mike catabay vlog

6 Tips To Improve Your Video Blogs

Video blogs, or vlogs, are a great way to quickly convey information in a personal and visual way. If you’ve thought about starting a vlog, or if you’re looking to take your current video blogging skills to the next level, I’ve got 6 tips to share with you that can help you create a better vlog.

1 – Define your purpose

Why are you using a vlog as a medium? By knowing why, you’ll be able to determine if your content will be suitable for the approach. Are you sending a quick message to your students about an upcoming assessment? Maybe you need to further explain a concept that your students didn’t quite grasp from a tutorial earlier in the day.

Vlogs can be a great method to communicate key concepts or start discussions around a topic with a low production cost. In this instance, I’ve used the vlog as a means to quickly talk about improving vlogging. (I know, very meta.)

2 – Get your lighting right

I’ve employed the window as my key light, with no other lighting sources. There’s a handy course on lighting for video in an office environment on Lynda.com if you’re keen to find out more.

3 – Use a better microphone

Apparently ‘sound is half of what you see’. Although the picture quality isn’t great using a webcam, I’ve used a RODE NT-USB Microphone to improve the overall presentation.

4 – Change the framing of your camera

There’s a lot of research around this topic, but here’s a great resource on video composition from SLR Lounge.

Laptop raised using an external hard drive.
My ‘sophisticated’ vlog setup.

5 – Keep it short and simple

That’s not to say you can’t wax lyrical about your topic of expertise but keep your audience in mind – a short simple vlog will likely be more effective than a long-winded and unorganised one. Sticking to a few key points helps to direct the flow of your content.

6 – Have a call to action

Here’s my example (and also please do these things) below:

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Do you have any other tips for making better vlogs? Let us know in the comments below!

7 thoughts on “6 Tips To Improve Your Video Blogs”

  1. Nice list! Love the way the vlog itself ‘evolves’ and demos the usefulness of the tips.

    Related to the ‘keeping it short and simple’, one huge tip I wish I knew earlier is to cut out ‘umms’ and ‘errs’ in the video editing process. This really helps to cut the fat. You’ll see this technique being done by lots of famous vloggers/YouTubers.

  2. Like your ‘before’ and ‘after’ demo’s of your tips Mike. Very effective in seeing the improvements. And re your ‘call to action’, here I am leaving a comment. 🙂

    1. Many thanks Alana! I believe it’s effective to demonstrate the direct result of the suggested changes to the setup. And thanks for leaving a comment!

    1. Hi Gai, I’m not sure how to avoid reflections on glasses. The pair I’m wearing have a blue light filter coating on them (they seem to have a purple tint at some angles), but usually the anti-glare coating option for glasses can minimise the reflection. It could be minimised with careful placing of the subject/presenter and awareness of glare as an issue to avoid looking in certain directions. Not sure how to solve this one completely!

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