There are a thousand reasons to start a live video blog. Maybe you want to form a more personal, face-to-face connection with your audience. Maybe you just got a sweet new green screen and want to convince your fans that you live on Hoth. Maybe you have a debilitating nervous condition where you shout “LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE” every twenty minutes and this is the only way it can be turned into a career. Whatever your reasons, it never hurts to travel with a hitchhiker’s guide.
The first thing you’ll need to figure out is which platform to go through. This one’s largely dealer’s choice anymore. There are dozens of places that’ll host basic content for free. The classics are classics for a reason, with Weebly, Blogger, and Wordpress remaining some of the most popular places to be blogging.
Now, the unfortunate truth of these sites is that full functionality costs money. If you’re looking to really stand out by hosting your own video content, you’ll likely wind up paying a subscription fee. The good news is that there’s a workaround. At this point, any blog site that doesn’t end in .cz, or advertise lonely moms in your area, is going to support embedded video. That means you can vlog to your heart’s content, you just have to link your video through another service, like YouTube or Facebook Live, by embedding the video.
Or cut out the social middleman and make life easier by streaming through Switchboard Cloud, where your video streamed blog can be shared to as many places as you'd like. Which simplifies another important aspect of the blogging experience: virtual networking.
Creating an audience for yourself can seem daunting at first, but it’s important to remember that you probably already have one because, well, you’re on social media. Sure, some of your followers are just creeps from junior high and dudes you met on a train back before you felt comfortable turning down friend requests. But most of them are people who are, at some level, invested in your life. That’s a solid place to start. And once they see your charming personality vloggin' away in a live stream, they're sure to spread the word and help boost your audience.
Yes, there’s also advertising, but that can be a tricky proposition when you’re getting started. Unless you’re already an established presence, it's likely you don’t know who your audience is yet. It’s hard to do effective targeted marketing when you don’t know who to target. For the first couple of months, your best move is to put out quality content on a regular basis. Hold yourself to a solid schedule. The more you can release, the bigger the pool of content is for potential new viewers to jump into, and making a habit of posting videos will inspire your viewers to tune in on a regular basis.
We live in a magnificent age of technological advances. You probably have a camera in your pocket right now that records at a quality James Cameron would have gotten in a cage fight for back in the '80s. All of that digital remarkableness can make it easy to forget that just pointing your selfie lens at your face and saying “sup, subscribers?” is going to look and sound, in technical terms, not good.
Smartphones can do so many things. They’re like Swiss army knives. And like Swiss army knives, they don’t do anything as well as a specialized tool designed specifically to perform one task. It can be plenty intimidating to check out A/V equipment. The first time I looked up DSLR lenses, eBay immediately showed me a lens that cost more than any car that has ever even accidentally driven through my neighborhood. Push through it, gentle soldier.
There’s great stuff out there for just about any budget. At the very least, look into a decent condenser mic. Your viewers are interested in your life. They’re less interested in accidentally hearing what your roommate is doing in the kitchen.
And those are the video blogging basics! You’re making something that will be exciting and unique, so obviously nobody can give you an exact plan of attack, but these basic steps will help you pull the car out of the garage. What’s next? That’s up to you. Reach out to other bloggers for advice - they’d probably love to hear from you, especially if you say nice things and buy them coffee. Check out some more articles on video streaming around our site and let us know what you come up with. We’re excited to see what you make with your live streamed blog.