From Blogging to Vlogging: it’s easy, right?

Since we launched we’ve heard from many successful bloggers who are looking to make the leap from blogging to vlogging. Some have already dabbled in making videos, some have already established a successful video channel and others are nervously looking at YouTube and wondering how best to go from being behind a blog to in front of a camera.

Whilst researching the UK mum vlogging ‘scene’ we’ve checked out hundreds and hundreds of channels, and wanted to share our three top pointers for becoming a successful blogger-turned-vlogger:

1. Develop your own YouTube identity:

If you want your YouTube channel to simply be an extension of your blog, then it makes absolute sense for you to refer to your blog frequently in your videos. But if you are serious about ‘making it’ on YouTube then you need to assume that people watching your videos are not aware of your blog.  Think of your audience as being distinct, and having different needs to your blog readers.

If people stumble upon one of your videos within YouTube and are not in the blogging community, they will be instantly confused if you open your video with a reference to your blog.  The Red Ted Art channel is a good example of how to achieve success on YouTube that is distinct to a blog: the videos can be watched in complete isolation of the related blog – in fact you wouldn’t necessarily know they were associated with a blog at all, hence the channel is attracting lots of views from within YouTube itself.

Of course the name of the channel and the branding can still be the same as your blog, but you should think carefully about this. With a few exceptions, most of the channels by the big vloggers out there (not just in the mum world) simply name their channel after themselves, without giving it another name. YouTube is about feeling a real rapport with the person you’re watching and getting to know them as an individual, a person, a face – it’s a very different dynamic to that with a blog, in which you can read and connect with post without really getting to know its author in any meaningful way. To do well on YouTube, you generally need to build your brand as an individual, and that usually (but not always!) means your name should be somewhere prominent on your channel, if not in the name itself.

2. Create memorable, unique content – in the same way you do for your blog:

This sounds really obvious!  But bloggers pour so much energy into creating really distinctive posts for their blog that make for brilliant reading and are based on really shareable and relatable topics.  The same needs to be the case on your YouTube channel.  There is so much samey content on YouTube – hauls, day in the life, what’s in my changing bag.  There is a demand for that content, sure, but if you really want to stand out and get cut-through, you need to think outside of the box in exactly the same way that you do when coming up with ideas for your blog. Come up with an overall proposition for your channel – a USP, if you like, that will set it apart from other mum channels – and create content that fits with that overall philosophy or positioning. 

3. Look for new ways to promote your vlog:

Many bloggers have really impressive readership and social media figures and your existing channels are absolutely a great starting point to promote your YouTube channel. But YouTube opens up so many opportunities to reach new audiences that you are not currently talking to and the most successful vloggers build specific audiences for their YouTube channel.  The people who read your blog won’t necessarily be the ones who watch your videos.  If you get your content right (see above point!) then you should attract viewers direct through YouTube and there are heaps of other opportunities to promote your channel if it is offering something distinctive to everything else out there. In the same way that you had to work had to build up your blog readership in the early days, it’s really worth doing the same for your YouTube channel and that probably means looking outside of the audience for your blog and social channels.

Have you got any more thoughts about “making the leap”?! Tweet us at @channel mum and let us know!

Scouting for vlogging talent, by Meryl Hoffman

Meryl Hoffman is one of the judges of our new talent sponsorship programme.  Meryl is the owner and managing director of MHM – a London-based talent management agency that represents an all-star roster, including Zoe Ball, who recently started her own YouTube channel, ‘Zoe Ball OFF AIR’.  We asked Meryl to tell us what she would be looking for when assessing entries from aspiring vloggers.

Hello, I am thrilled to be involved with Channel Mum and cannot wait to watch your vlog entries. Personally, I’m looking for someone who has the ability to engage with their audience in a unique, passionate, informed and exciting way. I want to feel I’m watching a vlog where someone inherently understands their audience and is using a range of techniques to achieve this. This could be done through tone, quirky endearing habits, choices of topic and sense of humour. I’m also looking for consistency – is this person prepared to commit to finding and building their audience with regular vlogs and consistent quality? If so, I’m in… where do I subscribe?!

Meryl

My top tips for vlogging:

1)Understanding your audience – get active in your audience’s community. Read and comment on other people’s channels, become part of the conversation. Join Twitter and start following other vloggers/bloggers/journalists within the community. If you put the effort in, people will find you. (Become a member of the tribe you’re trying to lead!)

2) Be yourself. Start with topics you feel comfortable with. Keep it genuine, passionate, enthusiastic and filled with honesty. For extra content ideas, generate these from your audience – create facebook posts and ask questions on Twitter. If you’re aware of what the ‘demand’ is – you can create and supply the answers. (Do regularly ask yourself, would someone share this with a friend? Make it worth referencing.)

3) Make sure you can be seen and heard. Good lighting always helps – you can start off with a small desk light, try out different positions to ensure your face is visible, then progress onto a ‘box light’ which are available from Amazon at a reasonable price. Look at the camera- not to the side! Finally, make sure to speak clearly and turn off any distracting background noises –  unless it’s your child(!)

4) Always good to get practicing before you start, practice filming angles, practice ideas, practice editing – become familiar with your surroundings and learn what makes you feel the most comfortable. Also, it’s handy to imagine you’re ‘chatting’ to a good friend behind the camera.

5) Consistency – upload regularly once a week and you’ll soon build a following. Remember, it’s much easier to lose your subscribers than gain them – be consistent and be QUALITY.

And finally, ENJOY IT! Vlogging should be an activity that you love. A space just for you.

Channel Mum’s January Vlog 15

As reported in The Drum, we’re publishing the Channel Mum January Vlog 15 today. In case you missed our introduction to the Vlog 15, which we launched last year, you can read about it here.

Despite the top end of the list looking pretty similar to last month’s, with Anna Saccone and Sprinkle of Chatter still battling it out for the top places, closely followed by Bubz and then Hannah MaggsGiovanna Fletcher and Dolly Bow Bow, there has been quite a bit of movement within the rest of the list.

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New entries include Natasha Bailie and 2.2. Children and A Dog, both of whom qualified for the Vlog 15 for the first time this month having hit 1000 subscribers.  Due to strong engagement with their content, they pushed out some of the more established creators who were in the list last month, with Natasha’s channel scoring an impressive 5th for engagement in the overall list, and 7th overall.

A special mention also to Hannah Maggs, who topped the list for engagement, beating off competition channels with seven times as many subscribers as her own.  The engagement score factors in a number of metrics including interactions with content as a proportion of views and YouTube’s all-important watch-time.

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Also making their first appearance on the Vlog 15 are Lumdeedums, Lucie & The Bump and Red Ted Art, each bringing something new to the type of content that makes up the top channels.

Lumdeedums vlogs about her experiences of surrogacy here in the UK, providing a personal and unique perspective on an issue that isn’t widely spoken about elsewhere.  The crafts content on Red Ted Art, already an established blog and book, has been translated by its creator in Maggy Woodley into video content for YouTube with great success.  And finally we see an entry from Lucie of Lucie & The Bump, who shared the news this month that her baby, Harry, will be receiving a life-changing operation.

Videos made by those in the Vlog 15 in January clocked nearly 11 million views between them, showing the sheer scale of the mum community on YouTube.  Congratulations to everyone on the list – we’re already looking forward to seeing what next month holds!

YouTube to educate brands on working with creators

YouTube announced yesterday (17th Feb 2015) that it will be airing a documentary, offering brands advice on working with talent on the platform.

Anomaly, who are the creative agency behind the documentary – called The Creators – have released a trailer featuring some of YouTube’s biggest UK stars including, of course, Zoella.

Following the ASA ruling at the end of 2014, which banned a campaign by Oreos due to vloggers not making clear enough the fact that they had been paid by Oreo to feature their products in content, it seems that YouTube are taking steps to clarify the ways that brands can harness the power and influence that its creators hold.

Tune in to see the full-length documentary on 11 March 2015.

 

My Journey to 1000 Subscribers, by 2.2 Children & A Dog

Last week one of our favourite YouTube channels, 2.2 Children & A Dog, hit 1000 subscribers.  We asked the mummy vlogger behind the channel, Jess, to tell us more about her journey to achieving this milestone:

When I first started YouTube just over two years ago, I really had no idea where it would go or how well I would be received but recently my channel hit 1000 subscribers. That’s a thousand people…WOW! If I’m being completely honest I’m overjoyed but also at the same time I’m totally lost for words.

Back in 2012 I stumbled across a few mummy vloggers sharing their tips, experiences and general family life. Just watching them in their day to day lives gave me the confidence to pick up my camera, start recording and share my side of motherhood. That same year my first upload was of my daughter Sophie learning how to crawl and within few days I got my first subscriber.

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Coming this far has not come without a lot of hard work and patience. If you were to ask me how to get 1000 subscribers on YouTube, my answer would be this:

Do what you do for you, be yourself, enjoy it and wait.

The fact of the matter is that I really love making videos on YouTube and in the process of working on my channel, I have had the privilege in making some great friends. Sometimes I will admit I have had the rare day where I’ve been in two minds whether to continue on my journey, but this has generally been down to some negative feedback. Negative feedback that we are all going to get once in a while because let’s face it, you’re putting yourself out there to be judged by others.

When it all comes down to it though I really love doing what I do, I love sharing my life and my experiences with others. Some of my videos I even like watch over and over again just because I think they’re enjoyable, and if it wasn’t for YouTube I wouldn’t have these fabulous memories of my beautiful children. I find if you can produce something that you want to watch then eventually you will find someone else that wants to watch it too.

I also find that it’s important to keep in touch with your viewers. I try to get back to everyone that contacts me either in comments, email and messages and I take time to talk to those people who contact me or those people who have questions and stumble my way.

The future for 2.2 Children And A Dog? Keeping up the regular vlogs is a must for me, but I do also have a few ideas up my sleeve which I’m looking forward to sharing with everyone.

Overall, YouTube is about making memories and having fun, and if you have fun, you will find that others have fun too!