Not too long ago was blogging, yesterday it was social media, but today, if you’re going to continue to create a swell on the web waves, then it’s vlogging that you’re going to have to start getting to grips with.
What Is Vlogging?
A good question at this point.
Vlogging is a term that has come about as a contraction of the words ‘video’ and ‘blogging’. Therefore, I’m sure that you don’t need me to unpack this little conundrum and tell you that a vlog is a ‘video blog’.
However, what I do feel like I need to emphasise is the fact that a vlog is a vlog, and not a promotional video. Indeed, to understand what a vlog is, we must first recap over exactly what a blog is.
Ok, So What’s A Blog?
Well, the term ‘blog’ actually came about as a contraction of two other words – ‘web’ and ‘log’.
Blogs are web logs, meaning that they are a regular or systematic record of incidents or observations that are made public exclusively via the World Wide Web. Ok, so that’s the technical answer, but of course blogging has evolved over the years and now takes on a very distinctive character.
This is a blog. Yes, this. What you’re reading right now. You have found your way to the GetResponse Blog, and are reading a blog post about vlogging.
How’s it going so far? Are you learning something? Is the content relevant to the offerings from GetResponse? Are you entertained? I sincerely hope that you can answer ‘yes’ to all three of those previous questions, for if you can then that means that I’m doing my job.
Blogs are what websites have come to use as a means of adding value to their goods or services by means of providing free information and content to their online following. They are used for the purposes of SEO, for engaging online audiences, and for positioning webmasters as thought leaders and authorities in their field in the hope that this will drum up more business.
What Blogs Are Not
Importantly, blogs are not designed to directly peddle the products and/or services that the website has to offer. They are not advertisements or hard sells. Nor are they the hymn sheet from which you sing your own praises.
Put simply – blogs are not about you. No, blogs are not there so that you can tell the world how great your business is, what an innovative brand you are, the good deeds that you are doing, or the influence that you may or may not have. On the contrary –
Take this blog post for example. What I’m trying to do here is impart some useful, actionable and insightful information. My focus so far has primarily been on blogging as a means to illustrate what will be required from your vlog.
So, can you guess where I’m going next…?
What Vlogs Are Not
Vlogs are not advertisements or hard sells. They are not promotional videos for your products or services. They are not there so that you can peddle the products and/or services that your website has to offer. They are not the music score from which you blow your own trumpet.
Vlogs are not about you.
So What Are Vlogs?
Vlogs are simply blogs that take the form of video rather than text. Vlogs are about your customers, clients, and other people that are interested in your industry, of which you are just a tiny part.
Just like blogs, your vlog will be a medium through which you will add value to what you are selling through the provision of valuable, useful and entertaining free information on subjects that surround your industry.
Cool. So let’s see what you need to start making your very own vlog…
3 Ways To Get Started Vlogging Today
The way people engage with videos is the reason behind why so many bloggers are now turning their hands to vlogging.
There are numerous ways in which you can go about your vlog, but you must always remember that what you are doing is trying to add value to your product or service by providing some useful information for free that your followers simply cannot get elsewhere.
So, to start with you’ll need some form of video camera. Vlogs, however, are often quite endearing when they’re a bit amateurish in terms of production, and, so long as the actual content manages to carry the viewers through and hold their attention, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start off by using the camera on your smartphone to get the ball rolling. Once you’ve built up a bit of confidence and enthusiasm, then perhaps it might be time to start thinking about investing in something a little more expensive high-tech.
But, until then, here are 3 great tools and gateways you can use to start vlogging today!
With this tool, you don’t even need a camera. That’s right – you can start off with a screencast. Just a few clicks with Screencast-O-Matic and you will start recording everything that you are doing on your computer screen.
This is of course ideal for ‘how-to’ demonstrations if you’ve got a software product that needs explaining, but there’s no reason why you can’t use it to take your viewers through all the latest industry news on the web, commenting on it as you go. Indeed, this is rather a nifty idea, I think – with a little effort to build your following, your news round-up vlog could very easily and quickly become known as the one to watch for everyone in your industry. So start one today!!
2. Live Hangouts (and now Blab!)
Google+, Hangouts and YouTube are all owned by the one and only internet search giant that is Google. This means that creating some great interview-style video content is as simple as it is quick and easy.
You’ve already got a Google+ account (or at least you should have), and so all you need to do now is start a Hangout video conferencing session with “Hangouts On Air” enabled. Once you start filming, it will be broadcast live for your Google+ audience, and a recording will be sent straight to your YouTube account. Simple.
Alternatively, you can start making use of the (relatively) new social network Blab for the purposes of conducting vlog-style video interviews. Blab, which I wrote about in some detail a couple of weeks ago (see ‘How To Use Blab For Marketing’), has literally been built for the sole purpose of broadcasting of live interviews – so this really is one of the most perfect platforms on which you can cut your vlogging teeth.
Periscope is another (relatively) new kid on the block in the video content world. Owned by Twitter, it is used for the purposes of live broadcasting videos amongst your network and to the Periscope world at large. All you need is a smartphone and you can start streaming live to your following as you ponder this week’s would-be blog post out loud in real-time, perhaps as you take a leisurely stroll around the park – that would be nice. And all the while your viewers can send you comments, likes and questions via Periscope’s live instant messenger.
Another free and innovative tool to get started vlogging.
What other free tools are out there that provide a shortcut into the world of vlogging? Let us know in the comments below.