Dear Socially Stephanie,
I love watching vloggers, and I want to jump into the vlogging world myself. How should I get started? How can I get a ton of followers, fast?
Vloggy in Vancouver
Last I heard, vloggers make the world go round. Okay, maybe not. But video is taking over social media as we know it, so now is definitely the time to get in and go hard.
First things first. I want you to close your eyes and think deeply for a moment. Really internalize what I am about to ask you. Because the answer you give is going to determine how you go about your strategy. Here we go: Why do you want to be a vlogger? Is it the fame? Is it the idea of making people laugh, smile, cry? Is it for the money? Let's assume it is for the money. Because for Socially Stephanie, business comes first.
I ask this because to be really successful at something, you need to put in the work. But the rewards can be huge. With the ability to have more influence and fans than One Direction and the opportunity to become a millionaire, vlogging is big business.
Ready to make vlogging your business? Let's do this! First thing you need to do is define which networks you are going to work with. When it comes to video, you have your options to choose from. Each one has its pros and cons, so let's quickly go through them.
First off, we have YouTube. This is the big daddy of video blogging. YouTube is great because the audience is there already, users are highly active, plus there is a built in search component. Hello, it is Google! That means it may be more easily found when you are just starting off. Plus, you've got an opportunity to work with Google ads as a partner, which can turn views into dollars. On the other side of the spectrum, there is already a ton of competition so you'll have to carve out your niche.
Another option: Vimeo. Vimeo is great because it looks sleek and sexy. It's clean and embeds well, but I don't think as many people are searching there for videos as they are on YouTube.
Next, let's talk about the social media micro-vlogging sites. Vine is clearly the winner here. In fact, Vine can compete with YouTube in many ways. Plus it has made a new breed of vlogger. People like Nash Grier and Jarome Jarre have made a fortune through Vine, and the momentum for brands to endorse Vine celebs is growing stronger than ever. The cons of Vine can be seen through cliques and the popular kids. They re-Vine each other, causing them to dominate the popular page and leaving little room for newbies. But that can change.
Next we have Ocho, which is a brand new micro-vlogging site that Mark Cuban invested in. Not only does it have huge potential, being a new kid on the video block, it is also beautiful and easy to use. What I like most about it is that it's brand stinking new. That means you have an opportunity to become popular quickly. I always say those who get in first have the best chance of making it. But the con, of course, is also that it is new.
So now that you have your options for long and short form video, it is time to create your content. I think the best strategy for someone just starting off is to test them all out and see which one grows the fastest for you. I'd combine short form with long form to cover the bases: your micro-vlogging site can be used to promote or give a preview of your longer video on YouTube or Vimeo.
The next step to growing your audience is to create, create, create. Create a ton of videos, the more the merrier. In fact, the more videos you have the more traffic you'll have, because the two go hand in hand. Next, you need to get your promotion hat on and blast it everywhere and encourage others to share it. Share it on your social networks but also share it on your website and to your newsletter. If you haven't built one yet, now is the time. You want to make it so easy for everyone to watch and subscribe to your videos, so easy that it's stupid not to.
Lastly, and this is important, start engaging with video consumers, bloggers, and creators. Vlogging is a community, so get involved. The more involved and engaged you are, the more likely you are to get nods of approvals from the big guys out there. Hey, you never know, they might even want to do a collaboration with you. If that happens, you can see yourself to the moon.
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email [email protected] and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)