Though vlogs have evolved over the years, there are still some key strategies vloggers can use to succeed on YouTube in 2022.
The definition of “vlog” is nebulous, but that hasn’t hindered the genre’s popularity online. Wikipedia states the obvious, telling us that a vlog — or video log — is a log for which the medium is video. That broad definition hints at what is both the best and the worst aspect of this popular online video format: A vlog can be about anything.
Vlogs give viewers a window into whatever happens in your life. That means it can be difficult to know when to record and when to cut. You don’t want to wade through hours of footage in post, but you don’t want to miss an exciting moment either. The always-on nature of vlogging can also lead to creator burnout as well as privacy concerns.
So, how do you get a handle on this infinitely flexible format to make entertaining, engaging vlogs that draw in a loyal audience?
Vlogger success stories
To answer that question, let’s take a look at a few successful vloggers and how they continue to thrive and grow on YouTube.
Nadine first started the Hey Nadine YouTube channel more than 15 years ago. In the early days, the channel was a bit scattered, hosting life updates alongside the occasional makeup tutorial or skit. Eventually, however, Nadine began to focus almost exclusively on travel content. Today, the Hey Nadine channel tagline promises travel advice and adventuring — and Nadine delivers.
Along with standard travel vlogs showcasing her adventures, Nadine also leverages her travel expertise in SEO-friendly advice vlogs. In these videos, she shares travel tips and answers specific travel questions. Plus, she still gives her viewers occasional life updates. Making videos on searchable topics with engaging titles not only brings variety to her channel but also helps Nadine reach new viewers and expand her audience. This is a big part of how Hey Nadine continues to succeed as a YouTube vlogger.
The Cleetus McFarland YouTube channel is a haven for anyone who likes fast driving and patriotism. When they’re not racing, Cleetus and his team spend their time repairing, maintaining and souping up a surprising assortment of vehicles. They work on everything from a fleet of race-ready Ford Crown Victoria’s to custom drag racers to a Ripsaw Tank. And it’s all captured in action-packed vlogs posted several times per week.
In his vlogs, Cleetus also documents the process of restoring and operating the Freedom Factory Raceway in Florida. The track provides the perfect centerpiece for content on the channel while also bringing in its own revenue as a race venue.
Keeping his vlog focused on cars, racing and the Freedom Factory gives Cleetus a clear idea of when to keep the camera rolling and when to turn it off. It means he can take a break from filming when he’s away from the shop. Plus, his viewers always know what they can expect to see when tuning in. Having a clear focus is one of the reasons Cleetus McFarland has found so much success in vlogging.
Nathaniel Drew is another successful travel vlogger on YouTube. However, where Nadine focuses on the external experience of travel, Nathaniel instead looks inward. Travel provides the backdrop for his various self-improvement experiments and diary-style reflections. Living abroad pushes his personal limits, but it’s his introspection that allows Nathaniel to learn from those experiences. In this way, his videos explore the internal experience of travel, pairing insightful musings and advice with striking cinematography.
It’s clear that the mindfulness Nathaniel cultivates extends to his video production practice. He captures beautiful vistas and intimate interactions with care and thought, helping to bring viewers deeper into his travel experience. Nathaniel also defines a clear intention for each video, which he states in the video title. This keeps each vlog focused on one specific idea, even if it integrates footage from several different days or events.
For Nathaniel Draw, succeeding as a vlogger means combining aesthetic appeal with deep introspection to provide a unique perspective on travel and the human experience generally.
Finding success as a vlogger today
These are just three creators in the vast landscape of successful vloggers on YouTube. Each vlogger discussed here takes a slightly different yet equally valid approach to vlogging. Hey Nadine mixes in a variety of helpful content in between adventures while Cleetus McFarland keeps the focus on cars to appeal to the motorheads of the world. Finally, Nathaniel Drew sets a clear intention for each vlog and supports it with stunning cinematography. Though their strategies differ, each of these vloggers has earned a loyal fanbase.
When thinking about your own vlogs and the vlogging process, look to these and other creators to discover strategies that work for you. After all, it’s your life — you get to decide how to vlog it.