How to Start a Vlog: The Complete Beginner’s Guide

Tips to starting a vlog


While competition is stiff, it’s never been easier and more accessible to vlog in 2022
In this guide, we break down what a vlog is and why you should start. We then give you the best practices and advice for making a successful vlog
From tips about gear and editing to FAQs, this is the ultimate beginner’s guide for starting a vlog
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Whether you want to be the next big YouTube star, learn how to start becoming an influencer, indulge in a hobby or share your knowledge with the world, you’re probably looking at how to start a vlog. In 2022, the competition for YouTube vlogging has never been tougher, but it has also never been more accessible.

If you aim to start a vlog in 2022, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be taking you through a step-by-step beginner’s guide to ensure that you don’t just know how to start a vlog, but you understand what it takes and how to start a successful vlog. When you’re starting a YouTube channel like this, there are a few best practices that can really help kickstart your content creator journey. So let’s get into it.

What is a vlog?

First things first, before you start YouTube vlogging, you may want to understand what a vlog actually is. The word “vlog” is short for video log or video blog, and that’s essentially what a vlog is – it’s a blog in a video format. You’ll most likely be sharing this vlog online via YouTube (or TikTok and Instagram), but apart from those rules, everything else is up to you.

That’s partly why starting a vlog is so attractive – you get full creative control over what is essentially your own TV show! You’re fully entitled to create whatever you want and how you want to create it. This freedom is a relatively new concept media world and creativity, and it’s why so many of us have looked into how to vlog on YouTube.

Why start YouTube vlogging?

You’ve most likely already seen the success and enjoyment that comes with starting a vlog whenever you watch some of your favorite YouTubers, right? While it’s not guaranteed, YouTube vlogging can be a really enjoyable and fulfilling process.

You may look at how to vlog on YouTube simply because you want to be the next big YouTube star – a Casey Neistart or Emma Chamberlain in 2022. On the other hand, perhaps you want to do it simply to indulge in your niche hobby, hoping to reach out and find other people within your community. You may also want to share your knowledge and expertise with others.

Whatever your reasons, YouTube vlogging can become the vessel in which you deliver your story and message to the world. It can be that enjoyable, creative outlet that we all need in life, and it can become an important driver of revenue for your business.

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How to start a vlog

If you want to know how to start a vlog, there are a few essential first steps for you to consider. Let’s go through them.

Choose a platform

First and foremost, you’ll want to pick the platform on which you’ll be hosting your vlog. Naturally, YouTube is the primary candidate here. It’s the birthplace of modern vlogging as we know it, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

how to vlog on youtube or ig or tiktok

However, you may also want to bear in mind platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Both are competitors to YouTube, wanting to muscle in on the video platform scene. With TikTok just announcing that a maximum video length can now be up to 10 minutes long, the next few years could be intriguing. Perhaps you want to diversify your strategy, involving a mix of relevant platforms in your content calendar.

Pick a niche

The 2nd step when learning how to become a vlogger should be picking a niche. Realistically, 99.9% of us aren’t going to draw a huge audience just on our winning personalities, right? While we’re all interesting people, there’s simply too much content saturation out there. So when you’re first starting a vlog, you need something that differentiates you from the crowd and keeps people coming back.

That’s why you pick a niche. This niche can be anything you want. Whether it’s travel, road cycling, home cooking, makeup, skiing, you name it. All we advise is that you pick something that you’re really passionate about. That way, it’ll be easier for you to film your vlogs and find your style. Your enthusiasm will naturally shine through in videos, giving people one more reason to come back and watch another.

Pick the right gear

Speaking of filming vlogs, no “how to start a vlog” guide is complete without discussing equipment, right? There are no right or wrong answers here, and as you’ll see on YouTube, people vlog on everything from their humble smartphones to crazy cinematic cameras that need 6 months of gym workouts just to lift.

Ultimately, we’d advise that the best vlogging camera strikes the right balance between price, quality and weight. Remember – you have to carry this thing around with you all day and most likely in public. So keep your camera of choice light and small, but ensure it has a good level of autofocus and image stabilization, as well as a flip-out screen so you can see yourself while filming.

Additional factors to consider are the vlog lighting setup and your audio. For example, do you need a ring light? We also recommend looking into shotgun mics as audio is equally important as image quality. In general, audiences don’t mind a slight reduction in image quality if the story is good, but as soon as the audio is bad? They’ll stop watching.

Follow the 3-act story structure

While YouTube vlogging is all about experimenting and doing things a bit differently, we can highly recommend following the 3-act story structure. This gives every video a framework that’s both useful for you and the audience. There’s a beginning (where you establish what you’re doing and what the problem or challenge is), the middle (where you tackle the issue at hand) and the end (where you wrap things up and conclude). During Casey Neistat’s infamous vlogging years, he was the master at this. Go watch some of his videos, and you’ll always find that 3-act story structure cropping up.

Study your favorite creators

In general, if you’re looking at how to start a successful vlog, it’s a good idea to study those who have gone before you and done it. Whoever your favorite creators are, do some homework on them. Why are they successful? What do you like about their videos? What gear do they use? While being unique and genuine is the ultimate key in unlocking how to become a vlogger, it doesn’t hurt to be inspired and take ideas from those you look up to.

Editing your first vlog

If you’re looking at how to start a successful vlog from an editing point of view, there are a few key takeaways:

  • The first few seconds are crucial. Your viewers have an unlimited amount of videos to watch. If you don’t grab their attention right away, they will move on. So, at the beginning of any edit, make sure you jump straight into the action and set the story up with the promise to deliver what they want. This will give them a reason to keep watching.
  • Make sure your video is well branded with your channel throughout the edit. Don’t be afraid to remind people to like and subscribe using some motion graphics, and when it comes to the end of the vlog, give people a reason to come back for more.
  • Vlogs are more often than not quite short in length – perhaps no more than 10 minutes and certainly no longer than 20. To maintain people’s attention, you need to make the edit snappy and fast-flowing. Use jump cuts and different camera angles to keep things fresh and interesting. Remember – vlogs are different than conventional films. They need to move at a fast pace.

Don’t forget licensed music

Music adds a lot to any video and choosing the right music for your vlog can help make it stand out in the crowd. At Artlist, you will find plenty of high-quality royalty-free music perfect for vlogging, and you can choose between an unlimited license that covers every video platform and a license that covers only social media. And to help you find the perfect song for your vlog fast, check out our curated collections – vlogging music, travel vlogging songs and many others.

Uploading your vlog 

Depending on where you’re going to be uploading your vlog, the upload process will differ slightly. However, there are a few key things to bear in mind.

Ultimately, you want people to click and watch your video, right? Therefore, you need to think about factors such as the YouTube keywords you’re going to use, the title, the thumbnail and your video description.

Wrapping up

So, that’s our beginner’s guide dealing with how to start a vlog. Whether you’re in it for fame and money or just want to pursue a hobby, by following these best practices on how to become a vlogger, you can’t go too far wrong.

As I always like to remind people, the most important thing is to just practice and understand that this process takes time. When looking at how to start a vlog and make money, you need to know that a lot of patience is required. Nothing happens overnight, and it’s a case of learning as you go.

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Frequently asked questions

There isn't much of a difference, but we'd say that a YouTuber doesn't necessarily "vlog". They might be uploading different styles of video on a less frequent basis. Being a vlogger means you regularly upload content that can be categorized as a vlog.

The main hurdle is to just start! Many people spend a lot of time thinking about how to start a vlog and make money, but few ever actually put those plans into action. Follow the points and advice within this article, and you can't go too far wrong.

The best advice for choosing a topic is to pick something that you're naturally interested in and passionate about.

Yes, absolutely. If your channel grows and you pull in enough views on your videos, you can begin to earn money through your YouTube vlogging via Google AdSense and other things such as brand sponsorship and product placement. Bear in mind, though, this will take time and monetizing on YouTube doesn't happen overnight.

Josh Edwards is an accomplished filmmaker, industry writing veteran, storyteller based in Indonesia (by way of the UK), and industry writer in the Blade Ronner Media Writing Collective. He's passionate about travel and documents adventures and stories through his films.

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