Bloggers are good as they are (mostly) honest. People build relationships with them and come to trust them. The next step from that (other than actually meeting them) is for the blogger (or now vlogger) to show their audience. Whether that is to discuss a topic and allow their body language to be seen, or whether to demonstrate a product or service – it allows the viewer to see things for their own eyes. YouTube has such a massive audience. I now have over 1,400 subscribers so I thought that I would share my journey, and this is what I have learnt so far:
YouTube: Bloggers Beginners Guide
I would say it takes me less than 30 seconds to decide whether I like a YouTube video or not – and that’s me being generous. Things to think about are how visually appealing is the video, what is the sound quality like, and what are you going to do or say to hold my attention? Then once you have you video remember that YouTube is just another social media platform – so get social!
YouTube Videos that are visually appealing
Things to think about are the quality of the video. Make sure you have a pleasant background (eg nothing that is going to distract your viewers’ eyes elsewhere, and that you are not too far away from what it is that you want to focus on. Remember that introduction is everything. Viewers are going to quickly determine whether this is the video that they have been looking for. Apart from the fact that you want people to watch all of your YouTube video -YouTube reward you for watch time. So really engage with your audience. Look them in the eye – they want to feel like you are talking to them – not looking over at some screen notes.
Check out Let’s Talk Mommy’s Channel introduction for a great example of to me a really visually appealing background.
Make sure that if you use an iPhone turn it sideways, otherwise you have the 2 black strips down the side of your video. Make sure your camera is kept still (a tripod is a really good investment) and that you have good lighting. Make sure it’s not too dark, there’s no shadows or light bouncing off things and making shapes. Just like composing a photograph. Set up your shot before you film. People like faces, so ideally you should be in the video, but make sure you are all in it – half cut off heads is not very appealing. How you cut and edit is really important too with the biggest advice being don’t try to film it all in one take and try not to overdo it with too many effects piecing the videos and pictures together.
Sex sells, so if you are really good looking you may want to utilise that (see half naked Russell brand video) But equally remember that if you are doing a kids craft activity it’s probably not a good look if your bosoms spill out whilst leaning forward for the sticky tape. Also really think what your content is, and the message you are trying to portray.
After not capturing my attention with the visual (usually from poor lighting) then lack of sound is my next biggest turn off. I don’t like to keep messing with my sound levels, and if I can’t hear what’s on the video even with the sound cranked up then there’s no point me watching. If you do not have a microphone and cannot get close enough to your recording equipment then I suggest that you record the narration separately. Also be careful with how the sound fits the video – you can slide the narration, video sounds, and music up and down – you can speed them up and slow them down. Have a good listen and make sure that it is appealing to you. Of course also be careful of copyright – especially if you want to monetise.
I find videos where people just sit there talking to be really boring. Russell Brand is a fantastic guy to watch for inspiration – he makes noises, hand gestures, changes his outfit (if you can call some of them that) and does this great switch between himself and video/pictures from other sources (example)
Be careful how you move around. It is often better to start and stop footage than jolty movements. Make sure your video is not too long – my attention span is not that long. I’d say roughly 3 minutes UNLESS it is really engaging – maybe informative – then I may watch for longer.
YouTube is Social
YouTube is another social media platform like any other – but it’s more pure and honest as you can see what people are doing, and not just have to take their word for it. How many times have you looked on YouTube to be able to see how something is done? Or to be entertained? Engage with your audience – find out what it is they want. Reply to their comments, follow them on Google+, and look to see if they have a channel, what are they doing?
Watch lots and lots of YouTube videos – see what it is about them that holds your attention. What do you like? Who do you aspire to be like? Put your own subscriptions into collections, add videos you like to your playlists. Collaborate with other YouTubers. I still have to master annotations but you can use them to add an image that will click through to elsewhere – so that could be somewhere on your own channel or over to share another channel.
And comment – just like on blogs – if you comment on videos you like then people may click on your name from that comment to come and see what it is that you have to offer. You know I would even go as far to say that as long as you are social then you could create a YouTube channel without even uploading any of your own videos (by creating relevant playlists) – and I am sure we all know some blogs that “feature” only other people’s blog posts.
Now do please go and Subscribe to my channel – but do remember I am still new to all this. The channel is a mix of reviews, days out, holidays, inspiration and my family. I hope to really develop it to reach and help those who have children (or themselves) Sensory Processing Disorder, whilst also helping and recording the development of my own Sensory Seeker.
Most of this information has come from my thoughts by just watching YouTube videos and looking at what I liked about channels. However, I would like to thank the information provided at BlogCamp and Blogfest which may have also inspired me to watch more videos.