It’s our 9th month of YouTube vlogging, what a roller coaster!!! I am going to share what we have learned so far so you can avoid some of our mistakes. So far, trial and error and research have been our teachers.
When I think about going to college or starting a new job, usually there is a type of outline put together to assist the student during the learning curve. There is a structured order of what you should be learning first, second, third. In most cases we are told where to go to get the information that we need. With vlogging we have to figure out which way to go and often one tunnel leads to another which leads to another trying to find the right information on the computer. There are one too many “experts” and i’m left feeling like Alice in Wonderland.
If were to compare this to a college course on how to be successful content creators, we would be in month 9. That means we are still only in the midst of taking our prerequisite courses! This is a great reminder for me because I always want to see immediate requital when I put my energy into something.
Thank God for the small group that have been 100% actively encouraging us forward, acknowledging our work, sharing our work and really participating because it is these people who give us the hope and courage to keep moving forward and this has been our compensation. Keep these people close because they are the ones who are gonna ride this long journey out with you.
When we first began, we had no idea there was a whole Vlogging Culture already in motion. The first video we created had to be uploaded onto YouTube first in order to attach the link to function on my Blogspot. This is how we found an entire world of couple vloggers and How To vlogs about turning blogs into businesses. Needless to say our heads began to spin the more we explored.
Equipment Mistakes to Avoid
We originally thought “Hey we have I-Phones, and a tripod! That’s all we need to get started!” Jumping in we decided that our approach would be very newscaster-like (things change). We took our fancy I-phone, held it in a vertical position and went to work attending our first event at Condom Couture which we had to trash 90% of because of the borders that showed up when we tried to post on YouTube- painful! The borders were a result of holding the I-phone vertically, live and learn.
On YouTube we had many unfavorable realizations about how the quality of our work looked compared to other videos. Today, when we want to use our I-Phones for vlogging content we hold the phone horizontally. In the horizontal position footage transfers well giving us the full screen video that we want for YouTube . After the first disaster we went at it again with our new knowledge of how to hold the I-phone (horizontally) to create our second vlog Night at Blended Bartique – Check it Out!
Investigating YouTube to see what videos were successful and appealing to us as viewers gave us a basic idea of how our videos should look. We began to see that this wasn’t going to be as simple as we had previously thought. This led to further pursuit into the type of equipment we would need in order to get a much nicer visual experience and also what would help us to work in a more time efficient way.
Great Vlog Equipment on a Budget
The relevancy of time became another area of attention as other popular vloggers were posting approximately 3 videos a week- consistently (we are still not there yet). When we began it was taking us 4x the amount of time it takes us now to upload because the old computer we had did not have the specifications we needed to back up the Premier Elements photo shop software we were using to edit the videos.
Our research directed us to acquiring a new computer that had a processor specifically meant for editing videos. The one we were previously using was simply for basic functions such as internet and typing papers. The best computer to get for editing vlogging material should have a terabyte of memory, 8 gigs of ram and up, a really good processor i7 or higher and a 64-bit operating system or better. You can get a really good refurbished laptop for around $400. We pick up bits of knowledge with each step forward.
Apache and I continued online reading, watching YouTube equipment reviews and talking to friends with more experience in camera and computer technology to compare and contrast brands. We decided on sacrificing the camera quality in order to have better video quality. Apache and I discussed how the photos would play an integral part in the delivery of our experience and brand on Instagram and Facebook while also taking into consideration our monetary limitations.
We couldn’t afford the DSLR which is a favorite in the photo and vlogging world. We ended up purchasing the Nikon Cool Pix B700 which gave us good enough photos and great video quality. We also made sure we had the correct tripod heads to attach our new camera to the tripod we already had by visiting our local camera shop.
Lighting was brought to our attention at the very beginning. Lighting can make or break a video and there is so much we still have to learn about this area but we were able to start out with a simple LED light that works well to begin with. We plan to upgrade to a Light kit as soon as possible though. Learning about positioning of lighting to work for us is continual but we do know one important detail is to have a good light source positioned behind the camera weather it be sun or LED.
This is HUGE! We had to get the next level of patience with one another almost immediately. If not, Colorful Life Productions would never work. Our first huge argument happened toward the end of one of our first vlogging events. We weren’t sure we could continue. Now, one of us will stop engaging before things escalate. Fussing has been minimal. One time though our bickering was caught on camera and ended up being hilarious when we watched it.
Learn how to use the computer for other things besides email and typing word documents? Say what?! This has been a brain sweating experience! I’m still learning how NOT to go down the computer rabbit hole and get lost in it – help!
If you cannot find your answer in a reasonable amount of time I recommend stepping away from the computer. Your could be more productive completing something you do know how to do. Save time by asking for help. When necessary you may have to pay for help. What could take me hours or even months to learn, someone more knowledgeable could teach me in 5min. I can get very stubborn about this, call me overly independent? Remember, no one does this without some help from others.
Patience with numbers has been crucial. We have not mastered SEO as of yet which effects numbers. Initially we were checking numbers of views and subscribers continually to see what our progress was. We have learned that gaining views and subscribers can be a very slow and arduous process. Continually checking the numbers do not make them increase any faster! In addition, it can just bring down the whole energy toward producing anything.
The goal is to focus on creating content that we feel proud of and then detach from the outcome with patience. Moments of discouragement and frustration definitely creep. Sometimes I allow myself time to indulge in a pity party, but not for long. It’s useless! The next step is to seek out inspiration and get some spiritual comfort to get back on track. I may take some time to regroup which could be a day or two away from the computer/social media. Taking some deep wusahhhh breaths and being kind to myself definitely helps. I am also watching my words, are they positive or negative? More can be accomplished with a positive frame of mind.
We learn a lot by simply doing. I just began showing myself on camera about 5 years ago to share my fitness journey. Apache has put himself in front of audiences most of his life through music. I had always been a very private person, the decision to engage people on social media took time in contemplation. Sharing very minimal about myself personally to keep the focus on fitness was safe. I created vlogs about fitness and my close friends and family would repeatedly ask me to be more natural. Practice in anything will deliver advancement; videography, photography and writing aren’t exceptions to this rule.
With practice I intentionally work on sharing more of my personality for the integrity and development of Colorful Life Productions. If anyone watches my old YouTube fitness vlogs on AnewSelfinc. they will see a huge difference. I practice maintaining a consistent energy level on camera. This is a work in progress!
4) Be Social:
Vlogging challenges me to be more engaging with our viewing audience and out in public. This is a practice in letting my guard down and reaching out to others more often. Assuming one of the main ideas of vlogging is to not bore the audience to death (please let us know if we ever do), we believe having an outgoing personality on camera is very important to keep the viewer’s attention.
5) JOY and PURPOSE:
Purpose produces joy which is felt by the viewer. We create to inform, inspire and entertain. We feel there should be a foundation of purpose for the all the talking and continual sharing. Apache and I want to bring joy and inspire other people using this platform.
Think about developing vlogs that are useful to others in some way. We ask ourselves more often “where is the value in our content?” With that being said, create thoughtfully and with kindness toward yourself and others.
Quote: “Rome Wasn’t built in a Day, But They Were Laying Bricks Every Hour” – John Heywood
Written By Nikia Knapp /Editing By Craig Greshaw