I’m so excited about today’s post! Yep, you read that right – my favorite vlogging tips. I don’t really do much “behind the scenes” talk around these parts, but I always find these kinds posts very interesting! To me, it’s intriguing to see how bloggers actually manage their blog and what helps them be successful.
For this post, I have collaborated with some other fabulous bloggers in what we have coined our “Better Blogging Blog Tour.” Each of us has put together an informative post on a topic we feel confident about. Mine? Vlogging tips. Getting behind the camera! So let’s jump right in! (And don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts I have linked at the bottom of this one!)
Vlogging seems to be scary if you’ve never done it before. Talking in font of millions of people on the internet…. letting them see your face, your mannerisms, hear your voice, etc. It can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re used to expressing yourself through your writing. I’m here to tell you that it’s super fun! I’m definitely no professional, but I feel like videos are one of my strengths in blogging and I love to talk about how I do it all. There are some things to help your videos look better, and we’re going to get to that in a second.
But, my friends…. you must remember the most important thing:
Always talk to the camera like you are chatting with your best friend and be yourself! You could have the prettiest makeup, clothes, background, hair, and your video is edited to the nines but if you have zero personality…. NOBODY CARES! Laugh at yourself, sing in Italian (not like I’ve done that before…hahaha), crack jokes. If you aren’t a “bubbly” person, or straight up crazy like me, that’s still okay. Just be you – talk to us like we are your best friends.
Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty.
- The most popular choice for filming gear, especially for beauty gurus, is using a DSLR with video capabilities. I have the Canon 60D, and the 70D is a popular choice because it has continual auto focus. Another popular budget friendly choice is the Canon T3i (although it’s discontinued by Canon). These are all popular because they have a swivel screen. You can set the camera on a tripod and flip the screen out to make sure you are in the frame. The Canon T5i is probably the best budget-friendly choice because it has continual autofocus.
- If you have a camera that doesn’t have a swivel screen, put a mirror behind your camera to make sure you are in the frame. I used to do this before I upgraded.
- A tripod is almost essential for this. I tried to set my camera on tops of books and man, setting it all up took more time than the actual filming. You don’t need an expensive tripod. I have this one and it works just fine.
- A camera remote is essential for me. Since my camera doesn’t have continual autofocus, I sit in the frame, focus with the remote, and hit record with it as well. This one was super cheap off of amazon. You can also use it for epic selfies.
- If you are using your computer’s webcam to vlog or even an iPad/phone, that is perfectly fine. Don’t feel like you are less of a vlogger because that’s what you have.
- Many people use lights when filming and have found luck with this set, as it’s budget friendly and top rated on Amazon. It is not necessary, but having plenty of light is.
- As of July 2015, I got this ring light from Amazon, and I use that with the combination of natural lighting.
Setting up Your Filming Spot
- The most important thing is to have plenty of light. Before I had my ring light, I filmed on the floor of my master bedroom (most of the time) in front of two windows. I would open the blinds to both windows and I make sure it is in the middle of the day and no direct sunlight is streaming in.
- With my ring light, I turn around and sit in front of the curtains (on the floor) with the windows behind me and have the light stream in as fill light, while sitting in front of the ring light. It would be awesome to have a filming room, but this setup works just fine for me.
- Make sure your filming background isn’t too distracting. I sit in front of a chest of drawers, a wall, or white curtains. Sitting in a pretty bedroom is nice, just nothing too cluttered.
- Set the camera up on the tripod a little higher than head level and angle it down towards you for a more flattering look. Avoid that double chin!
- If you are using a laptop or iPad/phone, set it on top of something at head level and angle it downward.
- If you are using a DSLR, you can get a nice background blur if you sit closer to the camera and set your F-stop lower. I even do this on my kit lens.
- Sometimes it’s good to write an outline of what you’ll be talking about beforehand, so that it keeps you on topic. I do this a lot, especially with my end of year favorites videos.
- Make sure to introduce yourself and what you will be talking about! I always make sure to say “Hey everyone! It’s Meg! Welcome back! Today we’ll be talking about….”
- Look at the camera lens, not yourself in the screen. This is hard not to do. I always check the viewfinder to make sure I’m in focus and in the frame, but looking at the camera lens is the equivalent of making eye contact with your audience.
- I always aim to keep my video under 10 minutes when edited. That means when I am filming I try to be as brief as possible. If I have been filming for 20 minutes, it is going to be hard to edit, so keeping it brief during filming makes it easier for me later. If it’s an in-depth tutorial, that’s a different story. I look at it this way: I don’t typically like to watch videos that are longer than 10 minutes on YouTube, so I try to do the same on my own channel.
- Editing is your friend. If I completely mess up, I pause, say “3, 2, 1” and re-start. When I’m editing, I know I can take that out. If I ramble, I just take it out.
- After I film, I always snap a selfie to use as my thumbnail. Sometimes I’ll hold up products or make a weird face. Whatever tickles my fancy. Ha.
- Using a call-to-action in your videos is a good idea – encourage people to like, subscribe, and follow your blog. I need to do this more often.
- Editing does not need to be professional. I use iMovie on my MacBook Pro. It’s very easy to use. As long as you can put in some titles and cut out parts of a video, that’s all you really need to know. My most used edit is the split clip (command+B) and delete clips I split in between. Then I add titles and music and that’s it.
- There are tons of iMovie tutorials on YouTube that will walk you through simple edits – give them a watch and you will be a pro in no time. YouTube even has its own editor that’s supposedly easy to use!
- I always make sure to use Royalty Free music on all of my videos. YouTube has a great library you can download music from for free.
- I will take the selfie I use for my thumbnail, and add some text over it in Photoshop, but PicMonkey does the job! I then always upload my custom thumbnail when uploading my video to YouTube.
- I make sure to use the thumbnail as featured image in WordPress when I post the video on my blog, so that it shows up when shared on facebook, bloglovin’, etc.
- Did you know that videos rank high with SEO? That means when someone googles, videos are likely to be among the top search results. This is why you need to vlog.
- Set up your YouTube Channel using your Google+ account so it’s all connected to your blog.
- Make sure to tell us on your blog how to subscribe to you on YouTube, and make sure you link to your blog on your YouTube channel!
- Use the YouTube subscription bar to tell us how to follow you on other social media platforms.
- I also use the description bar to put in my keywords.
There you have it! I hope my favorite vlogging tips and tricks have helped you! I also hope they’ve inspired you to make a video. I’ll be your first subscriber! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.
Want some more behind the scenes tips from some of my favorite bloggers? Make sure you check out the other posts in our Better Blogging Blog Tour! Click below and be enlightened.