How to Make a Great Video Blog (Vlog)

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Amani Channel’s Vlog

Have you thought about making a video blog to build your online presence? A vlog is a great way to build relationships with the power of video, and you don’t need to invest in costly equipment to get started. I use my computer’s built in webcam, and if you really want to get jazzy, you can get an HD webcam for under 100 bucks.

If you have a blog (web log), all you need is some video to make it a vlog, and sites like YouTube make is super easy to get started.

For this post, I’m going to focus on the most basic vlog, the talking head video blog.  As the name implies, your head basically talks to the camera. Actually, your mouth does the talking, but you get the point.

What You Talkin’ Bout Willis?

 


Before you turn on your webcam and start recording, you should do some preparation, because there’s nothing like turning on the camera, with nothing significant to say. Take it from me, babbling is a no-no.

You should focus on an area of expertise, share helpful tips with your audience, or if nothing else, entertain.  You can also show and tell your audience how to do something if you’re up to doing that. People love to learn about new products or you can show them how to do something specific as long as you can keep it within your webcam’s frame.

Software

screenflowOnce you know what you’re going to talk about, take a deep breath, and open your recording software.  If you’re on a PC, you can use Windows Movie Maker, or iMovie if you’re on a Mac.  Those are free software solutions.  You can even use QuickTime X to record your webcam which is also free.  Final Cut Pro X will even work, but I just learned that you can’t use an external mic with it. I prefer another affordable editing solution, ScreenFlow 4 ($99). ScreenFlow is actually screen recording software, but you can record and edit video too.

Audio Equipment

 


A mic is not required to record a video blog, but if you’ve ever listened to the hollow audio that is captured by a computer’s built-in mic, you’ll hear the difference right away.

Audio-Technica 2005 USB

AT 2005 USB/XLR Mic

I have a couple of mics that I use when I’m recording in my home studio. My big daddy is an Electro-Voice RE, which is a professional mic that I use when I’m recording voice overs for clients.  It’s a broadcast mic, and is probably too much mic if you’re just getting started.  The mic that I use more often, is the Audio-Technica AT2005USB, which is amazing, and costs around $50.00.

Listen for yourself here:

This is kind of a dueling post because my fellow Web Video Chef Chip Dizard inspired me to make the video above even though he uses the Blue Yeti, which is another great USB mic.

Check his mic out.

This post contains affiliate links.

I also created a training course that will teach you the ins and outs of ScreenFlow4.

Interested in vlogging with your smartphone or mobile device? Check out my guest post on BecomeABlogger.com.

What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve encountered creating your vlog?

Please leave a comment below.

About Amani Channel

Amani Channel is a former news reporter, a vlogger, an award winning video producer, and an adjunct professor. He also helps organizations and companies create visual stories through VisualEyeMedia.

Follow Amani on Twitter and circle him on Google+

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