Modern Vlogging: Creating a Successful Video Blog for Profit
Vlogging is becoming increasingly more popular and there has never been a better time to start a vlog.
People really enjoy watching high-quality vlogs and some vloggers have subscribers in the millions.
But you don’t need millions of subscribers to make money from vlogging.
There are many vloggers that have a lot less subscribers that make a full-time income and more from their vlogging activities.
What could be better?
Doing something that you love and recording it to share with the world and making money at the same time.
This is more than a dream – it can be your reality if you follow the advice provided in this guide.
In this guide you will discover what a vlog really is, some great and profitable ideas for starting a vlog, how to start your new vlog with maximum impact and how to promote your vlog so that you increase your subscriber numbers and your potential to make money.
We have answered all of the most common questions about vlogging in this guide and provided you with a step by step plan to create a successful and profitable vlog.
You need to take action and be totally committed to your new vlog.
It is going to take time and effort to get where you want to be.
We have left no stone unturned in this guide.
You will know exactly what is expected of you and the highs and lows of vlogging.
Consistency is everything with vlogging as you will discover as you read through this guide.
Once you have read the guide you will have everything that you need to start your journey to successful vlogging.
So we recommend that you read this guide in full first and then go back to the start and follow the recommended action steps.
We wish you every success with your new vlog!
What is Vlogging?
A video blog (vlog) or “vlogging” is the setting up of a specific channel on a video sharing site such as YouTube and uploading videos on a regular basis.
The goal of your vlog is to provide engaging content in a specific niche that will create a reaction from viewers and grow your following or subscriber base.
Vlogging took off around ten years ago when video sharing sites such as YouTube became really popular.
Videos are a lot more interesting than text based content.
Most people would sooner watch a short video than read hundreds of words of text.
Can vlogging really make you money?
Yes it certainly can, but you need to go about it in the right way which is what this guide is all about.
We will show you how to choose a niche to vlog about, the best video platform to use, how to set up your channel correctly and a lot more.
Why should you start a Vlog?
There are many good reasons why you should start a vlog right now.
The first of these is that video has a tremendous impact these days.
YouTube and Facebook currently dominate the world of Internet video.
There is a reason that both of these platforms introduced live streaming video – it is what people want!
People like to watch videos and in particular they like vlogs.
Some of the most successful channels on YouTube are vlogs.
Once you start to get a following for your vlog the word will spread quickly and you will get a lot more subscribers.
Vlogging is one of the best ways for you to share your talents, ideas and thoughts about a subject.
When you create a vlog your audience is not expecting Hollywood movie quality – in fact quite the opposite.
A vlog needs to be natural and casual and really connect with the viewer.
There are all kinds of successful vlogs out there.
A lot of travel vlogs allow the vloggers to travel around the world through donations, sponsorship, affiliate marketing and other revenue opportunities.
Take a look at the popularity of reality TV – people like to watch other ordinary people doing things that they love.
If you have a specific talent then you can show the world how you put this to good use.
Once you start to build a following then there will be opportunities for you to market your skills.
By demonstrating that you are really good at something in your vlog you are bound to get requests from people interested in hiring you.
Some people start a vlog because they want to document their life and create a memory to share with future generations.
They have no financial aspirations for doing this.
This is a guide about making money from vlogging so we wouldn’t recommend this approach.
However a number of vloggers who started off in this way have made passive income.
There are already some very successful vloggers on YouTube that make a significant income from their vlog.
People like Roman Attwood, Lilly Singh, Casey Neistat, Zoella and Alfie Deyes are all good examples.
These people all have deals with brands where they make a significant income.
Brands constantly scour YouTube for new vloggers and if they find good ones they will approach them directly with deals or sponsorship.
There are so many opportunities to make money with vlogging.
You can start vlogging right now.
There is no need for you to purchase expensive camera equipment to start with.
If you have a smartphone which can record high-quality video then you are good to go.
However, if you can invest in good recording equipment we would always recommend this.
When you have finished shooting your footage you can then upload this to your computer and use free video editing programs such as Windows Movie Maker for Windows machines or iMovie for Mac.
Yes there are better video editors out there, but you don’t need them to get started.
You don’t even need a website. Use YouTube as your vlogging platform.
It is a good idea to have social accounts such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and build a following on these so that you can let everyone know when you have launched a new video.
A number of vloggers use affiliate marketing to generate revenue.
For example there are a number of successful make up and cosmetics vlogs and the owners promote products and make commissions as an affiliate.
What should your Vlog be about?
The number one rule with creating a vlog is to make it about something that you are really interested in.
There are no hard and fast rules here – you can literally create a vlog about anything.
But we would suggest that you follow the steps below to identify a really good vlogging subject:
1. Write a list of the things that really interest you in life.
Include everything here such as things that you enjoy doing at work, in your leisure time, with your friends and so on.
2. Write a second list of the talents that you have.
Don’t even think that you have no talents – you will be good at some things for sure.
3. Look at these lists and think about the commercial opportunities with each interest and talent.
If you are a sports fan for example and follow a particular team then is there an opportunity there for you?
Some sports vlog owners are millionaires!
4. Use the Google Keyword Planner to check to see how many searches a month exist for your interests and talents.
You can also search on YouTube to see what videos appear and how many views and subscribers they have.
5. Choose your vlogging subject based on the best mix of interest or talent and commercial opportunity.
Most vlogging guides will tell you to just vlog about something that you are passionate about.
You will certainly need to be passionate about your vlogging, but not all subjects have the same money-making potential.
6. Once you have chosen a vlogging subject or niche you will need to test to see if you can create many videos with it.
People will want you to vlog often – you can’t just upload one video and expect miracles. So is there enough material for you to create a weekly or monthly vlog?
In the next chapter you will find some great ideas for starting a profitable vlog.
The Advantages of Starting a Vlog
There are a number of advantages of a vlog over a standard blog.
The main reason that people prefer to create standard blogs is that it is easier than creating a vlog.
You can write a post for a standard blog fairly quickly or outsource it to a professional writer.
But it is a fact that people prefer video.
With a standard blog it is very difficult to develop a following.
Ranking blogs in the search engines is really tough these days, and there are people promoting different blogs all over social media.
The competition is tough.
Yes there is competition in vlogging, but it is a lot less intense.
- People Vlog for more exposure – it is easier to get visitors to a vlog than it is to a standard blog.
- Videos are more likely to go Viral – you have a lot more chance of one of your vlog videos going viral than a standard blog post.
- Videos are more interactive – it is easier to persuade people to do something with a video than it is with a written blog post. You will be much more likely to achieve higher conversion rates with good videos.
- Video Tutorials are really effective – people like to know how to do certain things. If you can show them how to achieve something with a video tutorial then this is far more interesting than them having to read a long blog post with screenshots.
- You can Vlog Live – with the live streaming capabilities of YouTube and Facebook you can create some videos live. If you have an important announcement to make then tell people that there will be a live stream on a certain day and at a certain time. People really like live streaming video!
- There are a number of revenue generating opportunities – from the YouTube Partnership Program to sponsorship, special deals with brands and affiliate marketing to name but a few, popular vlogs have many options when it comes to making money.
You need to be really committed to your vlog.
If you spend a few months adding videos to your channel and then stop for a while people will easily forget you.
This means that you will have wasted time and effort for nothing.
If you choose a subject for vlogging and there are other vloggers on YouTube in the same niche then don’t let this put you off.
Remember that you are the subject of your vlog.
You are different to those other vloggers with your unique personality.
Ideas for Profitable Vlogs
Sometimes it can be tough to come up with that winning idea for a vlog that will make you a healthy profit.
So to help you we have some great ideas for you in this chapter.
We hope that you find an idea here that you can run with.
Are you someone that enjoys playing video games a lot?
There are so many people that play video games these days and there is always room for another great vlog on the subject.
New games appear all of the time, and with the rise in popularity of Amazon’s Twitch.tv there is so much scope for you to create quality videos.
The secret to a successful video game vlog is providing the gaming community with what they want.
If they enjoy the videos you create then they will spread the word for you and your vlog will grow exponentially.
Here are some ideas for videos you can create:
- You playing a specific game and cracking a level or beating a boss monster etc
- A live stream about a particular game
- A review of a game (old or new)
- Your top 10 video games
- Create a game walkthrough
- Provide gaming news videos
Tutorials or How to Videos
A lot of people search YouTube to find out how to do something.
So do you have a particular set of skills or are you an expert in a particular subject?
If so then a series of “how to” videos would be a great vlogging idea for you.
People are always using the Internet to ask questions, and videos are far and away the most popular medium that people choose to get the answers that they need.
There are just endless opportunities for “how to” video tutorials.
You can definitely promote affiliate products or sell your own products on the back of a vlog like this.
Here are some ideas for you:
- How to build something
- How to make money online
- Life skills
- Personal development skills
- How to get a girlfriend / boyfriend and subsequent relationship advice
- Learn a new language
- How to get that new job and keep it
- How to make money in stocks, foreign exchange etc
Computers and Tech
Do you like computers and tech gadgets?
Are you an expert on mobile devices?
There are so many people that just love computers and tech and would be delighted to find out what is coming next etc.
The world of technology changes all of the time so you will never run out of ideas for videos.
Here are some good ideas:
- Useful apps for your smartphone
- The best laptops
- How to use popular software such as Microsoft Office
- New technology reviews
- Tech product comparisons
- Computer hacks and little known shortcuts
- Create your own website
- Registering a domain name
- How to make your computer faster
- How to fix common computer problems
Weight Loss and Fitness
Do you have knowledge about how to lose weight and keep it off?
Are you a fitness expert?
The demand for “how to” videos in this area is huge.
And the subject is so vast that you should never run out of new ideas for videos.
Here are some ideas to think about:
- Weight loss tips
- Compare popular diets e.g. Paleo, Keto etc
- Healthy eating recipes
- How to avoid food and beverages that will make you gain weight
- Exercising for beginners
- How to do an exercise properly e.g. push ups
- How to get fit and ripped without going to the gym
- The benefits of yoga
- Specific yoga exercises
This is another huge subject.
People always want to improve their lives and if you have the knowledge to help them to do this then it can open all kinds of doors for you.
Here are some great ideas for videos:
- X ways to be more confident
- How to overcome your fears
- How to break through your comfort zone
- How to set goals and achieve them
- How to increase your self esteem
- How to be a great conversationalist
- How to persuade people to do anything
- How to use NLP to change your life
- How to stop living in the past
Do you like traveling?
Have you been, or plan to go, on an adventure across the world?
Can you provide recommendations for the best things to do in popular countries and cities?
Do you want to spend your life traveling the world and enjoying new experiences?
So many other people do as well!
It is true that there are already a lot of travel vlogs out there but there is always room for more.
Just do something different to the rest. Here are some ideas for you:
- Cool places you won’t have visited
- The insider guide to a popular tourist attraction
- Finding those isolated beaches
- How to survive in [location]
- The top 10 places you must visit
- The best way to pack a suitcase
- Travelling on a budget
Are you a musician?
Can you teach people how to play an instrument or how to sing properly?
Do you know a lot about retro music?
Music is huge on YouTube and good “how to” videos are always popular. Here are some ideas for you:
- How to play the guitar
- How to play the drums
- How to sing
- How to fix a broken instrument
- The best guitars (or whatever instrument) available
- How to read and write music
- Famous song covers
- How to write great lyrics
- The best bands of [genre, decade etc]
- How to use an audio editor to mix music
- Music equipment reviews
Some of the most popular videos on YouTube are about pets.
Everyone has seen a funny cat video or a dog doing special tricks.
There are many animal lovers in the world and they can’t get enough content about pets.
Here are some great video ideas:
- How to take care of your pet (cat, dog, guinea pig, horse etc)
- How to train your dog – so many possibilities here
- How to teach your cat/dog to do tricks
- The best clothes for your cat/dog
- The best names for your new pet
- The best accessories for your new pet
- How to groom your pet
- Exotic pets
- Traveling with your pet
- The best food for your pet
Are you someone that knows how to apply makeup correctly?
Are you in touch with all the latest fashions?
Can you provide tips and advice for smoother and healthier skin?
This market is massive and the demand for information will always be there.
Here are some great video ideas:
- Different makeup tutorials
- How to make your skin look younger
- How to take care of your hair
- The best outfits for the larger person
- The latest fashion accessories you must have
- How to chose the perfect outfit for the occasion
- The best shoes for women
- The latest fashion trends
- How to look stunning on a budget
- Manicure and pedicure tutorials
Cooking, Recipes and Food
Can you teach people how to cook?
Can you show them how to create great tasting meals?
Do you have great recipes to share?
Do you know the best restaurants?
Can you tell people what to eat when they visit specific countries or cities?
Food is a huge subject and always in demand.
Here are some awesome video ideas for you:
- How to cook [whatever it is]
- Eating well on a budget
- The best dishes in [location]
- The top 10 restaurants in [location]
- How to make healthy snacks
- The best foods for losing weight
- Exotic cooking
- Recipes for dishes you have never heard of
- The must have kitchen accessories
- How to prepare food properly
- How to bake perfect cakes
- Meals that will delight your family
- What to eat when you are visiting [location]
We hope that you find these ideas inspiring.
Creating a vlog that contains “how to” videos is a great way to go and you will be able to monetize in a number of different ways.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, so have a good look at what you know and develop a plan for your vlog.
Starting a Successful Vlog
A successful vlog will require a bit of planning.
Sure you can just go out there with your smartphone and start recording footage about your passion.
But it is better to take some time to think about the type of content that you want to share with people and where you will share it.
What is the Purpose of your Vlog?
It is a good idea to define the purpose of your vlog.
It is not a good idea to spend 6 months doing this!
So think about your vlog as a way for you to communicate with your target audience.
What is the overall message that you want to portray here?
Here are some examples:
- I will take you to travel destinations that you won’t believe
- I will show you how to easily make money online from home
- I will show you how to look beautiful every day on a budget
- I will bring you all the latest news and fan reaction for [Sports Team]
Do you get the idea?
You want to make your vlog stand out from the rest.
Take a look at some of the existing vlogs out there that have a large subscriber base for inspiration.
Just don’t spend too long on this!
Decide on your Vlogging Style
When you are starting out with vlogging it is best to do what you are comfortable with.
You will need to show your face on camera – there is no getting around this.
Viewers will not be impressed that they never see you in the videos.
It will help to drive engagement.
There are different types of vloggers.
Some will want to include their partner, their children, their friends, their pets etc in their vlogs.
A lot of vloggers will shoot footage when they are outside doing something.
Others will use their home or office for their vlogging.
Are you going to shoot all of the footage yourself or will someone else help you?
If you are going to shoot the footage yourself and want to do this outside while you are walking around then you can use specific tools to do this.
Are you naturally funny?
If so then always inject as much humor as you can into your vlog.
Think about other ways that you can keep viewers entertained.
Making mistakes with vlogging is great because you can show the outtakes of when things went wrong.
So think about the style you will use for your vlog.
How can you make your personality really shine through and keep people engaged and wanting more videos from you?
What are other Vloggers doing?
If there is competition for your vlogging niche then go and check out what your competitors are doing.
Take some time out to watch their videos and see what they do.
Start with the most popular vlogs and work your way down.
Here are some things to look out for:
- What are the subjects of their videos?
- Which of their videos are the most popular and why?
- What is the average length of their videos?
- What engagement techniques do they use?
- Do they have sponsors or recommend affiliate products?
- How often do they upload new videos?
- What does their channel look like?
- What effects do they use in their videos if any?
If your time is limited then just study the top vloggers in your niche.
Search for these vlogs in YouTube and then choose those with the highest number of subscribers and video views.
This will be time very well spent and should give you lots of good ideas.
Identify and Know your Audience
What kind of audience are you looking for?
Is your vlog going to be for people that want to travel to exciting destinations across the world?
Or learn how to make money online?
Or learn how to look beautiful using budget makeup?
Find out as much about your audience as you can.
What do they really want to know?
What are the common questions that they have?
What blogs or vlogs do they visit now?
What age range are they?
What Vlog Brand will you use?
You need a name for your vlog and channel.
You could use your own name for this and many people have been successfully doing this.
Or you can choose a specific name for your vlog which reflects what it’s about.
Here are some examples that we came up with (some of these may actually exist so check first):
- Beautiful You – a makeup vlog
- Exotic Destinations – a travel vlog
- [Sports Team] Fanzone – a sports team vlog
- Online Income – a make money online vlog
- All About Dogs – a dog vlog
So it is time for you to get a little creative.
Think ahead when you are brainstorming vlog name ideas.
With a successful vlog you can create and sell your own merchandise so a catchy name will certainly help here.
Why you must launch your Vlog on YouTube
Here are some compelling reasons why you should set up your vlog on YouTube:
- There are more than 1 billion users on YouTube
- Every day YouTube gets 4 billion video views (yes 4 billion!)
- You can succeed in any niche on YouTube
- Mobile devices account for 1 billion views per day
Is that exciting enough for you?
Look people love to watch videos on all kinds of different subjects.
They will use YouTube as a search engine to find what they want.
It is the second-largest search engine in the world after Google.
If your channel provides what those searchers are looking for then you will get views.
You can then tell your viewers to go and visit your website (or Facebook page etc) for more cool stuff.
Give them a good incentive to join your email list and they will do it.
Yes there are other video sites such as Daily Motion and Vimeo.
These sites get a pretty good amount of traffic but they are miles away from YouTube.
If anyone tells you that YouTube is saturated then just ignore them.
It is the only way to go for your vlog!
Create Channel Art and your YouTube Channel
A YouTube channel without channel art does not create a good impression.
So spend time designing and creating appropriate channel art for your vlog.
If graphic design is not your thing then go to Fiverr.com and find someone that is good at it.
Tell them what your channel will be about and give them your ideas for the channel art design.
It will only cost you a few bucks to have great looking channel art created.
This is well worth it.
You will also need a small image for your channel icon.
This is the logo for your vlog.
Once you have settled on this you can add it into all of your videos and on your merchandising going forward.
If you don’t already have a YouTube account then you will need to create a free Google account at https://www.google.com/.
This is very easy to do and will take you less than 5 minutes.
With your Google account set up head over to YouTube.com and log in with your Google account.
Then go to https://www.youtube.com/create_channel and create your vlog channel using your brand name.
After setting up your channel we highly recommend that you create a custom URL for your channel.
To do this your YouTube account needs to be more than 30 days old and you will need at least 100 channel subscribers.
You will also need a photo of yourself and channel art loaded.
Once you are at this point go to https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2657968?hl=en for precise instructions on how to create your custom channel URL.
This is really worth doing.
Plan the Content you will create
OK so your channel is all setup to go and the next step is to upload some videos. Take a look at other successful vlogs for inspiration here.
How did they start?
Think about adding elements to your videos that you will include all of the time.
For some this will be a look at the comments.
For others this is a recap.
If people like these recognizable segments they will come back for more and are very likely to subscribe.
Plan out the first few weeks of video creation and then schedule these.
Committing these to a schedule will help to motivate you.
Remember that consistency is the secret to a successful vlog.
Creating Great 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 YouTube 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 traveling 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 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 the 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 traveling 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 storyboard 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.
Promoting Your Vlog
When you create your new vlog and start to upload your videos you must do more than just rely on the optimization tactics we discussed in the last chapter for search traffic.
You need to tell the world about your new vlog!
It is never a case of “build it and they will come”.
You need to put in some continuous promotional effort to give your vlog every chance of developing a large following.
Some vloggers wait until they have a number of videos on their vlog such as 10 to 30, but our advice is to start promoting your blog as soon as your first video is up.
If you don’t have a huge social media following at the moment then don’t let that stop you.
Some vloggers started off with social accounts of less than 50 followers and now they are doing very well.
The key thing is to be consistent.
Tell Everyone that you know
Make a list of all of your family members, friends, work colleagues past and present and any other people that you know.
Use Facebook, email and any other means that you have to contact them and tell them about your new vlog.
If you haven’t spoken to some of these people in years then write them a nice email and tell them that you miss them.
Ask them to get in touch with you again if you want to do that.
Then tell them that you have started a new vlog and that you would really appreciate their support.
This is something that is so easy to do but most people don’t do it.
Unless you have a very good reason for not telling the people you already know about your vlog then tell them!
It can be a lot of fun making contact with people you have not been in touch with for years.
Ask them to spread the word to the people that they know too.
If you don’t have a Reddit account then sign up for one today.
It is a very popular platform that is overlooked by most people.
People create Sub Reddits on the platform that are dedicated to specific subjects and niches.
Not all of these are going to be a hit for you but here are some good ones for new vloggers:
Once you get your Reddit account use it to comment on other people’s accounts.
Try to create an account that matches your vlog brand name.
Be sure to follow the rules on Reddit as you can get your account closed very quickly if they think you are spamming.
Take a look at what others do in the Sub Reddits mentioned above.
You cannot and mustn’t ignore the biggest social media platform.
Facebook is a great place for posting videos and getting people to share your content.
Create a Facebook Page around your vlog brand.
It is really easy to do and there are plenty of videos on YouTube to show you how to do this effectively.
Add branded artwork to your Facebook page.
Make it look really professional.
Be sure to post other useful content on your page as well as your vlog videos.
Become friends with other people on Facebook that are in your niche.
Look for Facebook Groups that you can join that are related too.
Facebook has a good advertising service where you can specifically target your audience to drive traffic to your Facebook Page.
It is not just about getting “likes” to your page.
Encourage people to share and leave comments as well.
Twitter is a huge social media platform that it can be difficult to have success with.
But it is worth making the effort because with a large Twitter following you can really drive up subscriptions to your vlog.
Again don’t just make tweets about your vlog videos.
If this is all that you do then people will stop responding to your tweets.
Post some other useful tweets and re-tweet content from other Twitter users that is relevant to your vlog.
Succeeding with Twitter (as with other social platforms) is all about reaching out to others.
Follow people that you believe have an interest in your niche and reply to the tweets that they make and re-tweet them.
Share their content as much as you can.
A lot of people shy away from Instagram because it can be tricky to gain a following there.
But it is really worth persisting with as you can get a lot of YouTube views from this platform.
Instagram users like images as well as videos.
So take an interesting screenshot from your vlog videos and post these asking people to check it out.
One thing you need to know about Instagram is that you can’t link directly to your YouTube vlog from posts.
They do not allow external links.
So you need to set up a good bio in Instagram and link to your vlog from there.
When you make a post tell people that the link to your vlog is in your bio.
It is always a good idea to tell people exactly what you want them to do.
Quora.com is a forum where questions are asked on just about every topic under the sun.
It has a huge user base and is often overlooked as a promotional tool for vloggers.
It is also a great place to get inspiration for future videos for your vlog.
Find questions that have a direct relation to videos on your vlog.
Write an answer and then add something like “for a more detailed answer to this question please take a look at this video”.
If your video does a really good job answering the question then it will receive a lot of “up votes” which means more and more Quora users will watch it.
Make Comments on Videos posted by popular YouTubers’
While it is true that there are a lot of morons that make stupid comments on most YouTube videos (you will have to deal with this yourself at some stage) there are actually a lot of genuine people that leave comments as well.
Your job is to become one of these genuine people that leave sensible comments.
Find other related videos in your niche and leave a positive comment about it.
By becoming part of the conversation and adding value to other people’s videos there is a good chance that they will reciprocate by clicking on your username and checking out your channel.
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get more video views and subscribers so make sure that you do this.
It is very important that you choose the videos of popular YouTubers’ that have some relation to your vlog.
You don’t have to just add constructive comments to popular videos either.
Find other related high-quality videos that don’t have as many views and add comments to those too.
Don’t use a spam approach here – never ask the video poster to check out your channel and subscribe.
Use the YTTalk Forum
Join the YTTalk forum.
It is a very active forum for the YouTube community and there are people there with small and large channels.
Start contributing to other people’s posts and then use the forum as a feedback mechanism for your videos.
People that post videos on YouTube tend to watch other people’s videos as well so this is a great place to find more viewers and subscribers.
As always look to add value with your posts and replies.
Don’t resort to any form of spam.
Most vlog owners have never even heard of Empire.Kred let alone use it.
When you sign up you are awarded a stock value based on your social influence.
You can post your vlog content here and persuade other influencers on the platform to check it out and engage with it.
Other influencers on Empire.Kred can purchase stock in you if they like what you are doing.
This will increase the amount of “eaves” that you have (the digital currency used).
You can use your eaves to create specific tasks such as requesting other influencers to view your latest video etc.
You are not allowed to ask for specific engagement activities such as sharing, commenting or liking.
Just leave it to the influencer to make their own decision on this. Influencers will earn eaves from you for completing the task.
If the influencers like your vlog they will subscribe to your channel.
Engage with all Comments you receive
The best way to promote your vlog is to create a community.
As you grow your community more and more people will come back to your videos and share them, like them and leave comments.
You need to monitor comments on all of your videos and respond to them as fast as you can.
People will really appreciate that you took the time to respond to their comments.
You are proving that you are a real person and care about what they have to say.
This will motivate them to subscribe if they haven’t already done so and keep an eye out for your future videos.
Free Tools for Growing Your Youtube Channel
There are some essential tools that you can use to grow your YouTube channel and the good news is that they are all free.
Most of them are easy to use and the benefits are pretty obvious.
Let’s take a look at some of the best free tools.
The major benefit of using TubeBuddy is that it will save you a lot of time.
It also provides you with some great pointers to really grow your YouTube channel.
TubeBuddy is a browser app that works with the most commonly used browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.
When you use TubeBuddy you will find that it has dozens of useful features from checking the SEO optimization of your videos to helping you promote your channel.
There are comprehensive training videos available that explain everything really well.
You can literally save hours each week with this app.
You can do a great deal with the free version of TubeBuddy and we suggest that you start with this.
If you want more features then there is a Pro package available for $9 a month, a Star package for $19 a month and a Legend package for $49 a month.
YouTube Creator Studio
This is another free app which is great for checking the performance of your channel and videos on the go.
You can’t actually manage your videos with this app but you can do everything else.
It is great for finding out just how well your videos are performing, as well as look at the overall performance of your channel wherever you are.
There is a filter feature where you can respond to comments and create that essential connection with your viewers.
This feature alone makes the app worth installing on your smartphone.
We explained to you in the previous chapter that using social media to grow your YouTube channel and vlog is highly recommended.
To help you share your videos on social media platforms the Buffer app is a really great tool.
With Buffer you can schedule and post your content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
There is one simple dashboard for managing everything.
The free Buffer plan is for a maximum of 3 social accounts and you can schedule 10 posts a month as a single user.
If you have more than 3 social accounts or plan to make more than 10 posts a month then there are premium plans you can go for starting at $15 a month.
Whatever plan you choose you will save a lot of time if you use Buffer to schedule your posts.
There is a browser extension that you can use to post content automatically to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
It can be a real challenge to find great royalty-free music for your YouTube videos.
Audio Hero makes finding great music and sound effects for your videos really easy.
There is a huge library of more than 250,000 music clips and sound effects to choose from so you should never have any difficulty finding what you want.
Although the Audio Hero app is free, to use the soundtracks you will have to pay a small fee.
This is a lot better than running the risk of infringing copyright and even having your videos removed.
At the time of writing you can purchase 50 downloads of royalty free music clips or sound effects for only $9.99.
Creating your own graphics or finding a good and reliable graphic designer can be a real headache.
You know that you need high-quality graphics to grow your YouTube channel so what do you do?
Just use Snappa of course!
There are a lot of pre-made templates you can use in Snappa.
You can use Snappa easily to create your initial channel art and then for really attractive video thumbnails as you upload your videos.
It is really important that your thumbnails look great.
This can literally mean the difference between somebody watching your video and someone else’s.
The free version has 5,000 templates and you can create 5 graphics a month. If you want more then plans start at $10 a month.
Repost for Instagram
We cannot recommend Instagram highly enough as a great social platform to promote your vlog.
It has a huge user base that is growing all the time.
When you have the Repost for Instagram app you will be able to repost videos or images that your followers shared.
You can actually include the username of the person that shared the content (highly recommended) so that they get credit and your followers can easily check them out.
Ways to Monetize Your Vlog
OK so you have your YouTube channel set up correctly, you have uploaded some vlog videos and you are working hard to increase your subscriber numbers and video views.
Where is the reward for all of this?
This guide is about vlogging for profit so we are going to share with you some of the best ways to monetize your vlog here.
The truth is that there are many different ways that you can monetize your vlog and videos.
When you become a YouTube Partner you can display Google Adsense ads on videos that you choose.
If you are not aware of Google Adsense it is used by content publishers (such as vloggers and blog owners) to display Google Ads in or on their content.
Every time an ad is clicked you share the revenue with YouTube.
Now the first thing to say here is that it is unlikely that you will make a life-changing income with Google Adsense on your videos even if you have millions of views.
There are also various factors which affect how much of the revenue you receive such as:
- The number of views an ad receives (not all viewers of your video will see the ad)
- The length of time that the ad was visible (some ads are actually short videos)
- Was there any interaction with the ad?
- The demographics of your audience
- The amount of advertisers that want to advertise in your niche at the current time
As you have probably worked out it is not easy to predict the money you will make by enabling Google Adsense on your videos.
But you don’t have to worry about any of the factors above other than trying to get as many views to your video as possible.
There are different types of Google Adsense ads that you can display on your videos.
One of the most common is a standard banner displaying at the bottom of the video.
There are also short video trailers that can display at the start, during your video or at the end.
Sometimes the viewer can skip these trailers and other times they will have to watch them.
You will need to meet a number of criteria to be eligible for the YouTube Partner program and displaying Google Adsense ads.
The rules change often so it is best to visit https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72851#eligibility to see what the latest rules are.
Once you are a confirmed partner it is easy to monetize any of your videos by logging into your YouTube account and enabling monetization.
There are a number of payment methods that you can choose from including a check, wire transfer, electronic funds transfer, Western Union and more.
You need to think carefully about enabling these ads on your videos.
Some viewers will not mind an Adsense banner at the bottom of the video.
A trailer at the start that cannot be skipped may test the patience of some viewers though especially if they are new to your vlog.
With affiliate marketing you promote other people’s products and when a sale is made you earn a commission.
Commissions range from very small (a few cents) to very large (hundreds of dollars) for high ticket items.
Videos are a lot more persuasive than written text so you could be demonstrating a product or a piece of software and then add your affiliate link in the description.
Some people that own makeup vlogs for example make a fortune every month through affiliate marketing.
With most vlog niches there will be affiliate products and services that you can promote.
You just need to find them.
Use Google or another search engine and type in the type of product or service and then “affiliate program”.
So an example would be “makeup affiliate program”.
You can promote physical products and digital products too.
Digital products would normally be software, a “how to” guide, training videos and so on.
It can be harder to make a sale with digital products but the commissions are usually a lot higher than with physical products.
You can create your own merchandising for your vlog brand.
A good example of this is a t-shirt or sweatshirt with your brand logo on it or even caps.
There are companies you can use that will supply the clothes or caps in the right sizes and colors with your design printed on them.
There are other merchandising goods that are somewhat easier then clothes such as USB memory sticks with your logo, calendars with your logo, pens with your logo, phone cases and much more.
It is easy to find a company that will brand popular items for you.
Merchandising is not something that you need to think about when you are first starting out with your vlog.
You will need a lot of active subscribers to make a profit from merchandising.
But once you reach that large subscriber base then you can sell a lot of merchandise items regular and make good money.
Selling your own Products/Services
This is something that you can do fairly quickly with your vlog.
There are many different products and services that you can sell from your vlog.
Here are some examples:
- A book
- A “how to” guide
- A video training course
- Coaching services
The best way to do this is to teach your audience the basics of achieving something and then tell them that if they want to know the real advanced methods then they need your product.
Provide value in your videos to get your audience hooked but don’t give everything away for free.
One of the best ways to sell your products and services is through email marketing.
You will need to do this from your website or blog and then add this link in your video description.
Tell people in your videos the benefits of joining your email list.
Tell them that you will provide them more free tips and advice but only if they sign up for your list.
If you can get a brand sponsorship deal then you don’t have to worry about displaying ads or selling anything.
You will receive payment from the sponsor because they want you to promote what they offer on your vlog.
It is directly related to your vlog and will help your audience.
You will need to mention your sponsor in the videos.
Most of the time sponsors find vloggers.
They are only going to want to work with vloggers that have a large subscriber base so this can take time to happen.
If you have a lot of subscribers and your videos have large view counts then the sponsors will contact you.
There are now funding platforms such as Patreon.com that enable vlog fans to setup a monthly subscription to fund their favorite vloggers and keep them going.
A lot of vloggers are now turning to platforms like Patreon for a regular monthly income.
With Patreon you can set various levels of subscriptions.
You will need to offer your Patreon subscribers something more than you do your normal vlog subscribers.
They need to feel special and satisfied that they are funding you each month.
Vlogging Best Practices
If you want your vlog to be successful there are a few best practices that we highly recommend that you adopt.
These best practices are followed by all successful vloggers so you need to pay close attention here and follow them too.
Always Create High-Quality Videos
Always put your audience first.
What are they looking for?
What answers do they need to solve problems in their life?
How can you make their life more exciting and how can you entertain your audience?
Never upload low-quality videos to your vlog because you feel under pressure to give your audience something.
It is always about quality and not quantity.
If you put out something low quality then you will lose your audience.
Just don’t do this!
Use good equipment and software to create your videos.
You don’t need the most expensive digital camera on the market, but you do need to create videos that are clear with good audio quality.
Never use a poor quality microphone.
Always be passionate and excited in your videos.
If you are not passionate how can you expect your audience to be?
Once you start putting out your high-quality videos then your audience will want more and more from you.
You need to be consistent and create videos to a schedule of some kind.
If you leave it too long between one video and the next you will lose people.
You need to be patient with your vlog.
OK some vlogs have taken off really quickly and made their owners a lot of money in record time.
But this is the exception rather than the rule.
Take your time and be patient and focus on being consistent with quality and posting schedules.
Focus on getting more Subscribers
Don’t focus on money focus on gaining new subscribers.
Do everything you can to get the word out about your vlog.
When the subscribers come so will the money.
Use social media extensively and try other methods to promote your vlog.
Know what is working
YouTube has a lot of analytics to help you work out which of your videos are performing the best.
So use this to discover what is working and what is not.
Do more of what is working!
Tweak things to make them better.
Check your videos for the correct optimization.
There has never been a better time to start a vlog and we have provided you with everything that you need in this guide to plan and implement a successful one.
The demand for high-quality vlogs will continue to grow so get in now to tap into the rising trend.
Videos are always going to be the preferred medium for Internet users.
People are lazy and if they can spend 5 minutes watching a video on how to do something this is a lot easier than spending 20 minutes reading a 5,000 word blog post (like this post :)).
With a vlog you have a great opportunity to interact with your audience.
Ask them questions in your videos and request that they leave you answers in the comments section.
You can then thank them by replying to their comments.
You need to do everything that you can to grow your vlog.
This will increase your potential to make money from it.
So be sure to optimize all of your videos properly and keep getting the word out on social media.
So now it is over to you.
Start planning your new vlog right now.
If you need to invest in some good quality recording equipment then do so.
It will certainly be worth it and strengthen your commitment to your vlog.
We wish you every success with your new vlog!