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Hiking with camera

 If Travelling and visiting unique locations is something you are passionate about then vlogging is a way that you could make some money to fund your passion.

For example, if you search for PCT on Youtube you will see there is a small army of people who have created videos containing their experiences and advice relating to Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Your passion might be something different but if it's something that others are likely to want to do then they are also likely to be interested in watching videos about it.   Your audience could range from people who are aspiring to follow in your footsteps and learn from your experience to experienced people who share your passion, or maybe even people who want to live vicariously through your videos if they can't experience the real thing themselves.

Basically, if your passion appeals to a big enough audience and you create interesting, quality videos about it on a regular basis then you can build up a significant audience for your VLog over time. Once your audience is big enough you will be able to start making some money to fund your future adventures.

If Vlogging sounds like something that would suit your lifestyle then the following steps should get you started.

 

Pick a VLog topic  that you are passionate about and people would like to experience themselves

If you choose an experience that you are passionate about and show people what it is like to live an adventure themselves then it will be easy to keep your audience engaged.  The awesome thing about videos is that it is really easy to show your viewers the experience and make them feel like they are there with you which is what most of them will be looking for.

 

Plan your video content

To be successful as a Vlogger you will need to be able to provide a steady stream of video content that interests your audience, so it is important to map out what types of content you are going to produce in advance. e.g. if you create a Vlog about long-distance hiking the main content will probably be videos from the trail but you could also create videos with gear reviews, nutrition information, etiquette, hygiene, and logistics such as how to organise supplies.

If you find that you cant come up with ideas for regular videos to engage your audience you might need to re-think the topic for your Vlog.

 

Decide on a publishing schedule for your VLog

Deciding on a schedule for publishing new videos and communicating it to your regular viewers is a great way to keep them engaged.  Ideally, you want your audience to know when a new video is coming and have them waiting in anticipation as opposed to leaving them wondering and potentially losing interest.

Make sure you decide on a schedule that you can achieve. It is better to deliver high-quality content on a regular but less frequent schedule than it is to deliver substandard content more frequently but less predictably. If you have the resources to produce good quality content on a daily basis then go for it but if you are recording and editing in your spare time from another job then weekly videos might be more realistic.

 

Make sure you have the right equipment to record video

The first thing you will need is a video camera and the good news is that the video quality of most modern smartphones will be fine to get you started. The internal microphone on your smartphone is not likely to be up to scratch, especially if you are recording outdoors but this is a problem that can be easily solved on most phones by purchasing an external microphone that plugs into the headphone jack. There is also a large range of gimbals and tripods specifically designed for use with smartphones which will help stabilise your video and give it a more professional look.

If you want to upgrade your recording setup there are many options available including fixed lens mirrorless, DSLRs,  Mirrorless with interchangeable lenses,  adventure cams, and professional digital video cameras.  You can spend anywhere between a few hundred and quite a few thousand dollars on camera equipment to get the setup you want.

You will also need to make sure you have a reasonable computer and video editing software to allow you to prepare your videos before uploading them to Youtube.

There are a few alternative vlogging platforms but Youtube is the most popular, it's free, and is a great place to get started.

You want to ensure that your channel is visually appealing and more importantly instantly recognisable so give it a  unique name and spend a little time setting up descriptions and branding.

 

 Record, edit and upload your video content

Before you start recording you should put together an outline for your video and deciding what kind of adventure footage you need to record. Using Hiking as an example again you might decide that you are going to record selfie-style commentary as you walk along with footage of the trail so you can make sure you can capture this as you go.  If you have experienced the adventure before you might have a more detailed idea of the footage you want to capture but beware that overplanning and scripting can make your videos appear less natural.  Basically you need to do enough planning to ensure you get everything you need but not so much that your videos lose spontaneity and emotion.

The next part is where the fun starts, get out there and film your footage and don't worry if it isn't perfect to start with, it should improve with practice.  When you are recording remember that you want to show people what it is like to experience the adventure themselves and many of them will want to know how it will make them feel.  Video is a great medium to show people things but if you tell them about the way the experience makes you feel and what it is like to actually be there then your audience is likely to be more engaged.

When you are starting out capture as much Raw footage as you can and ensure you keep a track of where it was filmed  .. just speak the location, time and date at the beginning of your recording.

Once you have your footage you just need to edit it into short bite-size videos that retain the viewer's interest and then upload them to your freshly created Youtube channel. If you have hours or days of footage,  creating multiple short videos not only makes it easier to keep your audience interested but it also lets you get videos out quicker and maintain a regular posting schedule.

Unless you get really serious about film making you should be able to produce your videos with free or low-cost video editing software such as iMovie for Mac or VSDC for  Windows users.

 

Market and Monetize your VLog

Marketing your video is a huge topic and is often more of an art than a science and people who are really good at it can earn immense amounts of money. The main things to remember are that to succeed you need to publish interesting content on a regular basis and share it with potential audiences via social media,  share it on your personal accounts,  share it in groups, and make sure that you collaborate with other influences who can get your content out there.  You may get lucky and have a video go viral but for the most part, marketing requires persistence and legwork.

Once you have enough visits to your videos opportunities to monetize your content via advertising and sponsorship will present themselves to you 

The main things to focus on are having fun, creating great content, and building an audience by telling people about it.

 

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