How to Start a Successful Vlog: 10 Tips + 10 Examples
Vlog. The word was coined in the year 2000, which stands for either video blog or video log, and is now ubiquitous. Everyone is vlogging these days, and everyone wants their vlog to become big. Here’s how:
Becoming a successful vlogger is harder than it looks, but with the right focus, preparation, and equipment, you can definitely become a successful vlogger in 2020.
In this post, we offer 10 tips on how to make a successful vlog, as well as 8 examples of awesome vloggers from YouTube and TikTok.
If you visit YouTube in 2020, you can easily look up a long list of influencers, streamers, and your average, regular people, who have a ton of video content being shared with the online world.
But one thing that all of these vloggers have in common is that they all have thousands, and in some cases, even millions, of subscribers.
And while this is great for celebrities and influencers, if you’re like me, these numbers have probably left you wondering how you too can build a similar-sized vlog community on YouTube or another channel, with just as many subscribers, likes, comments, and overall popularity.
So with that in mind, we have crafted the following guide to help you launch your very own vlog and to help get you started on your way to effervescent vlogging stardom.
Let’s jump in!
Step 1: Know What You’re Talking About, And Who’s Listening
Your first step into the vlog life should be to determine what your interests are, and whether your target audience is interested in listening to them.
Defining your vlog topics to suit your audience will give you the tone, style, and even the language that you’ll need to use to help your content connect with your audience. Basically, learning about your audience will help you determine the language you should be using in your videos.
Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience
As I’ve mentioned, once you’ve really worked to narrow down your topics, you’ll need to get to know who you want to be talking to, or the people that are going to be interested in what you have to say.
This is referred to as niching down, which is essentially finding your target audience and narrowing down the core problems they face, which, in turn, will allow you to offer them the information, products, or services that they actually want and need.
So, as an example, let’s just say that you’re planning on launching a vlog about personal fitness, where you plan on sharing information about nutrition and keeping yourself in shape.
In order to create vlog content that your audience will actually want to watch, you’re going to need to learn about the types of problems these people face on a daily basis.
By understanding the problems your audience members are currently facing, you’ll be able to craft your content in response to their needs, enabling your vlog to become a trusted source of information to your viewers.
For this, marketers typically create buyer personas, which are semi-fictional representations of your potential viewers. These are then used to learn more about how you can create video content your audience will love.
Step 3: Build a Unique and Catchy Vlog Brand
Armed with the most epic concept, your next step is to start building your vlog brand.
Unlike companies that produce and sell actual products, the only thing you’re selling is YOU.
Therefore, there are three key things you should be considering at this stage, which include:
- Your channel’s name, which needs to be unique, but still relatable to your industry.
- Your logo, which should be simple enough easily fit in a small YouTube icon, while also being memorable.
- Your internal branding for videos, which will be used to present your content any time you upload a video. Think of this as the credits, or other pertinent information that will help brand your videos as your own.
Most importantly, you need to start building your brand on social media by interacting with other influencers, building your audience, and getting the word out about your content.
The fact is that if you want your vlog to be successful, you’ll need to gain followers on almost every digital channel there is. This includes being active on social media, as well as your own blog and the blogs of other influencers in your industry.
In the end, the more people that you can get your brand in front of, the better it will be in terms of future growth.
Step 4: Determining Which Channels You’re Going To Use for Vlogging
In today’s digital landscape, there are literally dozens of platforms that you can use to host your vlog content. For instance, you might want to host your videos directly on your own personal WordPress website, or you might choose to post your vlog content solely to your YouTube Channel.
Regardless of the platform you choose, it’s important to be promoting your content on the channel where your target audience is already hanging out.
So, for instance, let’s say that you’re planning on creating a vlog about video gaming.
Because of the fact that video gamers are known to spend a lot of time on YouTube, watching videos of other people playing, it would be wise of you to post your vlog content on YouTube, where you already know that a large number of your potential viewers are already spending their time.
Step 5: Have the Right Vlogging Equipment, And Practice With It
Sometimes, it seems like YouTubers are streaming directly from their PCs, using built-in mics and webcams.
While you can certainly start out with these types of basic, built-in recording equipment, in order to become a successful video blogger, who posts high-quality videos, you’re going to need a lot more than a built-in mic and camera on your laptop.
In fact, most popular vloggers use dedicated recording devices, or even their own smartphones, to record their videos.
You’d actually be surprised at how many famous vloggers use their smartphones as their recording devices, which today can shoot and record in ultra high-quality.
So, either way, if you’re serious about your videos, you’ll need these three things:
- A fantastic smartphone, with a camera capable of recording in high-resolution
- Good video editing software, that gives you full control over your final product.
- Lighting equipment, if you really want to get serious about creating high-quality videos.
Then, once you have your recording setup, you should take the time to get familiar with it, and then, by embracing the fun of learning about your recording equipment, you can get started making and publishing videos to your vlog!
Step 6: Brainstorm Relevant, Fun Content
Everything so far has built up to this, but the key point is that you need to get to work brainstorming content that your audience is actually going to want to watch.
Vlog content should always be fun, engaging, and most importantly, relevant to your audience.
Improvisation can be good sometimes, but you should never rely on it as your go-to when filming videos. Instead, think about your vlog topics ahead of time, do your research, and have your vlogs planned out in advance.
Of course, you should also make sure to find the right time for publishing your YouTube videos.
In the end, the key to creating engaging content is to craft your topics around the problems and issues that your audience members routinely face.
Then, by providing them with solutions to their problems via your video content, you’ll be able to almost guarantee that people will be interested in what you have to say.
Step 7: Craft Your First Episode
Now that you’ve brainstormed your vlog topics and have done your research, it’s time to craft an actual episode for your vlog!
One of the most important elements, besides your actual footage, is your introduction.
Whether animated or filmed in real life, this is the part of your vlog that’s either going to hook your audience or have them scrolling past without even giving you a second thought.
Therefore, be sure to make a good impression by presenting to your audience who you are, what they’re about to learn or witness in the video, and exactly why they should tune in.
The “why” itself should quickly and easily explain the solution to the viewer’s problem. So for example, similar to this marketing idea, a good first vlog episode might explain to your viewer why they should follow your vlog.
The key is to immediately offer the benefits the viewer will get by watching your vlog post.
Your intro should also present any branding materials you may, including your brand name, catch-phrase, or logo. Consistently integrating these brand elements will also help make it easier for your viewers to associate the information they’re learning with your brand in the future.
When presenting your branding in your vlogs, video overlays are going to be needed to help you achieve this. For this, you’re going to want to use a high-quality video making tool, which can be an essential tool to the success of any vlog.
Finally, another important element of your vlog content is going to be the outro of your videos.
Rather than just saying goodbye and having the screen fade to black, use your outro as a chance to remind your audience how they can further connect with you. And don’t forget to invite them to engage with you by leaving feedback in the comments, sharing the video with their friends, or by subscribing to future episodes.
Step 8: Marketing Your Vlog
Once you’ve learned about your audience, and have crafted a vlogging brand that addresses their core needs and values, you’re ready to start pumping out content and working to build your online presence.
But don’t fool yourself; you can’t expect to go from zero followers to a million overnight. In fact, it’s probably going to take you weeks, months, and maybe even years before you reach a million followers.
But the point is that you need to work at marketing your vlog, which means promoting your content and being active on all social media channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Consider using Boosted’s promo video maker to create short promo clips to promote your vlog channel.
Step 9: Earn Money As A Vlogger Influencer
Finally, once you’ve gained a bit of popularity and have built up your vlog’s audience, you might want to start thinking about the ways that you can monetize your blog in order to start earning a bit of extra money.
There are many ways that vloggers can turn a profit, which includes selling products directly to their audience, or by promoting affiliate products, which are only a few of the ways a vlog can be used to generate profits. Here’s a fun list of 10 popular vloggers to check out (and check out our own list below!).
Step 10: Growing Your Network
With your first episodes published, unfortunately, the hard work doesn’t quite end there.
In fact, it’s vital to remember that networking, marketing, and promoting your vlog is an on-going, continuous effort, that is, of course, if you want to be successful. With that said, posting a vlog episode to your social channels, and then logging off is the equivalent to walking into a room full of people, yelling “look!” and walking back out.
My main point here is that your vlog’s engagement should never be entirely dependent on your followers initiating the conversation with their comments and messages to you. In fact, you should always be always be inviting them to engage with you, not the other way around.
Therefore, make an effort to find other likeminded content creators and engage with their content, especially anyone that appears to be just starting out.
Be friendly, positive, and engage with new users by leaving comments or messages that are genuine and more than just a few words. However, always avoid pandering any other users by asking directly for likes, views and follows.
When it comes to marketing yourself online, mutual support and encouragement are the keys to the relationships that you’ll build.
So at the same time, when people do take the time to engage with you, return the favour with well-thought out responses that will make them feel like they’re connecting with a real person, and not just a robot, who’s only talking to them because they said hello first.
Finally, whether on-camera or online, remember to always be authentic and yourself. Keep it real, keep it fun, and let your creativity soar!
5 Tips For Marketing Your Vlog On Social Media
Being present on social media is crucial when it comes to marketing and promoting your vlog content. However, it takes more than signing up and posting to harness the true marketing and engagement power of these online platforms.
Below, we’ll explain a few platform-specific tips for successfully marketing your vlog content on social media.
Facebook Vlogging Tips That Every Vlogger Needs to Know
When it comes launching and promoting your vlog, being present and active on Facebook is an absolute must simply because it’s singlehandedly the largest social media platform on the internet, boasting an astounding 1.79 billion daily active users.
Using Facebook videos is an easy, visually-appealing way to publish, engage, and share your episodes with others, especially thanks to Facebook’s auto-play feature, which enables videos to automatically begin playing when scrolled without needing clicking/tapping upon by the viewer.
Although this feature can be turned off by an individual Facebook user, when it’s enabled, videos that play automatically are a great way to capture user attention, while they’re simply scrolling by.
When uploading your vlog content to Facebook, you can even take your vlog content’s visual appeal one step further by creating custom thumbnails that can help capture potential viewer attention.
Often, this small image will be the first thing your viewers see when they stumble upon your video, and in some cases, a video’s thumbnail might be the sole decision-making factor as to whether or not a person clicks on the video to watch.
Should you have a budget for it, it may also be of interest for you to create and implement a paid advertising strategy for your Facebook videos and vlog content.
In fact, Facebook users can “boost” their posts, paying per click from other users, which helps increase their visibility.
But the best part of paid advertising on Facebook is that ad campaigns can integrate a huge variety of demographic targeting, such as your desired audience’s ages, location, and interests.
Keep in mind, even if you choose to host videos directly on Facebook, you can also leave short links to your YouTube content in the captions and comments. In turn, this allows your audience to choose which platform they want to use to follow your vlog content on.
Finally, because internet users often have shorter attention spans, you might want to consider cutting out a small piece of an longer episode to create a “trailer” to post to your profile or page, with a brief description and link to the full video.
Twitter Is Still a Huge Vlog Promotion Platform
One of the best things about using Twitter is that it can really get you in the habit of crafting messages and content that is short, sweet, and right to the point, namely due to its 280-tweet character limit.
Depending on how many users you follow yourself, Twitter can seem busy and almost overwhelming with content and conversations.
When posting vlog episodes to Twitter, avoid using auto-shares from other platforms that only display the basic title and URL.
Not only does this tend to look a bit “lazy”, but it also looks robotic, and may turn off potential followers who may assume that you don’t even take the time to log onto the network to create and curate your content.
Because your tweets are going to need to be a bit shorter, try and think of a compelling intros or previews that will make users want to click through to watch your content.
For each new episode, I recommend trying to scribble down 5 to 10 different ways you can tweet about the video. Then, you rotate through these options on separate days or weeks, creating multiple tweets that will all be used to promote the same piece of content.
To help make this easier, there are even platforms, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, which allow you to curate and schedule your content in advance. So, all you’ll need to do is sit back and watch your tweets go live at the pre-determine date and time!
When possible, your tweets should always include something that will catch a user’s attention. This could be an interesting quote, an intriguing statistic, or even a deep, thought-provoking question, where your video content should be the answer or solution.
You can also increase your chances of being found on Twitter, by including 1-2 hashtags per tweet, whenever possible. But don’t just hashtag random or common words like #video, #youtube, or #vlog.
Instead, make your hashtags relatable to the content that people would actually be searching for when exploring accounts and topics that are trending.
You can even test drive your potential hashtags by searching for them and seeing what other tweets come up from other users. If you search a hashtag and a large amount of content from popular accounts show up, you can be sure that the hashtag in question is going to be good to use for your content.
Finally, to create even more potential intrigue and interest in your content, you can even attach a shorter teaser video to your tweets to give users a sneak peek at what they can expect when they click on your link.
Note that Twitter’s maximum video length is currently 2 minutes and 20 seconds. So for anyone who’s videos might need a bit of a trim, make sure to check out our Boosted Video Making Tool.
Don’t Ignore Reddit
With Reddit forums being composed of user-generated content posts, many of them have strict rules about the levels and types of self-promotion that are acceptable on the platform.
In other words, because of the sheer number of users on the platform, including moderators, somebody will notice if you’re blatantly posting continuously without any type of further engagement, and you’ll risk being banned from the platform.
Furthermore, the number of views on your profile also present your Reddit history in a clear, easy to view list. Therefore, it’s quick and easy to conclude when a user is a shameless self-promoter or is genuinely active on the platform.
When using the platform, users can use the search box to find specific communities (AKA subreddits), each of which relate to the topics and interests covered in that forum.
Take some time to explore the platform, reddits, and subreddits, and see what kind of posts are already taking place. This should help give you a better idea on how to best integrate yourself.
Engage other users’ discussions or inquiries and, whenever possible, try to gauge if introducing your channel, video or brand would be a natural fit among the tone, topic and comments.
Respond to questions that other users might pose, and when necessary, provide them with a link to your content if they show any interest.
If your target subreddits don’t allow link posts, consider posting your video transcript as a text post, complete with a footer that mentions how the information provided is derived from your vlog. Then, you can link to it in the text.
Content-rich posts are the true favourites of Reddit users. Therefore, as much as we’d all love to simply drop and link or write “I did this thing, come and see!”, you’ll need to make a bit more effort if you want to succeed.
Give your viewers something thought out and helpful to look at. This will help build their trust, and not only increase the possibility of them finding you off-Reddit, but they’ll also be less likely to report your posts as spam to the moderators.
Similar to hashtagging on other platforms, when it comes to categorizing your reddit content, you’ll need to use the Reddit flair.
A Reddit flair is a tag that can be added to your customizable username, based on moderator allowances. If your selected subreddits allow for custom flairs, make sure to add your URL, which will make it visible each time you engage in a conversation.
Use Pinterest to Cross-Promote Your Vlog
While many people think of Pinterest as just another social network, or just a photo album for pretty pictures, it’s also a search engine, and yet another awesome opportunity for you to promote your vlog content.
To make the most of this platform, simply sign up for your free account, fill in as many profile details as possible, including your website or YouTube URL, and then it’s time to start creating boards and collections of pins.
You can think of Pinterest boards like cork boards you’d see in an office space.
They’re often categorized by theme or topic, which is exactly how you should present your episodes and other content pieces when pinning them to your profile.
Whether you “pin” your full video or shorter preview, make sure to include a brief summary and a link in the detail box to increase searchability for other Pinterest users.
A good strategy is to type some of your themes or topics into the search bar, and see what other types of similar pins users are creating. This is a great way of brainstorming how you can name and optimize future episodes.
Finally, also be sure to engage this community by commenting on or re-pinning relatable content posted by other users. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions to see what users like or how they feel about the content you’re creating.
IGTV is Perfect for Vloggers
Made for both photo and video content, promoting your vlog can be both simple and tricky on Instagram.
Unless you have the swipe-up function in Instagram stories, which is only available to those with 10,000+ followers, there is only one place users can post a working URL: in your main bio.
In fact, any URLs pasted into your Instagram captions will only show up as a basic caption text and won’t be clickable.
By using Instagram’s IGTV feature, users are able to post short or long-form videos, which leaves it up to you how much of an episode you want your followers on this platform to see.
The maximum length of an IGTV video is 60 minutes. So if your content is a lot longer, you might want to consider a condensed version or a trailer clip, followed by a call-to-action to see the full version by clicking the link in your bio.
And once again, engaging with your audience is crucial to your success on the platform.
Find relevant followers, likeminded content creators, or search for relatable hashtags to find potential audience members that you think your brand could really click with, and engage with them by liking, commenting, or sharing their content to your story.
10 Awesome Examples Of Successful Vloggers
YouTube and TikTok seem to be the biggest vlogging platforms right now, so we’ve gone ahead and highlights 10 of the best vloggers that we can all learn from. (IGTV vlogger examples are coming soon!).
7 YouTube Vloggers You Must Check Out Now:
So now that you have a better idea of the steps you’ll need to take in order to start a successful vlog, let’s take a look at a few examples of some of the leading vloggers on YouTube.
1. Daniel Howell
Originally named Danisnotonfire, Danisnotinteresting is a popular YouTube vlog run by British-born, Daniel Howell, who has been continuously uploading video content since 2009, and seems to be quite skilled at making vlogs.
Today, the channel is simply named Daniel Howell, but with just under six and a half million subscribers, there’s no denying Daniel’s extreme popularity.
Dan himself describes his videos as being “about how awkward he is, and how people laugh at him.”
In addition to his own YouTube channel, Daniel also runs another channel with a video game partner by the name of Phil Lester. Together, the duo’s channel, DanAndPhilGAMES is officially recognized as one of the fastest-growing channels on YouTube.
2. Tyler Oakley
Although not every single one of Tyler Oakley’s videos are true vlogs, his YouTube channel does have a section titled “Day in the Life”, where he posts regular vlog videos of his daily activities.
Typically, you’ll see Tyler posting a few videos each week, ranging in topics from product reviews to story about life. Many of Tyler’s videos have a focus on life from an LGBTQ perspective, where topics like health care, suicide prevention, and education are common.
Back in 2016, Tyler was awarded as the YouTuber of the Year, and today, his channel boasts roughly 7.2 million subscribers.
3. Lilly Singh
With the motto “hustle harder every day”, Lilly Singh is a Canadian-born YouTuber, vlogger, actress, and author, who runs a YouTube channel called ||Superwoman||. Singh’s channel went viral overnight, receiving more than 2 billion views and accumulating more than 12 million subscribers.
Lilly began uploaded videos in 2014, showcasing a wide range of her daily vlog activities.
Since then, she has received several awards for her YouTube activities, such as two Teen Choice Awards, four Streamy Awards, an MTV Fandom Award, and a People’s Choice Award.
4. La Petite Noob
Hosted by Toronto-based fashion and lifestyle lover, Joelle Anello, La Petite Noob began in 2014 as a day-in-the-life and beauty-style vlog. Initially, Anello would present luxury bag reviews, makeup demonstrations, seasonal stylebooks, try-ons and shopping hauls.
Now a married mother who has traded in her city condo for a comfortable family home, Anello also produces episodes about life with a baby, home décor, other types of fashion, and beauty.
In addition to her YouTube channel with over 12.9k subscribers, you can also find Joelle’s content on her main blog as well as her gorgeously pink Instagram. Here’s a recent, awesome IGTV vlog post she recently shared:
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My 3 minute, social isolation makeup routine. I’ll be honest, I spent the entire weekend without makeup and in a sweatsuit. Looking to get back into a routine this week, without spending too much time on my face. Here’s my new, no fuss routine – I don’t even draw on eyebrows 😱. Products used: @itcosmeticsca Confidence in a Face Cream & Confidence in an Eye Cream @itcosmeticsca CC Cream @tartecosmetics Shape Tape @ctilburymakeup Pillow Talk Cheeks @lorealparis Lash Paradise mascara @benefitcanada 24 Hour Brow Setter @clarinscanada Lip Oil What are you guys doing? Fresh face or do you find putting on makeup helps with sticking to a routine? #makeupvideos #stayhome #quickmakeup #newmomlife
5. Steve Dangle
The internet’s most loyal Toronto Maple Leafs Fan, Steve Dangle began his hockey channel in 2007, recording “Leafs fan reaction videos” after each game, plus a range of one-off type videos such as Stanley Cup predictions, hockey FAQs, and pre-season updates.
Steve has shown with his YouTube vlog that even a niche interest such as a hockey sports team can attract a loyal and large following.
Since his rise to internet stardom, Steve has not only launched The Steve Dangle Podcast, but he’s also released a best-selling book, “This Team is Ruining My Life (But I Love Them).”
Steve is also a creator of sports media for Sportsnet, where he covers stories on a wide range of NHL-related topics and other teams.
Singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, and travel vlogger, Istiana has been YouTubing since 2009, when she first began with posting videos of her breathtakingly beautiful covers of pop songs, which eventually expanded into fashion hauls, hair tutorials, city explorations, and home décor tips.
Wanting to inspire women to follow their own dreams and aspirations, Istiana is also the co-founder of The Monday Girl, an online community where women can share career opportunities, event opportunities, and other networking invites with other likeminded women.
Always staying true to herself and the interests of her community, Istiana has successfully integrated brand storytelling into her platform, creating authentic works with many major names like Sunwing, Warner Music, Air Canada and MVMT.
Istiana is also now a recognized L’Oreal Professional Consultant, coinciding with her knack for hosting panels and workshops. To date, her most popular videos include her Japanese and Bali travel vlogs, her original songs, and her DIY wall art how-to videos.
As a music producer, video creator and world traveller, Andrew Gunadie, aka Gunarolla, is yet another great example of a successful vlogger.
With a naturally pleasant personality, and a flair for on-the-spot comedy, Gunnarolla’s videos are not only fun and entertaining to watch, but they also tend to be informative, if not thought-provoking.
Not only is Gunnarolla a top Youtuber, but he’s also been featured on many major TV networks, including HGTV and the Travel Channel.
No longer a stranger to big brand partnerships, Andrew Gunadie has worked with some big names including Google, Microsoft, LCBO, Samsung, and Telus, as well as various other vehicle manufacturers and major tourism boards.
In 2020, when travelling was put to a hasty halt, Gunnarolla pivoted his video production toward a series he called The Quarantine Show with #StayHome lesson and diary themes.
Some of his other popular videos cover topics such as things to see and do in various cities, music production how-to’s, fun keyboard song covers, and lots of food-related topic.
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Rotate your phone for this one! 📲 Back in January, I had the honour of being one of the first public guests at @chefdarrenmaclean's new restaurant @eight_cdn, tucked away at the back of @nupoyyc in @althotel. It's an exploration of contemporary Canadian cuisine, and truly one of the top dining experiences you could ever have. Remember this one for when we can dine in restaurants again! — #capturecalgary #eightseatsatatime #yyc #yycfood #yycrestaurants #thefinaltable @tourismcalgary @travelalberta @explorecanada
Plus, if you follow Gunnarolla on Instagram, you can often find him taking requests in his Instagram stories for quick, and often genre-bending covers of top hits or TV/movie theme songs, most of which, are available for viewing in his highlight reels.
3 TikTok Vloggers Who Are Killing it in 2020:
Although YouTube is the main platform for when it comes to uploading vlog content, TikTok is still a powerful contender, which has become increasingly popular with younger internet users in recent years.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the world’s most popular vloggers that are using TikTok to host their successful vlog content.
Aside from being known as a prominent TikTok vlogger, Addison Rae is also a model and social media influencer, who has mostly gained her popularity for posting lip-sync and dance video on TikTok.
Although Addison’s TikTok was only launched in 2019, she’s already managed to accumulate some 45.7 million TikTok followers, as well as millions more on other social media platforms like Instagram.
Although Jacob Sartorius has been a well-known personality on social media since he was a young child, today, he’s widely known for his personal style and the music video vlogs that he regularly posts on TikTok.
Back in 2016, Sartorius released a hit single called “Sweatshirt”, which has since reached the United State’s Top 100 Hot Chart and has helped Jacob attain his TikTok stardom.
Typically, you’ll find Jacob posting videos to his audience of some 23.5 million followers, usually about the latest trends or by using the newest, catchiest songs the charts have to offer.
With well over 20.9 million followers on TikTok, there’s no doubt that Garima Chaurasia has made a name for herself as one of the world’s most successful vloggers.
As a 21-year Indian girl, Garima is still relatively new to being a TikTok influencer. However, since she first hit the scene, her channel has found massive success, literally gaining her millions of followers in a matter of months.
Garima’s videos on TikTok first went viral when she posted a video of herself dancing to an Indian pop song called “Boht Hard”. Since then, Garima says that she’s working to create similar videos, which, have so far proven to be beneficial for her online business.