Video blogging (or vlogging) has taken the online internet TV community by storm, and we think the industry shift from ‘blogger to vlogger’ is exciting.
Anyone with a camera, an internet connection and something to say, can vlog, and we’ve made the move from blogger to vlogger recently too.
Vlogging is a great way to showcase your experiences and personality via the video format.
Thanks to fast internet you can upload a vlog to YouTube pretty much anywhere on the planet, whether it be from a cafe in Gastown, Vancouver or at a truckstop in the middle of Outback Australia.
The great thing about vlogging is that there are so many micro-communities which allow you to connect with like-minded people who share your passion. A quick search will connect you with thousands of communities, for example, travel, cooking, dogs, craft beer and gaming.
Travel vlogging has an enormous online community. Many bloggers have made the transition too, and are sharing their experiences with the world.
The best part is that you don’t need expensive eqipment to start a travel vlog.
Many YouTubers have opted to use their smartphone or a basic digital camera.
My top five tips for travellers to help you shift from blogger to vlogger are…
Select your niche (what are you passionate about?)
The first question you need to ask yourself is what are you going to vlog about?
Choose a niche or something you really care about. This will help you focus on topics (content) that you know or are an expert on.
Mine are travel, food and dogs. Who doesn’t love eating food and patting dogs while travelling? (wash your hands though!).
When you talk about your passions people will find you more interesting because your enthusiasm easily shines through.
I can talk about food and dogs forever.
Be specific and people (your viewers) will find you.
Keep your clips short
Try and hook your viewer in the first few seconds and spark their curiosity.
Your video should share a creative story showcasing all of your best bits filmed on an adventure.
Tell the audience what they are going to see to give them a reason to keep watching. Don’t save your best bits until the end.
Current industry statistics show that for optimum engagement stick to about two to four minutes in length.
If you need more time don’t be afraid of breaking your longer videos up into digestible bits to create a series.
Practice makes perfect
Anyone who has tried moving from blogging to vlogging will know that talking into a camera lens is not as easy as it sounds, especially at first.
Practice makes perfect though!
Pick up a camera and start talking or you can sit down in front of a mirror and pretend it’s the camera.
It’s important to know the right angles and movements for you as you vlog.
As you watch yourself you’ll notice things that you can do to improve. The more you do it, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel.
Just let your partner know in advance otherwise they might think you are to talking yourself (again!).
To build your audience you need to consistently upload high quality vlogs.
Your subscribers like to know that you are active.
Vlogs which are entertaining and engaging will always have an audience.
Don’t wait weeks or even months until you upload a new vlog otherwise your loyal fans may have moved on.
Stick to a schedule. If you regularly upload a video on Sunday at 8am make sure you meet the deadline.
Sound is important
Audio is just as important as video quality.
If your audience can’t hear or understand what you’re are saying they will move on.
If your videos always have poor sound quality, people will avoid them.
If you are filming in a quiet room, a good quality camera microphone will be sufficient.
However, if you plan on venturing outdoors a good external directional microphone will help aleviate a lot of background noise.
Browse Ebay and Amazon for options.
Alternatively, you can also record audio on another separate device like a phone or Zoom recorder.
Learn to filter your experiences through personality.
Be yourself on camera.
Viewers want to trust and connect with the person they are watching. Use this to your advantage.
Look directly into the camera and speak to the viewer.
Be friendly. Be approachable. Be yourself.
Do you have other tips or questions? Let us know in the comments.
PS an update to this – we recently had success with a vlog series filmed in Malta – take a look here
We love our east London hub in Dalston – there’s so much great music, theatre, coffee, art and now… antiques.
I’ve disocvered this amazing and eclectic Dalston cafe and antiques store called Aris – you simply must step inside to experience it, now open in east London (diagonally opposite Dalston Junction train (overground) station).
The government set this up, in the hope these chains will minimise alcohol-related health problems. The idea is to sell alcohol in a responsible way, without the incentive of making a profit. They are strict about checking ID too.
You need to be 20 years old to purchase alcohol at Systembolaget stores. In bars, clubs and restaurants the drinking age is 18.
How to buy alcohol in Sweden: Systembolaget open hours
Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturdays 10am – 1pm
Sundays and public holidays: closed
Do you have tips or questions on how to buy alcohol in Sweden? Let us know in the comments.
There are several things Sarah and I have in common: our passion for dogs (we love all kinds), food (my favourite is Thai) and travel, and they pretty much follow in that order.
With the Easter holidays finally upon us we jumped at the chance to get back on the road and Wales was on the radar, particularly Tenby and travel around the southern coast. Dogs and Thai food an expected bonus.
We arrive by train (book on Trainline or National Rail three months in advance for the best rates), having travelled from London’s Paddington station, via Swansea and across the southern coast.
As always we were eager to explore our new surroundings and everything Tenby might hold for us. Sarah and I decided to base ourselves at Croyland guest house which is conveniently just a five minute walk from Tenby train station, a stone’s throw from the centre of town and the dramatic cliff-top ocean views of Wales’ stunning coastline.
Armed with our cameras we strode into town excited by what lay ahead. Within minutes of our departure we are confronted by Tenby’s iconic coastline.
The first thing that catches my eye is the sheer expanse of the sea which looks like a rippling blanket of aqua-blue embracing the coastline’s vertical rocky cliffs.
Tenby’s picturesque harbour can’t be missed. I’d seen it many times on postcards, pictures and advertisements, but there’s nothing like witnessing the real thing. Lean fisherman unload their haul while squabbling seagulls cry overhead, keen to scavenge whatever is left of the loot. We drink in our surroundings and click happily, capturing the scene which is dominated by the famous pastel tinted houses perched along the overhead hills.
The beautiful beach below reminds us of our fine sandy offerings back in Australia. I discovered it was during the Georgian and Victorian (19th Century) period that Tenby became popular with tourists because they believed the waters had therapeutic healing powers.
The appreciation of families and the abundance of happily barking dogs enjoying the cascading waves on the shore below was certainly leaving the impression that this place never fails to impress.
A foody aroma entertains our senses so we set off in pursuit of a meal. For lunch we eventually chose the cosy family-run Caffe Llew – homely and highly recommended! It’s situated just down from the 800 year old St Mary’s Church. Of course, we later discovered many pubs, cafes and restaurants offer meal and drink deals, and we didn’t have a negative dining experience here, so would suggest all are worth a try.
The medieval town of Tenby is encased by an imposing stone wall – a reminder of an earlier period when it was once fortified by the Normans. Its maze of narrow cobbled streets, colourful houses and medieval buildings is wonderful, and it’s easy to envy those who get to dwell here just a little bit longer.
Tenby truly tops our list of most charming seaside stops, and not only is the town itself well worth hanging out in for a few days, but it’s the ideal place to explore the surrounding southern coastal region of Pembrokeshire.
We’re used to using cards for everything, but we discovered more often than not in Wales (especially the smaller towns like Tenby) cash is king, so don’t be caught short because swiping ain’t going to get you far here.
Actually, we had great difficulty with coverage and internet in Wales (bit challenging when you’re a travel blogger). Let’s just say that you need to have an idea of where you’re trying to go, because it’s not really helpful if you’re relying on Siri and just as she’s explaining how to navigate the Google map you’ve got open, she gives you the silent treatment because your coverage has disappeared in the middle of the Welsh countryside.
Be organised here because while the train network is extensive, the timetable often has gaps of two to three hours, so you do need to be on time for connections. The upside though, is that they do have ticket facilities on board, so you can jump on at the last minute without fear of being penalised for not having paid the appropriate fare.
Despite its status as a tourist destination, you can’t hire a car in Tenby. You can however, source hire options in nearby Kilgetty, Pembroke Dock or Carmarthen. If like us you’re coming to the area by train, from Swansea or Cardiff you’re likely to pass through Carmathen on the train anyway, so could get off there and pick up your car then drive to Tenby. Alternatively, you could catch a train from Tenby to Kilgetty or Pembroke Dock as we did, and hire from there. Book in advance though, as this whole area is popular and a car is essential so they do book out.
Here’s a glimpse of our southern coast adventure and the kinds of places you can explore from a base in Tenby including St Govan’s Chapel, Stackpole and Carew Castle…
It seems no matter where you look in London a crane isn’t too far from sight. Construction is cranking at a frenetic pace, with new skyscrapers and tower blocks quickly altering the cityscape. Contemporary architecture boasting eccentric names means unique structures like the Shard, ‘Gherkin’ and ‘Walkie Talkie’ now rub shoulders with older smaller cousins like St Paul’s Cathedral, Monument and London Eye.
There is one thing most of these structures have in common – they’re expensive if you want to enjoy their views! So, here we have presented some of our fave alternatives that are free or inexpensive to enter.
6 of the best London views free or under £5
Walkie-Talkie building (20 Fenchurch Street)
The Walkie-Talkie is one of our ultimate go-to destinations when family or friends arrive in London. The viewing platform is called the Sky Garden and it’s set over three storeys of elegantly landscaped public gardens.
As you exit the lift you’re greeted by a spacious and airy cafe/bar which connects seamlessly to the outside viewing platform. The Sky Garden boasts wonderful uninterrupted views across London, plus three restaurants if you fancy a meal. Entry is free BUT you need to book your place in advance.
Nearest tubes to the Sky Garden: Monument, Bank, Tower Hill, Cannon Street
The Great Fire of 1666 blazed for three days and destroyed much of medieval London. To commemorate this significant tragedy, Sir Christopher Wren designed the world’s tallest stone column, the Monument.
Monument is 202ft (61.5m) high and is situated 202ft away from the house of Thomas Farynor, who was the king’s baker in Pudding Lane (where the fire started). Climbing the 311 steps won’t you leave breathless but it will surprise with great views of the ‘Cheese Grater’ (122 Leadenhall Street) and Tower Bridge.
Dating back to Roman times, the former hunting park of Greenwich offers the best views of Docklands, Canary Wharf and the city of London. Additionally, it is home to the historic National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House and the Royal Observatory perched on top of the hill. The world-famous prime meridian and home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is only a stone’s throw away. Pack a picnic basket and make a day of it in one of London’s best and most beautiful Royal parks. There’s much to see and do in Greenwich, so we’d suggest setting a day aside to explore. Park entry is free.
Nearest tube: Cutty Sark or Greenwich (or catch a Thames ferry)
We first discovered the lovely view from Tate’s restaurant when our friend, Nicole, invited us up there for a catch-up drink when we were visiting London as tourists in 2009. We now take our own guests here!
Aside from housing an amazing art collection dating back to the 16th Century, Tate’s positioned on the Thames, and you can make your way to the cafe/bar for free to check out the amazing river view, Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s worth splashing out on a beer or glass of bubbles (like Sarah does) when you’re visiting, and head up at nightfall to see the city sparkle. Entry is free (although special exhibits do have a separate charge).
Nearest tube: London Bridge, Blackfriars, St Pauls, Southwark
Emirates Cable Car
If you don’t mind being suspended by a thin cable 90m (300ft) above the River Thames, then the Emirates cable car is a truly memorable experience.
The journey between the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Dock lasts an unforgettable ten minutes and provides a spectacular setting against the glass and steel of London’s skyscrapers. From the comfort of your cabin, you’re presented with bird’s eye views of the O2 arena, Canary Wharf, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Thames Barrier. Use your Oyster Card (London transport card) and receive a 25% discount.
Heron Tower (officially 110 Bishopsgate) is a commercial skyscraper near Liverpool Street station in the city and is home to two of London’s finest restaurants, the acclaimed Sushi Samba and the Duck and Waffle.
Sarah and I have indulged in many a cocktail at Sushi Samba while enjoying the 360-degree views of the city. You can almost touch my favourite building, the ‘Gherkin’. The elevator ride to the top is both terrifying and exciting as it shoots up the side of the building like a bullet train. Entry is free.
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street
Have other tips or a comment to share on the best London views? Drop us a line below…
Welcome! We are Sarah + Cooper, Aussie expats living in the UK with our Westie dog, London. We like to inspire on how to travel for longer and to live and work from anywhere. Our most popular content here is about seeing the world with your pet, remote working & digital nomadism, and house + pet sitting. Create a global life of your dreams at any age! Subscribe to find out more :)
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