There are lots of ways to add content to your beauty-themed channel, but one of the best options for building connection and engagement with your audience is a weekly vlog.
First added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2009, vlog simply stands for “video blog.” Skillfully produced on your YouTube channel, however, a vlog can mean anything from a peek into your daily life to a deeper connection with your audience. If your channel focuses primarily on beauty, a weekly vlog can be a great way to diversify your content.
Why add a weekly vlog?
On a purely practical level, integrating vlogs into your video schedule can mean a little less work. As a genre, the vlog comes with its own formats and best practices. We will discuss those later, but the underlying theme is that you have space to be less polished than normal. Vlogs generally don’t require as much planning and scripting as the average makeup tutorial. You can just turn the camera on and go! This can be a handy break from the rigors of your normal schedule.
Compared to makeup tutorials with more involved production, vlogs can be a handy creative boost as well. It’s pretty empowering to have an idea for a video and then produce that in a day, as opposed to the more involved planning process behind other video formats. Plus, that extra energy can make you feel more confident in your future creations.
Vlogs also add variety to your uploaded content. You can expand from a focus on cosmetics to other staples of lifestyle videos, such as fashion and recipes. Plus, it’s a chance to talk about your life outside of cosmetics. Your audience will get to know you as a person, rather than just a makeup artist and reviewer. Of course, this can feed back into your discussions of beauty products. You can talk about the role of specific cosmetics in your life in a more casual atmosphere. Due to the simple exposure effect of enjoying something deeper the more you see it, your viewers might trust your opinions on cosmetics the more familiar they become with you through these vlogs.
What to vlog
So it’s clear that vlogs are a useful component of any successful YouTube channel. Now, what do you put in those things? This is what’s fun about vlogs, and what attracted so many people to the genre in the first place; anything goes! Your weekly vlog can be a visual diary entry, a vacation recap, or just a quick wander through your day.
After watching enough vlogs, you might notice two categories emerging. There are more curated vlogs like Rachel Nguyen, who generally couches her videos in artsy frames, appropriate music, and editorial scenery. On the other end of the spectrum, the creator simply sits in front of a camera and talks, perhaps joined with collected footage of their recent days; Rian Phin makes great videos in this category. These vlogs feel a little more patchwork in the best way possible. Both types have a clear aesthetic and are authentic in their own right. Just go with whatever feels most natural for you and your skill set.
What not to vlog
For the most part, vlogs feel like little video journals as the maker chats casually about their day. In your own weekly vlog, you can include updates on your life and what excites you. That said, don’t feel pressured to share every detail of your life. It’s important to keep firm personal boundaries with any work uploaded and shared on the internet.
These boundaries are different for everyone. Some folks vlog every step of plastic surgery. For others, filming the inside of their closets is intimate enough. These are all valid forms of production, but sharing more of your personal life online comes with increased risks. Harassment is a very real part of the internet ecosystem, and it’s important to make sure any identifying aspects of your “real life” are kept private. Many vloggers take care to keep recognizable landmarks of where they live out of their videos. It’s also handy to have a “stage name” as opposed to your legal name. These little safety measures can make a big difference.
There’s also the psychological aspect of sharing your life online. Natalie Wynn discusses it quite eloquently in her 2018 lecture at XOXO Festival. To paraphrase, it became necessary for her to construct a “persona” for herself, aka her screen name Contrapoints, as opposed to present naturally on her channel. That persona includes full-fledged characters to create some truly educational Socratic dialogues.
Don’t feel pressured to share every aspect of your life. It’s important to keep firm personal boundaries.
Wynn has legendary makeup skills, but her main focus is politics. She’s faced incredible harassment since the start of her channel, so she needed a way to distance her true self from the person in her videos. Deconstructing fascist rhetoric is a bit different from the average Sephora haul, but the advice still stands. It’s easier to be told that LipstickLover2000 sucks, as opposed to comments specifically directed at you. As you plan to incorporate vlogs into your channel, think considerately about what you want to share with the extremely public internet, and how.
Add you voice
Overall, vlogs are a fantastic way to expand creatively and chat with your audience. They’ve been a staple of YouTube as long as the site has existed, and your weekly blog will be a neat addition to the genre.