Everyone’s vlogging these days. No, not flogging. Vlogging. It’s video blogging. It’s where you create a video and upload it to a site like YouTube for other people to watch – except that you also host the videos on your own website.
Choose a Theme
OK, so the first step is to choose a theme for your vlog. Do you want to make videos for young teens, businessmen, families, teachers, other people in your industry, artists, writers, or other vloggers? Choosing a theme is critical. Not only will it define your audience, it will determine your success. Some YouTubers make the mistake of defining their audience as “anyone who fogs a mirror.” This is a huge mistake. Take Veritasium’s channel, for example. It’s a YouTube channel run by Derek Muller. He caters specifically to those interested in learning about science. Almost all of his videos are about physics, specifically.
He doesn’t worry about those interested in photography. That’s not his niche. The same is true of YouTube star Vihart. She does math-related videos. She doesn’t worry about those interested in baking. Or, consider strengthcamp channel, hosting by Elliott Hulse. He caters only to body builders and power lifters. Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to do, it’s time to find a host.
Find a Host
Good hosts are hard to find. Tip: use hosts with proven track records, like HostGator, LiquidWeb, and BlueHost. Go for the top-tier names. If you can’t find mostly positive reviews for the company using a simple Google search, and reading in webmaster forums, it’s probably a good idea to skip it.
Ideally, your host will give you upgradable server security options, a fully-managed server, and plenty of bandwidth for the price you pay. Also, make sure that you can harden the security on your server, and your website. You do not want a Dos or DDoS attack bringing down your vlog.
Choose a Developer
You’ll need to hire a developer for your vlog so that it looks professional. Alternatively, you could try to do this yourself, but it’s probably going to look either amateurish or like a carbon-copy of every other site (if you use WordPress templates). You don’t have to spend a lot on a developer. A good site could be designed for a few hundred smackeroos. Alternatively, you could try to use one of the newer WYSIWYG WordPress template builders. It’s probably going to give you the professionalism of a small-scale site with a mid-tier developer, but without the expense.
Name The Vlog
Name your vlog something clever. It needs to appeal to users first and search engines second. Your name should be easy to remember and yet meaningful for web visitors.
Get Content Ideas
Content ideas will ultimately come from your own creativity, but if you’re looking for inspiration try hanging out on YouTube or Vimeo and following popular vloggers.
Posting videos is an important part of vlogging – obviously. If you’re shooting your video using your Android or iPhone device (which many people are doing these days), make sure you use a professional setup. Try to get the lighting right with a simple lighting rig. Also use professional recording apps like Filmic Pro or something similar.
Post your videos on a regular schedule so that users become accustomed to seeing your updates.
Promote your vlog. Share your videos with as many people as possible. Don’t make it difficult for users to download and watch them. Having something really interesting and useful to say is a good first step, but marketing and promotion is what often makes or breaks vloggers.
Using programs like http://youtubedownload.altervista.org/ will help users download and share videos offline – something that’s becoming more and more important now that cell service providers, and even some ISPs, use metered data plans. The YTD downloader installs on your users’ computer, and lets them copy and paste your YouTube link into the program. Once they do this, they can convert your online video to a locally-stored video. That way, they can watch it whenever they want. Cool, huh?
Monetizing your vlog is as easy as partnering with YouTube for revenue share, or opening a Blip.tv video channel. You can also use Google’s Adsense or wait until you’re really popular to attract the attention of larger media advertisers.
Make Consistent Posts
Consistency is often what sets casual vloggers apart from professionals. Post on a regular schedule, whether it’s 3 times a week, once a week or once per day. You’re going to post a lot of content in the beginning, without any views, and it’s going to seem like nothing is working. Hang in there. Persistency will eventually win the day.
When using downloads, remember to respect IP: TeachingCopyright.org.
Ron Waters is a social web guru. From managing professional profiles online to crafting blogs into a business or for fun, he enjoys writing about the ins and outs of using the internet to connect to others.