I’ll be honest – this blog post is a result of the fact that I’m considering starting a video blog myself. And after doing a ton of research on the various aspects of this topic – I was looking at all the information I’d gathered and thought to myself: why don’t I share this with my readers? So, for you: eight tips on how to get started with your own video blog. And yes, I will be following these tips myself.
1) Watch other people’s video blogs
As with anything, study to learn. When watching other people’s video blogs, pay special attention to things that you really like, or really don’t like – or things that you think work especially well. How do they open? How do they close? How do they move from segment to segment? How often are they making eye contact with the camera? How long is the video? Does it seem too long or too short? Answers these questions for yourself will help you to figure out what your video log should look like to best fit your personal style.
2) Do a test run and watch the recording
I know it sounds scary, but doing this even ONE time will help you tremendously. Most likely just seeing yourself on screen for one minute will tell you all sorts of things about how you are on camera – and will allow you to compensate for any behaviors or body language you notice that you’re not crazy about. It’s always good to look right into the lens when you’re speaking, as funny as it feels while you are doing it. And don’t forget to SMILE!
3) Get a semi-decent video recording device
While you want to have a good camera to record with – it doesn’t have to be state-of-the-art and it definitely doesn’t have to be super expensive. These days you can get a quality video recorder for far less than an arm and a leg. Check out this article on many cameras in a wide price range. And if you just can’t spend the dough right now – chances are that the built-in video camera in your computer will suffice for now.
4) Don’t get bogged down by the technical side
Sure, the technical side of recording a video, getting it onto your computer, editing it, and uploading it to the web – can seem a bit overwhelming, but when it comes down it, if you have the motivation to do this, then you’ll figure it out. Just think, if thousands of other people can figure out this stuff and run their own video blogs, don’t you think you’re smart enough to figure it out too? Both getting your video onto your computer and uploading videos to the Internet are a cinch – the biggest challenge will be figuring out how to use some video editing software. The good news is that there are free applications available. For Mac, iMovie is great, and for PC, Windows Movie Maker.
5) Come up with a definite theme
You don’t want to end up coming across as a rambler – that is, someone who has a lack of focus in their material and talks about a smattering of different topics (that is, unless, that is your thing you are going for – and you happen to be really funny). Get clear both on what your theme is, and also whom it is you are speaking to. If you are super clear on both of these things, it will dictate all decisions made in regard to your videos.
6) Make an outline before you shoot
If there is one thing I’ve learned while trying to make my first video – it’s to have a clear plan of what you’re going to talk about, and in what order before you start filming. The reason for this is simple: you want to re-shoot as few times as possible (and trust me, when you first start, you will be re-shooting more than once). Having an outline of the order in which you’re going address topics is a big way to help with this.
7) Post your videos in multiple places
In addition to having each of your videos in a post on your blog – I would recommend having a “channel” on either Youtube or Vimeo as well. This creates an area where it’s easy for viewers to browse all of your videos at-a-glance. I prefer Vimeo just because the interface looks a little nicer than Youtube (in my opinion). Make sure you create a custom URL for both your channel and your profile – for example, my profile URL is vimeo.com/ellanyze. Continuity with all of your URL’s is great for brand strengthening. After you’ve posted your video on your channel and on your blog, post it to all of your social media platforms as well to guarantee that you’ve exposed it to as many people as possible.
8) At a certain point, call it “good enough”
Most likely each time you watch your video, you’re going to think of something that could have made it better or more effective. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to make your videos better, if you get caught into the endless spiral of self-improvement, you might end up sabotaging your video blog all together by never being able to move forward. As a tip, once you post your video and make it live – commit to leaving it the way it is. If you watch it and think of things that could have made it better, try applying those things to your next video to encourage yourself to move forward, and opposed to being stuck in the past improving past videos.