5 Tips for Setting Up a Video Blogging Room

So you’ve decided to start a video blog, great. Now as you know, ninety nine percent of video blogs are absolutely awful. The one percent that aren’t bad tend to grab a whole lot of viewers. So, how do you get into that top one percent? Well, besides great content, a good sense of humour or interesting commentary, it all starts with presentation and production value.5 tips to create a video blogging room
“Production value? I’m just pointing a webcam at myself!” yes, that’s true, but nevertheless, production value counts, and production value starts with your vlogging room. Here’s how to get it all set up.

Set Design for your video blogging room

If we’re talking about a vlog, set design isn’t nearly as complicated as when you’re filming a movie, but it’s still something to consider. What sort of vlog are you doing? You can just set up in your bedroom and call it a day, but if you take a moment to dress the room up in a way that reflects your blog’s content, viewers will appreciate the extra effort to lend the room some atmosphere.

You may want to take a moment each week to make sure you’re keeping the room nice and neat. They say that the camera adds ten pounds, well it also makes a room look ten times as messy as it actually is. Unless you’re doing a vlog from the perspective of a slob, keep it tidy or expect a bunch of comments making fun of you for dropping your laundry on the bed.

Sound Control

You should choose a room where you can get some peace and quiet, such as your bedroom or your office or the garage. Now, vlogging in Florida, vlogging in the summer is tough, because the best way to get crisp, clean sound is to turn off the air conditioner. The AC just makes too much noise. Make sure the TV is off and, if you can hear it, unplug the fridge when filming. I good microphone is one of the most important aspects of great video. Look into getting a simple lavalier or lapel mic that you can pin to your collar.

Lighting

With a window near by you can usually get away without adding additional lighting is already there, but if you want take your production quality to the next level, invest in a lighting kit. You’ll certainly need this if you are going to be filming on cloudy days or in the evening. Just be sure that people can clearly see your face while you’re speaking into the camera. Photography Triple lighting kit

You may want to do a few test shots to be sure you’re not overdoing it. It’s fun to play with lighting, but if you want the focus to stay on what you’re discussing in your video blog, then you’ll want to keep the lighting simple and prioritize clarity of image over giving the room a brooding atmosphere for no real reason.

Selecting Video Equipment: Going Pro vs. Staying Amateur

If you’re just doing the vlog for fun, then you’ll probably be improvising from the start, using whatever camera and equipment you have handy. Over time, though, you may want to step up your game with some more professional grade and prosumer grade equipment.

If you want to start out with professional grade equipment, well, it’s going to be pretty expensive. Setting up an at home studio can cost up to two grand just to buy the bare essentials. If you’re vlogging for an employer or a client, that’s one thing, that’s an investment, and you probably have a corporate account to draw from in budgeting your studio, but if you’re doing it for yourself, for fun, then wait until you have some viewers coming in regularly, figure out how to monetize your vlog with affiliate marketing or banner ads, and then use the revenue from the vlog to upgrade your home studio.

Get Out of The Room

Now and then, viewers will appreciate it if you take them outside of your home studio. It can really switch up the look of your vlog and make things more interesting. When leaving your studio, just bear in mind that you don’t have as much control over everywhere as you do over your studio, so keep a few tips in mind when it comes to shooting wild.

First of all, be wary of light levels. Learn how to use your camera’s exposure settings so that your footage doesn’t wind up looking too dark or over exposed. Shooting outside with natural light is generally a great way to ensure that you get full light coverage.

Secondly, if you can’t control the noise levels outside, you can always dub it later with a voice over, it doesn’t all have to be live.

And finally: have fun. If video blogging gets boring for you, then what’s the point? Just improvise, play around with editing software and have fun with it.

About 

James Adams, a writer at an online print cartridge store specialising in supplying franking machine ink for entrepreneurs.

64 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Great ideas! I confess my video blogging area is simply my desk (with now) my exercise bike behind it. However, I used to have my couch and other design goodies there as well.

    I can also add, make sure to the move the dozen or so Twitter Budgies so their chirping doesn’t cramp your style. :)

    • James Adams

      Thanks! Well sometimes simple is quite effective…and maybe a few personal items in the background aren’t terribly bad.

      Haha, nice addition! You don’t want those twitter budgies to steal all your attention :D

  2. Dennis Edell

    I gotta be honest here. It all sounds awesome and very professional, but a whole lotta production for a blog, no?

    Take me; i’m all about personability and real. For me to go through much of that, would almost be like lying. lol

    I guess it depends on exactly what you’re going for (portraying), maybe your niche, and so forth.

    • James Adams

      I guess it IS quite a bit of production for a blog…but yeah, it depends on exactly what image and message you’re trying to portray, and who you’re trying to send that message to.

      Of course, real is always good…it helps viewers identify with you :)

      • Dennis Edell

        Some of the best vlog posts I’ve ever read was by someone that never edited…informative and as you can imagine, entertaining.

  3. Great tips James. I have not done to much of vlogging yet as it is quite outside of my comfort zone. Working to remedy that though and I will certainly keep in mind all these valuable tips when the time comes up. Thanks and a very Happy New Year.

    • James Adams

      Thanks very much DiTesco :)

      It does take a while to get used to the camera…it’s quite weird and unusual. But with everything, just practise and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

  4. Really solid info, James.

    I’ve always been somewhat surprised at the power of microphones, they pick up ambient sounds that we pay little attention to. Your sound control tips are something we should not overlook. Background noise can ruin a good shoot.

    Somehow, I just never got around to doing as much video this year as planned, so I’ve taken that on again for 2011. Need to get that done.

    Thanks for this post, I’ll look back upon it for reference.

    • James Adams

      Thanks Jimi.

      It is quite amazing how much they pick up. It can be quite an issue too, especially if you think you’ve got an amazing shot . It’s always important to take care of the little details, because sound is one of the main components of a video.

      Good luck for your 2011 vids! Glad I could be some help.

  5. I think these are some great tips for people who are looking to get into this. I, like you, would encourage vbloggers to change it up a bit to keep it interesting.

    Some of the channels I got to on YouTube are a bit boring in presentation. Even though the info is good (or I’d never go there) sometimes the thumbnail is of the EXACT same setting over and over so it almost looks like the same video is posted 10 times in a row.

    Sometimes it’s very exciting when the routine is broken and someone’s standing outside with the wind whipping past them yelling into the camera for a bit. That wouldn’t be good for every time but it can break up the same ol’ same ol’…

    thanks for the post!

    • James Adams

      You’re absolutely right! Monotony can really bring down the quality of a video series. It’s important to be able to hold someone’s attention….changing the setting, scenery and even the tone of your voice can make the world of difference.

      Thanks for the comment and ideas :)

  6. James – I have never decided to start my own video blog, but if I do I will definitely make use of some of these tips you’ve shared here. For example, the tip on taking your viewers outside your home studio was golden.

    I can see how this strategy can switch things up and make your vlog look a little more interesting to your viewers. Video blogging sounds like a lot of fun, but judging from all of the equipment necessary to put yourself in that top one percent it sounds like a big investment.

    However, I won’t rule out the thought of me doing it in the future though because I do think it would be a lot of fun to do it.

    • James Adams

      Thanks very much John :)

      It can be a big investment…cheap equipment is available but you’ll probably end up with lower quality videos. Of course, it’s always good to practise, maybe you’ll find you have a knack for vlogging.

      And it certainly can be fun…it’s a great way of getting your message across without having to use conventional text.

  7. James,

    Those awesome lists.

    I personally haven’t done any video shooting yet LOL, but i was so impressed with Chris Pearson’s video on his site.

    Somehow making video of ourselves infront of camera to be published and show to our readers making “more close” connections between us and readers.

    Happy 2011!

    Thanks.

    • James Adams

      Thanks Kimi!

      Yeah, it really makes a closer connection. I guess it’s because they can see you as a person, and someone they can relate to. It’s an important tool.

      Haha, well, good luck for your possible future vlogging adventures!

  8. Thanks for the advices… I intend to take my blogging and online activities to the next level some time this year and, as vlogging is definitely part of that plan, I’m really grateful for those advices (all I need now is to get the equipment for it). Talk soon.

    • James Adams

      Good luck with your vlogging adventures, you should let us know how it goes!

      Vlogging is a great way to expand the multimedia on your blog.

  9. Hey James,

    Vlogging is definitely an interesting blogging concept. As far as implementing it on my blog goes, it’s probably not going to happen soon. Just don’t feel quite comfortable with it and the equipment I have. And when it comes to equipment, going for something amateurish like you suggested is the better option. Professional stuff is an overkill in my opinion. Either way you’ve provided some nice tips there. Thanks for sharing!

    • James Adams

      Hey Daniel, the good thing is there’s no rush or requirement. Just do what works for you, you’ll still get readers with quality content :)

      Yeah, it’s always good to go cheap first…because if it doesn’t work out for you, you’re stuck with a whole bunch of stuff you don’t need.

  10. Great tips! Of course, all this involve much efforts, but I guess the result is worth them. After making your video blog more attractive for the audience, you’ll get more traffic and this means higher rankings, let alone the respect of your permanent followers. Thank you!

    • James Adams

      Thanks! There is quite a bit of effort involved to get that perfect touch, but it does have a very good return :)

  11. video blogging is something that is getting popular day-by-day. I’m also thinking to start video blogging but didn’t get enough time to work out on it.

    • James Adams

      It is getting more and more popular, especially as people have better access to the internet and quality computers.

      Of course, you can always slowly and surely break into vlogging, as there’s no rush.

  12. Great post here, James (and thanks for posting it, Ileane!). I’ve very much a novice when it comes to video blogging, so this was great for me to read. I especially like the idea of getting outside to record. I’ve always liked it when I see bloggers do that.

    Thanks, and retweeted :)

    • Hey there Tristan, thanks very much! We’ve all gotta start somewhere I guess :D

      It’s great to switch it up and change locations…it creates an intriguing background for your viewers.

  13. Hi James,
    This is a very informative post about video blogging. I haven’t tried this one out myself, but I will be considering this once my blog gets older. Thanks for sharing!

    • James Adams

      Thanks! You’re right, an overly garish background can be distracting, and just plain unpleasant to look at.

  14. Hello,

    I am currently vlogging for fun about 2x a month and it’s really fun! Right now, I have an amateur camera because my vlogs arent for anything serious or even business-related but I am thinking about getting into it more professionally. Cool post and you covered all the important parts! :D

    • James Adams

      Hey there Mandy.

      Sounds like fun! A nice relaxed start is a great way to learn more and have a bit of fun at the same time. That way, you’re fully prepared when you start doing it professionally.

  15. James,

    Very timely post. Since we will see more and more video blogging and video marketing. Your tips are simple…but I am amazed at how many people don’t get the importance of creating a professional space.

    One thing I learned the hard way…make sure your interviews outside the studio are done in a quite place with out distractions. You can loose the value of that great interview content in just a few minutes. Also know what you are going to ask and how you plan to use it before you ask a “big name” for an interview. They will want to know.

    • James Adams

      Hey there Sheila, thanks very much! A lot of people do miss the little details which overall contribute to the bigger picture.

      Thanks for the tips! It’s certainly important to get everything right in the interview, and if there’s something distracting it can take all the focus away from the subject at hand.

  16. Setting-up a video blogging room can be considered as the more advanced strategy that any blogger can make use of. However, it requires money and time to make this possible. It’s nice that you’ve discussed all important things that video bloggers must consider before starting this project.

    • James Adams

      Yes, it does certainly seem to be a more advanced level of blogging. It’s good to know exactly what you need before you start setting it up to avoid pitfalls.

      Thanks for the comment :)

  17. Great tips! I agree that to achieve a good video blog starts with presentation and production value. Of course, good content really matters but how will you get the interest of your viewers with poor presentation.

    • James Adams

      Of course, good content is the very foundation of your vlog…without that there’s not much point! Presentation and production are what help get that message across in an enjoyable manner…it makes your content more digestible :)

  18. Very useful tips James, I must admit that I am not too good in video blogging but the tips you provided will surely help me to improve. Video blogging is always interesting and helps to attract visitors. Will surely try these tips.

    • James Adams

      Hey there, no shame in not getting it right the first time! It’s a learning process…you’ll get the hang of it :) I’m glad I can help!

    • James Adams

      Quality should definitely be the number one priority…presentation and production comes afterwards :)

  19. Greetings.

    I’m lucky to have some friends that do this kind of stuff, as I want to do some videos soon. However, this is a lot of the stuff they mentioned, and I learned a few things as well.

    Thanks! :)

    • James Adams

      That’s great! I’m glad you got something fresh from this article…it must be very handy to have experienced friends to help you out :)

  20. I would love to try video blogging because there are those videos that become viral and help businesses sell more. I hope I can be successful in the vlog field but I really don’t know where to start.

    • James Adams

      The key is practising! You probably won’t get that viral video right away, so you should try to come up with quality content that people will want to learn, and present it in a way that makes it irrestible to watch.

      Good luck with your vlogging!

  21. Making video is very easy task to do. But the question is “Will it be interesting enough that the audience would feel of wanting to watch it over and over and recommend it to others in that sense?”

    This is where marketing strategy comes in. Finding the right material is very essential. The video must be simple that the audience can get the message right away what the product you are promoting is all about.

  22. James Adams

    Good point! Keeping it simple is the right way to go…you don’t want people to give up on watching because you’ve got too much going on.

  23. managing the techies to set up is one thing. getting the audience to do the interesting task of just getting them interested is something other.

  24. Danny

    That are some great tips!
    Although you might want to add: when turning of the fridge when filming then don’t forget to turn it back on ;)

    And I agree: If you aren’t having fun anymore then what is the point?
    It wont be fun for others to watch either.

  25. Excellent analogy! Vblogging, as mentioned above does not always prove to be the best. Although i haven’t shot any video myself, but the idea of it kind of degrades my thought about it. James, I would love to hear about your opinion – should I go ahead and do vblogging or just stick to normal writing blogs and comments? Honestly, I believe in blogging real life stuff. So even if I start vblogging, it ain’t going to be fancy stuff. Please help here.

  26. I love the encourage to put more effort into video work.

    If you’re just starting off get your hands on the closest camera and concentrate more on lighting. I don’t think many people realise that the most noticeable difference from a good video and bad video is the lighting. Get a fairly bright lamp, face it to a white/ light coloured wall (approx 20cm away from the wall) and the light bouncing from the wall is your main ‘key’ light. This will give a really nice soft light on your face. It will make you look good, feel good and have a professional element to the video. Play around with the lighting in the background- there are no rules here. The easiest would be to have another lamp behind you in the distance, giving great depth to the image/ video.

    If you want to have a scene outside, use the same concept. See if you can find a wall that is reflecting the sun off it and stand opposite, so you have that nice soft glow on your face. It will look like you have a camera crew and someone is holding a reflector to your face.

    If you then feel the need to step up in the world of cameras, a really good cheap one is the Canon T2i. They often come in bundles with a lens or two. You shouldn’t need any other lenses. You will find that most good video bloggers use this particular camera.

    Hope there were some useful tips!

    Thanks for starting the conversation of improving vlogging techniques :)

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