And I keep talking for about 10 minutes, we call it a wrap and then we play the video on the camera to see how it looks.
Surprise!!! There was no sound. WTF?!
Well, my friend (the cameraman) had installed an overriding firmware (Magic Lantern) on his camera and we were supposed to check a few settings before plugging the mike. Because we didn't do that we only got mute footage. The plug&play mike feature was not On...
So we shot another take which wasn't as good as the first one: not as fluid, not as spontaneous, not as exciting. But we had to do it again. This time though, we recorded the sound separately on a Sony voice recorder.
I assume you can guess what the first tip for vlogging is:
1. Make sure you capture quality audio
Coz if you have poor audio, you almost have no vlog to show. And if you have an external recorder use that as well.
For instance, you could plug the mike into the camera and then also point your external recorder at you. So now you have two audio tracks and you can use the one that sounds better.
But if there is no wind and the camera is close to you, the built in mic will do as well.
What you say and how you say it is the cornerstone of your vlogging content (that's why people watch you) so don't skip sound. It's very important!!!
Related: How To Get the High Pitch (Chipmunk) Voice Effect in Magix Movie Edit Pro Plus [Video]
2. Articulate what people are thinking (but never talk about)
If you truly want to have fun as a vlogger you should attack subjects that very few people dare to talk about.
My topics are social psychology, human nature (how "flawed" it actually is), monogamy (are we really monogamous?), social conditioning, spirituality (God talk and "woo woo" shit), ego suppression and relationships.
Here's the deal: a lot of people want to see the world in black and white. The truth is, though, that we all operate in various grades of gray. So when you actually talk about the delicate issues which lay in the grey areas of life, people stop and listen.
Of course, some will attack you for infringing on their beliefs about how the world should be. When that happens, you know you are at the cutting edge. If you challenge people to think and reconsider the status-quo, you actually push reason and spirit further. That's when new questions are being asked - that's good.
3. Don't fake it. Be it, instead.
What I mean by this is that it's not worth approaching a subject just for the sake of being controversial and shocking. Go into taboo subjects if you're really into those subjects.
Another thing that happens when you talk about subjects you're passionate about is you emanate an energy and conviction that will transfer through to your audience. It can be seen in your eyes and in your body language.
So keep it real and be yourself. Don't project out a persona who doesn't really exist. People have internal bullshit radars and they'll smell it a mile away.
4. Don't buy expensive video gear. Keep it simple.
You're vlogging for God's sake. You don't really need the most expensive camera. Nor the most expensive mike. You're not a Hollywood studio.
If you haven't even started vlogging and you bought expensive gear it's a sign you're procrastinating. And you do that to transfer the responsibility onto the gear and off yourself. Coz it's an easy excuse: Oh, I'll start when I have the right tools. Really?
Just grab your phone and shoot. Expose yourself (yup some of us will laugh at you) and learn from it. Start!
5. Be smart about how often you publish
Human nature is what it is and scarcity works.
If you publish too often you risk burning out and your subscribers will perceive your videos as low value. Abundance fuels indifference. Be aware of that. And, generally speaking, be an astute student of human nature - you'll learn a lot.
Now, if you are on a shooting spree, go on and shoot even ten videos in a day. Then edit them all if you want. And you could even upload them all if that's what you wanna do but here's a smart thing you can do: make them all private or unlisted (on YouTube) except that week's/month's episode.
This gives you control on your publishing schedule and it acts as research as well. If you see people reacting better to a certain vlog (on a certain topic), if it's well received, you'll know what to release next.
I currently have 2 more vlogs on YouTube which will be released as Public in the following weeks. I've decide to do so because I've noticed people enjoyed the first big vlog that I published and I want to build some anticipation before I release the next. If there is anticipation, it means people are emotionally investing in your work and that's exactly what you want. (Think like a marketer - see Steve Jobs and Apple) :)
6. (Bonus tip) Upload on Facebook, not just on YouTube
Not all online platforms are created equal.
Of course, YouTube is the king of video platforms but most people are logged in on Facebook the entire day. It's only natural that you have to go where people already are.
Consider this analogy: the best competitive advantage for a burger shop is a hungry crowd. Take me where the hungry crowd is and I can sell burgers.
So people log onto Facebook to see stuff, they're looking for some sort of entertainment. And you'll get more views in a shorter period of time on Facebook. Your message will spread faster. Assuming that you want your entertaining message to spread and to be heard by many people (if not, then why the hell did you get into vlogging?!).
Also if you're just starting out, it's likely that you have more friends on Facebook than you have subscribers on YouTube. So right off the bat your video will hit a larger audience. It's a great way to gauge what people like (and you can see who shared it as well).
In the long run though, your YouTube vlog might get more views because it's being shown in search results and in the sidebar of YouTube as related videos. And the headline can have some SEO value. Plus you can get random views just because you have an attention grabbing thumbnail.
But if you want a quick feedback from the audience, upload on Facebook as well. Those vids will remain there under your profile so new friends will be able to check them out.
Notice I didn't say anything about video editing software, editing techniques, transitions or effects. Because none of it really matters. The value of your vlog is the content itself which consists of you being:
- humorous or entertaining
- or all of the above.
That and some micro fame that comes with you being on a screen. But that's mostly empty so don't look for fulfillment there. Instead, look to make a valuable contribution to the people watching. That's the real reward.
Stay in focus! :)
P.S. - Since my first vlog is not in English, Imma summarize it below in written form:
Why It's Good To Be an Asshole
(A few words on social conditioning and human nature)
If we define human behavior on an horizontal axis we have: the assholes (left), decent people (middle) and ultra rigid people (right). It's better to be an asshole as this frame gives you permission to travel along the axis as you like - thus you are free and you can get away with a lot since you "play" a fluid character. People expect you to be "crazy" since your reputation as "crazy" already precedes you (pre-framing).
But if on the other hand you are too rigid, too conservative, it'll be harder for you to "break the frame" - society will slap you and they'll try to confine you in a box. So don't be surprised if you'll be judged when you try to bring out your adventurous non-conformist self. It's basic human nature - people have to label you in order for their life to make sense. When you de-label yourself their world is falling apart so expect some hostility and judgment. ("If he is too free, too crazy then what am I....?" )
In the end, having a "crazy" aura about yourself allows you to be truly YOU. But you might have to manufacture that aura if you don't have it. So start being yourself now - it's a gift that you can bring into any interaction - thus giving permission to others to be themselves as well.
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