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Starting A Vlog For Beginners: The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Vlog

June 14, 2019 9 min read

Starting a Vlog: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Vlogging | Movo

If you’re trying to break into the world of vlogging, we don’t blame you. YouTube and other vlogging platforms have a reputation for turning average guys with cameras into full-blown celebrities, and some of them are raking in more than $20 million per year. Why is this field of work so endlessly appealing? In part, it’s because it doesn’t take a whole lot of time, money, or equipment to get into. If you’re wondering “what do I need to start a vlog?'' the answer is simple! All you need is some well-selected video gear, something to talk about, and a captivating personality. We’re here to help you set yourself up for a successful vlogging endeavor with all the right vlogging equipment and accessories, beginning with the basics.

Step 1: Have an Act

We’re all familiar with the rise to fame of some noteworthy YouTube stars who went from average to celebrity status by amassing large numbers of followers. There’s the hilarious Jenna Marbles, who joined the YouTube community in 2010 and is still dominating the vlogging scene thanks to her authenticity and bold humor. Shane Dawson is a comedian, actor, writer and media personality who quickly rose to fame after posting videos on Youtube. Stars like Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, 5 Seconds of Summer and The Weeknd were discovered on YouTube, so it’s no wonder why so many people want to make an impact with the help of these influential video platforms.

vlogger at theatre

But, surprisingly, the highest-paid vloggers aren’t comics, musicians or performers at all. They are toy reviewers (last year’s highest-paid YouTuber was the 7-year-old kid behind Ryan ToysReview), makeup artists, video-gamers and regular people who just so happen to be really good at trick shots and stunts. The takeaway is this: talent comes in many forms, and with 1.8 billion monthly users on YouTube alone, there’s undoubtedly a community that will have some of the same interests as you. The key to coming up with a good vlogging persona and quality content is to be authentic and passionate about the things you care most about.

Step 2: Start Promoting Your Channel

Once you have identified your compelling act and built your vlogging persona, it is essential to make sure you are taking the steps necessary to promote your vlogging channel or account. It is not enough to upload a video, title it “A Day In The Life”, and hope that it goes viral. Follow these tips to make sure your channel and videos get as much exposure as possible:

 

  • Promote new video drops on your other social media channels, like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or TikTok. Use a compelling thumbnail or snippet from the video with a call to action caption to encourage users to click on the video link.
  • Engage with other channels to increase the visibility of your account. Commenting on other videos or being featured on other channels is a great way to make your account visible to a new audience.
  • Optimize your videos to get them ranking in search results. Use a compelling, keyword-rich video title and description, add tags to your video, and use categories to signal to YouTube what your video covers.
  • Create categorized playlists to make your account more engaging and easier for users to navigate.

 

Step 3: Buy a Good Vlogging Camera

Once you’ve nailed down the theme of your channel, it’s time to dive into the mechanics of video blog equipment. After all, a collection of quality camera equipment serves as the video star’s paintbrush, so it’s not something that should be overlooked. Yes, it’s definitely possible to shoot high-quality video creations on your smartphone (and this gets truer and truer each day with the latest phone releases), but a separate camera is still the gold standard, and serious vloggers need one.

vlogging camera equipment closeup

Spend some time researching the best vlogging cameras to get a good idea of what you’ll need for your vision. Here are some quick tips for making sure your vlogging camera is top notch:

  • Your Smartphone is a Viable Option — If your smartphone has a high-resolution video camera and all the features you want, then you can easily employ it as your go-to vlogging camera. You’ll need to equip it with some accessories, such as those from our smartphone production kit, to get it up to snuff with more serious cameras, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can do with your phone. 
  • Make Sure It Supports the Best Resolution— These days, quality is measured in resolution. To achieve full HD resolution, you’ll want to make sure you have a camera that creates photos and videos in 1080P (often labeled “full HD”), 4K Ultra HD or the highest resolution supported by your video platform of choice. Lower image quality cameras typically offer 720P resolution, which will produce a noticeably less high-quality video, but these cameras are generally much more affordable, so they can be OK for beginners and dabblers.
  • Choose a Camera with Built-In Wi-Fi — Nobody wants to bother with fishing out the right cord and manually transferring data from camera to computer after each filming session. Instead, purchase a video camera that has built-in Wi-Fi so you can easily drop your files into the cloud or wherever you want to store them. This is also ideal because it doesn’t require you to have as much physical storage on the camera or phone in the form of an SD card. When you start to run out of storage space, just offload your bigger video and photo files.
  • Let Your Vlogging Needs Guide Your Choices — One of the biggest questions to ask yourself before investing in a camera is where you’ll be filming the vast majority of the time. If you plan on doing straight-on interviews at home, a good-quality camera with some extra bulk will be just fine. But if you intend on creating any out-in-the-field or on-site content, you’re going to want to select an option that’s lightweight and easy to take with you when you’re filming on the go, such as a small point-and-shoot or your smartphone with the right accessories.
  • Look For Features Geared Towards Vlogging— Good vlogging cameras should be equipped with features that make self-filming easier. For example, some feature front-facing screens so you can see your setup when you’re filming yourself. These flip-out screens now come on many high-performance video cameras, not just basic “selfie” cams. A good vlogging rig will also be equipped with a solid camera microphone (though you may still have to add an on-camera microphone, but we’ll cover more on this below).

    steps to starting a good vlog graphic

    Step 4: Pick Up The Right Vlogging Accessories

    • The camera is important, of course, but it’s the video accessories that really take a vlogger’s setup from basic to professional. The great thing about vlogging accessories, too, is that they can turn a simple camera you already own — even one you didn’t buy specifically to help jump-start your new vlogging hobby — into one that’s tailored for live-streaming, YouTubing, or making sweet Instagram stories. Though there are many ways to ramp up your rig, the following accessories are crucial to a good vlog setup.

      • A Tripod— Gone are the days of talking directly into your laptop’s webcam. These days, the top vloggers have perfected their ability to frame all sorts of activities, from talking directly into the camera to observing craft projects up-close to complicated setups involving moving cars and bikes. This is all done with a tripod, the device that mounts and stabilizes the camera to create professional, high-quality looking scenes.
      • A Microphone— Nothing’s worse than filming a visually perfect scene only to realize that the sound is off, rendering the footage unusable. Investing in a camera vlogging microphone will help ensure that your sound comes through crystal-clear and that everything you want to record is enhanced by high-quality audio. Shotgun mics are long, high-directionality microphones that don’t pick up extraneous sounds from the sides, so they’re perfect for applications, like vlogging, where you probably don’t have a sound engineer on hand. Lavalier mics, the small ones that clip onto your shirt, can be great for interviews and situations where your subject is moving a lot.
      • A Wind Muffler— If you’ve opted for an on-camera shotgun microphone, something to consider is that it won’t completely block out ambient noises, such as wind. Wind mufflers (otherwise known as windscreens) are handy accessories that go over your mic to filter out wind and other low-frequency noises, so all you get is the crisp, clear audio you intended to record.
      • A Video Stabilizer—Like poor audio, shaky video quality can give your final production a super amateur feel, so it’s something you’ll want to address immediately if you want to start off your vlogging channel with that high level of polish that sets apart so many highly viewed videos (and prevent your viewers from getting sick to their stomachs). The best way to do this is by smartphone rig or a camera rig, which allows you to either stabilize your smartphone in a handheld video rig cage or install it on a shoulder rig or track that allows you to smoothly slide the camera, creating seamless, stable movements.
      Video Lights— Though you don’t need any fancy lighting equipment to start a vlogging channel, it’s a real nice-to-have, especially if your channel relies on highlighting or reviewing products, unboxing or doing tutorials of any sort. If you’re filming a single focus, such as yourself or an item you’re reviewing, you will want to get familiar with a basic three-point lighting setup with a key light, a fill light and a backlight, perfectly illuminating your subject with no distractions. Beginners and those who like to take their vlog on the road may want to consider a portable light or an on-camera light. Check out all of our vlog lighting options

    vlogger holding mobile device recording video

      • A Matte Box— Another nice-to-have, the matte box is a device added to the end of a lens to block out the sun and other lights to eliminate glare and lens flare. It also serves the purpose of adding special filters in front of the lens, which is an awesome feature for those who like to play around with visual effects and coloring. Basically, if you want a professional-looking result or if you love to experiment with the look of your videos, a matte box is a must.
      • A Camera Remote— As you probably already know, a good portion of your life vlogging will involve you taking videos of yourself, at least until you amass enough followers and make enough cash so as to hire an assistant. For now, though, you’ll want to set yourself up for selfie-filming with basics like a camera remote or trigger, which will allow you to hit a button to start or end filming, among other functions, and easily position your camera far from your set.
      A Case— Clearly, creating polished, entertaining vlogs requires a bit of gear to get started. To ensure that your stuff stays in great shape and to keep it neatly organized so you can easily take it on the go, be sure to invest in a good quality camera case with room for all your vlogging accessories. Keep your bag or case well-stocked with extra batteries, backup SD cards and your camera charger.

    A Great Solution: An All-in-One Smartphone Accessories Kit

    beauty vlogger doing makeup tutorial

    Vlogging beginners may want to consider picking up an all-inclusive video accessories kit to get them started. Movo Photo makes some of the best, most well-equipped video accessory bundles for smartphones and DSLR cameras, so you get everything you need to start your vlogging career for one price. Here are some of our best video production kits for smartphones to help you get started on your video blog equipment collection:

    • Deluxe: Movo HUGE Smartphone Video Production Kit V8 — Designed specifically for live-streamers, vloggers and those who want the ability to turn any space into a full-fledged film studio with their phone at the center, this kit comes with a rig, a tripod, various different microphones, video lights, a Bluetooth remote and more.
    • Middle-Ground: Movo Smartphone Video Kit V7 — For a more affordable option, go for our more bare-bones smartphone video bundle, featuring a grip rig, a stereo microphone, LED lights and a wireless remote control. This is a great option for newbies who want to see what their phones can do.
    • Economy: Movo PR-2-PM -- The most basic vlogging setup includes our PR-1 grip and VXR10 microphone. It's easy to use and setup, and perfect for any on-the-go creator. 

      vlogging as attainable hobby quote

      Movo Photo Can Help with Your Vlogging Setup & Vlogging Equipment Needs

      Vlogging is a surprisingly affordable, attainable hobby for anyone who has the personality and enthusiasm for it. Luckily, with the right vlogging accessories from Movo Photo, you can start producing professional-grade content in a flash, all without sinking in thousands of dollars. Let us guide you towards the best video vlogging accessories so you can start monetizing your hobby and raking in those likes and subscribers!