Misconceptions about vlogging

I’ve heard it all.

  • Vlogging takes too much time.
  • Vlogging doesn’t seem worth it.
  • There are only one or two ways to do it.
  • You have to have really good equipment before starting.
  • There are already too many vlogs, so it won’t matter.
  • I have to have everything perfect before starting.
  • …and so on…

All of these are valid concerns, but they are myths, plain and simple.

Vlogology is dedicated to debunking all of these misconceptions (and more). We’ll get to all of these eventually, but as a head start here’s a quick cheat-sheet for some of the most common myths.

Misconception: “Vlogging takes too much time.”

Fact: vlogging will only take up the amount of time you allow.

Read that sentence again. Four times if you have to.

The danger of going on the internet and looking up vlogs is that for the most part you’ll find the popular vloggers and see how much work goes into it.

Drone footage! Slow-mo shots! 4k resolution! External boom mics! Gimbals! Timelapses!

Look, you can do those things. You can do whatever you want, which means you don’t have to do those things.

My first YouTube vlog was holding up my smartphone, using the front-facing camera, and editing together a low-res video. Before that, when I would make silly “day in the life” videos on Facebook, I’d just use a little point-and-shoot camera and edit it using the built-in software on my laptop.

You don’t have to start fancy (or go fancy at all.)

Remember, a vlog is a story first and foremost. You can tell a story on a cinema-level camera or an Android phone from 2010.

Vlogging takes up as much time as you let it. If you don’t have a lot of time during the week but want to put a video up every Friday, arranging your schedule so you can film for twenty minutes on Tuesday, edit for thirty minutes on Wednesday, then upload on Friday, you can do that!

If you want to make a visually stunning vlog every week and put in the time and effort it takes to make a beautiful video, you can do that too. You don’t have to, but you can.

First figure out what kind of vlog you want to have, make a commitment (more on that on the next page), then determine the amount of time you want it to take.

I’ve had weeks where the recording process was really light and editing only took 30-60 minutes, and I’ve had weeks where we traveled and I had dozens of gigabytes of footage and it took a couple days to edit a great vlog…and everything in between!

Make the decision first, then allocate the time you can to make it great.

Misconception: “There are only a few types of vlogs.”

I’ve heard this a lot and it makes a lot of sense: some of the most popular vloggers that I follow have very similar styles and genres. The story may be different, but the execution seems the same.

The main thing to notice there is how I said “vloggers that I follow”. It’s not actually that many people.

The small pool of people that I notice and watch vlogs from is infinitesimal next to the amount of content creators there are on the internet.

If you think there are only a few limited ways to vlog, you’re missing out on the bigger picture!

How many ways are there to paint, draw, write, or create anything else?

You can find your own style, even if it’s similar to someone else’s, but you also don’t have to just make what everyone else is making.

Besides, your vlogs will be unique because they’ll be about you.

Misconception: “You have to have really good equipment before starting.”

I’ll get into this more in the Gear section, but let’s take care of this once and for all.

You do not need to have good equipment. My first YouTube video was shot on the front-facing camera of a super-low quality tablet. Before that I had a little point-and-shoot that I used to make mini videos for my friends.

You don’t need a DSLR. You don’t need image stabilization. You don’t need color grading or drones or cranes or dolly shots or special effects or 120 frames per second…you don’t need any of that.

You just need something that records.

You can always upgrade later, but the most important thing is starting with what you have.

Misconception: “I have to have everything perfect before starting.”

This held me back for a long time when I first started thinking about vlogging. I researched and researched and tried to get everything lined up perfectly, but it never came.

Perfection is unattainable, plain and simple.

Consider the following options:

  • An imperfect result that exists
  • A perfect result that does not exist

Which is better? Obviously an imperfect result that exists!

When you don’t make something because it’s not quite good enough, you’re fighting a losing battle. “Not good enough” never stops, and the hunger for “better” will always drive you.

Putting something imperfect out there might be scary and uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier, and it has actual results as opposed to the non-existent alternative.

Next up I want to talk about commitment and why you need to commit to something sooner rather than later.