Like your own face and voice? Vlog!
A vlog is for life, not just for Tuesdays.
Like an incredibly dull FBI agent, I am back profiling. Not killers, but jobs.
Today we look at vlogging, a somewhat baffling business to me but I’m led to believe that you can become a very successful and a very rich vlogger (not guaranteed, don’t get excited) if you do it right.
Apparently, people love vloggers. They are some of the most important and famous cultural pioneers of our time* and have a mass global appeal influencing the lives of countless individuals**.
*I can’t believe I just wrote that and that it is true.
**Although, youtube does have a views counter so maybe you could count them?
Vloggers vlog about many things but the most viewed vloggers are usually vlogging about the worlds of beauty, entertainment, lifestyle and gaming (wait, what? Gaming? Seriously..). Maybe you can amalgamate the four together and vlog about playing Streets of Rage on the Mega Drive whilst doing your makeup to look like Blaze Feilding or Axel Stone. All the time simultaneously telling an incredible true-life story about a touching personal battle with haemorrhoids and shovelling soil down an unsuspecting friend’s pants? It’s just a thought.
I will be focusing on the basic ‘entry level’ requirements to vlogging but keep your eyes open throughout the article for some very interesting links to articles from our friends at Vlogger Gear who go into much more depth regarding the whole ‘vlogging’ scene. In fact, we might as well start with this one. ‘What is a vlog?’
Firstly, and most importantly you’ll need something to vlog about. I’d like to say it could be anything but I am pretty confident that’s not how it works. It’ll need to be something clever, fun, interesting and original (is that possible now?) as you’re going to need people to be interested in what you’re doing. You can find inspiration by going online and
stealing ideas from researching the popular vloggers of the moment, however, make sure that your content is original and not ‘tea-leafed’. Plagiarism is bad!
Once you have decided on your vlogging niche you’ll need somewhere to show off your wares. As we are working on the basics we’ll stick with youtube. You will have to create a channel and give it a suitable username. Have a really solid think about the theme of your vlog. You want to make sure that your style is one that will engage your viewers and bring them back for more. I, for instance, have been trying this ill-judged and almost certainly ill-fated, slightly sardonic approach* on Digital Nomad Jobs for a while now. I’ll let you judge how that’s working out for me.
*It’s not an approach. It’s a way of life.
Next up you’ll need the right equipment. You can read more about that in the below section but basically, you need a camera and a tripod. Oh, and a computer of course.
Once you’ve got your idea, your account and your equipment you are ready to start filming. Sit down, have a few drinks if it helps you relax*, and get to recording.
*Maybe do a vlog about wine, that would be cosmic. I will happily do a guest vlog if I can sit and drink wine whilst talking about how much I love wine and how much is wrong with the world and how easily I could fix it if people just listened…
Try to be creative with your videos. No one wants to see you sat in the same chair, in the same room, banging on about the same problems view after view after view. Take it outside pasty face, get some sun on your bones and some views on your vids!
As always, it is important to learn from others mistakes, that is why I am letting you in on a mistake of my own. Don’t be guilty of endlessly going on and using too many words to emphasise a small detail and drag out the video (or post). It is merely an egregious attempt to prolong your view time (word count) and I for one wouldn’t be party to such an outrageous tactic*!
*71 extra words there, not bad.
Right, when you’ve finished filming it’s time to get editing and cut the wheat from the chaff. You may already have editing software but it not you can find some in the hardware section below.
Next, you can upload your video and connect with fellow vloggers across the globe. Make sure you give your vlog a snappy title and then promote yourself. Use the usual social media sites etc and see what you can do. If you’re not sure how to promote your vlog I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find a vlog about it on youtube somewhere! For more on how to be a successful YouTube vlogger click here.
Don’t take any excessive criticism to heart. Technical constructive critique is good. Nasty and personal attacks are mean and disgusting.
The internet is full of idiots that have nothing better to do than search out things and people and bully them. If anyone gives you grief about your vlog feel free to give them the finger from me! In fact, I insist that you do.
What do I need skill wise?
You need to be entertaining, engaging and confident. That’s why I am not a vlogger. Well, that and my inherent dislike of any form of public speaking. Even on a pre-recorded video. It’s just not for me. I can’t stand the nerves or stomach even the vaguest form of criticism.
Anyway, enough about my own issues. Yes, you will need an entertaining personality and a certain flair in front of a camera. You will also need to constantly create new content so motivation is a must. Vloggers need to have an air of ‘I know what I am talking about and I believe in it’. So if that can be classed as a skill it’s a good one to have.
Amazing camera skills are not incredibly important really. I figure you can always learn as you go along, it’s basically just ‘point and click’ after all. You’ll need some software savvy when it comes to editing but it’s so easy to do these days. Even I could make a movie if I wanted to*.
*And it would be tremendous, the greatest movie ever made, everyone would say so.
You’ll also need to be clued up on how to build and maintain a solid social media presence.
What do I need hardware wise?
You’re going to need a camera, a tripod, a computer, an internet connection and some editing software. You can find out about all of the latest and greatest vlogging gear on, er, Vlogger Gear and other websites such as B&H Photo.
Where do I find work?
I guess you find you’re own work. Upload to the major video sharing websites, build yourself a following and watch the money (pennies) come flooding (trickling) in (out)!
There are a few different ways for vloggers to earn money but you can supplement your income in a few ways. Consider becoming a video editor or another vloggers social media manager for instance. Just whilst you’re waiting for your channel to take off of course.
Make sure to check out a few of the bigger freelance job sites as you can often find companies hiring vloggers or strategists as they are sometimes known. Bear in mind that some of the larger companies may be looking for vloggers with degrees in media or an equivalent. They can be a bit snooty like that.
What can I earn?
Millions upon millions, absolute zip or anything in between. It’s difficult to put a figure on it really. For every successful vlogger, there are 1 million unsuccessful ones – that is in no way a real statistic, I made up for dramatic effect – so as well as having all the skills you will need a slight element of luck I reckon. Personally, I would never in a million years have put any time or effort into watching some of the vloggers I have come across whilst writing this. But millions of others have and they are the rich video makers, not me, so yeah.
How well does it suit the digital nomad lifestyle?
Amazingly cosmically. The equipment list is small and the work can be done from anywhere. You’re much more likely to get viewers if you can film your (exciting, in-depth, amazing) vlog somewhere fun to look at. You’ve also got a world of content just waiting for you to vlog it. This could be the ultimate digital nomad job provided you do it right. Good luck and good vlogging.
Run a vlog or know of any good ones relevant to digital nomad life? I want to hear from you.
As part of digital nomad jobs newest incarnation, I am trying to put together a list of useful links to help all digital nomads make the best of there travels. If you have any ideas please share them in the comments below or email me and I will have a look and maybe add them to the list. Thanks.