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Video Blogging

Phone Photography and Video Blogging

Video Blogging

In the recent past, the number of people doing video blogging has significantly increased. More people are finding it fun to record their daily experiences and share them with other online users. You have either tried it or your close friend does it. However, not everybody can do this successfully; some have tried but ended up being cyber-bullied for a job poorly done.  With the increasing number of internet users, there is need to provide people with content that they can easily relate to. The current technology has made it possible for almost everyone to share their videos online if they want to. Nevertheless, video blogging is an art that if well mastered can lead to a massive following and numerous endorsement deals by companies that want their ideologies to be shared with a wider audience.

The term vlogging is christened from the word blogging. It can be defined as a technique of recording video content with the intention of creating an interactive session with other internet users.  It is a fast growing trend that has gained momentum due to the cheap nature of recording gear and other video editing software. Currently, major search engines such as Yahoo and Google have video sections where one can post what he/she pleases; though there are rules set for this expedition. It is also common to come across vlogs on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Video blogging gained popularity with the invention of YouTube where users subscribe to watch videos posted by their favorite vloggers.

Video Blogging Gear and Equipment

Film and Reel Camera

For you to be a successful vlogger, it is essential that you have the right gear. Remember, almost everyone wants to be the next YouTube sensation so you have to up your game to outdo them. Let’s face it; viewers can be very brutal at times. If your video is of poor quality, they will dislike it and bash you for that. Therefore, before getting yourself into the den of video blogging, it is prudent to know that there is no shortcut. The following are some of the essential equipment that you will need for effective vlogging.

  • Camera: Before you think of starting any video blog this is the first thing that you will need. It doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive but pick the best camera that will enable you to record your content with clarity. Many video bloggers have created extraordinary material by just using their smartphones or built-in-webcams from the comfort of their homes. Make sure that you record high quality videos as this will portray an aura of professionalism to your audience. In return, this will keep your viewers interested throughout the video watching session.

As a beginner, if you are shooting on a budget, you can purchase a compact camcorder, mirrorless camera or an entry-level DSLR. Depending on your experience, pick the camera that you can handle without any difficulty. You can seek expert opinion on the type of camera that is pocket-friendly and that can deliver your target results. Furthermore, if you don’t want to buy a camera you can go for the latest smartphones which can double-task as a communication gadgets and picture taking devices.

  • Support: You will need a tripod stand to hold up your camera. Depending on the size of the camera you could go for this tripod for big cameras. If you want to place your camera on top of a desk or table; use mini tripod such as this one sold at Phonetographr. For a travel vlogger, you can consider the use of a selfie stick or a flexible octopus tripod with bluetooth remote control. It is important that you get a firm support for video blogging. This will save you from inconveniences such as getting tired due to holding the camera for way too long. It will also ensure that the camera stays in a firm position which is important because any slight movement can result to recording of a blurry video.
  • Lighting: The lighting doesn’t need to be sophisticated but make sure that you are the main focus. Position the lights at an angle so as to do away with any shadows that may be present at the background. If you are recording during the day; natural light from well-placed windows can be enough. The main purpose of having light focused on you is to have the viewers’ maximum attention and concentration.

For consistent soft light exposure, I recommend this YouTube live streaming video kit which has a ring light positioned in front of the user. Alternatively, you could light your background by bouncing light on the wall and placing one light source up above your head, at an angle of 45 degrees.

  • Microphone: Bad audio quality ruins the fun of watching the video. Most viewers can withstand mediocre video quality but are completely turned off when the audio quality is poor. To avoid this menace, don’t use the inbuilt-camera microphones. Instead, use an external microphone which can compress any noise in the surrounding environment. Alternatively, make sure that you record your vlog in a relatively quiet place with little or no distractions. To achieve better sound quality you can use; the shot-gun, lavalier or USB microphones.
  • Editing Software: Once you have recorded a video successfully, it is now important that you spice it a bit. You may also want to cut off the unnecessary parts of the video. The video editing software can be used to compress the video to standard quality that can be easily uploaded in numerous online platforms. However, picking the right software can be an uphill task. Nowadays, most computers and smartphones have video editing specs; though they have the basic ones which may be obsolete. If you are looking for a more classy finishing output; go for software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X, and Wondershare Filmora. These software have additional tools that can be used to perk up the vlog.  For instance, you can add memes in your video to create humor and make it more interesting to watch. We all love funny and interesting memes that we can easily relate to. Video editing process can be quite challenging; to be conversant, go through multiple tutorials available on YouTube.

Tips and Tricks to making your Vlog popular

Video Blogger

Every vlogger has a reason as to why they started the video blogging journey. For some, making money is the main target. They aim at creating traffic to their channels so that they can generate revenue from adverts that they attach to the vlogs. Whatever the purpose, for you to standout and make a name for yourself; follow these tips and tricks.

  • Select a popular Vlog Niche: Do thorough research and pic the themes that you find interesting. Select one niche that you are comfortable with. Don’t be a jack of trades and a master of none. Make sure that you pinpoint what your YouTube channel should be about. This aims at creating a consistent audience that will follow up your vlogs immediately when they are posted on the channel.
  • Watch out for New Trends: A conclusive research should enable you to know what is catchy to the viewers. This will make your viewers to be updated with the current happenings of the world.
  • Pay attention to Quality: The only way of winning your viewers’ attention is by offering them something interesting. Pay keen attention on the video and audio qualities of your vlog. The vlogs should be simple, clear and precise to the point. Good quality attracts a strong following on your YouTube channel. That is why you act with uttermost professionalism when editing the blog videos.
  • Comment on Other Blogs with the same niche: As a beginner in this industry you’d probably have fewer followers as compared to your competitors. Swallow your pride and comment on their vlogs.  Tell other viewers that they should check the content on your channel. This process is highly effective because you can divert viewers to your channel. If they find your content interesting they will subscribe to get updates when you post any new videos. Leave genuine interactive comments and attach your channel’s url unto them.
  • Connect to your audience: One of the most important Vlog tip is that you should create a friendly relationship with your viewers. Use the right language tone and be casual. Talk to the viewers as if you are talking to a friend so as to connect to their hearts and emotions. A friendly environment will make them come for more. Avoid being rude to your viewers because this might scare them away. You target is to get a large consistent fan base; therefore, don’t be hostile to your audience.
  • Be Consistent: You should be an active video blogger. Don’t keep you audience waiting for a long time before you post a successive vlog. Upload frequently and use vlogs that are engaging to your viewers. At the end of the vlog you can ask them to let you know what they would like to watch next time. Frequent posting will earn you a loyal fan-base that will share your videos across various platforms and expand your coverage. 
  • Don’t underestimate the power of social media: One of the most powerful tools of spreading your blog videos is by the use of social media sites. Getting subscribers can be difficult but with hard work you can even gain a million followers within a short period of time. Take advantage of many social media users and share your content with them. You can also promote your content at a fee to gain wide scope of audience.

Types of Vlogs

Vlog

Before starting out a vlog channel it is important to figure out a unique idea that you are comfortable with. If you are still not sure on the type of vlog to pick then you can crosscheck with other popular YouTubers and learn their tricks. Borrow some of their ideas and try and see they can work for you.

Some of the most famous vlogs are those that cover the following.

  • Comedy and Pranks: These are very popular. Good pranks attract a massive following because everybody loves to see them. After all, what do you do after a long working day? Don’t you enjoy it when you come across a video that makes you burst with laughter? Most pranks and comedy vlogs are enjoyable to watch. Furthermore, they are easily shareable because of their unique-but-universal character.
  • Unboxing and Review of Products: Normally, before people buy products they’d want to inquire more about them. Also people would like to see how the packaged product looks like before they purchase it. If you create an informative and honest review you can make a killing with this type of video blog.
  • Travel Vlogs: Everyone likes to travel but lack of enough money is the limiting factor. So viewers would like to watch how their favorite destinations look like. If you travel a lot, you can document your journey and share it with your audience.
  • Video games: This is another big market where you can capture those playing a particular game and ask them to share their skills with beginners or those who are already established in playing the game. Game channel focuses on new game reviews and other factors such as walkthroughs on how to play a certain game. It is a very competitive vlogging juncture because there are many gamers worldwide who are ready to be fed with the dos and don’ts of playing different games. An added advantage here is that it is actually easier to record a gaming sequel.
  • Book/Movie Reviews: Before they watch any movie or read any book, people like to go through their reviews. As a vlogger in this field, you need to be well conversant with the release dates of any new movies and books. Your viewers will expect that you to comb them up before they can actually read certain books or watch a particular movie. Make the video blog as interesting as possible because if you don’t they might actually change their minds on the ordeal.
  • Celebrity Gossips:  This also a very popular type of video blog. Worldwide, celebrity fans are eager to know the controversies surrounding their idols. If you have an interest in the entertainment industry then this may be the best vlog for you. However, keep away from untrue stories that have not yet been confirmed. Celebrity gossips can range from rumors about break-ups, weddings, next-show and their net worth.  When their favorite celebrities go quiet, die-hard fans normally want to know what they have been up to. Be updated and feed your followers with consistent information about their icons. 
  • Lifestyle: This may involve doing video diaries on the current fashion trends and showing it to other internet lovers. The vlog should be unique and authentic; you should make sure that you fashion them with something interesting. Speak confidently with your audience and motivate them with creativity and good video editing skills.
  • Click Baits: These involve creating a capturing headline whose main objective is to get users to click on the vlog. The purpose of click baits is to create curiosity among the spectators so they’ll click the link and watch on the video. It is however advisable not to misguide your audience because you might get penalized by YouTube. Make sure that the click bait is related to the content that you intend to share with your audience. Let them not regret for the time that they have spent watching the video blog. If the click bait is worthy, you may earn yourself new subscribers who find the material captivating.
  • Educational Vlogs: The ‘How-to-videos’ enlighten the viewers on how they can perform certain tasks effectively. In this instance the audience expects that you should provide them with the basics of doing certain things that they are not well conversant with.  These videos are watched over and over again so they can help you to improve on the total view count. Certain vlog sites such as YouTube pay approximately 4.8$ per 1000 views; hence more views means more pay to the vlogger.

Consequently, people like to watch more than they read. That is why you will find easy to stick around for long hours on YouTube or Netflix, but when it comes to reading books, blogs or news sites, we get bored quickly and sometimes just proofread to get a general idea of what the articles are about. This shows that were are more of visual characters than reading ones.  Clever internet marketers have taken this to consideration and are using more of the internet to promote their products. Coherently the number of course creators that share their content online has also significantly increased. This is because vlogging creates a better connection between the tutor and the audience. For newbies, video vlogging may seem complicated and expensive, but behind the scenes it is very enjoyable once you have developed interest in it.

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