Jun 4, 2022

Making your first vlog in 3 easy steps

6 minute read
Michael Aubry

How would you feel about boosting your engagement on social media?

Good? Let's make a vlog.

What is a vlog?

A vlog is a video that showcases some aspect of your life. It is a mashup of the terms video and blog. And just like a blog, it can be about anything! You could make a vlog about your gym session, fashion, your morning routine. Anything!

Originally vlogs would be anywhere from five minutes long to even an hour. But with the recent rise of Tik Toks and Reels, vlogs can even be under thirty seconds. It all depends on the story you are trying to tell. The story of you making your coffee in the morning will be a different length than in detail explaining you working on your car and then going for a test drive.

Why should you vlog?

According to Statista, over 25% of internet users watch vlogs. Which is a lot of people. So you're leaving engagement on the table by skipping this relatively simple step.

Vlogs are a great way to connect personally with your audience. Whatever your brand is about, telling a story builds trust with your valued customers.

What do I need?

Your camera! And some sort of editing software, we prefer Motionbox. But we are a bit biased.

A few quick background items:

Your footage, or day, doesn’t even need to be all that exciting. Here is an example of a vlog, of nothing REALLY happening. When you make a vlog, what matters is the clips are long enough to create a story, but short enough to not get boring.

Photo by Amir Hanna / Unsplash

Remember there are two types of footage, there’s “Main footage” and “B-Roll.” Side note, Main footage was originally called A-Roll, but that term has, disappointingly, fallen out of use. When you try to make a vlog, don't take anything too seriously. Have fun with it!

B Roll is there to fill up space, it keeps a viewer engaged, and could even provide detail. But does not necessarily further the story along. Excellent examples of B-Roll include things like pulling out your ingredients to cook, or putting the weight on your bar at the gym.

Now A-Roll is where we create our story. In a gym vlog, the A-Roll is you lifting, in a fashion video it’s your outfit. We’ll talk more about how we put this together when we set our story, but keep in mind that we should be filming story driving events. As you're making your vlog, always keep the story in your mind.

Now that that’s all out of the way, let’s dive in.

Step 1: Film your day.

Here are some best practices for filming in public.

You don’t need a fancy camera, or a crew, or anything but your phone really.

Filming our day doesn’t need to be just filming every single thing we do, or only filming the important parts of our day.

Filming our day means getting a healthy dose of footage from everything we do in a day.

So that could start with a time lapse of you working on your laptop for an hour.

Or it could be you dropping all your clothes onto the bed.

One tip is to set an alarm for every hour, and then every hour taking out your phone and filming a quick clip.

This quick clip could just be a selfie video of you telling the camera what you’re doing at that moment.

Photo by Sarah Brown / Unsplash

Simply prop your phone up, and let it record you doing something menial. Make your morning coffee, fold laundry, or do yoga all while on video. Then later on when you’re setting your story we get to decide how that’s going to play into everything.

Let’s shoot to hold our shots, meaning film for at least ten seconds. This way we can trim our clips if we need to. Remember, you can cut stuff out, but you cannot add something in after you’ve filmed it.

Of course, don’t forget your B-Roll, as you do this more, you’ll find a style and signature method of recording your vlogs. Maybe your thing is there is always a clip of you making coffee. Or you have a signature intro sequence. Who knows, that’s for you to decide and honestly, that’s part of the really fun part.

Step 2, we need to create our story.

The easiest way to create our story is to create everything in chronological order. That just means you give a viewer a little snippet of your day starting in the beginning and finishing in the end. So your vlog would hypothetically come out as, morning coffee, workout, yoga, work, journal, dinner, bed. Obviously this is just an example.

The most important thing is that a story is art, and there is art in everything. So in everything we create, we are looking to tell a story.

What is today’s story? For me, today’s story is that I did not want to wake up today. I did a five minute workout, and then went for coffee. I made a quick morning vlog to show you. You can see, the shots in the beginning are extended, they’re slower. Then it hits a work timelapse, (where I wrote this), and poured some water and boom, we have a story.

Remember, there’s a story in everything.

Step 3, we put it all together.

Let’s hop into Motionbox. You can either start with a template, or from scratch. I’ll start from scratch.

I like to start by loading all my footage in, for this video, there’s only 5 clips, not bad.

I bring my footage in, one at a time. Then shorten or lengthen it as I see fit. We don't want to shorten anything so much that the footage is unrecognizable. But we also do not want anything to get boring.

Once I have all my footage cut up. My next step will be to add visuals. These could be things like text, or visual effects, or anything in between. I’m going to add a VHS effect to give a retro look. Then I’ll put timestamps just to further the idea of creating my story.

Something you could do as you make your vlog is utilize the templates for text effects. You can see here my time stamp is not just a boring time. It slides in and out, making for a very cool effect.

We’re going to click export. And then we have our first daily vlog.

You can watch mine here.

Once you make yours, tag us! I want to see!

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

How long should my vlog be?

That's dependent on what you're going for! Longer form content, things that are up to ten minutes long tend to do better on YouTube. Whereas shorter, thirty second to a minute vlogs have done very well on Tik Tok recently!

How do I pick music?

That's a great question, sometimes you need music. Other times you don't. A great way to find popular sounds is to go to the Tik Tok popular sounds page and pick from there!

How do I add in effects and text?

You can do all of that easily in Motionbox.

Michael Aubry

Hey 👋 I am the founder and maker of Motionbox. My mission is to build useful tools in the video space. I enjoy science, art, and sports. Feel free to reach out to me.

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