Don't let having nothing to say stop you. This is true in all forms of media. If you are not being paid, the content is up to you. Have you sifted around beyond the videos presented on the lists on the front page or at the top of the categories? You could fill the Grand Canyon with DVDs full of people filming their cats lying on their backs and meowing. I did not know there were that many hedgehogs eating carrots in the world.
Before you shoot
Think about audio and lighting before you make the video. If you are outside, wind or road noise might drown you out. Walking from outside to inside may cause the camera to automatically white balance. This can be distracting or even garbage a shot. Low light shots are a nightmare in video. Practice before you loose that viral shot. Every setup is different. Shoot some test videos before you loose some content you cannot re-shoot.
Be prepared. I have a $25 generic waterproof case for rainy days or whatever. I've gotten a couple shots that I would not have otherwise been able to get. Think about extra batteries, a min tripod, some kind of light, What are you going to need. Small quick snapshot camera for those on the spot shots.
Have a plan. Have contingency plans. Have an escape plan.
Don't video people who do not want to be videoed. Do not shoot in places where it is not allowed. There is not much you can do about people walking down the street. Anyone can ask you to take down a video. Anyone can sue you over it. You may have the right to post it anyway. You may not. It is all up to the lawyers.
Have fun with it. don't let the end result make your life miserable. Don't be afraid to shoot something and throwing it away. You are already not getting paid for this.
Both, take people's advice and do not take their advice. This is true in all of life. Everyone seems to have an opinion when it is not their money, time, camera on the line.
figure out what you want to do. Don't be afraid to realize that you are no good at it. Try something else. Try everything. Don't try too hard. Don't take yourself too seriously.
Have your camera with you. Do not expect to capture that magic viral shot that will get you a billion hits. If you do get that shot, someone will steel your video and re-upload it and steel your thunder anyway.
Don't let not knowing the editing software stop you. One of the most popular vloggers is a guy who runs cars off hills and uses airbags to blow up toilets. He basically chops off the ends and uploads. You may or may not be the editing type. You might shoot and post or spend hours making it perfect. Try it both ways and find out what works for you.
Don't spend a lot of money on software before you figure this out. There are open source software packages out there that will get simple and even most complex editing done without spending a dime. Take your time and try out a couple different software packages. I use Linux. I had to go through a year and about fifteen packages before I found the combination that kind of works for me. The trip here was fun.
Do not use music you don't have rights to. Start here FreePD to find some background music. There are other places. Check them out.
Play with it. Make plenty of backup copies of your original videos. Mess around with what your software can do. Watch a bunch of videos and keep playing with yours until it looks like videos you enjoy. If your videos don't look like videos you enjoy, make different kinds of videos. Maybe you will enjoy those.
- If a video feels too long, it is poorly edited.
- If a video puts you to sleep, it is the editing.
- If a video has awkward pauses, it is the editing.
- If you are easily distracted or daydream, it is the editing.
- If you think it is stupid, it is not the editing.
- If you feel offended it is not the editing.
Don't be too hung up on time. Timing is very important, but flow is far more important. People have shot attention spans. If you are using another service to host your video, you may not have the 10 to 15 minute time limit, but keep things going.
There are a million other things that could be added to those lists. If you are not laughing at a video you think you should be laughing at, it is probably just not funny. Editing may or may not help. If you find yourself not making sense of a video that you think you should understand, editing may or may not help. These kinds of examples are endless.
There are a couple different kinds of editing. There is chopping, which is basically cutting everything in to clips and putting them back together in your preferred order with the correct spaces between. This kind of editing may not require rendering.
Rendering, sometimes called ripping, is taking all the edits you have done and mashing, flattening, them all down to a brand new full video. If you want to add text, transitions, change lighting, crop, or just about anything else, you will have to render the final cut. When iPhones say they will edit videos, the options are limited because of the power of the device. To do HD video editing, you need a Haas computer. More than one of the people doing daily vlogs have set their laptops in the fridge while performing this step.
Uploading is an art. YouTube really wants people to upload more content. The hardest thing in the world is to get good content. The web page stuff is easy compared to the content. I mean, having something to say is the building block for most communication. Well, I question that statement every day, but it is kind of the truth.
When you get to the upload page, you select your file and fill in information while it goes up the pipe to a server somewhere. It sounds easy. It sounds like there is not much to it. What can go wrong?
There are specific times of day that are better for uploading. I do not know what these times are because that is a myth.
YouTube changes the layout and bells and whistles of this mechanism on a daily basis. If you do game it and figure out how to make things run more smooth for you, it will be different tomorrow.
Sometimes it goes quickly and you get all your information set properly. Sometimes your video just goes slower and slower until it quits. Sometimes if you hit cancel, it cancels. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes your information all shows up. Sometimes one piece of it is mysteriously missing. Sometimes it is just plane wrong after the upload completes. Check your settings. Sometimes choices vanish off the form. Regardless, check your settings. Particularly check any privacy settings.
YouTube sticks all How To kind of videos under Fashion and How To. It doesn't matter if you are explaining how to make a DIY solar panel or a brick wall. It all goes under fashion and how to. When you click on the category, you get a million pretty young women explaining how the get some specific look and one video explaining how gravity affects light traveling through a vacuum.
If you go under Science and Technology, there are all kinds of videos about space exploration, chemical reactions, economics, lectures on quantum physics, it is very cool stuff. Mostly, it is phone reviews and "unboxing" videos. I now understand why people do this. I made a video called something like "Canon PowerShot 940 IS strait off the camera in low light". This video is my most consistent supply of hits. Mystery solved.
This is why I just stick everything I do under People and Blogs. It should be called People and Vlogs, but the word vlog did not exist when the category came about. Now, if YouTube proposes changing anything people raise holy hell.
I've had really good results with comments on my videos. I had one guy comment how shitty our hose looks. "Do you live in a junk yard?" something like that. I left the comment up.
I have such a small viewing public, that no one waists time on comments. By default anyone with a YouTube login can comment on your videos. You may have to play with this setting to find out what works for you. There are a lot of assholes on YouTube who hang out and try to get a rise out of people at any cost. They are called trolls. They are to be treated accordingly.
YouTubers are extroverts, even if they may not be extroverted face to face. They are self centered, self absorbed, look-at-me kind of people who just might be happy. They are not all nice or friendly. They are not all interesting. They are not all funny. They have not invited you in to their lives. They do deserve privacy.
Videos you shoot can be used as evidence in a court of law.