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 met again this past weekend, in Spain, no less. My fiance would be jealous – lucky he came along this time!
You’re a beautiful event – life-changing, many might say; and making a cameo at one of your spectacular soirees is becoming an annual pilgrimage for me.
“Pilgrimage” is, in fact, the correct word, for our first encounter was when I specifically flew from Australia to meet you in Dublin in 2013.
I ventured to Athenslast year to catch up on all the latest in travel tales and trends. Recently too in Costa Brava, set alongside the spectacular ‘brave coastline’ of Spain, about two hours from Barcelona.
I brought along a couple more TBEX recruits, my aforementioned fiance, Cooper, and our mate, The Hardy Traveller, Amy.
It’s easy to discover what you’re about simply by searching #TBEX on any social stream that counts (and then some).
‘The future of travel media’ is your usual theme, targeting bloggers, new media content creators and creative dreamers seeking experience above any other attachments.
Experience helps each of us learn more about ourselves, and how we can help share a message that might make the world a better place.
TBEX travel blogger conference, an annual get-together, usually hosted in North America as well as in Europe, and this year for the first time in Asia too.
I love that you’re an affordable and unique conference for new media and travel bloggers/writers/content creators, overflowing with learning opportunities in the form of wonderful workshops, networking functions, travel experiences and chic parties that showcase the host destination.
Loving Costa Brava, TBEX 2015
Costa Brava was no exception – an especially cool and pretty little area of Spain, boasting beautiful coastlines, funky bars, mouth-watering cuisine and an array of interesting, welcoming locals.
This spot didn’t let us down, just as Spain’s other Med-facing destinations like Ibiza and Mallorca haven’t 💕
Highlights of our encounter include the opening night party at luxe Santa Cristina Beach, Nathaniel’s Boyle’s engaging presentation on pod-casting and how, “Its moment is now”; and Michael Collins‘ insightful, educational keynote on the future of travel media.
I really do walk away each year on a high; high on information, inspiration and motivation.
TBEX, you are the best of travel, providing a chance to visit new places, party and have fun; but also an opportunity to learn new things, meet inspiring people and be energised about the things that are possible.
Attendees are not just delegates from around the world. We’re a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who are passionate about travel and digital content creation; citizens of the world, all keen to encourage each other to fulfil aspirations to live a beautiful life, rich in experience, and to share this important opportunity with others through words, images, video and multimedia.
If you believe you can, but don’t know where to start – start here, just like I did. It will change your life.
Can’t wait to see you again in Stockholm for TBEX Europe 2016. Click the link for all the content tips we were taught!
TBEX travel blogger conference: the latest for you
It’s recently come to my attention that DIY Facebook page managers are unaware of a few of these super easy social media strategies for managing a Facebook page. Here’s a quick post designed to help you today.
5 Things you may not be doing on your business Facebook page
You don’t have to post right then and there, in fact, you can schedule a week or more of material ahead of time! Simply compose a post as you usually would, but instead of clicking “post”, select the little clock icon underneath your post and set a time you would like the post to appear.
This is simple – ask your readers to take what action you require, whether it be to ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘comment’; Ask and generally you shall receive.
4. Be engaged and engaging
That is, when people comment or message you, always reply. Additionally, encourage conversation by asking questions of your audience and consistently share interesting and helpful information as well as insights into your business (behind-the-scenes photos or stories are always well received).
5. Be social
Don’t forget to follow other pages from your business page and always check your news stream so you in turn can be social – by that I mean be sure to ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘comment on’ other posts. Remember, it’s not “all about you” – to network and socialise, you need to reciprocate what you want from others.
Persistence and repetition of these actions pays off in the end.
Do you have a question, or perhaps another tip to add? Please do drop us a line in the comments below.
Best blogging tips (for business and hobby blogging newbies)
1. If you are writing “how to” type posts, longer and more detailed pieces generally receive more shares because if the piece is good, it becomes a point of reference for anyone interested in the subject matter (so the more detail the better; 800+ words).
2. Posts should be easy to read and neatly laid out. This means utilising H1 and H2 headers (larger text, such as the ‘best blogging tips’ headline above), bolded words and headings, sectioning pieces off as quotes, and using images to add colour and break text apart.
3. If you’re aiming to gather newsletter subscribers, your sign up form should be prominent and at the top of your site. Additionally, you should ask for as little detail as possible, and restrict sign up to simply email address and/or name, not age, location, address, phone. If people have to work too hard to be part of it, you’ll lose them.
4. Learn a little about SEO, so you are familiar with how to choose appropriate key words for your posts, and then include the key word / phrase (minimum four times) in the post and within the URL and H1 or H2 headlines. A resource I enjoy is Jim Stewart’s platform on Stewart Media, and his weekly videos.
5.Compose interesting blog posts which feature useful, helpful information. This works to position you as an expert and authority in your field (whatever it may be), rather than someone who is merely trying to “sell” a product or service. Helping others by sharing valuable information will lead to sales anyway, because through your blog you have the opportunity to garner trust as well as showcase your knowledge.
6. Readers love numbers and lists, so sometimes it is a good idea to present your material in this way, as I’ve done here with these snackable blogging tips.
7. Share and re-share. It is entirely feasible to share your post more than just once. Indeed, if you promote it on Twitter, Facebook or wherever you play on the web, there’s only a certain number of people who will see your update at that one particular point in time. Re-share (scheduling is ideal) your blog posts many times, at different points in the year and at varying times of the day for maximum exposure.
8. Make use of social sharing tools like Facebook scheduling, HootSuite, Viralwoot and Buffer so you may schedule as many posts as you like ahead of time. You could schedule material for social media sharing for a year ahead if you wanted to, and all in one day’s work.
9. Commenting. Ask readers to leave a comment and/or share. The majority of people cruising through your blog and social sites won’t generally understand the social etiquette rule of ‘liking’, ‘commenting’ and ‘sharing’, so ask them to perform the action you desire. This goes for blog activity as well as posts on Facebook etc. Some more advice here.
Then, when people do comment within any of your spaces, make sure you reply – engage in conversation so they know you’re real and interested to speak to them. It’s also manners if they’ve gone to the bother of engaging with you in the first place. Lastly, develop your online community by leaving comments on other sites and blogs. Read more about this here.
Got something to add, or a question to ask? Drop it in the comments below and we’ll reply as swiftly as we can.
How time flies; Aside from the six hours I’ve just spent on a plane, that is … and the following five hours at Hong Kong airport.
I’m on my way to the UK and Europe (Ireland) which is all pretty exciting, although I’ve not had time to think about it, pulling double shifts trying to get ‘ahead’ with business bits.
I discovered the TBEX Future of Travel Media conference plans earlier this year, and with the support of a super understanding guy, here I am on the way to ‘my other home’… again!
It’s almost surreal to spend so much time planning and working towards something that seems so far away, only to be ‘in’ the moment already. It’s a bit of a hike for me this time, with quite a lot of solo travel scheduled, although meeting up with friends and family at each point of my adventure to Ireland, Scotland and England.
TBEX is all about travel: blogging, social media, writing and sharing stories with the world (and on the world). If interested, you can follow the conversation as it happens on Twitter: #TBEX.
The best thing about this kind of gathering, is that it’s an opportunity to mingle with like-minded individuals; people who believe in the concept of working independently and making money doing what you enjoy. Writers, photographers, journalists, content creators and entrepreneurs who are ready to be inspired, and take action on what’s taught. This was something that I loved about the recent Australasian ProBlogger conference on the Gold Coast (more on Twitter: #PBevent) – the network of people who gathered – serious about this ‘blogging business’, with many already enjoying the success of maintaining a blog as their full-time job. Digital media creation at its best. I love it!
I aimed for travel this year, and I’ve got it; let me tell you, that ‘writing down your goals’ thing really does pay off.
It’s interesting that putting something in writing does seem to get it ‘out there’ to the Universe. Do you agree? For me right now, it’s pretty late – waaay past my bedtime – hence the philosophising. My back’s sore and I’m tapping out ever more words for work and leisure. But I’m so lucky to be able to experience this life.
My world tonight in the vast space that is the Hong Kong airport has consisted of a routine visit to Starbucks (yes, unnecessary but habitual), and a frustrated, tired – almost teary period – as I struggled to get the WiFi to boot up. Yes, I’m one of those people who needs internet like smokers hang out for a smoke-break!
As internet kicked in fifteen minutes ago (and my contentedness returned), a random stranger asked if he could use my USB charger facility to juice up his phone, only to wander off and trust me with it (yep, it’s still here next to me now), and a Chinese girl halted mid-walk to snap a selfie in the airport, nearly causing a collision for the people behind her who didn’t expect it – pretty funny, and right in front of me as I hang out on the floor with my laptop (the only place I can sit to access power for my computer, of course).
Now, only two hours to go… although time doesn’t seem to be flying so quickly right now.
3 things people don’t know about travel writers and bloggers
1. It’s not ‘luck’ that gets us places. It’s a lot of hard work both before a trip and on the road. And when our friends are eating/drinking/hanging at the beach, we’re obsessively writing, editing images, stressing that Internet is too slow… all in the name of digital media creation.
2. We’re a quirky bunch; we don’t take holidays – holidays are work, but work is fun ;-)
3. We’re addicted to travel, and we believe it’s the best thing you can do in your life.
What have I missed? Bloggers, want to share? Say hi to on FACEBOOK, TWITTER or comment 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 :)