In the age of YouTube, ordinary people can quickly become celebrities just by posting videos of themselves on a website. To create a vlog is as simple and easy as having an idea, a smartphone and some free time.

An outlet for young people; a creative way to get your ideas and thoughts out there to the world — vlogging is also a way for people to win attention and fame. Vloggers have become more-honest reality stars, role models for kids and reflections of our society — and all they did was turn on their camera and start speaking.

Those who call themselves vloggers make videos about anything, whatever they desire no matter how controversial or mundane it is. It doesn’t matter. People will watch.

And creating a vlog isn’t as hard as one might think. Did you know that everything you could possibly need to create a successful vlog is on the very device you are probably using to read this article?

If you’re like me, you probably keep your smartphone constantly by your side. Your always checking your emails, posting silly selfies with filters on them and tweeting some random thought on Twitter. A smartphone is a perfect companion. You use it for everything else, so why not use it help create the perfect vlog.

By the time you figure out that you want to start a vlog, you probably already have an idea of what you want to say, so let’s discuss what else you will need to make your vlog a success.

Essential Equipment

For any filmmaker, whether you are a beginner or a professional, there are certain things you will need to start filming. These things are essential even for those who want to start their own vlog.

Instead of spending a lot of money on a camera, use what you have in your hand.

The obvious piece of equipment one will need to create a successful vlog is a camera, or in this case, your smartphone. Any smartphone will do, be it an Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, LG V20 or any other phone that shoots decent quality video. Most smartphones made after 2015 can shoot video in 1080p and 4K — even if they aren’t flagship models. This is perfect if you want to create quality video. Instead of spending a lot of money on a digital camera, use what you’ve got in your hand.

There are options already within the smartphone to help you start shooting; this includes the built-in camera. There also is an app in the Apple App Store called YouTube Capture. This is an official YouTube app that is able to create beautiful videos on the go. With YouTube Capture 2.0, you can stitch together an unlimited clips while trimming and arranging the clips to build your story all on your phone. It’s the Jack of all trades of video apps. For Android users, these functions are built directly into the main YouTube app.

There are more advanced camera and editing apps out there that may help you achieve specific effects, but these official YouTube apps should give you enough control for basic vlog production.

A selfie stick is a versatile yet inexpensive stabilization tool. You’ll want a steady shot to prevent camera shake from distracting your viewers.

The second item is what you will use to support your phone, usually a tripod. Depending on where you shop, a usable tripod can go for a little 30 dollars.

If money is a problem — for instance, you don’t have any — don’t worry. There are other ways to stabilize your video and reduce shakiness. A selfie stick will work, and you can purchase a decent selfie stick for 8–15 dollars at Target. Another way to help reduce shakiness is using various objects around the house, including pillows, desks, books and couches. This is the perfect time to have some fun with your vlog by creating a working environment inside your home.

Finding a light source is important if you want to get a decent quality picture.

One of the most challenging aspects of working with a camera is working with lights. Finding a light source is important if you want to get a decent quality picture. Ideally, one should work with a three point lighting set, but sometimes that is not possible. Use whatever light you have available, like a lamp or a window, and be sure to position yourself so there aren’t any harsh or distracting shadows, particularly across your face.

When you start filming yourself for your vlog, another piece of equipment you will need is a microphone. There are cheap microphones you can buy on Amazon, or you can use the voice recorder on your smartphone to record afterwards. Depending on what type of vlog you intend to make, like for instance a talking head vlog, a lavaliere or clip on lapel mic would do. Don’t forget to use a TRRS (4-pin) cable to connect it to your smartphone.

After you record, you’ll need to edit your video for uploading. The Filmmaker Pro app is one option for trimming your vlog down to size.

Editing and Uploading

Once you have finished shooting your vlog, the next step is putting your shots together. If you don’t have the right program or app, editing can be difficult. There are a few apps you can buy whether you have an iPhone or an Android if you need more control than what’s offered in the official YouTube apps. Some of the top leading apps on the iTunes app store for video editing are Filmmaker Pro, Splice as well as the go to iMovie which comes automatically on any iPhone. For Androids, PowerDirector is one popular app with a desktop counterpart.

Now that filming is complete and everything is edited and strung together the way you see fit, it is time to see your blog successfully uploaded to YouTube. There are a few simple ways of accomplishing that, but the most straight forward is through the YouTube app.

After Posting

Once you have your vlog published on YouTube and it’s all up and running, there is still work to be done. There are things one can do to make your video pop out amongst the millions of videos by other vloggers. YouTube Creator Studio makes it faster and easier to manage your YouTube channel. With it, you can be updated on your channel stats, respond to comments, create and upload video thumbnails.

YouTube’s Creator Studio lets you manage your videos and add things like custom thumbnails to make your video more clickable.

You can customize your video’s thumbnail to let viewers see a quick snapshot of your video, but you only have full control and the ability to add a completely custom thumbnail if your account is verified. Otherwise, you can choose from the select few that YouTube automatically generates for you. All you have to do to get this option is to select your video and click the edit button, this will take you to the edit page and from there, everything is laid out for you.

Sometimes, having a smartphone can be a blessing. Not only is it a means of connecting people, it also provides an outlet to those who have something to say.

It allows the creative to create and to express. When money is limited, a smartphone is the key; use it and your vlog channel will begin to flourish.

Get YouTuber.

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