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Have you taken the vlogging plunge yet? Are you still a little intimidated to put yourself in front of a camera? Here are 5 elements of a great vlog that will help you create fun, professional and entertaining videos to add to your blogging bag of tricks.
5 ELEMENTS OF A GREAT VLOG
Adding video to your blogging repertoire is becoming more and more important for several reasons.
- It allows your readers to see and hear you.
- It allows your personality to shine through.
- SEO benefits. YouTube is the second largest search engine.
- Brands are not only welcoming to vlogs, but often WANT this to be a part of a campaign. This is happening more and more as the internet becomes more video driven.
One of the most important elements of a video is sound. If people can’t hear what you are saying, they won’t watch it. It’s like trying to read a blog post with different fonts and colors going on – clicking away will be the result if you can’t be heard.
Using an external microphone is probably the best way to get the most desirable sound but smartphones do amazing things these day. It’s all about placement. Make sure background noise is minimal.
And don’t forget the camera on your computer. Webcam has excellent visual and sound quality. You just need a warm and inviting place to record, with little background sights and sounds going on
Lighting for video is much the same as with still photography lighting. Natural light is best. Facing the light makes a pleasing presentation. If the lights are behind you then your face becomes dark, lost in the shadows. Not what you’re going for at all.
Nor do you want bright lights, like the midday sun, shining directly on you. It gives you a very eerie look. Think Edward in Twilight. Not something we want either, unless you’re Bella. Or a vampire.
- If you’re shooting outside – shoot early in the day, late in the day or when it’s overcast for best results.
- If you’re shooting inside – be careful of windows and lighting. If there is too much light coming through the window, try covering it with a white sheet. This works like magic for your video. Remember, lighting needs to be in front and not behind you.
- Using trial and error is a great learning tool. If it’s not the best, make adjustments and try again!
There are several video editing programs available. Three of the most common are Windows Movie Maker and Windows Live Movie Maker (for PCs) and iMovie (for Macs). To make editing easy, especially when first getting started with vlogging, try recording in small clips and piecing them together during the editing process. Add transitions, text and music to your videos to add some entertainment, but less can sometimes be more.
There are several tutorials available online for all three programs. Google to get started on how to edit using Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. Or better yet, go to Danielle Smith for some great vlogging tutorials.
Length is another key aspect to videos. The shorter your video is, the more likely people will watch it. 4 minutes or less is the best way to keep people watching and coming back for more.
Don’t do a long intro at the beginning of your video. Get to the point immediately.
Use a title slate in the opening and closing of your video so that your site URL and Twitter handle will always be shown, but will not take up a significant amount of time. This will also brand your video and help direct people back to your site.
Remember that a vlog is just like a blog post, you want to engage your audience. You don’t necessarily have to be a stand-up comic extraordinaire, but you do have to find a way to grab their attention and keep it.
You can wow them with your mad editing skills, your fun personality, or your story-telling ability. Whatever the case, just as we all want to read well-written posts, we all want to watch well-done videos.
The beauty of a vlog is to let the world see the unique personality behind the words on the blog. To watch mannerisms or hear the cute accent or southern twang (that would be me) is a bonus you don’t get with a written post. If you need some ideas to get you started I suggest watching MamaKat and I Make Myself the Queen. Well done, entertaining and a wealth of learning from both of these
Now that you know the steps to create a killer vlog, get your cameras out and start recording. And don’t forget to have fun!
Looking for more info? Here are a few posts related to vlogging that you’ll find helpful:
- Why You Should Incorporate Video Into Your Blogs
- How To Become A Vlogging Superstar
- 7 Vlogging Tips to Landing a Job as a Brand Ambassador
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- What Do You Want To Get From Blogging - Nov 5, 2014
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- 5 Elements of a Great Vlog - May 7, 2014
- Everything You Wished You Had Know About Blogging from the Beginning - Mar 10, 2014
- Creating a Self Portrait & Why You Need to Get in Front of the Camera - Feb 12, 2014
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