Just over a month ago I decided to start this thing called YouTube and set up my own channel. The idea in my head was to complement the things I do here on Splodz Blogz by also making some videos. I know I am incredibly late to the vlogging party, and it is something that I definitely should have started years ago, but after avoiding it for so long as I have been worried about what I might look like on screen, I decided to just say yes and get on with it.
There are now eight videos up on my channel, I have 15 subscribers, and have had 265 views. We all have to start somewhere, right?!
A month on and I have already learnt a lot. For example, I realised very quickly that getting videos up online is not a particularly quick process – not when you’re a novice anyway. I mean, first you have to decide what you are going to film, then you have to film it, then you have to edit it, then you have to upload it. Other than the time factor (and I already am a big failure when it comes to doing everything I want to do – not enough time or energy!), I also realised how personally confident you need to be to actually film videos. It’s fine when you’re doing something where having a camera isn’t unusual (like my hot air ballooning video), or you’re with a bunch of friends who are happy to be part of the video (the Lyke Wake Walk is a great example), but if you’re on your own and just want to do a bit of talking to camera, it takes quite a bit of confidence. And I don’t just mean self-confidence to hold your phone or camera out at arm’s length and talk into the lens. But also enough confidence to think that a) what you are saying will be of interest to someone else and b) that anything you describe or recommend or suggest is going to work for anyone watching. I can’t count the number of times I’ve started a vlog and then deleted it because it just seems boring or pointless!
Since starting on YouTube a number of other bloggers and twitterers have mentioned to me how they’d love to vlog but don’t feel they can. There are a number of themes that come up in our conversations, and having lost many hours to watching seasoned and successful YouTubers do their thing online in the vain attempt to learn about this new-to-me medium, I can completely see where they are coming from. I was the same. This is a slightly tongue in cheek list of things you need if you want to be a good vlogger…
- A beautiful house, or at least a beautiful kitchen and spare bedroom, in which to film your videos.
- A great camera (or choice of cameras), tripod, and some studio lighting.
- A perfect face and wear lots of make-up.
- Add to that perfect hair, too.
- While we’re at it, let’s add a great body and impeccable style.
- A Macbook. YouTube appears to be a PC free zone.
- A Kitchen Aid mixer. Not just for the food vloggers either, there always seems to be one sat on the worktop.
- A handful of well-known YouTuber friends to collaborate with.
- A love of take-away food and late night eating.
- A lot of cash with which to buy new things all the time.
- Loads of time.
- Oodles of confidence.
That’s one list that I can’t work my way through and tick each item off in turn. Well I can tick one thing; I happen to love my kitchen! But that’s it. And I’m fine with that, because there is more to life. My decision to start using YouTube as a medium was one based purely on my continued desire to demonstrate that life is all about the journey. I can hopefully do that with my iPhone, with the light from the sun, with my acne scarred face and comfortable clothing, with my non-sexy computer, and alongside all the other things I like to do in my spare time.
Hopefully you’ll realise that this isn’t meant as any kind of criticism to seasoned and successful vlogging YouTubers. You keep doing what you’re doing, you’re obviously doing something very right and it must be fun to make a living from telling your story online. Rather this an observation for me to learn from.
I’ve got a notebook full of ideas for videos I’d like to make, and I hope I can continue to develop and grow as a vlogger to both complement what’s going on here on Splodz Blogz but also to reach out to some more people who might be interested in my way of thinking. I want to encourage as many people as I can to make the most of their days on this planet, in the small moments as well as the bigger ones. I want YouTube to help me do that.
If you have ideas, suggestions or advice for me I’m all ears, please let me know. If you are a YouTuber and fancy meeting up for a vlogging walk sometime, get in touch. If there is something particular on my bucket list (that I’ve completed or not) you’d like to see featured on my channel give me a shout. Oh, and if you have a YouTube channel you think I should be watching (outdoors, travel, adventure, bucket lists, experiences, motivation), please send me the link.
And, of course, if you’re not already subscribed to Splodz Blogz TV please do, the more the merrier!
Update – Vlog
After writing this I ended up filming a day vlog thing – a day long video diary – to see what I and you thought about that. Here you go. Please let me know what you think. And subscribe!