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How to Start a Vlog

Despite what it may at first seem, starting a video blog will involve so many activities that actually creating the vlog itself will consume far less time than the ancillary activities you must do in order to ensure that your vlog becomes popular and, most importantly, profitable. If this disheartens you, consider whether you are truly willing to do what it takes to be a top vlogger since a great deal of this project involves spending hours doing tedious tasks. However, if you persevere, you will how to start a vlog of reasonably high-quality that can potentially become your primary source of income.

An Idea

This is truly where it all begins – where everything begins – when considering how to start a vlog. If you do not have an idea about what you want to base your vlog on, then the vlog itself will ultimately flounder in its own unfocus. As such, you need to consider what it is you have to say to the world, and how you want to present it.

Keep in mind, vlogs come in all different forms from the candid style to the gonzo style to the narrated style, so it is less important what the specific idea is as much as it is something you feel passionately about and something that you can package in a way that people will want to watch.

The passion should not be overlooked either. If you simply run a market analysis to figure out what is the ideal mix of content but you do not feel passionate about what you are creating, the audience is going to be able to tell and the actual product itself will suffer in quality as a result.

Regardless, once you feel confident in the idea, make sure that you do not fall into the trap of second-guessing yourself. You should have a strong intuition about which idea you think you can pull off. Do not go and self-sabotage by looking for the “perfect” idea in the abstract when the perfect real idea may be staring you in the face.

Choose a Niche

We mentioned earlier not to get too bogged down in the market analysis so you could have a clear space to figure out what your idea is, but once you do, then it is time to turn around and do the market research – just a more pointed and smaller scoped subject. Basically, once you figure out your idea, then you need to figure out what is already on the market and how your idea is different or what else you can provide that is missing.

One of the best ways to do this is by looking at vlogs within your idea’s subject and get a feel for what many of the popular vloggers do – and not just in a generalized sense either. These vloggers are likely successful in part due to properly identifying their appropriate niche. This is the specific sliver about their idea’s subject that they use as a prism to view the rest of their content.

This niche can be predicated on the visual format, the narrative format, and even the way the vlogger carries their self – this, of course, omits the multitudes of content-based categories. The point is, there is a way that you intend to do things which will almost inherently be similar to the way that some group of people does things. Unless you have a way to revolutionize that conceit, you are better off going with what is comfortable, that you are confident about, and that you have that all-important passion regarding.

Get the Goodies

Once you have figured out what you intend to make, then and only then should you consider equipment. This is in part because it is all too easy to get lost in the shiny gadgets and not actually go through the process of making the vlog once you purchase them. This way, if you do go ahead forth with the vlog, then you know you have at least put forth plenty of time thinking about it beforehand.

That said, and we will keep saying it, not all vlogs take the same form. This will become painfully obvious to you the vlogger once you begin to purchase the equipment. This is because the different types of vlogs often rely more heavily on different types of gear. For instance, an action vlogger is not going to have the luxury of tripods for most of their shots. Simultaneously, a studio vlogger is unlikely to make much meaningful use out of a gimbal tripod.

This is why once you have your idea and you know your niche, the next big task is more preparation. While this may be the last thing you want to do, you need to begin talking with people who create vlogs within your same niche, so you can have a better idea of what equipment is necessary, what is awfully convenient, and what is a complete splurge.

Reviews and Buyer’s Guides of Vlogger’s Equipment

Have a Plan

Just when you thought the preparation was over and you could go shoot footage for your vlog, you need to come up with a plan to ensure that your vlog is successful. While we are sure that you know just how your vlog will turn out and have thought about the idea so long you know every little possible detail about it.

As nice as that may be, it does not at all help you with actually producing a vlog in the real world–the messy, messy real world. Because you are the boss, making a vlog is one of those endeavors that actually takes a great deal of initiative. However, you have to maintain that same level of initiative for years on end.

One way to do this is to make a schedule, so you do not run into the situation where your life in the real world begins to impose on your vlogging persona’s virtual life. This way you can at least make sure that most of the real world chores and tasks do not eat into your recording and, most voluminously, editing time.

Speaking of which, it is also a good idea to practice shooting with your gear just to get familiar with it. Once you do, you can then use this footage to learn how to properly edit as well as see if you can identify anything to help you develop a specific gimmick or style. In doing so, you should figure out a rough ratio of how much each task takes and apportion it accordingly.

Go Shoot

Finally, at long last, now that you have come to a point where all of the preparations have been made, it is time to actually go out and shoot with purpose. If you spent enough time with your practice on your vlog’s style of shots, you should have already had plenty of practice to give you a good idea of how the shots should work.

Of course, even actually shooting your vlog will not go the way that you expected it to, so be prepared to spend plenty of time reshooting everything. In fact, it is a good idea to get into the habit of doing numerous retakes on your shots – even if you already believe that you got the perfect take previously.

On the flip side, you need to make sure you do not fall into the trap of the perfect shot. Basically, the perfect shot is a shot that does not exist except in your mind. However, in your mind, the perfect shot is vivid and immaculately shot. Of course, when you actually get behind the camera, you will never be able to see the perfect shot.

In this instance, some early vloggers end up getting bogged down in the weeds and spend so much time trying to get the perfect shot that they are not able to keep the schedule they previously set down for themselves. Instead, simply take numerous reshoots of all your scenes and edit them together – which will give you plenty of practice towards that end.

Follow Through

Speaking of editing, it may surprise you that you will arguably spend more time editing your vlog than you do accomplishing any other single task. Even once you have spent enough time with the editing software to get on a roll and compile usable footage efficiently, you will still find that you spend more time editing your vlog than you do actually filming it.

That said, the greatest vlogs are not actually made, they are edited. Essentially, however good you think anyone’s vlog may be, just be sure to remember that they slaved for hours over their computer making sure that every line of audio synchronized properly with the different scenes and images that accompany it.

Once you get past the planning stages, this is generally where everyone else loses their motivation specifically because editing is not at all an exciting task. Not only do you already what footage you shot, you will also spend the next several hours dissecting that footage to find the best arrangement of shots to use for your vlog.

At the end of the process, a given episode of your vlog is liable to be one of the most intimate and dull pieces of content you have ever seen. Do not dismay as this is fairly natural and is more a combination of familiarity breeding contempt as well as our natural tendency to be our own harshest critics. Just continue pushing on with this process as others will likely see the content in a completely different light.

Market Yourself

Once you have actually produced a handful of episodes, it is time to get your name out there and begin targeting your potential consumers. You can have the best vlog ever created, but with so much content awash on the internet, the quality of your vlog will not matter a bit if the people you make it for have no idea that it exists.

To this end, you will need to once again develop a plan to alert your target audience that new content which they might enjoy has been created. A great way to accomplish this is to figure out which forums and chats the people who would enjoy your vlog engage with. That said, you cannot simply present your engagement as an advertisement, or the community will ignore you.

Instead, make it a point to get actively involved with your community, so you can develop a good reputation among your peers and provide them a reason to trust and believe you in the first place. Also, if you are going to try and create an online brand for yourself, make sure you have a large footprint.

What that means is find the various social media apps that your target audience prefers and make sure that you or your vlog, depending on how you brand the vlog, have profiles and a presence on these platforms. Whatever you do, make sure that people know of your vlog without being pushy.


As we can see, the answer to “how to make a vlog” actually hinges on making sure you have all of your ducks lined up in a row more than actually doing the fun activities like using the camera. Even “spontaneous” vlogs that rely on candid interactions have planned for a number of likely reactions and potential results.

Though vlogging may seem like one or more people casually sitting in front of a camera providing valuable information or meaningful entertainment, there are hours of work that go into the production of even a 10-minute vlog. So before you set off to start a vlog, make sure you understand what exactly you are getting yourself into.

Eva Smith
Eva Smith
Vlogger and photographer.


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