Vlogging can be a great way to share your passions and interests, build your professional reputation, and even earn good money! You don’t even need to be a “tech person” or own expensive equipment. With these tips and a versatile camera, you can start and build a successful channel.
How To Pick The Best Vlogging Camera
Your camera is the biggest and most important investment you will make, and you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. But the best vlogging camera isn’t necessarily the one with the most powerful specs. Instead, look at how its features can help you document your day-to-day experiences and thoughts in a convenient way. Here’s what to consider:
- Weight and size. Can you comfortably carry it around in your bag or your hand when you travel?
- Performance in different lighting conditions. You may need to shoot at different times of the day (or night!). And most of the time, you’ll be going to places where you can’t control the lighting conditions. Even if you plan to shoot mostly in a home studio, at this stage, it’s still better to invest more of your money in a good camera than additional lighting. A shoddy camera that can’t adjust to low light will end up reducing frames per second, which leads to image noise. That’s not something you can fix in post production.
- Effective Autofocus. Many times, you’ll be recording yourself and won’t be able to monitor the camera focus. So it’s really important that the camera can adjust its focus and maintain image stability as you talk and move around.
- Image stabilization. Avoid shaky videos! This is especially important if you plan to do a lot of “documentary style” footage—travelogues, interviews, video tours.
- Ability to upload footage via WiFi. This will definitely make your life easier. You can automatically upload and transfer your footage to a smart device or directly to Youtube.
Top Pick: Nikon D5600 For Vlogging
The Nikon D5600 is one of the most popular vlogging cameras, because it meets all the features you need and more.
It’s compact and light, and designed to fit comfortably in your hands. Even if you’re shooting for hours, you won’t feel camera fatigue. It can capture amazing videos in a variety of lighting conditions, thanks to an ISO sensitivity from 100 to 25600. That will also help you create beautiful “bokeh” effect, where you blur out the background to focus on a product or the person you’re interviewing.
The Nikon D5600 also has 39-point Auto Focus system, which can capture even the most rapidly moving subjects in sharp detail. Even if you’re filming yourself while walking, the image stays as stable and clear as you would have if you had a dedicated video crew.
You’ll also be able to shoot many different kinds of videos. It has a built-in time lapse movie feature, and a vari-angle LCD monitor with touch control that lets you shoot from different angles. The intuitive interface is also very easy to learn. Even if you’ve never used a DSLR before, you’ll soon be making professional looking videos.
And when you’ve got your footage, the Nikon D5600 SnapBridge feature enables image and video transfers to any smart device.
Create Engaging Content
You’ve got the camera, now the next step is to create compelling and engaging content. And the best way to do this is to know your niche and know your audience.
There are millions of vlogs on the web, so you have to find a way to make your vlog special and relevant. Define the content you will create. For example, don’t just say “I want to create a cooking and recipe vlog.” Narrow it down. “I want to create a cooking vlog for busy moms who want to create healthy family meals on a budget.” Or, “I want to recreate homemade versions of popular restaurant food.”
Then, write down the audience or type of viewers who would be most interested in your channel. What are their most common questions or needs? Go to forums to find out what they’re talking about. This can help you think of topics for your vlogs.
Focus On Quality Not Quantity
It’s better to create one to two good videos a week than fill your channel with daily videos that are repetitive or poorly edited. If someone stumbles on a bad video he will never visit your channel again—but if he is impressed by a good video, there’s a good chance that he will subscribe to get regular updates.
Set A Schedule
Consistency is very important for building a following. Set a posting schedule (for example, every Friday or every Wednesday) so viewers know when to expect a new episode. Many successful vloggers also try to get footage every day, so they always have enough material. You may not immediately edit or upload those videos, but at least you’ll have “banked” footage that you can use any time.
Create themes like “Tip Tuesday”, “Product Review of the Week” or “This Month’s Top 10”. These not only make it easier to plan your vlog content calendar, but give your readers something to look forward to.
Also consider seasonal themes, like Holidays, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, Summer, Black Friday. You can also look at the specific events that are relevant to your target audience—first day of school, sports finals, spring break, etc. Think of how to connect your vlog content to these timely topics.
Follow Trending Topics And People
Stay on top of trending topics and keywords, and see which ones you can “ride on” by creating related content. You should also follow the social media channels of people who serve a similar audience, to get a feel of what people are talking about or which topics are most popular.
Always Have Powerful Intros
The first 15 seconds of your video are critical. That’s when people decide whether they want to watch the video or if they’ll just click to another. So, don’t waste that precious opportunity. Create a title card that clearly summarizes what the video topic is. Then, in your intro, clearly say what you’ll be discussing and what people will benefit from it. You can also have an interesting teaser to pique their curiosity. If you have a promo or giveaway, mention it here as well.
Talk Like You’re Having A One-On-One Conversation
While your vlog can reach hundreds or even hundreds of thousands of people, you should make every viewer feel like you’re having a personal conversation with them. Be friendly, gesture, and use language that makes them feel like you’re actually interacting with them. Remember to smile and to respond to previous comments, or thank them for watching and dropping by.
This is a huge factor in people following you! While interesting content can pull in your audience, likeability will help them stay loyal. Many people subscribe to a vlog because they feel a personal connection to the vlogger.
Collaborate With Other Vloggers
Video collaborations can help you create fresh, interesting content and attract new followers too. That’s why it’s important to befriend other vloggers. Comment on their posts, attend vlogging community events and get-togethers, and build friendships with other people in the community.
You can also invite special guests—people who don’t have vlogs, but are well-known are respected among your audience. It will help build your vlog credibility, and also make your videos more unique and interesting.
Promote On Other Social Media Platforms
The most successful vloggers are also active on Instagram, Facebook, and may even have their own website. These other platforms help you reach new audiences and give you ways to interact with your audience. For example, you can post the recipe in your cooking vlog on your website, or take pretty food shots and share on Instagram.
You can also use your vlogging camera to make short 15 and 30 second videos just for Instagram and Facebook. These can be teasers, shortened versions of full-length videos, or completely fresh content. For example, you can do a short “Tip of the Day” or a quick time lapse video. Have fun and experiment—you’ll soon see what kind of videos do well on each individual social media platform.
Always Use Royalty-Free Music
To avoid copyright infringement, always use royalty-free music in your edited videos. Youtube has a contentID system that can immediately track when you’re illegally using a song. After three offenses your account may be banned completely.
That doesn’t just happen on Youtube, either. If you share your videos on Facebook, you can also be caught by their contentID program. Your video will be taken off the platform, rendering all your work for nothing.
Start Vlogging With The Nikon D5600
If you’ve ever thought, “One day I’m going to vlog…” then let today be that day. Don’t worry: practice makes perfect, and even if you make mistakes you can always edit them out and do another take! Ready? Lights, camera…action!