You’ve watched your favorite vloggers and thought, “That looks fun. Maybe I should start my own vlog.” But is vlogging really worth your time? There are a few things no one tells you about vlogging that you should know before you invest in expensive camera equipment. Vlogging seems like an easy way to make money and gain fame by just talking into a camera, right? Not so fast.
Vlogging is a big commitment that requires consistency, quality content, community building, and patience. It can take years of dedication to build up an audience and start earning money. Before you quit your day job to become the next YouTube star, learn the truth about what it really takes to become a successful vlogger. The reality may surprise you.
How Much Time Does Vlogging Really Take?
So you want to start a vlog, huh? Before you dive in, know that vlogging takes serious time and dedication. It’s not as easy as just picking up a camera and talking.
- Filming and editing video content can take 6-8 hours per week or more for an active vlog. You have to film multiple angles, do multiple takes, and then spend hours editing it all together with music, effects and those nifty little intro/outro sequences.
- Building an audience is challenging and can take months. You have to be active in social media, engage with viewers, promote your new videos, and create great content consistently to gain followers. Even popular vloggers say it took 6-12 months of steady work to gain real traction.
- Vlogging is a constant commitment. Viewers expect new videos on a regular schedule, so you have to keep creating content week after week. Miss a week and you risk losing followers or dropping in search rankings. Staying on a schedule is key but also exhausting.
- Making money from vlogging is difficult. While top vloggers earn a full-time living from their channels, most earn little or nothing. Building a following large enough and dedicated enough to generate real income takes a major time investment with no guarantee of success.
The truth is, vlogging is essentially a part-time job that you have to passionately commit to in order to find real success. But for the right person, with the right motivation, and with enough persistence, vlogging can be extremely rewarding. The key is going in with realistic expectations about the amount of time and work involved. If you do, you’ll be far more likely to join the ranks of vlogging victors!
Vlogging Equipment: What You Need to Get Started
So you’ve decided to start vlogging. Great! But before you turn on that camera, you’ll need a few essential pieces of equipment to get started.
- A camera: Most vloggers use either a DSLR camera, mirrorless camera, or a high-quality webcam. For beginners, a webcam like the Logitech C920 is a great, affordable option. As your skills improve, you can upgrade to a DSLR.
- A microphone: Nothing turns viewers off faster than poor audio quality. You’ll want an external mic like the Blue Yeti or Rode VideoMic to capture crisp, high-quality sound. Your audience will thank you.
- Lighting: Natural lighting is best, so try filming by a window. If that’s not possible, invest in some soft box lights or a ring light to brighten your face. Shadowy, dull footage won’t do your vlog any favors.
- Editing software: Free options like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker are great for basic editing. For more advanced techniques, you can upgrade to paid software like Adobe Premiere Pro. Editing your footage will make a world of difference in the quality and professionalism of your vlog.
- A tripod: To keep your footage steady and avoid a “shaky cam” effect, use a tripod to mount your camera. Look for a lightweight, portable tripod that suits your particular camera setup.
Vlogging does require an investment of both time and money. But with the right equipment and dedication, you’ll be creating amazing content in no time. The rewards of connecting with your viewers and building your audience will make all your effort worthwhile!
Building an Audience: The Hardest Part of Vlogging
Finding Your Niche
When starting a vlog, it’s important to determine your niche and target audience. Who do you want to watch your videos? Pet owners? Movie buffs? Foodies? The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to build an engaged audience. Think about your interests, areas of expertise, and what kinds of content you want to create.
Build Your Subscriber Base
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To gain followers, you need to post new content on a consistent schedule. Most successful vloggers post at least once a week, and often 2-3 times per week. Your viewers will come to expect new videos on certain days at certain times. Sticking to a schedule shows you’re committed and helps to build trust with your audience. If life events disrupt your schedule for a bit, be transparent with your viewers about when you’ll be back to posting as usual.
Engage With Your Viewers
You shouldn’t just post content and abandon the comments section. Engage with your viewers by replying to their comments and messages. Like and heart comments you appreciate. Ask open-ended questions to start discussions. Get to know your regular viewers by name. Building these personal connections will keep people coming back to your channel.
Collaborate With Other Vloggers
One of the best ways to reach new viewers is by collaborating with other vloggers. Work with vloggers who share some of the same interests and target audience as you. Appear on each other’s channels for interviews or in challenge videos. Cross-promote by mentioning the collaboration on your social media platforms. Your viewers and their viewers will discover new channels to follow.
Promote On Other Platforms
Don’t rely only on YouTube to promote your vlog. Share your latest videos on all your social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Engage with viewers and promote your channel on these platforms as well. Start a newsletter to keep viewers up to date with your posting schedule and any channel announcements. The more you spread the word about your vlog, the faster your audience will grow.
While building an audience takes dedication over time, following these tips can help accelerate your growth and turn vlogging from a hobby into an impactful platform. Stay passionate, post great content, engage with your viewers, and promote consistently. Your audience and influence will continue to expand.
So there you have it, the truth about what it really takes to become a vlogger. While it seems like an easy path to internet fame and fortune, the reality is that it requires an incredible amount of time, dedication, and hard work. The vloggers who make it look effortless have spent years building up their skills and audience. But if you go in with realistic expectations, set small and achievable goals, and stay consistent, vlogging can be an incredibly rewarding creative outlet.