How To Video Blog {Vlog} Series: Be A Bang, Not A Bust

By Feb 27, 2012February 12th, 201526 Comments

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Jessica Torres is back with us again today for our series on vlogging. All week, we’ll be dishing on how to video blog {aka how to vlog}, giving you the expert advice you need to get started on camera like a pro.

Everything you need to know about vlogging!

How to Video Blog

Most people decide whether or not they will watch a whole video on YouTube within the first 15 seconds. That means that you have to start off your vlog with a bang, so that you don’t become a bust.

You are probably thinking that 15 seconds isn’t much time to do anything spectacular, but that’s not true. Just check out this monetizing your blog video from some of our fave southern California bloggers on The SITS Girls YouTube channel.

The girls do a fantastic job of reeling you in immediately on a topic that many people want to know more about.

Do’s and Don’ts of Vlogging

Some ideas on how to make the first 15 seconds count in your video blog:

Don’t Give A Long Intro To Your Vlog

You don’t need to share who you are, what your blog is, your children’s names, the year you were born, etc. Get right to the point, just as you would if you were writing a blog post.

Do Show A Quick Preview

Show a quick preview of something fun that is going to come later in the vlog. Leave them wanting to see what happens next.

Do Show Your Mistakes

Everyone loves to be entertained! Include a brief bloopers clip from when you were recording, something that makes the viewer giggle.

Do Get Funny

Tell a joke that relates to the content of your video. Again, get your audience to laugh.

Kat from Mama’s Losin’ It never fails to bring the funny during a vlog. Here is her attempt to make blog friends on YouTube.

Branding Your Video Blog

The other question that comes up regarding the first 15 seconds of a video blog is whether or not to brand your video during that crucial time.

Video branding can be done either at the beginning or the end of your video, the decision is yours. If you choose to brand your video blog at the beginning, there is a greater chance of the viewer seeing it. If you brand your video blog at the end, you allow yourself more time to make an impact and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Video Branding Advice

If you choose to brand your video blog in the beginning, don’t take more than 5 of the first 15 seconds. A good idea is to use one of the above ideas for the first 10 seconds, then put your branding in before going into the meat of your video blog.

Video Branding Example

Use a branding slide to show your URL, Twitter handle and whatever other information you want viewers to see. A video branding slide allows the information to be shown quickly without you having to say it.

When the branding slide is shown, you can add some fun music to the video blog to help keep people engaged. The music you choose can be the same for each video so that whenever a person hears the song they immediately associate it with you, or you can change the music to go along with the video.

Here is an example of video branding from my page on YouTube. I’m dishing all about bad dates!

Be creative with the opening sequence. It will go a long way towards ensuring you get a better response from the time and effort you invest in your video blog!

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.


  • Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I’ve seen some vlogs by others and even though the info is often good, they can veer towards being total snoozers. After seeing your video and loving it, I realized pacing…pacing makes SUCH a difference. You and the other ladies in this article do a really great job with that! Thanks again!

  • So glad to know about this website! I had no idea!

  • angela says:

    I trust you 🙂 And I know you know what you’re talking about. But I am still scared to vlog on my main blog!

  • I wish I was a good vlogger, I tried it and got scared and took it down.

  • Life As Wife says:

    Ooh I so need to tackle a vlog but I’m just not as cool in person as I am in words….

  • Sharon says:

    I just decided today that I am ready to try vlogging then, I come to visit SITS and this is the first thing I read. So, I guess that means it is time. I need to sit down and really think about what I want to say and about what because, I really am struggling with a concept. But, this article (post) is really helpful and I will definitely be referring to it (often) as I try to work all my thoughts out.

  • Fantastic tips!
    I’m a huge fan of adding videos to a blog; I started doing it last year when someone mentioned that my personality wasn’t coming through on my blogs and I should try YouTube. Wow! What a difference that made.

    I love that I can quickly (sort of) do a video when I have something to say, but I’m not feeling inspired (or I’m just not in the mood) to write. It’s great for affiliate marketing, product reviews, and fun stuff too.

    Now I’m excited to take the tips you shared here and apply them to my videos to make them even better.

    • Jessica says:

      Video is great for adding your personality to your blog. It gives readers another way to get to know you instead of just reading your words.

  • My husband and I made a vlog a while ago and it was a lot of fun. We kept it short (about a minute long) and made sure to rehearse ahead of time. Somehow he agreed to do it again…and I didn’t even have to promise cookies!!

  • This is on my “break out of my comfort zone” to-do list. I’m having a hard time coming up with something exciting to vlog about. I feel like the first one needs to be extra special.

    • Jessica says:

      We post prompts every Thursday for vlogging. Hopefully one day, one of them will jump out at you.

      And a good first video is a welcome video for your blog to post on your about page.

  • Thanx for this info! Very detailed & informative…

  • Eve says:

    This is great info as usual, ladies! I like vlogging, but haven’t done so in awhile. The biggest problem I have in vlogging is taking time to edit and add those little branding features that make the video more interesting. Maybe if I have time, I’ll vlog again soon!

  • Melanie says:

    I need to know what editing programs work best. Showing content in short clips rather than one continuous shot generally helps.

    • Jessica says:

      The editing program depends on what kind of computer you have. Apple computers have iMovie, PCs have either Windows Move Maker or Windows Live Movie Maker. There are also a few online editing programs.

  • Pamela list says:

    Someday I will try this, but then I would have to comb my hair and probably change out of my yoga pants. The TO DO list is so long it scares the momma right out of me. lol At any rate, I am patiently waiting for some kind of miracle hair day and then perhaps I will give it a shot.


    Video marketing is great. I am in the process of creating my first videos and really got a lot from the advice you offered here. I am bookmarking this post so I can refer to it as I go through creating my first video.

    Thanks for sharing!


  • What wonderful tips! Now all have have to do is find something to Vlog about.

  • Oh that’s a lot of information! I’ve been playing with the idea of my first vlog and it took me a while just to figure out how to shoot it! And then upload it. I did a few trials and it was sooooo hard to talk and look at the camera and say anything coherent! And as for editing… no idea how to do that.