Well I’ve been vlogging for six weeks now, so what have I learnt? Anything at all? Well yes, actually.
This is, off the top of my head whilst I sit in Starbucks between meetings, what I’ve learnt so far…
1) Telling a story is harder than it might appear. You quickly realise you need to introduce locations/people/settings otherwise you’re just throwing up a random bunch of confusing scenes and expecting the viewer to take a wild stab at the dark as to how it’s all connected.
2) I like watching back video clips where I’m really really laughing. I’ve seen myself on video a lot over the years through commercial projects and so on so I’m very used to my face/voice/profile and the parts of me I love/hate/would change/am grateful for, but I’ve rarely (if ever?!) seen myself really laugh on camera. There’s something quite joyful about seeing yourself look very happy and relaxed and whilst my instinct might be “oh God I hate my nose and scrunched up face” it’s quickly overtaken by “look what an AMAZING time I was having there, LOOK HOW HAPPY I WAS”. It’s really nice.
3) 4gb SD cards are a waste of everybody’s time and should be banned.
4) There is no good royalty-free music. It does not exist.
5) Editing every day is A LOT easier than trying to edit fifty billion clips at the end of the week.
6) My “I’ll never make a video more than 5 minutes long” attitude had to quickly go in the bin. You can’t edit a week into 5 minutes. That would be 10080 minutes condensed into 5, it is not a thing you can easily do. (Editing a week into 15 minutes is bloody hard as it is).
7) My respect for other vloggers has sky-rocketed. Editing a video to look half decent requires a serious level of skill.
8) Every view I get puts a great big smile on my face. I am trying to be realistic about my viewer and subscriber stats as I know building up a following on YouTube is hard, but every time someone watches one of my videos I am thrilled, genuinely. It’s silly really because the engagement I’m getting is so comically low compared to other platforms I use, but because I know you can skim read a blog post on here in 30 seconds and watching a vlog might take a cup of tea and twelve whole minutes of your precious life (not to mention your data if out and about) I am just immensely flattered that anyone would take the time to watch me. So THANK YOU SO MUCH, if you have. I really do appreciate it.
9) I’d rather film in my hallway with no make-up on than have a “vlogging corner” in a dedicated room which I purposely stage to look all Pinterest-y. I want to be real, like I am on Instagram/Twitter/here/everywhere else. I can’t put make-up on and buy snazzy clothes to look ‘better’ in videos because that’s just not me. I also would hate to think I’m the type of person who only shares the glossy version of life and therefore adds to ridiculous pressure so many of us are already facing. I know this will probably affect my views and subscriber count over time (for the worse) but I prefer seeing people’s ‘real lives’ and I want to make the types of videos I’d like to watch, if that makes sense. Of course I’ll put make-up on to film a product review video and will try to film when the lighting isn’t comically bad, but I’m not going to invest in professional lights and start getting blow dries because I’m filming that day. I want to be myself and that often means no make-up, a United shirt and a washing machine whirring away in the corner of my office/kitchen.
10) I eat a lot of food. Good food, but a LOT OF FOOD.
11) The bags under my eyes are LOL-tastic.
12) It can feel like you’re investing a LOT of time for very little back. But I am convinced YT is a big part of the future so I am happy about this. At the moment.
13) It’s really hard to find a balance between blogging and vlogging. I have been focusing way too much on video over the past six weeks and not enough on written blog content. I kinda expected that to happen as video is NEW and FUN and I MUST GIVE THIS A GOOD GO OR I DON’T DESERVE FOR IT TO EVER WORK but I love writing and I’ve been bad at giving this blog the attention it deserves. I need to figure out a better editorial schedule and stick to it.
14) My camera is really great and I’m so pleased I have it. I’ve been using the Canon PowerShot G7X which Stephen kindly bought me for our first wedding anniversary (and because I might have told him that it could make me a millionaire like Zoella and that I could definitely pay off our mortgage within three months if only I had the right camera, ahem). I need to write a dedicated review of the camera but long story short: IT’S ACE.
15) Making vlogs has made me addicted to watching vlogs. I have become a big vlog watcher and this has been one of the biggest surprises. (Because ya know, I was one of those people who claimed to hate vlogging yet started vlogging anyway).
16) I love having a video diary of my life. I’ve never kept a paper diary and when I used to do daily outfit posts on WIWT it kinda felt like a diary, but a video diary is an awesome thing to have. I can’t wait to force my grandkids to watch them.
Is this where I tell you subscribe to my channel?!