What is a Vlog? How do Vloggers earn money? Who does Vlogging? And how do I start? So many questions with very interesting answers.
Perhaps you have heard the word “vlog” or “video blogger” in passing but never payed much attention to it. Or maybe your teenager is fixated to a screen in which a Vlogger is the central focus point. Up until recently that was me. However this changed in an instant.
One day while browsing videos on YouTube, I stumbled across a YouTuber by the name of Casey Neistat. Straight away I was hook line and sinker for this new type of content.
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What made the deal even sweeter was this particular YouTuber/Vlogger was uploading content on a daily basis. How good is that! But I’m getting ahead of myself. Lets jump into the first question.
So What Is A Vlog?
Vlog – which is short for “video Blog” are videos that are uploaded regularly to a video sharing platform (generally YouTube) by a Vlogger. These videos generally have a personal aspect of someone’s life which can revolve around travel, comedy, fashion, cooking, music and more.
The “Vlogger” in this definition could be you, me, your grandmother or a CEO. Literally anyone. There is no barrier for personality types or background for someone to become a Vlogger.
From there a Vlog moves onto the sharing phase of its life in which thousands if not millions of viewers can react, comment, discuss, share and be fully immersed. This is where a lot of the magic happens as viewers can discuss certain parts of the vlog in a communal fashion.
Unlike a traditional TV broadcasted show, a vlog can be watched on almost any device in almost any place. Instead of being constrained to a stationary television. The content comes to you, were ever you want and on demand.
This is one of many reasons for the rise of Vlogging in recent years. Another reason, if not the most import for this sudden surge, is that type of content that Vloggers create.
What Type Of Content Do Vloggers Create?
Vlog content is like pirate independent media. Let me explain. If you wanted to green light a new TV show. You would have to move a lot of gears and get writers, producers, cameraman, editors and directors to work together.
Well Vlogging completely bypasses this as its a “one man show” which gives full creative control to the Vlogger.
If you think about the Silicon Valley early days where people were creating companies straight from their garages. Vlogging content is similar in a way. Its independent. Highly creative. Rule breaking. Revolutionary.
The result of this independent video creation is spectacular. You know get a personal perspective of someone’s life which enhances your empathy and perspective. Also because of the nature of Vlogging, you get raw personal interaction which adds to the value.
Here are some of our favourite Vloggers to get you started.
What Is The History Of Vlogging?
Vlogging had its humble beginnings back in early 2ooo. This was pre YouTube, so sharing a video on the internet wasn’t the easiest thing at the time. But some managed. One particular person to do this was Adam Kontras. Adam was documenting his cross country trip to Los Angles on video which he would post on his Blog.
In November of the same year a Mr Adrian Miles would coin the term “vlog” in which he would insert the word into a video.
Fast forward to 2005 with the creation of the video sharing website YouTube. From here everything changed. Within 1 year YouTube was in the top 5 most visited websites. At this stage YouTube was clocking 100 millions video views a day and 65,000 hours of video uploaded per day.
One of the first ever Vloggers to capture the internet during these early days was LonelyGirl15. While the term “vlogging” wasn’t in wide use at this time, LoneyGirl15 also known as Bree would set the foundation for future creators. Bree spoke directly into her camera from her room over the span of 6 months which would become a staple style for many vlogs.
Vlogging In The Present Day
With the ever increasing growth in quality cameras and internet speeds. Creating a Video Blog become a exciting prospect in the early days of YouTube and still remains today. Add that to the expansion of smartphones in everybody’s pocket and the ability to record a Vlog is now easier than ever.
As YouTube is a platform that reaches globally, so do the Vloggers themselves. I would go as far as saying the Vloggers have become the new rockstars of the modern day. Emma Jacobs from the Financial Times even refers to it as another form of Beetlemania.
Source: Google Trends
It seems that people are sick of watching the same mundane, highly produced and polished content that we have become so familiar with. Vlogging on the other hand provides a totally different take on this which people are adopting more quickly than ever.
How Do YouTube Vloggers Make Money?
Being a Vlogger is a extremely rewarding experience. But what if you could make money from these videos at the same time? Many Vloggers have made this their full time living and a successful one at that.
In recent years whole industries have emerged that help creators make money from their videos. Here are a few ways that Vloggers make money from their content.
- Google Adsense: If you have watched a YouTube video recently, then you most probably encountered some type of ad during or before the video. YouTube creators can partner up with Google Adsense for free which allows them to monazite their videos. Since Google owns YouTube, the interaction between the two services is fluid.
- Amazon Affiliate Marketing: With the nature of Vlogging, creators need to use gear and other items such as makeup, computers and cameras for their videos. So by partnering up with the Amazon Associates Program, Vloggers can earn a commission by the products they recommend.
- Sponsorship: As Vlogging is becoming a bigger force by the day, niche Vloggers are also arising. These are Vloggers who may be into travelling, business, video gaming, fixing old computers and the list goes on. This is a prime realestate for any business who wants to promote their service or product in a way of a sponsor ship in video.
- Movie & Book Deals: Yep you read that correctly. Some YouTube Vloggers have gained such a massive audience that they can produce extra content for their devoted fans. Take Zoella for example who has signed 2 book deals over the past 3 years.
- Merchandise: Many Vloggers have created merchandise such as hoodies, t-shirts, hats and so own for their fans. As Vloggers tend to have a hardcore fanbase, this is usually loved by the viewers and tend to sell out quite quickly.
YouTube Vlogging Awards & Conventions
YouTube has become such a monster platform that whole communities and award ceremonies have been created around the world to support creators. Below is a brief list of of supporting conventions and awards for YouTube Vloggers.
- Vidcon which started in 2010 is the largest in person convention for YouTube creators. Vidcon hosts YouTubers from all around the world in Los Angles, California to share ideas, network, educate and more. Since its inception, Vidcon has also gone on to host multiple events around the world including Australia Vidcon and Europe Vidcon.
- Shorty Awards also known as the “Shortys” is a platform in which social media influences can win awards based on their contribution to platforms such as YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram.
- YouTube Awards gives different types of awards known as “YouTube Play Buttons” to Vloggers and YouTubers who reach milestones in their subscriber counts. These button go in order from Silver: 100,000 subscribers. Gold: 1 Million subscribers. Diamond: 10 Millions subscribers.
So How Do I Become A Vlogger?
If you have read this far then you may be interested in starting your own Vlog. Becoming part of one of the biggest online communities while creating your own content is a exciting prospect.
You may also be surprised at how easy it is to start a Vlog. We have included the essential steps to take on your way to starting a successful Vlog.
It All Starts With An Idea
Just like with anything that you want to will into existence, it all starts with an idea. This is a good time to think about thing you could Vlog about.
If you look at your daily life you are bound to find something interesting you are passionate that someone would also like to watch. If you are still having trouble coming up with ideas, try a mind map down on paper.
Sign Up For A YouTube Channel
Next in this list is setting up your YouTube Channel. You can go here to get started. This will be the easiest step in this list and will only take a few minutes. You can spend more time uploading a profile picture, background and bio for your page as well.
Find A Camera Or The Next Best Thing
To get started you can use what ever camera you have lying around the house. However if you don’t have a camera you can check out our guide on picking the best Vlogging camera for your needs here.
Incase you don’t have a budget for a new camera, you could always use your smartphone. We have compiled an article on the best features and Apps for when Vlogging with a iPhone.
Start Recording Like There Is No Tomorrow
Now the fun really begins! It time to get your hands dirty and start recording. This is good time to refer back to your original idea and start creating. If you come across creative blocks, look to your favourite Vlogger for inspiration.
Nearly There, Now Comes Editing
Depending on your personality type this may be a task you enjoy or despise. Editing plays a huge part is weaving together multiple videos into one cohesive story. Here are a bunch for free editing softwares available for both MAC and PC to get you started.
One thing i will add for this step is to not get to carried away with editing in the early days, unless you really dig it. Editing is one of this things where you can spend hours on one task and not make much process. So simples is best at this point.
It Time To Upload, Finally!
You’ve finally made it. Now comes one of the the most rewarding part of it all. After all that hard work you can now share your creation with the world. Adding a compelling title to your video can entice viewers and subscribers. Its also good to add a description in the bio so YouTube knows what your video is about.
This brings us to the end of this glorious article. Hopefully we have helped to answer your questions on Vlogging and the many interesting parts of it.