vlog tipsThey say a picture is worth a thousand words.

If that’s true, then a video is worth, like, infinite words.

Video; I love it, you love it, everyone loves it. It is the Fred Obachi Machoka of media (only 70’s kids will get that). Video has the power to do so much, from conveying new information to improving on already existent ones, and it’s somewhat unique in that regard. We here at BAKE love books, obviously, but even we have to admit there’s a lot of books that have been improved by their film adaptations (see: Gone Girl, The Godfather, etc) whereas the inverse is never true (see: literally every instance of this).

[rests case]

Since we’re the Bloggers’ Association of Kenya, we’re going to talk video in a way that fits that tiele i.e. vlogs, which is actually short for video blogs. Bet you didn’t know that, huh? The connection is very subtle. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Anyway, today’s post is about the technicalities of vlogging for beginners. For matters content, read our previous article on choosing topics.

1. Horizontal or vertical?

Listen, don’t ever shoot in vertical video. Just don’t. It’s wasteful.

2. Video?

Now that we’ve concluded how you should place your camera, we should look at what kind of quality you should be rocking with. We’re living in a time where one can get some very good cameras on an affordable phone. That’s Moore’s Law for you. Find a camera that’s at least 13 megapixels and can shoot in full HD. That way, you can have your viewers keep up with you without losing quality when watching on larger screens.

If money ain’t a thing, you’re advised to use a DSLR camera as they give you more recording options and allow you to fine tune the image from the beginning.

Try not to go crazy with filters. Most modern cameras will adjust lighting and focus with a single click. Have your camera rest on a flat surface or a tripod stand to maintain focus.

3. Audio?

This is where things get a little tricky.

If you’re recording on a phone, try to minimize movement. If you’re outside and walking, try to walk slower and keep the phone as close as possible to reduce noise from wind. If you’re indoors, avoid places that introduce noise from outside such as windows. When using the same for lighting purposes, make sure it is locked. If, again, money ain’t a thing, invest in a professional standalone microphone.

If you want to use music in your videos, use instrumental tracks only, no words. Have them play in the background at a lower volume than your own voice, if that’s what is in the foreground. Choose something that’s unintrusive, blends into the background, loops seamlessly and from a royalty-free music website, because copyright infringement is real and so are YouTube strikes.

Demonetization is not cute at all.

4. Editing?

There’s not much to say here.

Pace your videos well.

You’re given a pass on continuity for a vlog, so don’t worry about that.

The amount of cuts you want to have is up to you. You mostly also get a pass for this as long as it’s not too much. Ideally, you should at the very least not have sentences being interrupted left, right and center. When recording, do as many takes as you can so you have more to choose from when editing the final video. This is also how you get funny B-roll when making a blooper reel for your viewers so you can show them that you are, indeed, human.

The editing software to use depend on your level of tech expertise.  For beginners running the basics, I would recommend iMovie. YouTube also has a built-in editor. For more advanced users who want to use special effects in their videos, I would suggest Sony Vegas. Windows Movie Maker was good, but it’s time to move on to more improved alternatives. Unless you don’t want to, in which case you can tell me all about it by calling me through your Kencell number on your Siemens mobile phone and after that, we can talk about how much fun you’re having in 2001 trying to figure out this whole multiparty democracy thing, whatever it is.

5. Anything else?

Yeah, but it’s not a lot.

When recording, look directly at the camera lens, not the screen. We understand you’re worried about what you look like on camera, but the final product when you record like this is a video where you’re not making eye contact with your viewers, and that’s just a conversational no-no.

Check the background of your videos to ensure there isn’t anything back there that doesn’t belong. Be mindful of props you use. For instance, when entering passwords on camera, make sure what you’re typing isn’t visible or simply cut it from the final video. Any sensitive information should also be handled with care. this includes bank cards and ID. There’s very bad people cruising YouTube with large TVs ready to zoom in on your personal details. Stay safe online.

Design catchy thumbnails and titles but don’t make them misleading/clickbait. This could affect your viewership in the long run.

Never forget to ask your audience to subscribe to your channel at the end, like I’m about to do below:


If you found these tips insightful, tell a friend to tell a friend who knows someone who has a vlog to submit them for our awards here.  Follow us on Twitter for all the latest in blogging.

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