Vlogging: What I've Learnt

For the last few weeks I have been running a Your Youtube vlogging chat on Sunday evenings on twitter, where each week I set a topic, ask a few questions and a few of us get together and have a natter. It's a fun, friendly hour, some weeks are quieter than others, but there's a nice group of us who choose to learn from each other and support one another. So today I wanted to put together a bit of a round-up from the last few chats and what I've picked up from them so far.


In the earlier weeks we talked about how and why we all started vlogging and what makes us carry on. For many it was an extension of our blogs and a way to make more memories of the thing we get up to. A lot of us keep it up as we love the creativity it opens us up to, as well as being able to share honest stories with a different audience.
As for the more difficult parts, that came mainly down to the criticism that can be received on YouTube as well as finding the time and editing the videos.

Content

In the second week we focused on content and how to ensure our audience in engaged. The conversation veered towards scheduling and how everyone manages their content, some sharing they use notebooks to plan future content, recorded content and when content will be uploaded. Many vloggers also use YouTube analytics to plan optimum upload times.
The top tips for making your content engaging were to keep your clips short, your footage high quality and mainly to share topics you enjoy.

Finally we talked about music and where everyone finds the best place to source music from. Recommend sites were the YouTube audio library, Bensound, Soundcloud, Free Music Archive and Vimeo. One vlogger suggested contacting local bands and artists to discuss using their music with credit, as many are happy to do this.

Audience

As we delved further into topics we discussed our audience and how we can build on it. Many felt their target audience were viewers similar to themselves and so filmed with this audience in mind. A great suggestion was made for checking YouTube analytics regularly to define exactly who is watching your videos in order to make sure you are targeting the right viewer.

When it came to connecting with our audience, there were lots of suggestions made - using playlists, keywords and tags, promoting outside of our channels on our blogs and social media accounts, and ensuring to engage with our viewers by responding to comments and taking time to comment on the videos.
Most people commented that their biggest source of viewers was the YouTube search itself, closely followed by suggestions. This led us to conclude that tags and keywords are crucial, as well as good thumbnails.

Confidence

When we discussed confidence and dealing with criticism there were a lot of people who found this was their biggest stepping stone. Many felt they could handle criticism of themselves but when it came down to children, or a topic that was very personal to them it was much harder to take. We also discussed whether videos that depict the ideal family life made us question ourselves or not, and there was a real mix of opinions on this. In the end we concluded that everyone has a different story to tell and a different way of doing it, but everything should be taken with a pinch of salt.

When it came to building our own confidence there were lots of ideas:
  • Talk to the camera like it is a friend.
  • Stop yourself from watching videos you find you are comparing yourself to.
  • Do it for you, be open and honest, and people will resonate.
  • Vlogging more and practising will inevitably increase your confidence.
  • At the end of the day nerves mean you care about what you are doing, so embrace them!
The best piece of advice was to ask yourself what makes you stand out, and use that to focus on when you are questioning yourself. Every person is an individual and nobody can tell your story but you.

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So those are just a few things I have learnt from the chats over the last few weeks. I'm sure we will pick up even more advice and support over future chats, if you want to join in head over to Twitter at eight on Sunday evenings, using the hashtag #YourYoutube.


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