Video blogging has come a long way. Owing to its visual orientation, vlogs have proven to be the most engaging, shared, and enjoyable form of content. Even for businesses, video ads have shown to bring more conversion than text ads!
In the words of the wise sage Dr. James McQuivey, “[If a picture is worth a thousand words,] then a one-minute video is worth 1.8 million!”
So, let’s say you’re a newcomer in the vlogging space–also known as ‘the vlogosphere,’ and you’re looking to start on a high note. Or perhaps you’ve been around for a while but need to ramp up your engagement and ultimately grow your channel by a few thousand followers.
From crucial hardware gear to indispensable software tools and online materials, we have made a giant stockpile of vlogging tools and resources you need, to enable you to stand out in the vlogosphere.
You’d also be getting a couple of tools, both free and paid, for monetizing your vlog and find out what can be your minimum budget if you’re just thinking of starting a video blog with limited resources!
Please understand that we do not have any affiliations with the brands we mention and DO NOT earn any commissions from you visiting their websites through our links. These recommendations are strictly based on pure research and experience.
Sounds good? Let’s get cracking!
Equipment for Vloggers
Becoming a vlogger is much more than just saying the words. Vlogging involves a lot of action with physical tools, and while the ‘pros’ do much better with high-cost, sophisticated equipment, you can do a lot on a low budget.
If you’re shooting videos by yourself, these tips might be super useful.
Do note, however, that as your channel grows, it would be great to also scale up your equipment to match the sophistication of the big names.
So, what equipment do you need to become a vlogger? Let’s take a gander at some of the most available tools you can use right away!
Before you raise your eyebrows, do you know that a lot of YouTube channels with over 500,000 subscribers still use their smartphones to record videos?
You can just start with what you have — no need to break your piggy bank.
In fact, several modern smartphones already have 4k recording, which so many traditional cameras can’t even boast of. The price for these smartphones can range from a few hundred bucks to a little over a thousand dollars (Hello, iPhone11 Pro Max!)
Here is a list of some great smartphones for vlogging, and a few other low-budget smartphones you can use.
If using a smartphone to record does not sit well with you, then I bet you’d rather go with a digital camera. From Canon Powershot to GoPro brand of cameras, there are several digital cameras on e-stores all over the internet. Here’s a compilation of the top ten cameras for vlogging.
The most advanced digital cameras for vlogging can cost up to $1000, while the cheapest ones can cost a few 100 bucks. Here’s a list of the cheapest cameras for vlogging.
A Mini Tripod
Whether you’re using a smartphone or a professional camera, you need some sort of tripod to keep a steady picture, unless you want to leave your viewers wondering if you’re filming in the middle of an earthquake.
Mini tripods are generally cheap. You can get them around 2 dollars on websites like Aliexpress!
In case you didn’t know, there are external lenses you can use to optimize your smartphone’s camera functionality. With these tools, you can view distant objects super-clearly without compromising the quality of the picture.
You can find awesome, low-budget lenses on Aliexpress as well.
I keep mentioning Aliexpress because I’ve been using them to purchase almost anything, and they come supercheap. Moreover, a lot of Amazon retailers and drop shippers buy from sites like Aliexpress and resell at high prices!
The cheapest ones I found on the website cost around 4 dollars, but you can always push your budget a little towards 10 dollars for that extra quality.
That said, here are some cool lenses you can try out.
Sometimes, natural lighting from the sun can be insufficient with meeting all the requirements of professional videography. Your lighting equipment helps give your videos an extra glow.
A lot of vloggers use this equipment, and learning to adapt it into your vlogging activities can help boost your productivity.
Interestingly, some lighting equipment for smartphones comes with tripods, giving you a lot more to work with.
Here are some excellent ones to check out.
A Good Microphone
People will find it hard to keep watching if they can’t hear you clearly, unless you want to give them a bad lip-reading exercise, which isn’t fun at all.
Ensure you do your research and find out what works for you. Also, keep your eyes out for the product reviews.
Green Screen Equipment
Ever since 1940, when Lawrence Butler pulled off some incredible visual effects in The Thief of Bagdad, green screens are gaining authority in the world of special effects.
If you fancy the visual effects in Game of Thrones or have been struck by some impressive effects in a few YouTube videos, you’d probably want to be able to pull off your own bit of artistic wonder.
Here’s a short clip on what Hollywood movies look like without the green screen effects. Furthermore, newscasting and gaming industries have gotten very fond of this technique.
As a beginner, you do not have to spend a whole lot to have a green screen. Here’s all you need to set up your own DIY green screen.
- A smartphone or a camera, for recording
- A piece of green fabric
- Lighting equipment
- As many ‘A’ clamps as needed—usually four
- A pair of stands and a horizontal bar for mounting your green screen
Here’s a rundown on how you can set up a green screen. Also, some tips you can use.
While this section is dedicated to hardware equipment, it is essential to note that to create visual effects with green screens, a video editor is mission-critical, which brings us to the next section.
Software Vlogging Tools
Vlogging does not just end at capturing sunsets at a beach or running a hilarious prank in a mall. You need to pay attention to post-production, and that’s where the software tools come in.
Software tools allow you to polish up your videos and optimize them for the best visual experience.
Here are some of the best software tools you need.
These are software tools that allow you to cut, trim, slow down, enhance, add overlays, and do much more with your videos to give them a touch of professionalism.
There are over a million video editing software products all over the internet, from the pricy ones to the completely free ones.
If you use Windows 10, Animotica can be one of the best options and you can download from Microsoft Store. It is free to use, but you can unlock the entire pack of amazing features for less than ten bucks.
Animotica is simple enough for beginners while holding just enough sophistication for experienced videographers to make top-of-the-line professional videos.
As a vlogger, you’ve probably heard about Adobe Premiere Pro. Adobe Premiere Pro, while it is the number one video editor right now, requires some training if you’d want to use it. You’d also have to part ways with 21 dollars every month to pay for its license.
If you use Mac, iMovie has always been our recommendation. Other options for Mac users include Open Shot, Blender, Wideo, Filmora, and Final Cut Pro. The one you should choose depends on your budget and video editing skills.
If you use Windows 7 or 8, any of the following video editors can serve.
It is important to note that Microsoft has stopped selling licenses for Windows 7 and 8. So, it’s probably time to move to Windows 10.
If you would like to edit on your smartphone, here are a few editing apps to try.
If you’re confused with the choice, check up the signs of a good video editing software.
Nothing beats a solid entrance. This is true, even in the vlogosphere. If your video intros are on point, then you can guarantee your viewers will stay till the end. A stunning outro leaves them with a pleasant aftertaste when they’re done digesting your content!
So what are the best intro/outro makers out there?
Here are the ones we can vouch for. These tools come with a bunch of templates you can quickly snatch up anytime you’re ready to roll. So, here they are.
Vlogging SEO, Content Research, and Trend Tools
Just like it is in blogging, SEO plays a significant role in determining your relevance in the vlogging space. With that said, you need SEO tools for your vlog. Whether your playground is on YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, or Likee, these tools allow you to know what sort of content you should be making, and also what others are doing.
Here are a few top performers in this category.
- Keyword Tool
- SEO Chat
- Keyword Tool Dominator
- Google Trends
- Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Gone are the days when hashtags were taken lightly. The power of hashtags in recent times cannot be overemphasized. They help categorize your content, boost engagement, attract new followers, and strengthen your brand’s exposure.
Having the right hashtags helps you become a force to be reckoned with on your social media space.
Here are excellent tools you can use to get the right hashtags and even track their progress.
Thumbnails are almost as important as the videos themselves. A great thumbnail hooks your viewers with a visual representation of the information they should expect to get from your video content. In fact, along with your title, your thumbnail decides whether a viewer clicks on your video, or someone else’s!
Here are the tools you can use to make amazing thumbnails that grab attention.
It is tough to find a brand that has no logo. A great logo gives you a chance to stand out from your competition, gives you an excellent first impression to prospects, and gives you a solid brand identity.
Depending on what works for you, a logo can be as simple as an acronym—think BBC—or as creative as Apple’s. There are several decent logo makers out there.
Here’s a list of the free once to get you started, even without a budget.
If you’d like to scale up with a paid software, Adobe Illustrator is a powerful tool that costs you $20.99 a month. There are also logo makers that charge a one-time fee. For example, Logo Maker Pro charges a one-time fee of $59.99.
Content planning is essential if you want to streamline your video creation process. Planning helps you stay ahead of the curve so you can make content that actually works.
There are several tools online you can use for content planning and collaboration, but these are quite popular:
Storage, Team Review, and Collaboration
When you’re dealing with a larger video file and in a team environment, using a local storage space can pose a lot of limitations. You can run out of storage anytime, and it’s usually tough to access the files remotely.
That’s where these sorts of tools come in handy. They allow you to store large files online and help you collaborate with your teammates on your video project. These tools are also excellent for gathering video reviews!
Here are the popular ones.
Transcripts work like magic if you want to have an edge in terms of SEO. They go far beyond the boundaries of meta descriptions and video tags.
Videos that offer transcripts provide better user experience, and this translates to better SEO ranking! Learn more about why you need transcripts here.
Here are free tools you can use for your transcription.
Social Contests and Giveaways
Running contests and giveaways on your channel’s social media pages can significantly boost your engagements and ultimately help you grow. However, it’s not just about the concept. You have to pay attention to the process, the actual work.
Thankfully, managing contests don’t have to be stressful any longer.
Gleam.io is a growth marketing platform helping people run campaigns to grow their businesses, which offers easy-to-use competition features that help easily set up and run giveaways, contests, and sweepstakes.
Here are some other tools you can use:
What’s the point of your vlog if you’re not getting some form of revenue from it? Even if you’re just starting out, you would, at some point, begin to consider monetization!
One vital step in this direction is building email lists.
Email lists allow you to:
- Build a collection of loyal audience
- Notify your audience of any new content you publish
- Build deeper connections with them
- Easily promote products and make some money without heavily depending on third-party ads!
Building email lists is not as ‘technical’ as it sounds. It, however, requires a little bit of brainstorming. This tutorial will walk you through on how to build an email list for your YouTube channel.
Here are great tools you can use to build your email list for effective email marketing.
Other tools you can use to monetize your vlog include:
Teachable: Teachable is a platform where you can host an online course and make some money off your subscribers. The good thing about teachable is that it allows you to have full control using your own brand and domain.
You can even run an affiliate program where others refer students to your course and earn a commission. Teachable handles all the dirty work for you, including receiving payments and paying your affiliates.
Selling a course on Teachable can be a great way to make money from your subscriber base while offering value.
ClickFunnels: ClickFunnels is an all-in-one online business solution that is taking over the modern online marketing world. With ClickFunnels, you can turn your channel into a money machine.
ClickFunnels allows you to host a website, sell products and services, bill your clients, collect emails, build landing pages, host webinars, and much more, all in one place
Some awesome affiliate marketing tools you can check out are listed below.
A more extensive list can be found in this blogpost.
Leveraging on Fan Support
Aside from the earnings you make from ads, courses, and affiliate links, you can always get financial support from your best fans. Donations have always been helpful to those who strive to keep their brands alive.
Patreon is easily the most popular financial support platform for creatives. However, other platforms you can check out include:
Video Sharing Sites
Apart from YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, several other video sharing sites exist, where you can upload your video content and even link them to your blog for millions of users to see. They include:
Some websites provide resources for storing your videos online. These tools are particularly crucial when you have limited local storage space. They allow you to store your videos online and also link them to your blogs for easy access!
Here are a few.
Since you’d be uploading videos quite a lot, you’d probably need to convert videos into different formats at one point or another.
Whether you’re converting to Mp4, AVI, 3GP, and more, these online tools make it a cakewalk for you.
Great Online Resources for Vloggers
Now that you have your hardware and software tools on the ground, you’d probably want to take a look at some online resources that may come in handy sometime in the future.
Without further ado, here they come!
Animotica’s blog: Here, you can find a bunch of awesome tutorials on how to do several things with Animotica. You can learn how to make animated logos, slideshows, make timelapse videos, and much more. It’ll be a good idea to subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on the exciting things!
YouTube Audio Library: Here, you can find a plethora of audio tracks for your youTube videos at no cost at all. This is a lifesaver, especially now that almost everything out here is under some form of copyright limitations.
How to Start a Vlog: Here’s a resource for the complete newbies. This article gives you a good deal of information on what a vlog is, and how to properly start one for yourself.
Embedding Your Youtube Videos in your Blog: This blog article runs you through how to embed your YouTube videos into your blog with ease (without crashing something.)
Freevlog: Freevlog is a resource for new vloggers. Here you can find tutorials, insights, and more!
25 Hour Day: Here’s a blog for the technical aspect of vlogging. 25 Hour Day covers topics such as audio engineering, post-production, podcasting, and more.
Mixilab’s Video Content Calendar: Every month, we publish a video content calendar on Mixilab. This calendar contains a giant list of everyday events running throughout the month, along with video content ideas to help you create videos that bring results. So far, we’ve covered from November to January. Be sure to check them out!
Keyword Research Tutorial: If you have no idea what keyword research entails, this tutorial will be a good start for you.
How to Become a Successful Influencer: No matter what niche you vlog in, you can become an influencer and earn some good pay from doing fun stuff. This article is a resourceful piece on how to become an influencer. Here’s another resource you can use.
Several Ways You Can Make Money on YouTube: This guide is particularly interesting because it gives you a rundown of all the ways you can make money on YouTube, including the ones you don’t know about. From paid channel memberships to superchat, you will find a lot of interesting ways to make money on YouTube here.
How Much will it cost to run a Vlog?
Video blogging is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. But with more people joining large platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Likee, etc., you’ve probably been thinking about becoming a vlogger yourself.
How much does it cost to start a vlogging channel?
There isn’t any specific price tag to this. However, becoming a successful vlogger requires a fair amount of financial investments.
As a beginner, your expenses could range from $300 to $500.
Your expenditure could cover these and even more:
- Brand name registration
- Ads—for promoting your channel
- Brand Identity—your channel’s logo
You can easily find out how much brand name registration costs in your locality through a simple inquiry. YouTube Ads have an average daily budget of $10, charging anywhere from 0.10 to 0.30 per view or click.
If you’re unable to do your own logos, you’d have to hire a professional. Fiverr is a good place to get the best hands on a low budget.
Let’s use a table to make a breakdown of the expenditure on your equipment. Also, note that the figures stated here may vary from country to country and could be more or less, depending on your specific needs.
|Equipment/ Resources||Minimum Cost|
|Recording Equipment||Smartphone: Around $398.|
Camera: Around $189
|Logo Design||$5 on Fiverr|
|Brand Name Registration||Varies from country to country|
The prices for this hardware, except recording equipment, were collated from Aliexpress and do not include shipping costs.
Vlogging is taking over the world of content creation, and if you’ve decided to jump on the train, you’ve made the right choice. These tools and resources are going to be very important for you as you begin. Even if you’ve been into vlogging for a while, you can agree that this giant compilation is a treasure trove!
We hope that you’ll find them extremely useful.
Pingback: Your Ultimate Video Calendar for February 2020 - ANIMOTICA Blog