Creating your videos
It is just common sense that you want to create the most engaging, inspirational and informative videos that you can. After a while of creating videos for your vlog you may well find that you can create great videos on the fly. Until you get to that stage we recommend that you follow the steps below.
Create a Script
Most people just can’t sit in front of a camera and talk freely about their subject. If you can then great – if not then the best thing to do is to create a script. Think about what you want each video to achieve when planning your script. Do you want the viewer to take action after watching? The most important parts of a video are the beginning and the end. Make the start really compelling to motivate the viewer to watch all the way through.
Keep in mind that most people have very short attention spans and if you don’t make a good start with your videos then even passionate followers will not watch. You need to make the end of the video very inspiring too. This is especially important if you want them to take a specific action like visit your website.
If you have no specific call to action in mind then give them a taste of what the next video will be about. Ensure that your video script flows nicely. If you are going to show your audience how to do something then plan out what you need to do and when.
If you are recording outside then where will you go first, second and so on? After planning your script then create a storyboard. If you are going to narrate over the top of the video then practice this. Remember to keep your videos as short as you can. If a tutorial is going to be long then break it up into 2 or 3 videos.
What about Equipment?
OK we did say at the start of this guide that you could make a video for your vlog with just your smartphone. You can get started this way but there are better ways to make your videos. This all starts with a good quality camcorder.
You do not need a professional digital camera to shoot your vlog videos. When your vlog is successful and you are generating revenue then go and get a pro camera. Until then just use a good quality camcorder that will shoot in HD. If you are going to shoot videos indoors then you need to think about lighting. Shoot some test footage to see how good the lighting is. Invest in some lights if you need to. It is pointless spending out for a high quality camcorder if the lighting is poor. You need a good quality microphone as well. If you create videos with poor audio quality then you will not succeed with your vlog. For indoor recording get a high quality USB microphone.
What about screen recording and video editing? If you are going to create tutorials then you may want to record your computer screen. Desktop recording is easy with Camtasia but this will cost around $200. There is a free option which is CamStudio. Give this a try first.
CamStudio will only work on Windows based computers. If you have a Mac then you can try macOS Mojave. There are other free screen recording applications for Macs. After shooting your video you will need to edit it to make it the best it can be. If you have CamStudio or Camtasia then both of these will do a good job. There are free video editing applications available for Windows and Mac users.
Windows Movie Maker is a good video editing suite for Windows users and if you own a Mac then use iMovie. You will find both of these applications easy to use and you can add transitions and other features to make your videos look really great.
Creating your Video
Speak with passion in your voice. Don’t be monotone and boring. This will drive people away faster than you can imagine. Be enthusiastic throughout the video. You can’t expect your audience to be enthusiastic about your videos if you are not. If you are creating a tutorial then provide proof that your methods really work. Show them before and after or the end result whatever applies.
If other people use your methods then ask them to provide a video testimonial. Add as much social proof as you can. Appeal to people’s emotions as much as possible in your video. Tell them how exciting it will be for them to travel to the destination you are filming in. Or tell them how beautiful they will look after using your make up tips.
Test how well your Videos are received
In your mind you have created a great video but what really counts is what your audience thinks. You need to look at a few things here such as how many viewers watched your video from beginning to end? If that wasn’t the case for a lot of viewers at what stage of the video did they stop watching it? Is there a problem with a certain section of the video? How many people liked the video and how many gave it a “thumbs down”? Read through the comments and see if there are any criticisms there. Don’t take them personally. Treat them as good feedback to create better videos in the future. What can you do if your video was not well received? Well you can either edit it to add the information that people in the comments say was missing, or you can create a new video that covers this.
So now you know how to create great videos that will keep people engaged and wanting more from your vlog. Go with the majority flow. With all videos there will always be someone that has a complaint to make. If the majority of viewers like your video then you are on the right track.
Always ask viewers of your videos to subscribe to your channel if they haven’t already. Ask them to “like” the video as well and encourage them to leave comments so that you can create better videos in the future. Tell your viewers that your vlog is for them so any feedback is very helpful. Do everything that you can to appeal to people’s emotions. Tell them that they can do whatever you are showing them to do. Use words like “exciting”, “fantastic” and other superlatives. And always be passionate in your videos!
Optimizing your videos
Optimizing your videos properly is essential. When you are first starting out this is really important as you need to do everything that you can to ensure that your videos come up in a YouTube search. It will also increase your chances of your videos ranking high in Google as well.
It all starts with Keyword Research
You need to find out what people are likely to enter into the search box in YouTube to find your videos. The best way to do this is through keyword research. You can do this for free using the Google Keyword Planner. You will need to create a free Google Adwords account to access this tool. Let’s say that you are creating a video about travelling to Japan.
When you are in the Google Keyword Planner enter the seed keyword “Japan Travel” and then see what other keyword suggestions Google has to offer. You can download these suggestions in a CSV file which you can open with most spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel. Go through the list and choose the best keywords. Look at the estimated search volumes.
You want to come up with a list of around 10 keywords for each video. Decide which keyword will be your “main” keyword. Maybe this could be “travel to Japan”.
Create a Compelling Title around your Main Keyword
You need to come up with an appealing title so that when people see your video in the search results they will want to watch it. So for our Japan example you could use something like “Travel To Japan For Fun And Excitement”. Make sure that you include your main keyword in the title. Don’t just leave the title as “Travel To Japan”. This will not inspire that many people to watch your video. Use other words to create excitement. Another approach may be “Travel To Japan – You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me!” This creates curiosity.
Try writing a number of different titles with your keyword in them. Go for 10 different titles and then choose the best one. If you can get the keyword in at the beginning of the title then this is preferable but it doesn’t matter that much. So just go wild here with your ideas. Remember that the more enticing you make your title the more views you will get.
Write a Keyword Rich Description
Some people like to read the description of a video before they watch it so make this compelling as well. We recommend that your description is at least 300 words long and contains your secondary keywords that you found earlier. Tell people what the video is about but don’t give everything away. You can always say something like “you won’t believe what happened at the end of this video” or “I have a big surprise for you at the end of the video”. Just use techniques to hook the viewer and encourage them to watch all the way through. Don’t go crazy with keywords in the description. If you can’t fit them in naturally then don’t add them.
Use the Right Tags for your Video
Only use keywords in tags that are related to your video. If your video is about travelling to Japan then don’t add unrelated keywords in such as “how to speak Chinese”. If someone is looking to learn Chinese and watches your video they will be very unimpressed that there is nothing about learning Chinese in it. So choose about 5 related keywords (including your main keyword) and add these as tags. There is a 400 character limit on tags with YouTube at the time of writing. This doesn’t mean that you have to use every last character.
Be sure to Speak your Main Keywords in the Video
This one might surprise you. The thing is that technology has really advanced over the last few years and YouTube can understand English (and maybe other languages) so it will pick up on certain key phrases.
Nobody knows just how accurate the YouTube system is for recognizing spoken keywords but estimates suggest as high as 80%. This will continually improve so it is really worth mentioning your main keyword and some secondary keywords in your video. Be sure to plan for this when creating your video script.
Good Video Optimization doesn’t take long
If you have spent a great deal of time creating a video script and a story board as we suggested then it seems crazy not to spend a few minutes optimizing your videos so that they have the maximum chance of being found in a search. So use these video optimization tips every time. Don’t skip the keyword research step as this is the most important task. It will not take you long to uncover some good keywords. Even if you have a large following with your vlog we would always recommend that you optimize each video.