How to Start a Vlog, The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

Discover how to start a vlog from the ground up with all the skills and knowledge you need.

You’ve probably seen it. These days, there are millions of new vlogs appearing everyday.

How-to’s, unboxing, reviews, cooking, fashion, beauty  — the amount of vlogging options are overwhelming. Which type of vlogging should you choose? And how to even start a vlog?

That’s Definitely confusing!

Buy hey, here’s the good news for you:

In this post, I’ll go over all the things you need to know about vlogging, how to start a vlog and how to maintain it.

In other words, your life is going to be that much simpler. So let’s start!

 

Table of contents:

Why you should start a vlog in 2018

How is vlogging different from blogging?

How to start a vlog:

 

Why you should start a vlog in 2018

Vlogging comes from the term “video blogging”.

It’s simply a blog in a video form.

While it’s relatively a new form of expression, vlogging is quickly becoming a popular way to entertain and teach new things online.

Internet users really like vlogs.

In fact, a study made by GlobalWebIndex revealed that 44% of global internet users watched vlogs every month in 2016.

GlobalWebIndex Chart

Image source: GlobalWebIndex

And in a more recent study, Hubspot published a study that shows that 54% of users prefer videos as a way to communicate with brands beating blog articles by 36%!

Hubspot video engagement chart

Image source: Hubspot

So, if you’re building a brand, you should consider engaging with your audience through vlogs.

 

How is vlogging different from blogging?

In its essence, both vlogs and blogs have similar objectives – to educate consumers, inform, entertain or even market a product or a service.

The big difference comes in engagement, while writing a blog post may be big in terms of SEO when ranking for keywords.

If it comes to what type of content internet users are the most engaged with, it’s video that comes out on top.

You can see it here,

In Hubspot recent survey 62% of the users said they would pay more attention to videos rather than any other content online.

Hubspot Survay Chart

Image source: Hubspot

Does this means you should start a vlog right away?

It depends,

You should always go for what you’re good at.

If writing suits you better then broadcasting yourself, then you should write blog posts!

To be honest,

Blogging is not dead either, it’s actually growing year by year.

Take a look for yourself, Statista shows that there will be about 31.7 million bloggers by 2020 in the US alone.

Statista Chart

Image source: Statista

And that means also, a lot of competition.

For both vloggers and bloggers.

So how do you overcome competition? How do you even start your own vlog?

Here’s a solid plan for you:

 

How to Start a vlog?

Step #1: Learn the skills (or team up)

Nowadays, It looks like there’s tons of influencers who’s doing it all. They record and edit vlogs, answer to comments live, have an impressive social following, doing QA sessions in their free time and sell products they produce.

But do they do everything alone? How do they manage to do all of that?

Behind the scenes, most of them have teams working for them.

Why?

It simple, you just have 24 hours a day. If you’d do everything, you’d probably won’t have time for yourself.

And even if you’re smart, fast and multi talented. You’d need more time to do a good job.

So, what do you do?

You can either choose to learn the skills yourself and focus on one or two areas where you excel.

That way, at a later stage you’d be able to pay people for doing tasks you’re not good at.

Or,

You can team up with talented people in various areas.

And make a team effort to make a successful vlog with a unique concept.

Here are the skills you’d need to know:

  • Video Recording – obviously, if you’re starting a vlog you’d need to know how to shoot videos on your smartphone or DSLR camera. If you’re wondering which camera to use, stay tuned because we’ll have a whole section about it in the future.
  •  

  • Video and sound Editing – for editing your videos to make them unique you’ll need some good skills in video editing. You’ll need to know the basics of Adobe Premiere pro or Final Cut pro or at least know how to edit with one of  these 15 best video editing apps. We’ll take a deeper look at it on a later stage.
  •  

  • The platform you’d use – if you choose to use YouTube for your vlog, you’d need to know as much as you can about it. The same goes about Instagram, Snapchat or any other tools you’d use. It’s recommended at first to focus on one platform and get to know it really well.
  •  

  • Research and content curation skills – in order to come up with great content every week, you’d need to find the best topics or concepts for videos. To do that, you’d need to know what’s popular with techniques like social listening, social mentions and some Google searching.
    But hey! You’ve found this article. So you’ve already started having this skill.
  •  

  • Marketing, Marketing, Marketing – so you’ve made great videos and posted them online, but haven’t got that much traction? In this case, you’d need to know how to market to your audience. Who is your go to audience? What distribution platforms do you use? email, social media etc.
  •  

  • Branding and design – How do you look online? How can you be noticed by more people? If you design great video thumbnails and have a great logo or a stunning cover image, you’d probably catch more attention. Don’t worry about it, there’s a lot of new tools that simplify the branding process like Canva and Stencil. For a free logo design, you can use Logoster or Shopify’s Hatchful.

Now, when you have the basic skills required for vlogging, we can move on to the next step…

Step #2: Find your niche

So, you’ve got it all set up. You’ve got your skills, team and you’re ready to go!

From now on, it’s going to be only about doing unique videos. In order to do that you’d need great vlog ideas.

Eventually it would come down to two things:

  1. A Niche – if you’re going to do videos on tech, food, makeup, travel, fashion, DIY or anything else.
  2. A Concept – the theme of your videos that would be so unique and different from anyone else.

So, to start this off, try to think about a niche that you really care about and can be expert on in the future.

In order to find a great niche you’d need to consider also its profitability and popularity over time.

But how?

We’ve made it easier for you. Below you can find 5 surprisingly popular and profitable niches to start a vlog.

And most importantly, ones that don’t have a lot of competition.

 

#1 Healthy Food and Wellness

Do you live a healthy life? Do you find yourself buying some unique products for your food diet, fitness or lifestyle?

There might be great interest for these kind of vlogs. Where people share tips about how they live a more healthy life. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:

Google Trends Health Chart
In this trend, you can find vlogs about healthy meal ideas, things to add to your daily routine to make you healthier etc.
 

#2 DIY and Craft Making

Do you like making crafts on your spare time? Are you enthusiastic about teaching people how to create stuff themselves?

A lot of people are looking to know how to make stuff themselves. It can be on any topic: stuff for home, fun, fashion, art, tech and others.

Google Trends Crafts DIY Chart

People are also looking for skilled crafters to buy from online. So if you can combine a vlog and an online shop you could be popular and profitable.

Do you want to know what does it mean to be a crafter? Head over to this list of 50 craft business ideas.
 

#3 Travel and traveling tips

Do you tend to travel a lot? Do you live from traveling? Do you have a lot of knowledge about a specific country or certain countries?

If yes, you can be a great “tour guide”, right?

You can start a vlog on traveling to new countries, telling your audience about the secrets of every place.

Google Trends Travel Vlog Chart

There will be always new places to discover and new tips to uncover.

Even if you’re not traveling, you could focus on your own country, telling your audience about all the best places to hang out, eat and visit.
 

#4 Unboxing & Reviews

Do you like a new gadget, product or brand? You can definitely show the world what you think about it and how to use it.

There will be always new products coming in and people who’d want to buy them.

Google Trends Unboxing Chart

You need just to pick a niche and review all products related to that niche.

It can be tech, fashion, design, travel or beauty products. But the concept should remain the same.

We would suggest not to spend a lot of money when going this path. Start with free products or samples of the products (you can request it from the company).

 

#5 Lifestyle

So, probably you’ve seen a lot of vlogs on this niche. Vloggers who film their day to day life, make contests or just film whatever there is.

Although it’s the most common niche in vlogging, there might be a room for certain topics that might really interest people.

Everyone has a talent in something, probably you’re doing something that no one else knows how to do.

It might be related to your work, it might be your passion or even your journey of how you’ve started your vlog.

Your goal in this case, is to teach the world what you know and how to achieve the skills that you have.

 

Step #3 Form a Concept

Now, when you have a general idea about a niche you want to pick – it’s time to move on to finding a good and solid concept for you vlog.

They say that “Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal” – It also applies to vlogging!

Here are the best vlog concept ideas to help you on your quest to a succesful vlog.

 

50 Top Vlog Ideas

General Ideas

1) 50 facts about..

You talk about 50 facts related to your topic. This isn’t exactly an easy video to do, but it’ll bring a lot of value to your viewers.
 
2) 50 Facts About Me
A video where you talk about yourself. Could be fun to watch and make your viewers feel closer to you.
 
3) Step-by-step guide
A video where you make a guide about a certain topic. It can be a guide for beginners, intermediate or advanced viewers of your topic. A title of this video could be “{your topic} Step-by-Step Beginners Guide”
 
4) Do’s and Don’ts Video

A video where you explain the do’s and don’ts of your topic.
 
5) Q&A Video
A video where you answer viewers questions from comments of your videos
 
6) Review of a product or product comparison
A video where you review a product ins and outs, or make a product comparison between two products in your niche.
 
7) “How to” Video
A video where you teach something new in your niche. A title should be “How to {your topic}”
 
8) “How I turned x into y” Video

A video where you explain how you turn one thing into another. It could work in any niche. Those videos work best when there is a big goal that you’ve achieved.
 
9) Event Recap Video
Were you in an event related to your niche lately? If yes, you can make a review or a recap about that event.
 
10) Unboxing products

Those videos are very popular. No need to say more about them.
 
11) A Workflow Video
Do you talk about a practical topic? Show how you do things and teach others to be great like you. A title could be “My Morning Routine | {your name}” Or  “How to {your topic} | {niche name} Workflow Tutorial”
 
12) Behind The Scenes Video
Show how you shoot your videos, with which cameras, lighting and other tools you use to make your videos.
 
13) Give Away Video

A video where you run a mini-contest for your audience and give away something you don’t need anymore. This is a good way of using this popular marketing technique without a huge budget. Just at least make sure the product works just as well as when it was new and it’s not falling apart.
 
14) Interview Influencers
Do a talk show where you interview people who are related to your niche.
 
15) A Day in Your Life Video
A video where you share your life style from the first thing you do when you wake up to the last thing.
 

Food and Cooking

16) Recipes by Seasons
If you do a vlog about cooking, use seasonal recipes to make your audience be interested all year. For example “{recipe} | Summer Recipe”
 
17) Recipes by Themes

You can categorize your recipes by a common theme. For example “{recipe} | Party Recipe”
 
18) Recipes by Holidays
You can categorize your recipes by holidays. For example “{recipe} | Christmas Recipe”
 
19) Recipes by your Family Tradition
You can categorize your recipes by your family tradition. For example “{recipe} | My Family Secret Recipe”
 
20) Restaurant Review
Make a review the next time you go to a cool restaurant. It will also be easy to monetize these kinds of videos.
 
21) Your Cooking Story
Talk about your cooking journey from the day you’ve started until now. You can recommend your favorite mentors or courses to watch online.
 
22) Share Your go-to Meals
Make a video where you share you meals for different needs: diet, fun, happiness etc. For example “5 dishes that would make you 100% happier”
 
23) Share your favorite food vlogs or blogs
Make a video where you share your favorite food vlogs or blogs for your audience to watch.
 
24) Cookbook Sneak Peek and Review
Make a video where you share your favorite cookbook and do a full review about it.
 
25) Single Ingredient Recipes
Create a recipe series based on a single ingredient.
 

DIY and Crafts

26) DIY Furniture
If you like building things around the house, build them on camera. You can either make projects from zero or show reconditioning techniques for older furniture.
 
27) DIY Repurposed Stuff
There are numerous awesome things you can make from repurposed items. Furniture from pallets, armchairs from tires, a clock from silverware.
 
28) DIY clothes

If you like to cut, paint, and make adjustments to your clothes, this is one of the best YouTube video ideas for fashion. Teach your followers how to save old clothes instead of throwing them all out.
 
29) DIY Gifts

Make a video where you teach how to make your own gifts. Most of the time finding gifts are time consuming and expensive so why not do it yourself?
 
30) Make Pinterest IRL
Find a DIY project on Pinterest and try to do it yourself.
 
31) DIY Life Hacks
Make a video about simple life hacks that would make your audience life much easier.
 

Travel and tips

32) Make an Insider’s Guide
Make a video about your favorite destinations in a city/state that only the locals know about.
 
33) Put Together a Tourist Guide
Find an try tourist spots in your hometown/state (check TripAdvisor for ideas).
 
34) How to Travel on a Budget
Make a video about the best hotel deals, car rental or trip advice you know about traveling to a specific destination
 
35) Best {Items} in {City}
Find an item that a city is known for (coffee in Seattle, Baguette in Paris, pizza in New York) and make a review about restaurants that serve these items.
 
36) Traveling for Free
Make a review about free things to do in a certain city when visiting it.
 
37) What’s In My Travel Bag
Take a spin on the what’s in my bag challenge, and do a what’s in my travel bag or suitcase vlog. Let your viewers get a peek into what it looks like when you travel. What tips and tricks do you have for traveling that you can share with viewers to make the actual act of traveling practically.
 
38) Your Latest Adventure
Tell your audience about your last travel, why you chose this travel destination, your favorite thing about the trip, your least favorite thing about your trip etc.
 
39) Top Destinations to Travel
If you travel often, compile some of the best destinations you have visited and share advice on the food to eat, and places to visit.
 
40) Basic Equipment for Travel Vlogging
Share a video with your audience where you explain what basic gear they should acquire in order to start their travel vlog.
 

Unboxing & Reviews

41) Unboxing Tech Gadgets
Unboxing videos aren’t a new idea. Still, there are thousands of new products launched each month, so these kind of videos will never stop being searched. If it’s a new product you bought, you got yourself new content.
 
42) Unboxing Kids Toys

Make a video where you’re unboxing kids toys.
 
43) Book Review
Have you read a good book lately? Make a book review that would help your audience understand your topic better.
 
44) Product Competition Review
Make a review video on an entire market of products. Where you take the leader product of this market (for example smartphones) and make a comparison video with its competitors.
 
45) Product Price Comparison
Pick a product that you love and find the best price online for it. Then, you can make a video comparing this product’s prices on various sites.
 
46) Review a YouTuber or an Instagram Account
Do you follow mentors or influencers on social media? Make a review about them (you can also share it with them)
 
47) Unboxing Brand Products
Find brand products on any niche like fashion, beauty, travel etc. And do an unboxing video of it.
 
48) Review a Service
Find a service you’ve used lately (TV cables, Phone Carrior etc.) and make a review about its service.
 
49) Review a software
Review the software you use everyday from iOS to Android to Mac OS to Windows and so forth.
 
50) Review Something Unexpected
Review something you wouldn’t normally review, like the worst movies of all time (look at IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes).
 

Step #4 Learn how to make great content

Once you’ve set up your plan with a certain niche and concept, you can continue to the next stage of writing and filming content.

In order to do it, you’d just need to start!

Everyone had to start from somewhere.

If you’ve already experienced with video production then you know what to do.

If you haven’t, the simplest advice I could give you is to start making content and see what happens.

It might take a while until you’ll get noticed, but once you do you’ll need to analyze what does your audience like on your channel.

Here are simple instructions for making great content:

 

#1 It should be super useful

Remember the last time you saw a video that was so useful, you actually came back to it a month later to watch it again and take notes?

No? There’s no wonder.

Most of the content on the internet is temporary and disposable.

It’s not valuable for a larger time span.

Make content that would be so useful and actionable for your audience. It should improve something significantly in your watcher’s life and should do it with simple steps.

See where I’m going here?

 

#2 It should have a fresh perspective

Did it happen to you that you’ve seen a video that has similar advice to other videos in that niche?

Make content that has a fresh look on your topic. That would surprise your audience with how easy it might be to solve their problem or need.

How simple and positive your view on this topic is.

 

#3 Go for a climax

Remember the last time you saw a really good movie? Did it make you cry? Or smile?

Great content always invoke high emotions. It makes you feel something different.

Actually, It’s a known thing in script writing. There’s this famous model of the “classic story arc” hollywood storyline.

Business2community classic story arc

Image Source: business2community

Where a journey starts at a beginning, then take its way to a climax using tension and goes towards a resolution and a happy end (or an open end).

This could be as well your content strategy, where you strive in every video to go on a climax that’s get resolved at the end.

If you’re looking to learn more about storytelling, I would suggest you’d take this Khan Academy free storytelling course made by Pixar studios

 

#4 Cut that bul****

Yes, you heard me right!

Don’t make videos with so many unimportant details or repetitive ideas.

If you have a lot of details that’s great, but make every one of them count.

Make useful videos with important details. Don’t try to scam or waste your audience time.

 

#5 Make Great Video Titles (and thumbnails)

Video headlines are super important for your vlog.

When trying to attract new viewers, your only tools are a video headline and a thumbnail.

This is why it’s super important to focus on writing engaging headlines.

But what does it mean?

If you don’t know how to write copy for video titles, then learn it.

Here’s a research of 100 million video headlines by Buzzsumo that will make you better at writing video headlines.

 

#6 Strive to finish Strong and with an open end

Stories that have a definitive end are boring. Right?

They are predictable and skippable.

Always strive to finish your videos with a sense of something more. Like doing a series of videos with a never ending story.

It always gets your audience on notice when they feel the need to keep watching so they’ll know what happens next.

Of course, It’s not suitable for every niche or every topics.

But when you have the chance, do it.

 

#7 Write and film Constantly

The only way to get better is experience. Once you keep on making content then it becomes great.

No one was born with content making skills.

They just did it for a long time and got better at it.

Start modestly, don’t go over your head for hard-to-reach goals. Also don’t be a perfectionist – it won’t help you.

Go for simple videos at first – see that you’re comfortable at doing them, then go another step into making more complicated videos.

 

Conclusion

In this guide I’ve shown you why you should start a vlog in 2018, how to start your own vlog and how learn the skills needed for it.

Starting a vlog is not always easy, but it becomes much easier when you have a passion for it and have the will to learn the skills and tools for vlogging.

What’s great about videos and content is that no matter when you’re doing it, there will be always someone on the other side interested in what you’re doing.

Whether if they are in your town, country or half across the world.

If you’d like to know more about vlogging, video marketing and how to promote your videos check out Weshare’s blog.

If you want to apply for guest posting on our blog check our Write For Us page.

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