This post may contain affiliate links. See our policy page for details.
After years of making videos, I’ve learned a thing or two about vlogging. Especially when you are starting out, I know it can be a struggle to figure it all out.
I’ve definitely made some mistakes along the way and learned some lessons. I’ve studied others and gotten plenty of advice, but I’ve also discovered along the way that what works for others might not necessarily work for me. However, I do believe that learning from others who are more experienced than you can really help give you a head start if you are a newbie vlogger. So from my experience, here are my top vlogging tips for beginners out there who are just getting started in this game.
Many people feel self-conscious when they’re in front of a camera, at least when starting out. But being shy in front of the camera won’t get you anywhere in the vlogging world. The great thing is, there’s no need to craft some kind of persona or to put on an act. In fact, unless you’re playing a specific niche character, not being yourself or acting natural could work against you! People want to see authenticity over anything else and I truly believe, there is an audience for anyone and everyone!
Although filming yourself while talking into the camera can be intimidating, it’s important to solely focus on practicing being in front of the camera, especially if it doesn’t come natural to you.
By focusing on JUST getting comfortable on camera, everything else will get much easier for you. It’s only by doing that you’ll fill that gap of being a rookie to becoming an amateur and even a pro. Pick something you want to talk about, make some bullet points (don’t make a script yet, you’re aiming for being natural in speaking pattens) and just start to talk.
Even ramble if you will because it really doesn’t matter what you say at this point, it just matters that you do it and improve over time. Also, you don’t even have to upload the video anywhere, just doing is enough! The key is to gain confidence over time as you try and be the most authentic version of yourself as you can be.
I like to look at the camera as a good friend I haven’t seen in a while. You’re still yourself, but you’re the most engaging version of yourself; and that’ll show to your audience and make them want to engage back!
Talk Directly to Your Audience in a Personal Way
Although your subscribers have never met you, they tend to see you as a close friend or even a part of their family! Some of the most successful vloggers have a way of talking to the camera like they’re talking to a friend that’s sitting right next to them. If you want to bring your viewers closer and create a more personal type of content, this is something you may want to consider too.
Remember, authenticity over anything.
So, when you are filming, don’t think about the fact that you are talking to a whole bunch of people. Imagine that your camera is just one person, a friend. This goes along with the previous tip about being yourself when filming. Just talk as if the camera is a single friend and you are talking to them as you normally would. This can really help you come across more natural and friendly.
Your audience will genuinely feel like you are talking to them personally, and that’s one of the best ways to build a relationship with your audience.
Tell a Story Through Your Vlogs
People are naturally drawn to stories — meaning that there is a beginning, middle, end, as well as some type of lesson or transformation that happens along the way. Whether it’s actual storytelling or just a “day in the life” type of video, sharing stories with your viewers is always fun and engaging. Start every video with some sort of a hook in the first seconds – something that is meant to entice but at the same time something that provides a bit of mystery so that your viewers will want to watch your video through its end.
Then as they watch the video, be sure that there is some type of story that is unfolding. Take the viewers on a journey.
The goal is that at the end of the video viewers will feel like they learned or experienced something with you. Think about it like this, you never want someone to finish a video and think “what was the point of watching all that?” You want them to feel satisfied with getting something out of it at the end, that will keep them coming back.
The First Seconds are Crucial
It’s true. Those first few seconds of your video have a big impact on whether or not people stick around to watch the rest of your video. Now more than ever, people have very short attention spans; so you have to hook them in. Several marketing studies have revealed that it takes 10 seconds to grab an audience’s attention before engagement drops significantly. Consequently, if you want your viewers to watch all – or at least a big part – of your video, you need to make sure that those 10 seconds are truly captivating.
Quality Over Quantity – Always!
While it’s true that posting frequently can help you grow your number of subscribers / followers online, at the end of the day it’s really more about quality. Your viewers are looking for quality content, something that can either help them learn something new or something to keep them entertained. But quality video content can be more difficult and time consuming to make.
However, I promise you that delivering quality content to your viewers will keep them happy and you’ll gain more subscribers to your channel.
You’ll hear this a lot, and it is definitely true. Consistency is essential when it comes to vlogging, in more ways than one. When a lot of new vloggers start out, they may not quite know what they want to vlog about. Or maybe they want to vlog about everything!
Unfortunately, this can be confusing to your audience.
Although it may take some time for you to test different things out and see what resonates with your audience, it’s important to eventually try and narrow down your niche be consistent with producing relevant content. My advice, use your first 20 or so videos as practice/your learning curve. Try out different things, figure out what YOU like and and gauge how the audience responds. Once you have a library of content, you’ll be able to look back and see the direction your channel is going. You don’t NEED to know what you want to do right away, but you’ll eventually start to see patterns in your content and begin to understand where the direction of your channel is going.
I mentioned finding your niche in my blog post how to start a vlog because it’s really one of the first things you should do (but also don’t rush it if it’s not coming to you right away, it needs to feel “right”). Once you settle on a niche, you should also define your style in editing, format, humor, etc. Consistency gives viewers a reason to be excited about your next video because they’ll already know what to expect.
Lastly, you should be consistent with how often you post videos. Especially as your audience grows, having a consistent posting schedule will help build their anticipation and loyalty as they know when to expect the next video to come out!
But remember, this isn’t gospel, what works for some may not work for others.
It’s all about finding what works for YOU. Posting JUST to get a video out could hurt the quality of your channel in the long run. It’s all about finding that balance between quality and quantity. Aim for the highest quality in a reasonable amount of time.
Jump on Trends but Carefully
Beginner vloggers often make the mistake of trying to capitalize on trends to appeal to a larger audience. But it’s important not to focus too much on trying to go viral! It’s important to spice up things with new and exciting content on your channel – even some that’s trending – but if it doesn’t match with the rest of your content or the direction you want to take your channel towards, then it’s better to just leave it.
Trending topics are not for everyone, so when engaging in trends, first make sure they fit with your niche and resonate with your target audience.
For me personally, I love creating “evergreen content” which means content that isn’t really time sensitive. You can watch it today or 5 years from now and it’ll still be relevant. I think this is something that should be taken into consideration when developing your channel. Do you want to talk about what’s happening NOW or create something that will stand the test of time. There’s no wrong answer but it should be given a lot of consideration.
Understand & Listen to Your Audience
I talked a lot about this in my post how to start a vlog, but I want to mention it again here because it’s really important. You absolutely need to understand your audience – what they are interested in, what they care about…and what they don’t! You may not know all of this when you get started, but you should have an idea. Then over time you should be listening to your audience and engaging with them. Building that relationship and opening lines of dialogue will help you gain more insights about what they care about and the type of content they want to see from you.
Knowing your audience is crucial!
Leverage Sound and Music
Music generates emotions. Even if the music is only playing in the background, it can create any mood you are trying to achieve. Although adding music is one of the most important steps in creating a video, it is often pushed aside. Adding music to a video seems like a daunting task, you’ll see how your videos will instantly feel and sound more professional.
If you’ve watched any of my videos, you will immediately see how music impacts the video. It gives it a certain vibe and even takes you along on the story – fast, slow, exciting, etc. I’m really passionate about the music I use in my videos. Here’s a blog post I wrote about some of the places online where I go to get music for my videos.
Grow Your Editing Skills
There are many factors that go into creating a good video, but one of the most important is editing. This is where the footage you shot is molded into a story, and if you want your story to captivate viewers, your editing skills should be top-notch, or at least be improving over time.
A well-edited project is crisp and flows with great precision. Video editing – and this includes both image and sound – can be a lengthy process that requires great attention to detail and a good grasp of the video software you’re using. Luckily, there are a lot of online resources out there to help you improve your editing.
While you can’t expect to be a pro overnight, editing is a skill that you should really focus on building as you grow as a vlogger. Even after just one year, you will see a huge difference in the quality of your videos just from your growth as an editor.
Pro Tip: AUDIO is more important than video quality. People will sit through sub-par video quality if the sound is good. People WON’T sit through AMAZING video quality if the sound is bad.
Ignore the Haters
As you grow, there will no doubt be haters! This is actually a good thing. It means your content is reaching a WIDE audience with a difference in opinions! There’s hardly any channel out there that doesn’t receive negative comments. This is a hard and ugly truth to hear, but it’s best to be prepared. People tend to hide behind the computer screen and treat others in ways they never would in person. Then you have those people who really are just trolls – they just stir things up and act like a jerk for fun.
I can’t emphasize this enough…ignore these haters! It’s just going to bring you down. And don’t attempt to reason with them, justify or explain yourself. It’s not worth it. Don’t even engage with them because it takes your creative energy away from your craft.
Your first hate comment will sting. But it does get easier over time. Remember, what that person says to you, says more about them than it does about you!
Set Goals for Yourself
There’s no denying that setting goals really can work, especially if you want to build your vlog into a larger business. Without a goal, your vlogging efforts can become disjointed. Goals help you track progress and measuring progress helps you maintain focus. Setting goals for your channel will also help you stay motivated and keeps you from procrastinating. Whether it’s short-term goals or long-term goals, you need to have an idea of what you’re working towards and hold yourself accountable.
Now Get Out There!
I hope I was able to go over any general questions or concerns you may have had when it comes to starting out creating content and putting yourself out there on the internet for everyone to see. It may not have been super in-depth, but this is a good starting point to get your feet wet and experience all these points as you go and grow! In the future, I will be deep diving more into these individual subjects to give you a better understanding regarding each.
For now, this should give you the kickstart to go out there and start creating!
Until next time,