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My lovely friend Emma who blogs over a Life According to Mrs Shilts asked me to write about vlogging and pass on some tips for those of you out there who are thinking of giving it a go.


Vlogging is something I never thought I would enjoy, but I LOVE it and I also adore making family films.  My channel has a mix of vlogs covering various topics including blogging tips, brand work, videos of our adventures and of course my #VlogStars videos, but I will come back to that later.


Vlogging is becoming increasingly popular and there has definitely been an increase in brands wanting video content as part of the coverage they get from bloggers. In some cases they are willing to pay more for this video content.


So you have decided you want to give it a go, where do you start?


How to start vlogging




Camera/Phone – You can video on your phone or if you have a DSLR that would be fine too. I find it a pain to set up my DSLR on a tripod and get the focus right, so until recently I vlogged on my iPhone 6.  I have recently upgraded to a Canon G7X which I adore!


Tripod – Whichever you choose you will need a tripod (if you are planning on sit down straight to camera vlogs. I have Coolead Tripod, which is fab and can be used with a proper camera or a smart phone.


A Microphone– Sound is really important on vlogs, so you might want to invest in an additional plugin mic for you phone/camera. Mine was £10 from Amazon.


Light – Natural light is always best for video and photography.  Sitting by a nice light, bright window to vlog would be perfect (and my idea of heaven). However, if like me you live in a cave you might need some help.  Also if you are planing to vlog when the kids are in bed, then you probably will need some help in the lighting department.  I have portable soft box tripod lights, which I use for vlogs and indoor photography too when needed.


Get comfortable


Decide where you want to vlog and where you will be more relaxed. I usually vlog sitting on my couch, but if you have a pretty bedroom or the kids room is lighter then go there. Think as much natural light as possible and comfort. Don’t obsess over tidiness, but pick a place free from clutter, so people are paying you attention and not the mess you are sitting beside!




If you are using your phone to vlog on make sure you set it up to record on its side – horizontally. Otherwise you will have big black bas down each side of your video when you edit and upload it. Most platforms and for your blog you want to shoot horizontally, but if you are Periscoping go vertical.  Generally a camera angle pointing slightly down at you is the most flattering angle.




Decide what you want to log about. Amy and I run #VlogStars which is a monthly vlogging linky. We give you topics or a set of questions for you to Vlog about and then you create your video and join in! This is a great way to get started in vlogging and the community of regulars are so lovely. Lots of people did their first vlogs from joining in with this linky.


Pretend the camera is a friend


Just pretend you are talking to a friend.  This will help you feel more relaxed and you will be able to chat in a more natural way.  Smile too, as this gives your voice a nicer tone, as well as making you look friendly and happy.




Give yourself time and just keep trying.  As you become more comfortable you will relax and it will show in your manner and your voice. Talk out loud when you are by yourself to get used to the sound of your own voice.


Be confident


You are sitting in a room on your own with no-one watching, what is the worst that can happen?  No-one will see you?  So relax and have fun. People will hear it in your voice. Be bright and start the video as you mean to go on with energy and enthusiasm right from your introduction.




Have a rough idea of what you are going to talk about before you start.


Keep to the point


Keep your videos short and sweet. A little ramble is fine and might be funny for the viewers, but hearing you talk about what you had for dinner in depth might get a little dull, so focus on keeping the video moving along.


Video length


The ideal video length is probably around 3-7 minutes. There is so much content out there for people to consume they will move on before too long.  Some videos like a day in the life will obviously be longer.




There are various programmes which you can use to edit your video on. I use iMovie and find it really easy to get the hang of. Non Mac users could use Movie Maker.  The more confident you are in your videos, the less editing you will have to do.




If you have verified your YouTube account you can add cards at any point in your video. So for example, you might be talking about a post you have written and you can link with a picture to that post.  This is a brilliant way to drive traffic back to your blog.


Use B roll


Where possible try to mix the style of shots you use in a video. Thirty minutes of you looking straight at the camera talking would probably be a little boring for the viewer, but imagine if you cut to videos showing what you are talking about; this would help break up the monologue. Also try shooting with two cameras and mixing the shots together. So one might be on the side of your face and one might be head on.  This would give your video more variety.




If you want to monetise your videos, then you need to make sure the music you use is not copyrighted.  You can use the YouTube Free Audio Library, which allows you to search by genre and length of track.  If you want to use a copyrighted song you will not be able to monetise your video.




If you haven’t got a YouTube channel you will need to set on up.  This is fairly straight forward. Add in your other social networks and make sure you complete the About tab – pop in lots of appropriate keywords in there which will help your channel visibility.


Channel art – Use an image of 2560 x 1440 pixels. Sometimes it does take a little playing around with to get it to look right. Some people put on their channel art when they upload, which is a good idea so people know when to come back.




Set up your playlists in a way that makes sense for you and your channel. I have What to watch next, Blogging, Brand collaborations, Travel, VlogStars etc. You can add a video to more than one playlist. If you are scheduling your video, as it is uploading change it to public (in the drop down box), add your playlists and then change back to scheduled. You cannot add playlists to scheduled videos.


Ask people to subscribe


At the end of your videos ask people to give the video the thumbs up and subscribe if they enjoyed what they saw. Simply asking people will get results.


SEO your videos


Use the title and comment box to include your keywords. You can use Google Keywords planner to see the value of potential keywords. Put the most important first. Add the appropriate categories in the categories section.




In the comments box I always copy and paste a paragraph which says ‘If you enjoyed this video please subscribe’… and pop in my social media handles for various platforms.


There you have it a quick run down of how to get started with Vlogging.  I hope it has helped and I would love to see any videos you make as a result of reading this post.  Do you currently vlog? What do you love vlogging about?  What would you like to see me vlog about?


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

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