The benefits of blogging/vlogging are galore including expressing yourself, gaining influence, sharing your knowledge and experience, refining your skills, networking, making profit, building a community of like-minded people and many more. It’s high time you enjoyed them!
*Beware: After reading this article the idea of becoming a blogger will no longer stay in your mind. It will find a way to manifest itself, and you will end up running an online channel.
If that’s what you want, here is an extensive list of decisions to make, steps to take, and guidelines to consider to start a blog/vlog. Let’s jump straight in.
1. Shut down your inner critic and start creating
Blogging and vlogging is a creative process related to self-realization and communication with other people. In order to have a say in online community you must wrap up your voice into some type of content since content is the currency of social media. When you are just starting out, your inner critic might hinder your creative process by coming up with endless excuses like “It is not good enough”,” Who wants to hear what you say?’, “It has already been done” etc. Ignore it. Keep generating lots of content. Quantity turns into quality and sooner or later your inner critic will get quiet.
2. Choose your niche:
Your blog/vlog can be about anything and/or everything. It’s totally up to you.
However, most of pundits in the blogging community advice not to go into extremes when it comes to determining your niche, that is the topic shouldn’t be too broad (e.g. – Dance) or too narrow (The Georgian dance).
3. Pick a name for your blog/vlog
Don’t overthink it. Your blog name should be easy on ears, and simple enough to remember and refer to. Brainstorm a bunch of words that have to do with the topic of your blog/vlog, play with them, and find your match. Once you find a name that sticks with you and you can’t get it out of head, you know you have found your name. Keep it. Use it.
4. Choose how to serve up your content
Decide on the format that you will use to wrap your content in, that suits best to deliver your message (vlogs, interviews, webinars, event videos, presentations, tutorials, product reviews, animation, behind-the scenes, live streaming).
5. Keep in mind the rule of 3 Cs to produce high quality content
Regardless of the format you choose, the rule of three Cs equally applies. The blogging industry is overcrowded, that’s why to get noticed and serve its purpose your message must be:
- Clear – Your audience should consume your content without breaking a sweat. Make sure it is straightforward and easy to grasp.
- Concise -With so many distractions and multitasking human attention span isn’t getting any longer. Make your videos digestible for an average viewer – that is, possible to get through in one go.
- Compelling – It should be worth watching. Your video must bring some value to the viewers, and there are many ways this can be achieved: It may entertain, inspire, educate the audience to name but a few.
6. Put your personal touch on it
A sure way to set yourself apart from the rest is to be yourself. Whatever you blog about, be authentic. Do it how you feel it should be done.
7. ‘Steal like an artist’, which means avoid getting stuck in originality paralysis
Some bloggers get so obsessed with being original that they end up incapable of posting any content whatsoever. Don’t fall into this trap. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Approach old topics from a fresh angle, combine ideas from seemingly unrelated fields. Put your spin on it and it will feel original.
8. Be consistent
It’s better to publish once per week every week than 5 days in a row, followed by a 2-week break.
If you take a look at TV-shows, you will notice that they are released according to a consistent pattern. This is done for a reason. If the viewers liked the content of the TV-show, they get hooked on it and the anticipation stage before the next episode goes on air increases their desire to watch it.
Choose the days and times when you will upload your content, inform your followers about this, and then it is crucially important to stick to this schedule, because your audience will come back to your channel with certain expectations. Don’t disappoint your audience, and you will be rewarded with a loyal tribe of long-term social followers.
Here is a tip: To boost the interest in your posts, publish within the time frame that has been proven to attract the highest number of views.
9. Choose the equipment that will produce high quality content and is within your budget
Your viewers aren’t going to stick around for low-quality YouTube videos or Instagram pictures that are hard to watch. The quality of image and/or audio are extremely important when it comes to overall impression left. That’s why you need to get the adequate equipment (camera, microphone, lighting) and learn to use it appropriately.
10. Practice Speaking in front of the camera
It might feel a little bit awkward talking to yourself, especially if you are going to shoot in public places or on the go. However, this initial feeling of discomfort wears off once you practice speaking from different locations, body positions and angels. Once you shoot a decent amount of testing footage, you will get into the habit of speaking in front of the camera so much so that it will become second nature. Eye contact plays a vital role, so while you polish your speech, make sure you look straight into the lens without looking away.
11. Don’t sweat the technical stuff
Blogging encompasses a wide range of technical tasks such as filming, editing, lighting, marketing, data analysis, statistics etc., but you don’t have to learn everything at once. There are a lot of tutorials that you can use to master the basics of each process if and when you need it. Take it one step at a time and you won’t be stressed out.
12. Be approachable
Make sure people have your contact details. People should be able to get in touch with you quickly and at short notice. Blogging is a two-way communication. Make it easy for people to reach out to you.
13. Engage with your audience!
Make your blog/vlog friendly for comments, opinions, suggestions and free of offence and aggression. People appreciate it when you give them a medium to express their viewpoint. Take time to interact with your followers, consider their requests, come up with various contests, lotteries, challenges, quests for them to take part in. If your blog provides a lively, supportive environment where people freely interact, exchanging their feedback, advice, experience, expertise, everyone will enjoy being there and have a reason to come back.
14. Network and Collaborate
Our environment makes us. If you want to be a successful blogger, surround yourself with such bloggers both in personal life and online. Get inspired by following your role models in blogging community.
Also, join Facebook groups for bloggers/vloggers, communicate on forums, attend conferences, establish contacts with people of your craft. This will accelerate your growth exponentially. Collaborate with other bloggers/vloggers, since audiences cross over, you will get an increased inflow of followers after videos, photos, interviews etc, created in partnership.
15. Make use of all social media platforms
Regardless of the main channel you’ve chosen for publishing your content, you shouldn’t neglect other social media platforms. Having access to more than one social media allows you to cater for a wider audience that varies over a large spectrum of virtual demographic.
For example, you can use Instagram for teasing about the video that you are about to upload, or you might shoot a video that shows behind-the-scenes process of the photoshoot/tutorial/blogpost that has been recently published and attracted a lot of attention.
16. Keep records of the number of views/comments/expenses/revenue and other relevant data
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Sit down with a spreadsheet on a regular basis and make notes of all relevant data that describes your journey online. It will help you see what works and what doesn’t, and make adjustments in order to keep on making progress.
17. Be shameless. Be bold
Be proud of what you do and let people spread the word around. Don’t shy away to showcase your credentials. Ask people you collaborate with to mention your contribution, ask followers to share a link to your blog.
18. Start now!
You cannot possibly put off starting a blog any longer! If you were waiting for a sign to make up your mind, here it is. Put the joy of creation in the center of working on your blog, blogging should be fun. Only in this way will you stick with it long enough to see the results you envision. Eventually you will get where you want to be.
Once you start to create decent photo or video content, you should apply to Storybacker.com. This product helps beginning as well as mid-level bloggers to grow audience, get feedbacks and upscale YouTube channels and Instagram profiles.
In addition, Storybacker provides an opportunity to monetize your blog / vlog by launching customized posts and advertising.
We hope, this was helpful. Comment below and leave a link to your newly created blog/vlog channel.
Sources and other related articles to check out
https://youtu.be/20ma9BfFl5Y – Lavandaire – advice on how to becom a blogger on youtube
https://blog.statusbrew.com/become-instagram-influencer-legit-way/ – Advice on how to become a successful blogger on instagram
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxjMjDHIkjc – Blogging Mistakes: 10 Things Not To Do When Starting a Blog
https://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Professional-Blogger – How to Be a Professional Blogger
https://mashable.com/2011/02/16/become-online-influencer/#mI3oqPcLP5q8 – How to jump-start your career by becoming an Online Influencer
https://www.amazon.com/Steal-Like-Artist-Things-Creative/dp/0761169253 – Steal Like An Artist, a book by Austin Kleon