7 Tips For YouTube Vloggers

That Nobody Ever Tells You

Since the dawn of YouTube, vlogging has been a frontrunner for entertainment and expression, where performer and audience are melded together through the medium of video.

With over 300 hours of new videos uploaded to the site every minute, and arising millionaires as young as 8 years old blossoming into the world of showbiz, maintaining more traffic than most prime-time networks could ever dream of, YouTube makes it easy to get carried away out of the grasp of reality.

A little over two years ago I picked up my video camera for the first time and started to shoot my weekend trip in Edinburgh with my girlfriend Zoe. A flame was ignited within me that day that has been blazing since.

Continuing the journey of daily video blogging and searching through the vast amount of web pages, and blogs, and vlogs, and how to guides for inspiration, I found that they all had one thing in common.

They were all success hacks.

There is nothing at all wrong with wanting to grow on YouTube and become successful, because at the end of the day, who doesn’t want financial and reputation success to be a part of their life? But if there is anything I have learned from shooting, editing, and uploading over 773 (as of today: Wednesday, 3rd August 2016) vlogs to YouTube, it’s that there is so much more that counts than just the numbers.

1. A Passion Project.

Vlog because you love to vlog.

You have to ask yourself “Why am I vlogging?”

In my time so far on YouTube, I’ve seen so many people come and go, connect and disconnect because they want to jump on the bandwagon and leave due to the amount of work they have to put in to actually get somewhere.

When I started this, I didn’t know much about vlogs. I knew that I loved films and just wanted to experiment a little, and I encourage anyone reading this to try it yourself, to experiment with things that may become your passion.

What would you like to do if money were no object? — Alan Watts.

What I’ve seen from a lot of these ‘vloggers’ that come and go is that they have no passion for the art of vlogging, or the thing they’re vlogging about. They’re simply following trends. There is drive to succeed, but audiences will see through this if they get a hint of a lack of passion.

If you have a message or something to show the world, then make sure you believe in it.

2. Everyone Else Is Taken.

Be yourself.

Just like with any sort of art-form, you need to be unique.

Inspiration is an extremely important criteria that needs to be incorporated into any creative project. Every piece of creative work has been inspired at some point or another by something else, but still maintains it’s own original outlook.

Pieces of work aren’t only original through content, but also through style. Certain styles work well with certain personalities. For example, people who are generally more extroverted may be inclined to talk a lot in their vlogs, whereas a much more introverted personality may not. Find what works for your character.

Originality takes hard work. It comes from within and it shows the world what you have to say about a particular idea. It can be made much easier though as long as you stay true to who you are and what you’re passionate about.

3. Collaborate.

Make friends.

Although this one can be found on a lot of other YouTube vlogger lists, it never makes the point that I want to make now.

Collaborate to make friends.

It may seem like an obvious one, but as I said before, it can be easy to lose your head in the numbers when it comes to YouTube. Sure, collaborating is an absolutely fantastic way to grow on YouTube, and if you are serious about your success on YouTube, it is an essential part of the early days at least.

I’ve met many of my really good friends through vlogging on YouTube. Some locally, and some from as far as North America (I live in Scotland). YouTube doesn’t have to be just a place to get your daily fix of entertainment, or a place to become rich and famous.

At it’s core, YouTube is a social media platform, so socialise. Meet people for the soul intention of meeting new people without thinking “how many subscribers will I gain from this?” You never who’s out there.

4. Commit.

It’s hard work.

It’s no myth that if you want something in life, it’s not going to be handed to you on a platter. You have to work hard for what you want and the same applies if you are serious about vlogging.

Audiences on YouTube are creatures of habit. People flock when they know when to (myself included). Make sure to let yours know exactly when they should come to expect your content, and stick by it. It’s hard to build a dedicated community, and it’s easy for them to leave when promises are broken. Commit a schedule that fits around your life and evolve it from there.

5. Everyone has their thing.

Does it matter what your friends think?

I remember contemplating for days, even weeks before filming anything, about whether or not I should dip my toe into the pool of video selfies. What would my friends say when I start talking with nobody around me? What will my family think about my life being exposed to the masses?

These thoughts often go through the mind of anyone about to creatively dive into an unknown abyss(or even just a pool).

Eventually we all take a plunge at some point in our lives. Whether it be that you want to become a painter, or a belly dancer, or a vlogger, it all comes down to whether it will make you happy. If vlogging makes you happy, or even just the thought of it does, then does it really matter what other people think?

Everyone needs a hobby. Everyone has their ‘thing’.

6. Haters gonna hate.

Ignore them.

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.” — Rocky Balboa.

Along with the thoughts from Tip 5. comes the dreaded realisation that at some point there will be people who either don’t like what you do, or simply just don’t like you. It may be for a number of different reasons. That’s life. But the best advice I can give to for this is:

Ignore it.

There will always be people trying to bring you down and kick you while you’re there until you’re chewing on your own teeth. But it’s up to you if you’re going to let them get to that point.

7. It’s not about the gear.

Tell a good story.

In a world where vlogging on YouTube is slowly being revolutionised by the likes of Casey Neistat and many other creators, and where the mainstream media is catching on to just how much of an impact YouTube is making on the real world, it has become a very competitive environment to survive in.

If you go into the comments of any of the top creator’s videos or listen to their Q&As, the same question arises time and time again.

“What camera do you use?”

It doesn’t matter.

As long as you can tell a compelling story nobody is going to care what camera you used. There are dozens, if not hundreds of marriage proposal videos on YouTube that have reached viral status and they’ve all done that by expressing a genuine, true story that captivates a core feelings of what it means to be human. It allows us to emote not because of the technology being used, but the story.

I hope that these tips have helped in some way or another if you’re thinking about vlogging, or just started.

It’s incredible how much vlogging has changed my life. For the better or worse? Who knows. But that’s for another day.

Thanks for reading.

Here’s one of my vlogs where I visit a Scottish island to see wild puffins!

This is my first post to Medium and would mean so much to me if you hit that heart button, and it helps other people see the story :)