube and link to them, so all your videos are in one place.
It may be worth calling on people you know with good engagement and audience to help too (promise them that when you’re HUGE on the internet you’ll repay the favour!).
9. BECOME A SPONGE
When new vloggers start off, or whenever I speak to anyone starting a new venture I encourage them to become intense knowledge sponges of their peers.
I’m not talking here about copy cat material, I’m talking about looking at those around you and especially those above you, to understand what is working in your space.
You don’t need to be a science vlogger and watch science vloggers all day for ideas either…
Some of my biggest successes were taking an influencer from say the cosmetic industry, and introducing them to a style of video within the fitness world.
It was to make them see how applying elements of success from other industries could make you stand out in yours – stuck on what to look out for? Try watching for the following in vlogger channels you know to be successful:
- camera angles
- length of video
- locations used
- interactive elements
- structure of topics
- tone of voice
10. GET GOING!
THE BIGGEST SECRET OF ALL!
Here it is, the big one!
There is NEVER a ‘right time’ to take a leap so get started – please don’t make tomorrow a day that never arrives for you.
Now you all know how much I love chatting to you guys and seeing how you’ve used these posts in your work – so I want to see how you’ve incorporated your Viddyoze templates into your vlogs!
Please please do get in touch and show me what you’ve made! (you could feature in our monthly showcase too!)
Email me what you’ve got up to at Becca@viddyoze.com
Till next time Viddyozers!