vlogging 101: 5 tips for creating an effective video blog

Vlogging is the term coined by many Internet users nowadays for the two words ‘video blogging’ combined.

With vlogging, you separate yourself from the usual bloggers who use text and images alone, and show yourself and even your activities using videos that you upload.

Videos can be straight from a camera, or uploaded right after a serious movie-editing.

No, for vlogging, you don’t really have to be that geeky to hold a video camera steadily and edit your shoots afterwards.

The ease of vlogging is almost similar to the ease of the usual blog, and hence you can enjoy it as such while viewers also enjoy watching without the usual boredom experienced on text-based blogs.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Quality video recorder
  • Computer
  • Lightning
  • Video editor (iMovie for Mac users or Windows Movie Maker for PC)

Here’s a very definitive guide to Vlog effectively:

1. Plan & Prepare

Plan & Prepare Your Vlogging

This first step is critical as this will really affect the overall result of the movie to be uploaded for your vlog. To fully accomplish this step, you must:

  • Know Your Topic. Remember, you should choose a topic that you know something about. You don’t want to appear amateur on your vlog. If you are to make a script, be sure that it is something that would make you look like you really know what you are talking about.
  • Identify your audience. Dress and talk appropriately depending on who you are talking to. Deciding to talk to entrepreneurs? To kids? To college students? To sports enthusiasts? Then choose your setting, your approach, and you choice of words accordingly.
  • Define your goal. Ask yourself, what kind of video are you going to make? How long will it be? What will be the approach? Is your goal to provide useful information or something entertaining? Is it a commercial or an interview? How can you help?
  • Prepare Necessary Materials. Check out the location of the filming. Will it rain on the day that I will shoot the video? How about my script? Is it ready? Is it being proofread? Do I need some materials? How about the clothes I’ll wear? Do I need for an extra participation? Are all the materials working properly?
  • Practice. Test your camera to get your framing and lightning properly and rehearse your presentation aloud. Watch how you present yourself, experiment with your body language, your voice, etc. and then re-record until you’re happy with the result. Ask your relatives for feedback!
  • Learn to edit videos. Start by learning the basic techniques and functions of any free movie maker. When you feel comfortable with the tools at hand, strive towards the balance between visual effects and your story. The end-goal of video editing is enhancing the viewers’ perception of your content
  • Be aware of Copyright issues. Be extra careful with what you include in your videos, make sure you only add original materials. If you use copyrighted music or clips, be sure to ask necessary permissions first and inquire if you need to mention a company or person as contributor. If you are found to be infringing some copyright issues, your account might get terminated.

2. Then the fun part, film yourself!

Film Yourself

After all the necessary preparations, you are now more than ready to set yourself afoot on a film. Check out what else you need to consider:

Structure & Format of your video

  • Introduction: Keep it short and sweet, and try not to talk too much or it will bore people. You can introduce yourself, your goals, and the video which your viewers are about to see.
  • The details: People want information that are useful, so make sure all needed details are included. Be straightforward and express your message clearly, and provide gaps between each shot to give room for filming other objects or for presenting other materials.
  • Conclusion: at the end of your video, ask questions or feedback. Add a call to action to increase engagement. Here are some examples:
    • “Don’t forget to like this video if you find it useful.”
    • “If you find this video useful, please don’t forget to subscribe! Thanks.”

Your Presentation

  • Quality of your camera – Check if you are properly framed on the ‘safe zone’ of the camera footage. Check also the quality of the picture itself and the composition of each shot. Do you have enough depth of field (like intentional blurry background)? Did you properly set your focus point? How about sharpness?
  • Lightning –Who would want to watch someone blabbing in a dark room? As Marismith mentioned, “Bad lightning is like talking to people with your sunglasses on – it doesn’t create a good connection.” So make sure when you record a video, the scene is properly exposed and the white balance is set to the right tone.
  • Sound – Your audience should clearly hear you speaking. How much noise do you want to entertain? Do you allow ambient noise? Wind noise? Is your voice clear enough? Is the recording clean enough to be topped with a background music, for example? Is your recording device too near or too far from you as the speaker?
  • Length – The length of your camera should be only about 2-4 minutes long as long as you include the necessary information. The shorter, the better.

Your Appearance & Approach

  • Physical Presentation. What’s the best attire for this particular video clip? Should I appear authoritative? Should I look friendly? Do I need to portray a particular emotional state on a selected scene? Am I presentable enough?
    Also, together with the presentation is that you must show that you are spontaneously speaking and not reading from a nailed script. Try to avoid clichés also especially with your movement. Sound as natural as possible and talk like you are in a normal conversation.
  • Tonality & Approach. Is it safe for me to use technical terms here? Will the audience understand if I use a specific word or phrase? Do I need to sound like an expert? Do I need to slow down while speaking? Do I need to include as much content as possible since time is limited?
    It is best also if you try to avoid using jargons which can be confusing and irritating to viewers. Simplify your wording by using more familiar terminology. And lastly, don’t forget to smile!

Here’s an example of a great presentation:

3. Make It Pretty

After taking all the different scenes from different cameras (if you have multiple cameras), you are now ready to import them to your favourite video editing software. In editing, don’t forget to:

  • Include your brand or company name especially in the introduction. If you want a watermark to appear throughout your video, you may choose your logo than overlaying a text over your clip.
  • Get creative with your video mixing and editing. You can improve your overall video by adding some visual aids or graphics (such as graphs, screenshots, infographics, animations), and even include creative transitions and effects.
  • Choose a music that complements well to the topic and personality of the video as a whole. To aid the hearing-impaired, you may want to incorporate subtitles as well.
  • If you can compress your final video into a smaller file size without losing quality, then it would be really helpful to make the video load faster.

4. Upload Your Video

After a careful amount of shooting and editing, it is now time to launch the video online.
To start with, you may want to check out some of the best distribution channels that I’ve come across so far:

Distribution Channels:

  • Blip.tv
  • Facebook
  • Vimeo
  • Youtube
  • Your Site
  • Metacafe

5. Optimize your video

To get a good amount of traffic back to your blog, you must make your video optimized as well for both search engines and of course for the people. Optimizing your videos will ensure that they can be more visible to the public, and they can be fitting for a specific keyword or two. Some optimization tips you would like to grab are:

  • Include keywords in the title of your video.
  • Add a quick description of the video. Description may be the product details (if you are to talk about a product or service), a list of steps (if it is a tutorial), or an introduction (if it is a story or a person).
  • Include links to relevant posts or to your blog itself.
  • Choose a catchy thumbnail for the video.

Related article: Top Ways To SEO Youtube Videos


I thought my post was long, so I prepared a quick checklist for you which you can use to start a successful vlog. Things to consider are:

  • Your video must be short, simple, and helpful, but not too much technical terms.
  • To get the most quality for your video, you must have a good set of equipment from a right choice of a camera to lighting equipment and even to your video editing software.
  • Your presentation must conform to the topic or story you are telling. Your poise, your tone of voice, the setting, the music—they must all match to what you are trying to express.
  • You deliver your message clearly and concisely.
  • Always look and sound natural, and always be conversational in approach.
  • Don’t forget to optimize your video, and make it searchable by using keywords, tags, descriptions, links, and thumbnails.
  • You ask for feedback from your relatives about your video.

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