How To Get Started With Vlogging

I previously posted a video on the Top Three Reason For Having A Blog. If you haven’t seen that video or read the accompanying article, please check it out, as it has valuable information on the importance of having a blog and the benefits it can have on growing your business and increasing your income. I also believe that having video on your blog can greatly increase the impact your posts have on your audience.

Get Started For Less Than $200

Getting started is much easier than it looks, and you can start from scratch with less than $200. All you need is a quality, consumer level video camera, a tripod, lights, a Youtube account, and a WordPress site.

The camera I’ve been using for these videos is a Canon PowerShot SD630 pocket camera that I bought several years ago. At the time, the camera cost just under $400. Now, you can buy a Canon PowerShot SD pocket camera that takes better quality photos and video for less than $100. The only problem with these cameras is that they don’t have an external microphone input, so you have to use the onboard mic. This mic is adequate for most situations, but isn’t the best quality, and can create problems the farther you get away form the camera.

I recently watched a webinar by Peter Temple, The Media Maestro, who gave a recommendation for a consumer level camera that records 1080p HD video. This camera is the Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera. You can find it online for under $100. The wonderful thing about this camera is that it has an external mic input, which means you can get quality audio regardless of the distance you are to the camera. I’ve seen video taken with the Zi8 and the quality is excellent. It’s now on my list of things to get to increase the quality of my vlog posts.

The next essential item is a camera tripod, which you can easily find online for well under $20. The tripod will help ensure you have a properly framed shot every time. The next item you want to look into is proper lighting. Outdoor light is usually best, but if you shoot indoors as I normally do, then you want to invest in at least one main light. I use a 100 watt light bulb with a 12″ reflector to light my face and body. I then use my existing house lamps to light the background of my shot. Lighting the background will give your video more depth as opposed to just using your main light, which can produce a very flat looking video.

Hosting Video On Your Own Site vs Hosting Video On Youtube

I host all my videos on Youtube. It easy to do, and EASY is the way I like to do everything. It gives me the opportunity to focus on the things I really care about. Start out by creating your own Youtube channel. You can then upload all your videos to your channel. From there, you can copy and paste the embed code into your website. I recommend using a WordPress site as it’s easy to use without having to learn HTML.

You can also host your video on your own site. The benefit of hosting your video on your site is search engines, such as Google, love video! It improves the SEO of your site and can help you get ranked higher, because the search engines will now view your site as a video hosting site. The downside is you have to know a lot more about the technical aspects of using video, such as compressing your videos so they upload quickly. If you’re technically challenged, as I am, I recommend hosting your videos through Youtube, otherwise, host the video yourself and reap the rewards of higher SEO rankings.

Please leave a comment, and let me know about your experience in the world of vlogging.

Corporate Magician & Speaker, Lou Serrano

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3 Responses to How To Get Started With Vlogging

  • Great tips Lou!

    Having just finished shooting a demo I can tell you how important it is to have an external mic if you want to have usable shots! We had to cut out so many good close-up clip because of audio issues.

    I have an older mini dv camcorder and an iphone 4 but I am going to run out and pick one these up since it is real 1080.

    Thanks Lou, good stuff.

    Hart

  • Cuong pham says:

    Hi Lou,

    May I ask how to you keep the presentation clean and smooth as speak without breaking the eye-contact with the camera? Do you memorize the script or do you have a sceen in front of you with the text?

    Thanks,
    Cuong

  • Lou Serrano says:

    Hi Cuong,

    Thank you for taking the time to write. I never write a script for these videos. I pick a subject and I just start talking. I act as if I’m speaking directly to a friend. I like this approach, because I get to speak from the heart. If you can memorize a script, that is a great idea. It well help you stop any redundancies, but it can also make your presentation seem canned.

    If you have a trouble memorizing a script, you can try this tip. Put notes directly next to the camera lens. You can read write off your notes, but once you look at the notes, never look into the lens. If you only look at the notes, it will seem to the viewer that you are actually looking into the camera. If you look into the lens after you look at your notes, then everybody will realize you are actually reading, instead of speaking from the heart.

    I hope this helps,

    Lou

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