These days, we’re all familiar with the photo selfie, but what about vlogging? Talking to the  camera on your phone or computer and sharing your footage with an audience is becoming more and more common. So if you’re looking for a way to record your life and put it out there in the world, starting your own vlog could be the perfect opportunity.

Whether you’re still wondering “what does vlogging mean?” or you’re ready to learn how to start a vlog of your own, we’re here to tell you everything you’ll need to know before hitting record.

What Is Vlogging?

Vlog is short for video blog. Essentially, someone documents an aspect of their life on film, rather than through writing or photos, as is common with a traditional blog. A vlog might be a short five-minute segment, or it could be an hour long or more.

man vlogging
Vlogging is all about recording your life and sharing it with others.

The point of vlogging is to see life through the eyes of the creator, rather than focusing on a specific topic they’re talking about. For example, travel vloggers may create content in each destination they visit, but it’s just as much about how they experience their surroundings as it is the location itself. Similarly, parenting vloggers will often talk about products they like or hacks they’ve discovered, but the focus is still very much on their experiences as a parent, rather than advice for others.

Most vlogs can be broken down into two types of videos: talking heads or “follow me around.” Talking heads typically involve a person sitting down to chat in front of a static camera on a tripod—think what you’ve seen in makeup tutorials, product reviews, or cooking demonstrations. 

girl with teapot
You can choose to vlog using a camera on a tripod or holding it in your hand as you go about your day.

On the other hand, “follow me around” vlogs are just what they sound like. This is where the individual carries a camera around and records their daily life for you, the viewer, to see. Typical vlogging topics that fall under this category include “day in the life,” “what I eat in a day,” or trips or vacations—Disney vlogs, for instance, are incredibly popular on YouTube.

While some people choose to film their lives for their own record keeping, most vloggers record with the intention of publishing the videos and building an audience of like-minded followers. So if you’re thinking about how to start a vlog of your own, remember that what you share will live online forever, which means opening yourself, and your life, up to comments and judgments from others—both good and bad. 

That said, video blogs are still one of the best ways to break into the world of digital media, and there are even opportunities to make money from advertising or sponsored content in your vlogs. In fact, the highest-paid YouTuber back in 2019 was an 8-year-old who reviewed toys and traveled the world with his family. 

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How to Start Vlogging

Now that you know more about what vlogging is, let’s talk about how to set up a vlog.

Before you even think about making your first video, you’ll want to nail down your vlogging niche. Just like with a traditional blog, you should get clear on the type of content you want to create and the audience you’re aiming to reach. 

pinterest moodboard
Building a moodboard is a great way to think about the vibe you want for your videos.

If you’re not sure where to start, think about the intersection of what you enjoy and what types of content are already popular on YouTube or social media. Watch other creators to get a feel for what they talk about, how they engage with their viewers, and the style of videos they’re making. Think about where you can fit into the vlogging space while contributing your own unique voice to the mix. (And if you’re still stumped, keep scrolling for some ideas of what to vlog about.)

Once you've narrowed in on the type of content you want to create, you’ll want to determine where you want your videos to live, whether that’s your own site, YouTube, or another social media platform. Below, we’ll run through a few factors to consider for each.

Vlogging on YouTube

When vlogs emerged in the early 2000s, YouTube vlogging was the hub for this type of content. To this day, the majority of vlogs are still hosted on YouTube, and entire audiences are built around creators making content specifically for the platform. 

man vlogging
Having the right equipment is essential for creating high-quality YouTube vlogs.

The quality of YouTube vlogs is incredibly high these days, so if you’re planning to post on the platform, you’ll need some pro equipment. A camera, tripod, microphone, and lenses are essential, and if you're working primarily indoors, you may also need lights and lighting equipment. Basic video editing knowledge is also useful.

You’ll also need some know-how to optimize your YouTube channel so that it’s discovered by the right people. Writing catchy video titles and descriptions, branding your channel, and sharing videos across social media will all help you get those views rolling in.

Video Blogging on Your Own Site

When it comes to how to set up a vlog, YouTube isn’t the only option, and many creators still choose to create their own sites, instead. Bypassing YouTube means you never have to worry about your video being taken down or flagged for some reason. You’re in complete control over what you post, when you post, and who you’re sharing your videos with.

Using your own site is a particularly great option if you want to vlog for a limited audience. You can upload your videos, password-protect the entire site, and choose who to share it with, if anyone. 

Some creators opt for a hybrid approach: They upload their videos to YouTube then embed them onto their websites. Note, though, that if you choose this route, your video’s primary home is still on YouTube, not your own site.

How to Vlog on Social Media

While YouTube is undoubtedly the leading site for vloggers, the growth of video content on social media sites has made them the perfect place for shorter vlogs or teasers of longer videos.

vlogging man
Vlogging on social media sites like Instagram is perfect for shorter videos.

Instagram, TikTok, and Twitch all have video capabilities that many creators are making use of to record 30 to 60-second videos about their lives. You can choose to target a different audience on these platforms than you might with YouTube or your own site, since each typically targets a specific age or interest demographic. 

Or, if you’re confident about your niche, you can use social media to provide your followers with exclusive content or shortened versions of YouTube videos that will encourage them to follow you across multiple platforms. Influencers are particularly good at this and give their audience reasons to check out their content on platforms that they might not naturally gravitate toward simply because they like the influencer.

If YouTube vlogging isn’t for you, don’t completely write off other social media—it can offer just as many opportunities for video creators.

Vlogging Topics to Think About

Not sure what to vlog about? Here are a few ideas to get the wheels turning.

Family or Parenting

Some of the most popular videos online are about what it’s like to be a parent. After all, parenting can be a challenging and lonely road, and it’s helpful to get insights, inspiration, or even a few laughs from others. Use your channel to share your struggles or wins as you bring up your family. 

Need some inspiration? Commonly dubbed the “First Family of YouTube”, The Shaytards have over a decade of vlogs on their channel. Or there’s the Daily Bumps family, who upload a five- to 10-minute vlog every few days. 


people in helicopter
Travel vlogs are some of the most popular when it comes to video content online.

Whether or not we get the chance to visit these locations ourselves, people love to watch others go to new places. If you’re a prolific traveler, use your vlogs to record your adventures and introduce your audience to new cultures and destinations around the globe. Mike from Fearless & Far and Nadine Sykora at Hey Nadine are great examples of this type of content.

Music and Entertainment

If you’re passionate about music, movies, or the arts, share your love for all things entertainment through vlogging. Record the concerts you go to, talk about new movies you’ve seen, or even record your own musical or dramatic journey for the world to see. EvanEraTV has hundreds of videos of magic tricks and pranks, while Roman Atwood Vlogs features a mix of entertainment reviews alongside family vlogs.

Daily Life

We’re all human, which means we’re naturally quite nosey about how other people live. Since the beginning of vlogging, daily vlogs like cleaning videos, morning and evening routines, or simply people going about their day have been the most popular type of content online. Charles Trippy still holds the Guiness World Record for consecutive daily vlogs at 3,653 days! Alisha Marie McDonal is also excellent to follow if you’re looking for tips on how to start daily life vlogging.

Grab Your Camera and Hit Record!

Starting your own vlog doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you have an idea of what you want to film and have a camera ready to go, there’s nothing stopping you from recording your thoughts, opinions, or what’s happening in your life and sharing it with the world. So go on, we’ll be watching!

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Written By

Holly Landis

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