Guess who just survived their first travel vlogging experience? This guy.
Okay, yes, I literally just started [travel] vlogging today, and I probably shouldn’t be giving anyone advice, but I did spend a crap ton of time studying up on the subject, so I figured I might as well share. [Plus, compiling a post like this not only allows me to look back on myself in future to gauge progress, but helps me keep most of these tips in mind while I make future vlogs.]
1. Actually start vlogging.
If you’re a travel blogger who wants to rake in more views, take video creation into consideration! As much as I hate to admit it, most of us prefer watching/listening to reading these days, and even integrating a few good clips into a written blog post can give you a boost in terms of content creation. Plus, it’s mad fun.
2. Find an aesthetic and stick with it.
Here’s where I had the most fun. Most of the overall ‘feel’ you give off in your videos is curated through post, but it can also dictate what kind of footage you want to get while running around, too. For example, I’m aiming for a dreamier vibe, although my level of success is yet to be determined.
3. Don’t be awkward.
Look, no matter what you’re doing, if you act confident enough, nobody’s going to question it. From those amongst us who proudly wield selfie sticks to those people on Youtube who perform bizarre social experiments for no actual solid scientific reason, confidence-equals-success, and taking videos isn’t anywhere near breaking the law, so what do you have to worry about? [Although you’re almost definitely going to run into some people who don’t want to be filmed or don’t want their establishments to be filmed. Just take it in stride and politely respect their rights.]
4. Don’t be afraid to throw out footage.
Long-winded and boring travel videos are the worst. C’mon, we’ve all had that moment where we’ve checked out a video based on its thumbnail, saw the run time [24 minutes?!?] and hastily exited out. Make it concise, and in the single digits.
5. Get the right camera.
It doesn’t have to cost upwards of $1k, but a decent video camera [preferably one that’s compact and light!] is generally best for those of us who are aiming to create higher caliber content. [Although interlacing the occasional cute snapchat/instagram/etc. footage can also add a unique touch!] If you’re just practicing, though, a point and shoot with video or even an iPhone will be plenty. [I filmed my first awkward vlogs way back in 2014 with an iPhone, a fact that will probably haunt my dreams until I die.]
6. Don’t use freakin’ copyrighted music. Also, use music.
Nobody wants to hear the incessant sound of traffic for 5 minutes. Mute that shit and slap on some mood-appropriate BGM. And before you even think of using the latest Top 20 pop ballad, stop and consider royalty free or non-copyrighted background music, most of which was specifically designed to serve the purposes you’re after. Youtube LITERALLY HAS an Audio Library filled with free music for you to put over your videos so you don’t get your videos taken down. Use it. [Unless you have the Mad Cash (TM) to purchase BGM, in which case, go for it!.]
7. Find the peaceful moments.
When it comes to nonstop thrill rides, keep them in action movies, where they belong. This may be a personal preference thing, but I like a good travel vlog with a few calm moments. Basically, nonstop partying is fun and all, but get a few shots of a sunrise or something. Keep your content balanced.
8. Get in yourself in the picture.
Definitely something I had a problem with. I’m kind of possessive about my camera, so my face is a rare sight in my vlogs. But to make the video more personal, it’s better to have some shots that are just you talking into the camera. Or, like, walking or something. I don’t know. [Even a quick clip at the end of you summarizing your experience can do wonders!]
9. Be interesting.
Get unique shots! Say insightful/entertaining things! Create your own artistic vision! Even the same tired cliches can be turned around if you find a unique way to incorporate them in your content.
10. Keep your content flowing.
This is actually just general blogging advice that I also have trouble with. My posting schedule is erratic at best, but if you’re really determined to get yourself out there, regular posting is a must. For travel vlogging, that probably means you’ll have to do things like [gasp] just talk into the camera about travel, or whatever, really. Find something to produce while you’re not actively out there, instead of posting one video every year about your kickass summer vacation.
And that concludes this How To! I hope you learned something useful, and of course, if you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments! My very first travel vlog is going live soon, so keep an eye out for it. [It’ll be accompanied by a very special surprise!]
If you’re a travel blogger who’s interested in connecting with other travel bloggers, check out Travel On!, a travel blogger’s network that I’m starting so we can all bond over our collective passions! Here’s the info! [We still need quite a few more members before we cn start getting into the fun stuff!]