Vlogging Advice I Wish I Had When I Started
I spend a lot of time in the comment section on my YouTube channel. Why? I do this because I want a direct link to you, and I want you to know that I appreciate you spending time with me and contributing to the conversation. The comment section is also where I find out what you’re thinking, what questions you’re asking, and what I can do to help you get on camera so you can go after the life you want.
There are many questions come up, and I’ve made videos answering some of those questions. Many of the questions I answered in the past that are still relevant today, and I want to make sure you have all of the information you need to create an awesome and valuable vlog.
You don’t have to have to make the same mistakes as others have made because I’m about to tell you exactly what I would want to know if I were starting to vlog today.
Remember, the barrier to entry in vlogging is very low. If you’re new around here and want to get started, you only need one piece of gear to get started vlogging, so that makes it even easier.
Here’s the vlogging advice I wish I had when I started:
Showing to tell a story is much more interesting than just telling a story
Storytelling is highly effective if you do it right. People forget about the power of video – it’s not just sitting down and talking to a camera. It’s about showing to tell by filling in the blanks for visual learners or for people who just need a little extra help understanding what you’re talking about. (This is why tutorial videos are so popular and effective!)
A simple way to show to tell is to leverage visuals in any way possible. You might start by adding in a title sequence to your video or you might go as far as adding B-Roll that’s overlaid over a voice. Visuals help show the story you’re trying to tell. It takes the viewer’s commitment to the story so much further.
There’s always more video you can get. And, when you’re ready, there are so many ways to keep your viewer interested and opportunities to keep your videos addictive.
Great video is just as much in audio as it is in visual
We talked about this a little bit when I gave my tutorial for jump cuts. Use audio to keep the viewer interested, and of course, you have to have good audio. But, keep it creative and interesting.
Think about audio as an opportunity to keep the story flowing for the viewer so they aren’t bored in their ears. If they are bored in their earbuds, there’s a good chance they are going to click away.
Go listen to your favorite YouTuber’s video or a podcast produced by NPR. There’s probably a lot more going on to keep you interested via audio that you might not be picking up on.
Google Adsense is not the only basket you should putting your eggs into
It seems easy – you create a channel and sign up for Google Adsense. After 10,000 views, you can be monetized and you’ll make money on your videos. Think again, social! If I were living off of what I made from Google Adsense, I wouldn’t be here right now.
There are so many other ways to make money. You could use Patreon or sell merchandise or sell your product or get a sponsor. You should be entertaining what makes sense for you and how you best serve your customer.
You have to diversify your financial portfolio, especially in the online world.
Personality is far more important than perfection
The camera on your phone is perfectly good enough to start making video. But sometimes, especially if you’re new, it’s easy to get caught up thinking you need to invest the all best equipment just to get started.
Not true. It’s not about the camera.
What you need is to look into the lens of your camera like it’s a real person and use your camera as a vehicle to spread your message. You don’t need the personality – you need talent, which is a learned skill. If you have the talent, the viewer is going to excuse audio blips (or whatever else) if you can take the viewer on the journey of the experience.
Personality isn’t what you have to have going in, but it is the thing that someone watching is paying attention to feel like they belong.
Be respectful with monetization – both for your audience and yourself
You should feel empowered to make money from your project and products and services. You can have lots of options for making money, but if you don’t have experience in charging for what you do, it might seem awkward or like you’re isolating your audience.
You can’t not monetize because you’re afraid or because of what people are saying in your comments. The ones who are a part of your community want you to present your offer in a way that is valuable. They’re not going to be upset that you creating something they want and need. However, if you’ve never spoken about money (or products or services) with your audience or if you haven’t been transparent about your goals, then your audience will see right through you.
I am transparent about who I am and what I’m working for, so I can bring in an affiliate or a sponsor because you know that I’ve thoroughly vetted the product before I suggest it to you.
Don’t walk all over your audience just because you think it might earn you a few extra dollars. It’s never worth it.
This might seem YouTube specific, but it’s not. Thumbnails matter across multiple platforms. On YouTube, someone decides to watch your video based on your title and your thumbnail. It’s the one visual connection you have after you’ve done the audio, the visual, the editing, and YouTube cards.
If you don’t nail the thumbnail, that’s a nail in the coffin for your video.
Tweet that out, yo!If you don’t nail the thumbnail, that’s a nail in the coffin for your video.… Click To Tweet
You have to think very carefully about the thumbnail and what people are thinking when they see it. You have to make sure you’re answering the question the viewer has in a visual way so they click on the video and watch all the way through.
Every single video gets better
You grow so much over time. I don’t love watching my old videos, but I love the reminder they have to show how much I’ve grown.
Should you delete your old videos? No, just go back and replace all those thumbnails. Don’t waste your archives.
As you’re learning from your mistakes, each video gets better. Get over your tiny mistakes and hit publish. Build your archives. Stop overanalyzing and keep moving forward.
Those are 7 pieces of advice I wish I had when I was starting 750+ videos ago.
If you want more vlogging advice, check out my book, Vlog Like A Boss. There are so many actionable tips in there to help you become a great vlogger and to go after the life you want.