Starting a vlog and making your first video should be a fun, exciting, experience. Unfortunately, a lot of would-be vloggers give up before they even post that first video, or soon after. They feel like their ideas are not original enough, find it hard to relax in front of the camera, or get discouraged when their video barely gets any views.
The most important thing to remember when you are creating your first vlog entry is not to put too much pressure on it. You are probably going to look a little bit awkward and the content of your first video is not going to be mind-blowing. That is just the way it goes when you jump into something you have never tried before. You will get better and one day you and your many subscribers will look up your first vlog post and think it is cute. If you feel discouraged about starting a vlog then you should go find the first posts of some of your favorite vloggers and watch how awkward they used to be.
Four Tips for Making Your First Vlog Post
1. Basic Equipment is Okay
One of the reasons a lot of people who think about vlogging never actually get into it is because they think they would need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment in order to make decent videos. This is not true. If you have been vlogging for a while and decide you want to get more serious about it then it is definitely worth shopping around for a new camera and other equipment, but you should not go out and spend a lot of money before you have even made your first video. You want to be sure that vlogging is something you love before you start putting any money into it.
The camera on which you record your first vlog entry should be the best camera that you already own. If you have a DSLR then go ahead and use it, but if you only have a webcam or a smartphone then that is fine too. Most smartphones actually have great cameras.
You will need to make sure your ‘set’ is well lit, but you probably do not own a professional lighting kit. Instead of going out and buying professional lights aim to record your first vlog entry during the day with a window next to you or behind your camera. The natural light coming through the window will be as strong as any professional light you could buy. Household lamps can help too.
If you do not have an external microphone then make sure to record somewhere quiet. The built-in microphones in most cameras are not very good and to get the best possible results from them you need to make sure there is no background noise for them to pick up, such as street sounds or people talking in the next room. You can also use a free program called Audacity (Audacityteam.org) to improve the quality of the audio you record.
2. Be You
Do not worry about coming up with a fresh, original, idea for a first vlog post. It will be fresh and original by virtue of being yours. Besides that, the reason audiences like watching vlogs is because they get to feel a connection with the YouTuber. This connection is felt when the YouTuber seems like a real person. So; be a real person. You do not use gimmicks to introduce yourself to people you might offline in the real world, so do not do it on YouTube.
A good first vlog post is one where you introduce yourself, the topic you will be vlogging about, and explain why you want to vlog about it. This is not to say that you should just bluntly state these things and then turn the camera off; explain yourself in detail, and maybe tell a story. In later entries, you will need to do research and figure out original ways of tackling subjects other people have already vlogged about, but for this first one you can be funny and original just by being yourself.
3. Plan Ahead
Some vloggers can just turn their cameras on and start talking, but this is not for everyone. Even if this is the type of vlog you want to make eventually you should do some more planning for this first entry. Talking to a camera is harder than a lot of people realize before they sit down to record their first video and having already planned out what you want to say can help a lot.
This does not necessarily mean you need to script yourself. There are vloggers who feel more comfortable if they write a script, and scripting can be very useful if you are going to be talking about anything technical. If you think scripting may be for you then there is no harm in trying it for this first entry. You might even try it both ways, with your script and without it, to see which you are more comfortable with.
Planning can also mean making a rough outline, though. You might want to make a list of your key points so that you do not forget any of them and know the order you want to mention them in. If you do not think this would help you then planning can also be a completely internal exorcise. Spend some time thinking about what you want to say and organizing your thoughts in your head before you turn on your camera.
4. Don’t Panic!
It is nearly impossible to get through your first vlog recording without making a mistake. If you stop recording every time you make a mistake then getting through this first entry is going to take a very, very, long time. The best thing to do is to just laugh off your mistakes and correct them, and then remove the spot where you misspoke or stumbled over your words in editing. You might even find when you watch it back that your mistake was funny and you want to leave it in. If you watch your clip back and really do not like it then you can always try again. If it takes you five takes to get to that one full clip and you do not like it when you watch it back then you probably will not feel very enthusiastic about trying again, which is why you should try not to stop your recording when you make mistakes.
The other thing you should try not to panic about is how many views you get after you post your first video. Chances are you will barely have any views at all. Most of the videos on YouTube get almost no views. If you need instant recognition to feel like something is worthwhile then vlogging is probably not for you. Promote your channel, keep posting regularly, and make sure your titles and descriptions are searchable and you will slowly start to see your numbers go up. The first thousand subscribers take a very long time to get, but as you start to get subscribers getting more subscribers will be easier.
Check this amazing guide on how to become a vlogger, and for more great content on making vlog posts and becoming a YouTuber, make sure to read this great guide by Design Wizard. It shows you how to develop personal branding, plan your content and promote your channel on other platforms!
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
Follow @Richard Bennett
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