I have been vlogging now for over a year. When I first started I didn’t really know what I was doing and those videos are pretty cringey.
Cut to a year later and I am definitely still learning. I have attended every Youtube session I could at various conferences, as well as following the Youtube Academy master classes, and trying to keep up with as many channels and videos as I can.
I thought today I would share a few tips I have picked up along the way, and maybe help those who are starting out with their channels to jump a few hurdles.
1. Turn your phone on its side. It’s something that took a while for me to get into the habit of doing, but now when I watch videos with those black lines down the side, I want to scream at the screen!
|An early video|
2. Lighting. You don’t need fancy s’mancy lighting right at the start. If your house is particularly dark or you don’t have time to film in good daylight hours then you can get a basic light from B&Q (as recommended at BlogCamp), but do bear in mind when you are filming that you should sit with the light on your face not behind your head, otherwise we won’t be able to see you.
3. Be self critical. As much as you are interested in you and your children, remember that you are trying to get new subscribers. Will a stranger really be that interested in what you are talking about, enough to push that subscribe button? Trying and edit your conversation so you’re not rambling on too much and focus on what you are really wanting to share.
4. Be personable. Make mistakes, laugh at yourself, show those genuine little moments of yourself. Let people fall in love with you and want to watch you more.
5. Use annotations. Once you’ve uploaded your video, set it to private. Go into Video Manager and select annotations. Use this section to add clickable links to your channel, other videos, to ask people to subscribe or refer them to another channel or site. I generally use the Spotlight annotation to do this. Annotations give your audience even more reason to stay on your channel and hopefully become a regular viewer.
6. Add a description. In the box under your title, there is a huge space to give your viewers more information. If nothing else you should put links to your blog, twitter, Facebook etc in this space, but it is great to also add some more information about your video and also any links to things you discuss in it, as well as acknowledgment of music used for copywriter purposes.
7. Network. Just like your blog when you first started, nobody is going to find your channel without you doing some legwork to start with. Comment on other videos, subscribe to channels that are relevant to you and share the love! Obviously there are the bigger Youtube stars who are a great for learning how to do it right, but find others like yourself and create a community where everyone can support one another. I run a video linky every week where you can share your videos and do just that – be part of a community.
8. Playlists. It took me a while to bother doing this, and now I’m so glad I did. Channels are so much easier to navigate with playlists and it means your viewers can focus on topics relevant to them and watch more within that playlist.
9. Create an introduction video. Curently mine is my Draw My Life video, but I do have an idea in mind for a proper introduction. Think of this like your About Me page on your blog. It’s something we all put off doing, but it is the first thing people see when they come to your channel. Make it concise, make people want to watch more and be memorable.
10. Collaborations. Whilst I wouldn’t suggest doing one if you only have a handful of subscribers, once you get more into the swing of it then definitely try collaborating with someone who is similar to you. It’s a great way to open yourself up to a new section of viewers and again strengthen the community. If you can’t get out to meet and do a face to face collar, why not try a Skype or FaceTime chat? Have a search on Youtube, there are some great ideas out there.
These are just a few tips I’ve picked up along the way – do you have any of your own to add?