August 22, 2019

5 Things You Need to Start Vlogging

There are five things you need to start a vlog, and none are hardware related.
Hardware is actually the least important part of the equation.

Filmmakers can add more value to their production content by starting a daily or weekly vlog. This video can give your audience not only a behind-the-scenes look at what you're working on, but it also provides the opportunity to share your process. And that will help others, and if you're lucky, you just may get some extra revenue in the process. But what do you need to start a vlog? Well, according to Matti Haapoja, there are five things you need to get started. And not one of them is hardware.

1. Have Basic Camera Knowledge

Vlogging is a visual medium, and as such, you have to have an understanding of basic composition, lighting, and sound. But since you're a filmmaker reading this, you already know all that. And for a vlog, that basic camera knowledge is just as important. Even if you're using a smartphone to start your vlog, always think about how you're getting the shot, and how you can make it better. Also, when you have basic camera knowledge, you can focus on the story you want to tell, not the nuts and bolts.

Basic camera knowledge frees you up to tell your story
Credit: Matt Haapoja

2. Be OK With Filming Yourself

For some filmmakers, this may be the hardest part of a vlog. Many find it easier to be behind the camera, whereas being in front of the camera is kinda like public speaking. It takes practice to get comfortable with it. The good news is, the more you do it, the better you get. And if you don't believe that, check out the first few videos of Casey Neistat and compare them to the content he puts out today. He's lightyears better than when he started out.

Being comfortable in front of the camera takes practice
Credit: Matt Haapoja

3. Have a Story to Tell

According to Haapoja, we tend to think our lives are too boring to share. Who cares what you do on a daily basis? But Haapoja thinks that everyone's life is different, and as such, there are interesting things that can be found no matter where you are. "The thing you need to learn here is how to tell your story," Haapoja says. "You have an interesting life. It just seems boring to you."

4. Know Why You're Starting a Vlog 

If your reason to start a vlog is to make money and become a YouTube star, Haapoja says you're likely to fail.

Money and fame are by-products, not the ultimate destination. You have to have a more focused goal. To make people laugh. To educate. To travel and share your journey. Those are goals are achievable and will bring people to your channel. And eventually, success will come.

A solid  work ethic is the key to vlogging. Consistency, not frequency.
Credit: Matt Haapoja

5. Have a Good Work Ethic 

Vlogging is consistently a crazy amount of work. It takes as much of a work ethic to consistently put out your vlog and keep your viewing numbers up, as it is to shoot a short film. The key, though, is consistency. Put out a video on a regular basis, whether it's daily or weekly. Most will start off strong, but before you know it, it's been a few months and your audience has moved onto something else. So you have to commit to a regular schedule.  But if doing a daily vlog is too much, to a weekly or monthly to just start out.  The key isn't frequency, it's consistency.

Notice, not a single point on what gear to use. Because ultimately, the gear doesn't matter.  You need to have these five things before you even begin to think about what gear to use to shoot your Vlog. Start small, add stuff as you need it.  Put all your energy in these give things, and you'll have a great vlog, no matter what it's about.      

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2 Comments

gear will become important, especially if you travel or run and gun with your vlog. Let's face it though, if you don't have anything to say or can't make it interesting .... well you'll be DOA...

August 22, 2019 at 3:51PM

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I would say gear is important to the point that it helps you with your workflow and doesn't get in the way. That doesn't mean you have to own anything amazing, just good enough to be consistent in your flow of content creation.

August 22, 2019 at 6:56PM

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