Tips to start a vlog like a pro

7 min read

It started off as a niche craze, but it wasn't long before video blogging (also known as "vlogging") broke into the mainstream. Vlogging takes blogging to a more personal level and makes use of a format that is trending up. Video is fast becoming the best way for people to share their opinions with the world. The video blogger format initially caught on by appealing to younger audiences who preferred watching videos to reading. These days, everyone is doing it.

Today you’ll find vloggers of all ages and for all ages, creating content for almost every niche. Some vlogs and YouTube channels are simple and functional, while others incorporate tons of style and personality. Some have an eye on profit while others are just about sharing a passion. Whether you’re looking to create a video diary for a small dedicated audience, or hoping to become the next big video blog celebrity, the tools and tricks to create great video blogs are more or less the same.

In this guide, we’re going to show you all the tips and tricks to know how to vlog successfully.

Are you ready for your moment in the spotlight?

Lights. Camera. Action!


Successful vloggers start here

If you want to be a vlogger you need to be comfortable in the spotlight. Unlike normal blogging, vlogging is much more personal. You will literally be the face of your vlog. If you’re okay with putting yourself out there, then the next step would be to choose a vlog niche.

Some vloggers, typically those with big personalities, can talk about a range of topics with the audience tuning in because they enjoy the vlogger's personality. Some people are so charismatic that they could read the dictionary and thousands of people would show up.

For the rest of us, it's probably better to have a clear niche that followers can rely on.

To nail down your vlogging niche you should do some research to see what is out there. Besides topic-hunting, also keep an eye out for vloggers who use a style and presentation that you think is perfect for your own videos. There’s nothing wrong with letting inspiration guide you.

To help you collect your inspiration, Elmedia Player as an ideal app for viewing videos from any platform. You can get Elmedia Player, and most of the other apps suggested in this guide by subscribing to Setapp’s collection of over 100 premium Mac apps. For a single monthly fee, you receive an army of apps to help you become a successful vlogger.

Elmedia Player PRO

Speaking of success, if you want to make it big as a YouTuber, it helps to have a great name. A great name for a vlog is:

  • Easy to remember (and spell)
  • Available to purchase the domain
  • Available on social media

You could use a specialist mind map app like MindNode to brainstorm vlog name ideas and come up with the perfect name on which to launch your personal brand.  


How to consistently produce great videos

When the first wave of YouTubers was getting started, the bar for quality was so low almost anyone could skip over it. These days there is an expectation that the presentation be as compelling as the content of the video.

It’s not impossible to make a simpler ("amateurish") video blog that is successful, but for many people, it will create a barrier for entry.

Thankfully, these days you can do plenty without spending a lot on equipment. A few smart purchases and tips and you’ll be well on your way to creating a vlog that looks awesome.

Tips such as these:

  • Test your setup – Go through a few trial runs with different equipment and environments to find the best combination.
  • Prepare a script or talking points – Fire up an app like Cloud Outliner to start outlining the points you want to cover in your video. It will help you to organize a compelling structure and can be synced across all devices to work on no matter where you are.
  • Film in HD to cater for the widest audience – A lot of people now watch YouTube on their TVs. If your videos can’t scale to higher resolutions, you’re going to lose viewers.
  • Invest in a proper vlogging camera - Many Youtubers get by with recording on quality webcams or their phone cameras, but a decent DSLR camera on a tripod will give your videos a real professional look.
  • Don’t forget sound – Some DSLR cameras have poor sound quality, in which case you may need an external microphone. If your voice quality is good but there is a slight background buzz, overlaying (copyright free!) music should solve the problem.
  • Or lighting - It’s amazing the difference that good lighting makes. Play around with lamps or invest in a lighting box or two and watch your footage go from “homemade” to “studio” quality.

Editing - the secret weapon of the vlogger

It can't be overstated how important editing is for most successful vlogs. Video editing is the art of taking your raw recorded footage and manipulating it into something polished.

With a good vlog edit you can:

  • Cut out all the rubbish parts and mistakes
  • Add music and sharpen the audio
  • Add visual enhancements and effects
  • Create a pace that keeps viewers engaged

Very few vloggers have the natural ability to talk for extended periods without any cuts and still maintain their viewer's attention. It would certainly be easier just to upload a single take without the need of editing, but most of us need extra help.

We misspeak, take awkward pauses staring at the ceiling for inspiration, and spend 2 minutes to say something that could have taken 20 seconds. Editing is the solution to all of those problems.

Once you have your footage, spend some time playing around with editing programs. Capto is one such program with an extra focus on screen capture. If your niche requires screencasting for tutorials, Capto will easily record your screen, your audio and your video at the same time. Then in the edit mode, you can pull it all together into a top quality visual tutorial.  


After your final video has been made, you may find that your vlogging platform of choice doesn’t support your file type. That’s where Permute for macOS comes in. It will easily convert your videos to whatever format you need.

Your first edits may be simple but keep learning and trying. Your skill will develop and every month your videos will get better.


Use Setapp to setup your vlog

Setapp has taken a big idea - “Instead of always buying, what if people could subscribe in one place to get access to a collection of the best Mac apps?” - and created the solution to a common need.

Setapp offers vloggers a shortcut to a wide-range of hand-picked quality apps that will make it easier to launch a successful video blog. Instead of being locked into buying an app, which may be obsolete in months, Setapp users are now in control of their app destinies.


Connect. Interact. Engage.

So you’ve got a great vlog. Now what?

Unless you happen to strike it lucky with a viral video, you’re going to have to build your audience organically. Your videos may be incredible, but if nobody knows about them, you’re going to struggle to get lots of views.

Below we have some tips to help you get more eyes on your videos:

  • Create a blog – Many successful vloggers will setup a regular blog to highlight their vlog. The blog can also extend your content into the written form as well. Now you’re offering your followers the best of both worlds.
  • Leverage social media – Vlogging came from social media and the video bloggers today maximize their reach by using as many platforms as possible. Posting your video to different channels is a good start but try and add extra value. For example, you could use Gifox to create animated gifs of your latest video. If it’s funny or interesting, people will be interested in the full video. If you really nail it, the gif might even go viral.
  • Join the vlogging community – An effective way to expand your audience is to collaborate with other vloggers in similar niches. By promoting each other or doing a video together, you will be introduced to their audience, and they will be introduced to yours.
  • Interact often – You may not know your audience, but they feel like they know you because you come into their lives. By responding positively to YouTube comments and on social media, you will improve the personal connection with your followers.
  • Ignore the haters – Youtube comments and social media is a breeding ground for personal attacks. One negative comment is stronger than ten positive comments, but it's usually just a sign of your success. Being a successful vlogger takes a certain amount of thick skin. Focus on the positive!


Don’t forget us when you’re famous

Vlogging can be a lot of fun, as long as you are passionate about the subject and enjoy interacting with people. Because vloggers are the product, any success tends to feel even more earned and rewarding.

Creating quality videos will take time, especially during the early days, but with all the helpful advice and Setapp apps that we’ve outlined above, you can take shortcuts that the first vloggers had to work out on their own.

Now that you know how to vlog, we can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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