Vlogging 101

Making a vlog that’s entertaining and informative takes planning, skill and a little bit of magic

Now that many of us have high-definition video cameras in our back pockets (and even occasionally use them to make phone calls), there’s a common misconception that making a quality video blog (AKA vlog) is easy to do. But there’s a big difference between a rambling selfie rant shot in—gasp—portrait mode, and a well-planned vlog that conveys a specific, useful message.

The most important ingredients in a vlog that has value are messaging and planning. Figure out why you’re making this video long before you hit “record,” and think through the shots you need and the points you want to make to keep your video focused and on track. Know which shots you need before you start filming to prevent that edit-stage regret of “I wish we’d shot that!” Knowing what story you want to tell helps keep your vlog fast-paced and interesting, and doubles down on the key message you want to share with your audience.

That said, don’t be afraid to leave the room for creativity, improvisation and sheer dumb luck. That “special sauce” that makes a simple video go viral is hard to plan for: sometimes magic happens while the camera is rolling, so be flexible, and make room for humor, playfulness and outtakes that can make your video more fun to watch, while still accomplishing your goals.

We tried to teach our intern that while he was working on his first vlog this week, and, well, he ended up teaching us a little something, too:

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