Ten years ago, if someone said that you can make a living from uploading videos of yourself onto YouTube they’d have been laughed out of town. But that’s a different story now; because now sitting in your PJs and recording yourself talking about, well, yourself is a bona fide career.
Unsurprisingly, everyone wants to do this for a job. Who can blame them? Professional vloggers are self-employed and can earn thousands of pounds for plugging products in their videos. But what does it take to become one?
“Story is king,” Casey Neistat, one of the world’s most successful vloggers with nearly 7 million followers on YouTube, acknowledges. Which is true. After all, it doesn’t matter how well a video is shot or how catchy the title is if the topic is boring. Nobody is going to follow someone who has nothing interesting to say.
Make sure that you’re vlogging about what your viewers want, they are the people who hold the key to success. You might be into Twilight fan fiction, but if you’re running a make-up vlog your audience are unlikely to watch a video on that. Research your audience, find out what they love and tailor your content based on that.
You may work for yourself as a vlogger, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard. Anna Gardner, a 27-year-old make-up vlogger from Brighton, reckons that (despite what people think) vlogging is just as hard as many other competitive jobs. “I wake up at six,” she told the BBC. “I’m on my laptop working by seven and I probably finish at about six.”
One person who agrees with Gardener is Lily Pebbles, a 28-year-old beauty vlogger and blogger. She pretty much spends every waking hour working on her craft. “You can’t stop at the weekend,” she says. “Twitter and Instagram are 24/7.”
An Audience that Trusts You
It’s no big secret how vloggers make their money; they charge marketing companies to mention certain products in their videos. “I mentioned a brush set and online it had sold out by mid-day,” Gardener explains.
This makes vloggers very useful tools in the marketing world, but it only works if they have built an audience that trusts them. Jessica Walker, a top digital marketing consultant, reckons this is key. “If a blogger endorses a product it gives it more weight than if it was just featured on the page of a magazine,” she says.
She added: “Some of the top bloggers we work with are very successful and can earn thousands of pounds a month. But it’s nothing they have set out to do. It’s something they’ve been really good at and grown their following by having really good content.”
So, there we have it; you can make a living from vlogging but – like most worthwhile ventures in life – it will only come with a lot of hard work.