How to create your own video blog

Blogs have been extremely popular as a platform to put across opinions, inform the public, or simply to share content. A video blog, or a vlog, is similar, except that it uses the medium of video.
Kaavya Chandrasekaran        Print Edition: May 2013

Blogs have been extremely popular as a platform to put across opinions, inform the public, or simply to share content. A video blog, or a vlog, is similar, except that it uses the medium of video.

STEP 1
EQUIPMENT

Equipment is no longer a worry, for good quality digital video can now be shot using camcorders or point-and-shoot cameras, even smartphones. Ideally, they should have HD (720p) or FullHD (1080p) resolution. Nowadays, almost all digital cameras and even top-end smartphones have FullHD. The DSLR camera has been gaining popularity in this area as it is considered an investment for capturing stunning photos and broadcast-quality video. Consider purchasing a tripod if you are going to be vlogging frequently, since it would add a professional touch and avoid shaky video.

STEP 2
SHOOTING

  • Be creative with the placement of the camera and your position in front of it. There are a number of tutorials online that get into detail about composition.
  • Make sure there is sufficient lighting. Recording in daylight is the best option, otherwise supplement with external lighting.
  • When it comes to video production, lavaliere microphones pick up sound without noise disturbances. Be aware of any distractions. The microphone should be attached firmly to the collar - and ensure it is on. The narration style is based on the nature of your vlog. Research and rehearse beforehand; prepare a script so you're not nervous in front of the camera.

STEP 3
PROCESSING VIDEO

For editing video, you can use inbuilt software such as Windows Movie Maker or Apple iMovie. There are also free programmes available online for editing video like YouTube Video Editor, Video Toolbox and WeVideo. Essentially, these video editors will let you add background tracks, transitions, subtitles and the like. You can experiment with a few of these and stick to one that works best for you.

You can upgrade to something more sophisticated like Final Cut Pro or Premier Pro later. The length of the video depends on the nature of the subject. Some recommend keeping them short, to a couple of minutes, due to bandwidth limitations. For the same reason, make sure your file is not very heavy.

STEP 4
PUBLISHING

The video can be published directly through video sharing websites such as YouTube or Vimeo. Alternatively, embed video from these platforms along with textual content on a blog platform like Wordpress or Blogger. It has a number of video plugins, and even exclusive themes dedicated to video. This would be a good way to showcase content, especially if you are planning to go video exclusive. Come up with suitable titles and descriptions keeping search engines in mind.

The video would have to be compressed, exported and uploaded based on requirements of the platform of choice. It is pretty simple - just follow instructions provided on the website. You could even have a video podcast, where videos are uploaded frequently. RSS is a way to ensure people come back to your site.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
  • Provide SEO (search engine optimisation) friendly titles with appropriate descriptions, and make sure to test links. A few minutes to take care of such details, will make your venture worthwhile.
  • Being meticulous about descriptions, rehearsing beforehand and testing equipment will all pay off.
  • Be responsive to comments and get feedback from your audience. Showing that you care is part of
  • building a successful vlog.

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